Home > Tutoring for English Language Learners

One-on-one instruction

Tutoring provides students with the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained English language tutor on a quarterly basis throughout the academic year. Working with a tutor allows students to receive personalized feedback, and to focus on specific linguistic skills and language functions. Students meet with their tutors once a week for 30 minutes throughout the academic quarter. Students complete an intake assessment and needs assessment at the beginning of the quarter to identify communicative strengths, weaknesses, and needs. In conjunction with the tutor, students create a set of learning goals for the quarter. Weekly in session clinical work is based on those goals, and might include practice in conversation, pronunciation, listening, and giving presentations; SPEAK or Versant test preparation; mock interviews; reviewing written work to find patterns of errors; cultural discussion, and more.

Please note that all of our services (tutoring, group classes, and NativeAccentâ„¢ online software) are now offered as non-credit courses. These courses will appear on student transcripts: the possible grades are "satisfactory" and "unsatisfactory". Although students will receive a grade, the grade will not affect GPA. Because these courses carry zero-credit, they will also not affect student courseloads. Non-students, including faculty, postdocs, staff, and visiting scholars, will be registered unofficially as auditors. Both students and staff/scholars must register for services through English Language programs.

Students and scholars of The Graduate School are given first priority for tutoring appointments. Eligible students who apply for a tutoring appointment are automatically enrolled in the noncredit course Linguistics 482: Individual Speech and Language Tutoring for Nonnative Speakers of English. For more information on eligibility and priority for enrollment, please visit our eligibility page. For complete details on how and when to apply for an appointment, please see our registration page.

Individual instruction is also available through our tutoring Office Hours. Office hours allow any Northwestern student, scholar, or affiliate the opportunity to meet with one of our tutors on an as-needed basis. Students who do not have a regular appointment may use Office Hours to receive support. Students who are already registered for Linguistics 482 may use Office Hours to schedule a make up session or get additional help. For more information and hours, please see our Office Hours page.

For members of the Northwestern community who need additional support or do not meet the eligibility requirements for services, we also maintain a list of private language and writing tutors who are available to be hired for a fee. These tutors are not directly affiliated with Northwestern University. Please see our private tutors page for more information.