The Open UniversitySkip to content

Qualities of effective tutors in distance language teaching: student perceptions

Murphy, Linda; Shelley, Monica and Baumann, Uwe (2010). Qualities of effective tutors in distance language teaching: student perceptions. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2) pp. 119–136.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Although the skills and attributes, needed for classroom language teaching, have been extensively researched and generic competencies for distance teaching have been defined, the skills required for effective distance language teaching have received little attention, other than with respect to online language learning. The study reported here represents the student-focused phase of a research project into the knowledge, attributes and skills required by distance language tutors. The taxonomy derived from earlier phases of the research was used in a survey of distance language learners (N=144) of French, German and Spanish at The Open University (UK); in-depth interviews were also carried out with 12 students to provide further insights into what students value in their tutors. The study also investigated student perceptions of differences between their requirements of distance tutors compared to classroom tutors. Qualities students considered to reflect effective tutoring intersect with the views of tutors in earlier phases of the research and encompass three meta-themes: the domains of tutor expertise; the affective dimensions of tutor engagement; and organisational dimensions of tutor practice. Implications for learner support and tutor professional development are suggested, together with avenues for further research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1750-1229
Keywords: distance language teaching; distance language tutor skills and attributes; domains of expertise; affective functions; systemic and organisational functions
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies > Languages
Education and Language Studies
Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Computing & Communications
Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Language & Literacies
Item ID: 26005
Depositing User: Users 9543 not found.
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2011 15:26
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016 17:09
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340