Foreign Language Tutors

CTLR offers peer tutoring to support students in foreign language courses during Fall and Spring semesters. 

To request a tutor: Contact the CTLR to request a referral. You will be put in touch with a tutor via email, and can then arrange one or more tutoring sessions. If you want to work with a particular tutor, that request may be accommodated, depending on the number of referrals that tutor has already received. Each session is roughly 1 hour. Some students meet regularly with a tutor—once a week or every other week.

To make the most of your tutoring sessions:

  • Set specific goals ahead of time:  The more explicit you are about what you’d like to  work on with a tutor, the more that tutor can help you toward meeting those goals.  A goal could be to work on a particular assignment or project, to review and clarify grammar or other language points from class, to prepare for a test or presentation, etc.
  • Inform your tutor about your needs and experiences:  If possible, communicate ahead of time with the tutor, so they can prepare for the session. You may even wish to send ahead a description of the assignment, and even a draft, if appropriate.
  • Be aware of what tutors can and can’t do: The goal of tutoring is to facilitate long-term learning and independence.  This means, for example, that a tutor will not ‘line edit’ your work—i.e. correct all errors.  Rather, the tutor will help you identify the most important errors, and to learn the rules and patterns that will allow you to correct and prevent those errors on your own. See below for more details.
  • Share with us about your experience: Near the end of the semester, you will be sent a link to an anonymous survey, where you can provide feedback about your tutoring experience.  At any point, though, you can share your thoughts with JoAnn Brewer, the language tutoring coordinator, at brewer@middlebury.edu.

Language tutors do...

  • explain concepts that students have difficulty understanding
  • use alternate methods and examples to explain content and help students understand
  • help students identify patterns in their speaking and writing
  • share successful study strategies based on experience and training
  • believe a student's work should reflect his or her own ability-not that of the tutor
  • give positive reinforcement and help students become more confident in their own abilities
  • keep careful records of each student-tutor contact
  • respect privacy of the client as related to the tutoring session(s)
  • help students become more independent as they go along

Language tutors do not...

  • do assignments for students
  • simply "edit" a student's work (vs. helping them to see areas of improvement)
  • assist in take-home exams
  • grade assignments or discuss assigned grades.
  • attempt to judge the acceptability of work from the instructor's point of view
  • comment on an instructor's grading policy, teaching style, or personality
  • discuss a client's achievements or abilities with other students