Writing Centers in Bahrain: Negotiating the Technologies of the Self

  • Sajjadllah Alhawsawi
  • Nasreen Mahmood Al Aradi


Writing centers were part of North American education since the 1930s. Globalization has influenced many countries to create writing centers, including those in the Arabian Gulf. In 2007 and 2013, two writing centers in Bahrain were established in order to help Arab students develop as writers. However, there are not many studies about these centers. Through qualitative analysis, this case study examines how tutors in one of the writing centers perceive their roles and how they present themselves via technologies of the self. The findings suggest that the roles of the tutors differ greatly from the North American models.



The completion of this chapter would not have been possible without the kind participation of staff members working in the writing center at Bahrain Polytechnic. Their kind words and effort helped in achieving the objectives that we had initiated. Their contribution is highly appreciated, and it is vital to acknowledge them in this chapter.


  1. Bahrain Polytechnic. (2016). Writing and Language Centre. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from
  2. Blau, S., Hall, J., & Sparks, S. (2002). Guilt-free tutoring: Rethinking how we tutor non-native-English-speaking students. Writing Center Journal, 23(1), 23–44.Google Scholar
  3. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Briggs, L. C., & Woolbright, M. (2000). Stories from the Center: Connecting Narrative and Theory in the Writing Center. National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096 (Stock No. 47461-3050: $18.95 members, $25.95 nonmembers).Google Scholar
  5. Ferris, D. R. (2004). The “grammar correction” debate in L2 writing: Where are we, and where do we go from here? (and what do we do in the meantime…?). Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(1), 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ferris, D. (2006). Does error feedback help student writers? New evidence on the short-and long-term effects of written error correction. In K. Hyland & F. Hyland (Eds.), Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues (Cambridge Applied Linguistics, pp. 81–104). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139524742.007
  7. Foucault, M. (1982). The hermeneutics of the subject. Lectures at the College de France, 1982, pp. 25–43. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from
  8. Foucault, M., Martin, L. H., Gutman, H., & Hutton, P. H. (1988). Technologies of the self: A seminar with Michel Foucault. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gally, T. (2010). The cultures of writing centers. Komaba Journal of English Education, 1, 61–84.Google Scholar
  10. Guy, A., Jurecic, A., Talley, L., Walk, K., & Wilkins, A. (2012). Writing Fellows Handbook. Pomona College Writing Partners. Retrieved from
  11. Higher Education Council. (2017). Higher education statistics. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from
  12. McAndrew, D., & Reigstad, T. (2002). Tutoring writing: A practical guide for conferences. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.Google Scholar
  13. Meniado, J. (2017). The evolution of writing centers in Bahrain: A multipronged analysis. In O. Barnawi (Ed.), Writing centers in the higher education landscape of the Arabian Gulf. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Murphy, C., & Law, J. (2013). Landmark essays on writing centers (Vol. 9). Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Murphy, C., & Stay, B. (Eds.). (2012). The writing center director’s resource book. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Mwale, S., Alhawsawi, S., Sayed, Y., & Rind, I. A. (2017). Being a mobile international postgraduate research student with family in the United Kingdom: Conflict, contestation and contradictions. Journal of Further and Higher Education, pp. 1–12.Google Scholar
  17. Nakatake, M. (2013). Challenges and possibilities in tutorials in a writing center in Japan. The Language Teacher, 37(6), 17–20.Google Scholar
  18. Papadimos, T. J., Manos, J. E., & Murray, S. J. (2013). An extrapolation of Foucault’s Technologies of the self to effect positive transformation in the intensivist as teacher and mentor. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 8(1), 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Powers, J. K. (1993). Rethinking writing center conferencing strategies for the ESL writer. The Writing Center Journal, 13(2), 39–47.Google Scholar
  20. Pratt, M. L. (1997). Arts of the contact zone. In P. Gibian (Ed.), Mass culture and everyday life. London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  21. Rafoth, B. (2010). Why visit your campus writing center? Writing Spaces, 1, 146.Google Scholar
  22. Rafoth, B. (2014). Multilingual writers and writing centers. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Google Scholar
  23. Rihn, A. (2007). Not playing it safe: Tutoring an ethic of diversity within a non-diverse environment. Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 5(1), 62–66.Google Scholar
  24. Sato, Y., Nakatake, M., Satake, Y., & Hug, J. (2015). About the changing roles of foreign language teaching/learning in the context of globalization in Japan. KLA Journal, 2, 1–14.Google Scholar
  25. Strong, R. M., & Fruth, J. K. (2001). The Spanish writing center at the University of Minnesota. ADFL Bulletin, 32(2), 33–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Thompson, G. (2011). Moving online: Changing the focus of a writing center. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 5(2), 127–142. Retrieved July 17, 2017, from
  27. Thonus, T. (1993). Tutors as teachers: Assisting ESL/EFL students in the writing center. The Writing Center Journal, 13(2), 13–26.Google Scholar
  28. Truscott, J. (2007). The effect of error correction on learners’ ability to write accurately. Journal of Second Language Writing, 16(4), 255–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Williams, J., & Severino, C. (2004). The writing center and second language writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(3), 165–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wolff, I. M. (2000). 4 Tutoring in the “Contact Zone”. Stories from the center: Connecting narrative and theory in the writing center (pp. 43–50). Urbana, IL: NCTE.Google Scholar
  31. Writing Center, Pomona College. (2016). The Critically Conscious Tutor. Retrieved March 26, 2017, from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sajjadllah Alhawsawi
    • 1
  • Nasreen Mahmood Al Aradi
    • 2
  1. 1.King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health SciencesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.University of BahrainIsaBahrain

Personalised recommendations