Is tutoring a benefit for tutees only, or is it a mutual benefit?

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Mine Gündüz Kartal
Derin Atay


This study was conducted to investigate the opinions of the ELT (English Language Teaching) pre-service teachers who attended a tutoring program as tutors and the opinions of the EFL learners who were the tutees of this program. Thirteen pre-service teachers provided tutoring to thirty EFL learners in the spring semester at one of the private universities in Turkey. Out of thirty, 22 EFL learners were volunteers to participate in this study. Data from the tutors (pre-service teachers) were collected through face-to-face interviews, and from the tutees through a questionnaire sent as an e-mail. As there were pre-existing themes in the interview questions and the questionnaire, data were analysed and coded deductively. These themes were: advantages of the tutoring program, challenges of the program, self-efficacy evaluation, communication between tutors and tutees, perceptions, and suggestions of both parties. The findings of the study revealed that not only tutees but also tutors had many gains during this program. In other words, while the tutees learnt the structures they did not understand very well in class and increased their exam scores, the tutors had a chance to study with different age group (adults), practice the theories they were taught in their departments, and they could test their content and pedagogy knowledge efficacy. Despite the abundance of studies carried out to examine the effects of tutoring programs on tutors and tutees in the literature (Cohen et al., 1982; Elbaum et al., 2000), the studies conducted to investigate the tutoring programs on both parties (tutors and tutees) in English language education at tertiary level is rare. This study aimed to contribute to the relevant literature with its findings and implications by taking this scarcity into account.


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How to Cite
Gündüz Kartal, M., & Atay, D. (2021). Is tutoring a benefit for tutees only, or is it a mutual benefit?. Focus on ELT Journal, 3(1), 65–80.
Author Biography

Derin Atay, Bahçeşehir University

Derin Atay is a Professor in the ELT department at Bahçeşehir University and she is the dean of the Education Faculty at the same university. She gives courses in MA and Ph. D programs.