Guidelines for CLS Tutors

I. Eligibility to Tutor

  1. Tutors must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the particular language, as well as an ability to communicate relevant material. Tutors should at least have the ability to speak coherently with the proper terminology as to how the language works, especially in relation to the specific content of the course syllabus. Being a native speaker, especially for the tutoring of students at lower levels, is certainly not necessary, nor is it sufficient in itself. What counts is the ability to explain elementary and intermediate language concepts of grammar and the ability to engage in spontaneous practice when needed, as well as giving hints on strategies for learning.
  2. Undergraduate, graduate, or professional students may be tutors. In some situations, other individuals affiliated with Yale may be permitted to tutor, though in most cases Yale faculty members will not be permitted to tutor.
  3. In most cases, undergraduate and special students in their first year at Yale will not be permitted to tutor. Exceptions may occasionally be made by the tutoring program coordinator in coordination with language faculty members.
  4. CLS Tutors are selected by the tutoring program coordinator, in consultation with foreign language faculty. Occasionally, the CLS may consult residential college deans or other Yale faculty or staff in making final hiring decisions.

II. Tutoring Assignments

  1. Tutors must be willing to tutor a minimum of two students per week.
  2. Be careful not to take on too many tutees at one time: two to four tutees is probably appropriate, depending on your own schedule. Taking on too many can be overwhelming for you, and the fragmentation of your time and attention could do a disservice to your tutees.
  3. There is no guaranteed minimum number of tutees or tutoring hours. At times, the Tutoring Program Coordinator may contact you to ask you to stop taking on new tutees for a while (if you appear to have a full load), or to take on more if we have a shortage of tutors.
  4. For each student you tutor, you may not exceed ten hours of tutoring time unless additional time has been approved by the tutoring program coordinator. (Tutees will usually be granted up to five additional hours of tutoring time upon request.)
  5. Should your tutee's instructor be open to a meeting, you are strongly encouraged to meet with him or her in order to discuss the course syllabus.  For any such meeting or series of meetings, you will be reimbursed for the initial hour of time spent with the instructor.
  6. You will be required to attend at least one orientation and training session offered by the CLS. You will be paid for required training.

III. Professional Nature of Tutoring Relationship

Students and tutors are expected to treat the tutoring relationship seriously and with an appropriate sense of professionalism.

  1. Confidentiality. Information shared between you and your tutee is confidential, as are names and other information about your tutee. Obtain your tutee's permission before discussing his or her tutoring with anyone else.
  2. Conflict of Interest. Any time you tutor someone with whom you have any other kind of relationship--personal or professional--the potential exists for your interests as a tutor to conflict with other interests or priorities. You must use good judgment to avoid such conflicts, usually by declining to tutor anyone with whom you have connections outside the tutoring environment. For example, it is not appropriate for you to tutor someone enrolled in a course for which you are currently an instructor or grader, nor would it be a good idea for freshman counselors to tutor freshman students in their college. You should also avoid tutoring close friends or others with whom you have a relationship that would in any way affect your ability to maintain a professional tutor/tutee interaction. If you have questions or concerns about this matter, either before accepting a tutee or during the course of the tutoring, speak with the tutoring program coordinator.
  3. Location. You should select a location for your tutoring sessions that reflects the professional nature of the tutoring arrangement. Avoid tutoring in dorm rooms or suites, private homes or apartments, and inappropriate off-campus locations. Good venues include the library, study rooms at the Center for Language Study (Dow Hall, 370 Temple Street), or coffee shops on or adjacent to campus. Also take personal safety into consideration when deciding where to meet. If you meet at night, take advantage of campus escort (2-WALK) and shuttle services as you would for any nighttime activity on or near campus.

IV. Communications

  1. It is important that you keep in contact with your tutee and reply promptly to emails and phone messages. Be particularly efficient about setting up your first meeting. You should  arrive promptly and prepared for all scheduled meetings.
  2. Keep in regular contact with the tutoring program coordinator. This coordinator can be a valuable resource to you as a tutor, and it is a requirement of your employment that you reply promptly to emails and phone messages from CLS staff about your work as a tutor.
  3. If you will be away from campus, be sure your tutee and the tutoring program coordinator are aware of this in case a substitute tutor is needed.
  4. You are responsible for submitting progress reports and timesheets in a timely and accurate manner. The procedures and deadlines for submitting these forms will be reviewed during your orientation and training session.


Contact the CLS.