||Writing centers in the U.S. are experiencing more diverse student populations than ever before. The increase in diversity affects the ways that centers function, in areas such as training programs, mentorships, tutoring strategies, and one-on-one interactions with students. Instead of closely examining the model of writing center adopted in the U.S., this paper investigates those centers located in Asian countries where most international students in American universities come from, in order to provide a different perspective for understanding the operation of writing centers in L2 contexts. Such a perspective helps index the methods for adjusting to a more diversified writing center, be it in the U.S. or in an L2 country, for cultivating better writers through the cooperation of L1 and L2 writing centers.
This paper starts by briefly reviewing the history of writing centers in the U.S. and discussing the effects that American writing centers have on Asian countries’ higher education systems. The literature review on Asian writing centers presents the differences and similarities between American and non-American writing centers in terms of the services centers offer, the roles tutors play, and the format of one-on-one interactions. This overview of the status of the Asian writing centers is followed by a close-look at the centers at Taiwan’s six traditional public universities.¹ Specifically focusing on the educational context of writing centers in Taiwan, the paper reviews these centers’ development. Based on extensive web research, along with phone interviews on the status of the writing centers, these centers seem to function differently than U.S. counterparts. The Taiwanese writing centers are classified into three models according to the following criteria: purpose of founding, target students, target tutors, services offered, and centers’ affiliation.