Certificate Writing Advisors Training

Background

The ongoing growth of Writing Centers in the German speaking countries shows that in Universities and other institutions involved with learning and teaching prevail now a different understanding in what concerns Writing and the Teaching of Writing: Writing is seen more and more as a complex process and social activity. As a consequence of that, there is the need of providing the Writer with support and - more importantly - with the exchange on their texts.
In order to support writers adequately, without affecting the autonomy of the text?s author, a goal-oriented training is necessary. A solution found by many Writing Centers is to train students as writing peer tutors. The Writing Advisors training has many advantages: on the one hand, it ensures the growth of the writing centers, on the other hand, the advisors become multiplicators. Not only can the competencies acquired be applied in university writing centers, but also in many other areas. An additional qualification in writing didactics is especially profitable to those studying to become teachers (Lehramtsstudierenden), for example, who can advise writing projects in their profession, or introduce and encourage writing peer tutoring in schools, which is the case of some schools already. However, students with other professional aspirations can gain with this additional qualification: they acquire and teach - above all through the integrated praxis in the training - several relevant competencies for the professional life, such as communicative skills, empathy, intercultural competence, Feedback competence, reflective ability, as well as the capability to understand other perspectives and express themselves promptly also in topics from a different area of expertise.

Goals

The Writing Advisor training at the International Writing Center at the Göttingen University has as its goal to teach interested students from all areas (particularly in the human and social sciences) the foundations of writing didactics and counseling psychology; this enables them to appropriately assist individual writers during the work process, in addition to giving them constructive feedback. Also, they trainee acquires competencies which are relevant for their professional life (see above), specially concerning their reflection ability on their own professional practice.

Target group

The Training is open for students from all areas, as long as they have writing experience are willing to reflect on writing as a process, and have basic knowledge concerning academic text types. Especially addressed are students in the Human and Social Sciences, who can prospectively work in contexts involving teaching and counseling. Examples are activities at schools, universities or counseling institutions. Depending on the study area, professional or personal interests there is a possibility of specializing in writing advisory in German as a first language or in multilingual contexts.

Content

The Writing Advisors Training comprises a Module of 18 ECTS credit points in Key Competencies. The participants can also join separate modules in order to gain some knowledge on the writing didactics foundations. Within the scopes of the Certificate, the participants can choose between the emphasis on "Writing in German as a First Language" or "Writing in multilingual contexts".
Both groups conclude a theory module together with an introduction on Writing Research and Didactics, and the other specialization the focus is on writing in multilingual contexts. In this Seminar the trainees get in contact with relevant foundations for the writing advisory, such as background knowledge on writing phases, writing strategies, writing types, writing difficulties and writing as a learning instrument.
In an additional module (joined by both groups, which can be taken also before the theory module, given the flexible structure of the training) the trainees will be familiarized with the basis of advisory, especially writing advisory. They learn and try out what it means to advice effectively and focused on the person, get to know different approaches and techniques and transpose them to the writing advisory context.
In a conclusive internship the students can apply the acquired knowledge, since they can join the lectures and advisory sessions offered by the International Writing Center and (partly guided) writing tasks, which will be registered as protocol and reflected upon. Parallelly, the students participate on a seminar (Begleitseminar), in which the results found in the internship can be presented and the difficulties and questions can be cooperative discussed. As an alternative, the participants can do their internship in the area online advisory service and join the seminar "Writing and Advising online", which takes place in the scope of the academic writing partnership (akademischen Schreibpartnerschaften - Zertifikat InDiGu).
The training is concluded with a final project, in which the students can implement the acquired writing didactics knowledge in praxis: the final project is structured by the participant - with the support of the trainers - and it is individually adapted to their interests and possible professional goals. The idea is that the student develops a concept for writing pedagogy measures, which they should autonomously implement at the Göttingen University or another institution (such as schools, language centers, Volkshochschule) for a specific target audience (such as first-year students of specific courses, school students...). The project will eventually be reflected upon and evaluated together with the trainer.
Those who decide to focus on "Writing in multilingual contexts" can join the seminar "Methodik und Didaktik der Vermittlung Interkultureller Kompetenz" instead of developing a final project, since this seminar also requires the conception and implementation of a session.
The student who has completed the training is granted 18 ECTS credit points in key competencies, as well as a certificate with the course content, individual focus and skills acquired.

Course Progress - Overview

The detailed Course Progress you can find in this pdf-document.