I was assigned to work in the Hunter College Romance Languages Department and more specifically in the Italian and French programs. As a doctoral student in the Graduate School's French Program with experience in language instruction in French and Spanish, I was familiar with the specific needs of the department and more able to provide consultation.
For two years, I worked in collaboration with professors in a variety of classes, literature classes but also grammar and creative writing classes in French, several taught in English. My position as a neuter interlocutor enabled me to have fruitful exchanges with all the professors. They responded positively to my suggestions and more precisely regarding changes in the syllabi in order to include additional writing assignments and a scheduled drafting process.
I worked with students either in groups, or on an individual basis: organizing research workshops to familiarize them with the research process; assisting them with their readings; and helping them with the organization and revision of their drafts. In order to expand class discussion, I suggested instructors continue debate on Blackboard. Students responded eagerly and extensively through virtual written communication on a weekly basis. Although informal, these written assignments motivated students to participate in the academic debate.
I also devised correction tools for French classes where structure and grammar are an important aspect in the process of learning and writing another language. I received feedback not only from the professors who taught those classes but also from students (response to a survey). Although these tools only addressed surface errors in the first draft, student's revisions allowed professors to focus more on ideas and organization.
My position as a writing fellow was very rewarding since it allowed me to help both sides. On the one hand, professors were really grateful to have someone with whom they could share problems and challenges, but also someone helping to articulate course adjustments and improvements. On the other hand, students really appreciated having additional advice during the entire process of writing a paper. (See Writing Fellows 2002-2003)