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Communicating Advice

Peer Tutoring and Communication Practice

Wendy Atkins-Sayre and Eunkyong L. Yook

Although competent peer tutoring depends heavily on knowledge within the particular discipline, there is certainly more to the process than subject knowledge alone. One of the most important components of tutoring in any academic area is effective communication. Research in the area of communication studies is relevant to all areas of tutoring, but is often only a minor component of peer tutoring training. This book brings together tutoring center experts and communication experts to provide research-based advice for training peer and near-peer tutors. With a broad audience in mind, these experts translate research from the fields of communication and pedagogy into advice that can be used for tutoring in any field. Peer tutoring centers or pedagogy courses in any discipline will find this book to be an effective discussion tool for encouraging tutors to consider the importance of how they communicate their advice to students.
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Chapter 9. Helping Students Conquer Anxiety in the Session Karen Kangas Dwyer


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Karen Kangas Dwyer

When students first come to a peer tutoring center, many bring anxiety with them. Not only are they anxious about giving their first speeches or taking their first exams, but also many are nervous about coming to a peer tutor or consultant for help. Some wonder if they can be helped. Some may experience such an overwhelming anxiety that they will have trouble completing a class without assistance (McCroskey, 2008), while others have previously dropped a course when their instructor encouraged them to get treatment (Proctor, Douglas, Garera-Izquierdo, & Wartman, 1994). Students need to be reassured, however, that they can be helped and that tutors or consultants are trained to offer them assistance. They cannot do their homework or write their speeches, but they can guide them through the many steps and processes to help them be successful in the work required for their classes.

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