Implementing tutorials within the context of an English for General Academic Purposes course at the University of Patras: A Preliminary study
This article discusses an initial survey on the implementation of tutorials within the context of an English for General Academic Purposes course (EGAP) in order to explore students’ perceptions of successful tutors using the model INSPIRE developed by Lepper and Wooleverton (2002). Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (1986) are also used in order to exemplify Greek students’ culturally oriented learning behaviour within the tutorial learning context. Specifically, these dimensions explain that cultural orientations are inclinations describing the effects of a society’s culture on its members’ values and how these values are linked to their behaviour. Interviews with 29 students indicated that, despite students’ culturally teacher-centred learning background, they would be in favour of participating in tutorials in order to benefit from the tutor’s facilitator role. Specifically, it was found that students seemed to prefer the tutor to be their guide in their studies helping them engage in self-assessment of their performance. Their overall experience of attending interviews on the use of tutoring appeared to be positive, triggering their willingness to attend future tutorials with more specific enquiries. The main initial finding of the survey indicates that Greeks’ cultural orientations seem to change in specific learning settings, for example in tutorials. A set of preliminary implications, which could be used to establish the parameters for further research, are also offered.
Keywords: tutoring, Greek students, Higher Education, English for General Academic Purposes, culturally -oriented learning