Prepare for Your Tutoring Session
Before you come to tutoring
Before you arrive for your tutoring session, review the following resources to make sure you are prepared and can best use your time with the tutor.
- Come to your session prepared.
- Do any assigned reading and homework before the session.
- Participate actively in the process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and disagree.
- Bring any relevant materials to the tutoring sessions including textbooks, lecture notes, assignments, paper drafts, past tests, etc.
- Bring your instructor’s written assignments or a very clear explanation of what is expected.
- Attend all classes and take advantage of your professor’s office hours.
- Set reasonable goals for your long term and short term work. Write your goals down and share them with your tutor.
- Try to have questions and concepts ready to discuss with your tutor.
- Stop your tutor if they are going too fast.
- Review the material on your own after the session
- Consider talking to other students to form a study group.
- Give yourself and your tutor a chance. The tutoring process may take time to see improvement.
- Don’t expect the tutor to do your work for you!
- Don’t come in at the last minute to get help for a test or assignment.
Not sure how a tutor can help you? Here are some ideas for activities to do with a tutor:
- Ask your tutor questions about grammar, writing, or vocabulary.
- Review your grammar exercises with a tutor and they can help offer you correct answers and explanations.
- Practice pronunciation with a tutor by reading out loud.
- Show a tutor your writing and get advice. (Tutors won’t fix your essays for you)
- Play a word game like Scrabble with a tutor (if they’re not busy with other students).
- Have a conversation with a tutor (if you don’t know what to talk about, the tutors can suggest a conversation topic).
Here are some things you can do to make sure that you’re prepared for your tutoring session:
- Read over your paper silently or aloud. You may read to yourself or to another student.
- Circle two sections of your paper that you would like to review with the tutor.
- Write one specific question that you want to ask the writing tutor.
- If you have worked with a tutor on this assignment already, what did you discuss during your last session, and what changes did you make as a result of your next steps?
Additional things you might consider doing include:
- Re-read the assignment sheet, and make sure you can describe in your own words what the assignment asks.
- Underline the thesis or main idea of your paper. Re-read the assignment and make sure you answered the main question that the assignment asks.
- Check your structure by underlining your topic sentences for each paragraph. Make sure each one introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Does each one relate to the thesis or main idea?
- Go over your examples and details in each paragraph. Does each sentence support the main idea introduced in the topic sentence. Check for off topic sentences.
- Review your concluding paragraph. Did you restate your thesis/main idea?
We have expectations of our own tutors as well as our students. Before seeing a tutor, you should familiarize yourself with their responsibilities:
- Tutors are not a proofreading service. You shouldn’t expect tutors to edit your papers or have them do your work for you. We are here to help you improve your work by helping you develop your ideas and organize them.
- Under no circumstances will a tutor accept papers to edit and return to you at a later time. Only currently enrolled students in ESL classes may receive tutoring services. We can’t accommodate all non-native English speakers that were once ESL students and/or who are currently only taking content courses.
- Tutors will not speculate regarding grades given or grades to be given on an assignment, and no guarantee of grade improvement can or will be given as a result of using tutoring services.
- Our tutoring staff is limited, so you may not always be able to see a tutor when you would like, or you may require repeated visits to resolve problems that you are having with your papers. We advise you to come as far in advance of the assignment’s due date as possible.
- It is best if you come to see a tutor after attempting to complete the assignment on your own. If the assignment is unclear, you must first contact the instructor for clarification. The guidance of a tutor cannot substitute for communication with your instructor.
- To be fair to as many students as possible, we may limit a tutoring session to 15 minutes. You may only sign up for another session after all other students have been helped, and the second session may be interrupted when other people who have not been helped sign up to see a tutor. If you sign up and then leave you are liable to lose your turn should your name be called while you are absent.
- Check homework and point out errors but let you correct your own errors.
- Practice speaking activities that are based on a particular grammar lesson and/or the level of the student.
- Help you learn the essentials of good writing, including the use of planning tools, such as brainstorming and outlining, and content development, such as critical thinking.
- Give suggestions for research, directing you to appropriate library sources, and suggestions for English language improvement, directing you to appropriate reference materials and handouts available in the ESL Center, and suggestions for academic success, referring you to academic or personal counselors.
- Assist in properly quoting and paraphrasing and in giving credit to sources in order to discourage plagiarism.
- Listen to ideas your ideas and help you limit and focus these into manageable topics. Help you organize your ideas and information into logical order.
- Guide you in effectively proofreading your own papers. Tutors will explain structural and mechanical rules, indicate the type and perhaps even the approximate number or such global and minor errors, but it is your responsibility to ultimately finding and correcting errors.
- Give honest reactions to you as a reader. Tutors will evaluate not only the introduction and main idea/thesis statement, but also the support and development of the main idea/thesis.
- Use English in the tutoring sessions unless you request a specific vocabulary word or definition.
Tutors Will Not:
- Edit, write, or rewrite sentences for you. Tutors may ask you to explain a thought or have you rewrite your own sentence and then comment on the revision.
- Discuss a grade assigned to an assignment by your instructor or predict the grade an assignment will receive.
- Provide topics or specific ideas, nor an organizational format for a your essay. Instead, they will ask questions, trying to help you discover a topic, generate ideas, and begin a process of organization.
- Help you if there is a reason to believe that you are falsely representing a written product as your own when it is not. The tutor can circle suspected plagiarism and remind the student that it’s not acceptable to copy and it can severely affect your grade and/or standing in the class or college. In other words, they will not tolerate plagiarism.
- Translate assignments or text. If you request translation, you will be referred to speak with your instructor, as you may be improperly placed in that level.
When You Arrive to Tutoring
When you arrive to the ESL Center, follow these steps to sign-in for a tutoring session:
1. Swipe your Lancer ID.
2. Select your class.
3. Choose “Tutoring” on the computer.
4. Sign up on the clipboard, let the front desk staff know you would like to see a tutor, and then wait to be called. If your name is called and you’re not present, the next student will be called and you will need to sign up again.
5. Don’t forget to read the ESL Center Tutoring rules!
6. You may only have 15 minutes with the tutor, so be ready with specific questions.
7. Sign up again if you need more time.
8. To sign out, swipe out with your Lancer ID.
Once you are finished with your tutoring session, don't forget to have your tutor sign your signature form (if required by your ESL instructor).