Study skills support – it’s about building a relationship

Written by Sue Naylor, Study Skills Tutor at the Learning Support Centre

Continuing my interview with Angie, I asked about her experience of accessing study skills support. Angie commented that at first she didn’t really know what to expect: “The hardest thing is, when you first start out with dyslexia, you don’t know where you need help – you don’t know what it stops you from doing, what it aids you in doing.”

A two-way conversation
I asked Angie about her use of information technology to support her studies. Although she is a confident user of IT, she emphasised particular benefits of having a conversation about her learning with a “real person” who could listen, question and prompt: “One thing I’ve learnt massively is I need to talk out what I’m doing … and it’s not until I start explaining that I know what I want to write – you need a two-way conversation.”

How have you made use of study skills support?
Angie underlined the importance of working in partnership with her study skills tutor to “figure out myself as a learner”.

She recalled that our early sessions working together were spent “jigsaw-piecing” her draft essay into a clearer structure, adding that structure is something she is confident with now. Angie reflected that study skills support had helped her learn to “tighten up” paragraph structure and to write more critically to put her opinion across. Angie commented that she was then able to engage with the required reading more fully and to build a critical argument: “It was then a question of how to phrase things, to find a ‘voice’ that’s academic.”

An ever-evolving picture
Angie commented that study skills support “changes over time and is ever-evolving” as one skill becomes a habit and “you feel ready to move on”. She continued: “As you get something under your belt, there’s scope for the next area.”

If you have been referred to the Learning Support Centre for study skills support, please contact your tutor to book a meeting – or phone the office team on 0116 254 8881