Student and Tutor Perspectives of Tutoring in a Russian Flagship Program

by Dianna Murphy, Karen Evans-Romaine, Snezhana Zheltoukhova

Appears in issue 62 on page 107.

This article presents a small-scale, qualitative study of student and tutor perceptions of tutoring in a Russian Flagship program. Findings from the study suggest that tutoring is perceived to be highly beneficial for student learning due to 1) expanded opportunities for student use of Russian, especially in comparison with opportunities for using the language in language classes; 2) the focus of tutoring on the interests and needs of individual students; and 3) a learning environment that students perceived as less stressful than the language classroom. The study suggests that both tutors and students viewed tutoring sessions primarily through the lens of their Russian language courses, with a greater emphasis on the connection between tutoring and coursework than envisioned in the design of the tutoring program. Both groups also described tutoring primarily in terms of the actions of tutors, not in terms of the actions of students. Differences between the two groups included a greater emphasis by tutors than by students in describing targeted learning goals, and a desire expressed by tutors for students to take greater responsibility for their learning.

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