Who is this course for?

This course is for students who like English, are good in English, show a desire to help weaker students improve their English, and are available and interested in doing so.

How long has the tutoring centre existed? Why was this course created?

The Tandem Centre has been open since the winter semester of 1989. To Teach is to Learn was given for the first time in the fall semester of 1995. It was created to offer selected students the preparation and training necessary to set up a peer tutoring service in English.

What are its general objectives?

The goals of To Teach is to Learn are to prepare the tutors to intervene in an effective way with a peer. The course provides students with theoretical knowledge of tutoring and a chance to brush up on their English skills.

What is the time allocation involved in this course?

The course is weighted at 1-2-3. During the first four weeks, in preparation for tutoring, there are 3 hours of classes a week. When the tutoring begins in the 4th or 5th week, the hours in class are reduced from 3 hours to 1 hour a week. You will usually be tutoring 2-3 hours a week, and you will have 2-3 hours a week of homework and preparation for your tutoring sessions.

What is the course's theoretical content?

The following themes are looked at: the objectives of a tutoring centre, the role of the tutor, the general principles of tutoring, second language learning theory, educational psychology as applied to tutoring, listening skills, how to set up a tutoring session, problem solving strategies, experience of previous tutors, how the tutoring centre works and how it is set up. English grammar, punctuation, and reading and writing techniques will also be reviewed in short workshops. Sometimes the workshops will be given by tutors.

How is the tutoring set up?

The tutoring is done in 50-minute sessions that take place at Tandem, usually twice a week, at periods that are convenient for the tutor and the tutee. Tutors should have 5-6 hours of availability between 9-4 p.m. in order for matching to be possible. The tutoring "lesson" is prepared based on an evaluation of the difficulties that the student has, a diagnostic of what s/he needs, and a study plan. Each meeting is prepared and followed up by a written report.  As a general rule, the tutor must be able to give a total of at least 20 hours of tutoring in the course of the semester.

What is the evaluation of the course based on?

 You will be evaluated in several ways:

  • Two reading tests
  • A written portrait about your tutee
  • Weekly reports about your tutoring sessions
  • A pedagogical document prepared in small groups
  • A written assignment about your experience as a tutor
  • Participation in different learning activities

In what ways are the course and tutoring experience beneficial to the tutor?

You receive credits for doing this course, and if everything goes well, a certificate attesting to your contribution to the Tandem Centre. In addition to that, past tutors say that it is a personally enriching experience in many respects. It is a valuable experience being part of Tandem because it gives you the chance to reinforce your knowledge, test your aptitudes at teaching, be useful to other people, create friendships, and develop in many other ways.  There is also the chance to continue tutoring the following semester, and then you are paid as an experienced tutor.

Do I have to be recommended by a professor?

Tandem asks the English professors for a list of names of students that they think would make good tutors.  However, a professor may forget a student, or not know the students well enough to suggest names.  Some of you may not have had an English course yet and therefore cannot be recommended by a teacher.  Any student who feels that s/he meets the requirements can register in the course.

How are the candidates chosen?

Candidates interested in the course To Teach Is To Learn may be requested to come to an oral interview in English (5-10 minutes) where their spoken English and writing sample will be evaluated. This meeting will be an indicator of your talents both in English, and in helping a student who is having trouble.

What do I have to do to register in this course?

You cannot choose the course To Teach is to Learn using Omnivox. You can register during the information session or go to Tandem (room A-105) where you will be given a form to complete.

When will I know if my application has been accepted?

When the results of both oral and written tests have been tabulated, Tandem will send the Service du cheminement scolaire  a list of the students who are accepted.  There will also be a list of the accepted tutors posted at Tandem (room A-105) approximately 2 weeks after the tests.  When you receive your timetable, if To Teach Is To Learn  is not on it, and you think it might be a mistake (you think you met all the requirements), come and see someone at Tandem.