The UFRO Language Coordination Center provides practical support for the students through English language tutorials online.
During this online semester at the university Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO), the Language Coordination Center (CODI) of the Vice Rectorate for Undergraduate Affairs is providing the students with an English language tutorial service to keep up their learning progress and to improve their English language skills. In addition, it also offers a space that allows the students to clarify their doubts and questions about the lessons of the module they are taking.
Felipe Opazo, the director of CODI, explained: “Our tutorials have always been a resource that is highly valued by our students. Therefore, we have made the necessary adjustments during this semester, for being able to perform them virtually. We are very happy that they have been well-received, what was shown in the high number of participants and the comments we received from the students and tutors.”
Thus, through remote support sessions via Zoom, the UFRO students who enrolled in any of the English modules can register on the university’s Intranet platform and participate in these tutorials that will help them with their English learning process. In sessions with no more than three students each, a total of 19 tutors spend 20 minutes solving doubts and practicing the structures taught in class, and another 20 minutes working on and developing oral skills through different practice-based activities.
“We haven't really had any major problems, just some issues with the internet connections. The students approach us on their own to ask their questions. It has been quite interesting to work with this methodology. It's a pleasure for me to carry out these tutorials and that the students also make their suggestions and give me some feedback on the tutorials,” Daniela Soto Sandoval, one of the tutors and a student in English teaching, commented.
It is worth mentioning that the tutors and participants are not only students of the English Teaching program; other students of other programs of the university are also participating. They have been chosen because of their outstanding English language skills, their empathy and their experience in this kind of activities, in which they can support their peers and have a positive impact on their English learning process.
“We are very happy and satisfied with the work of our tutors, who did not hesitate for a second to carry out this kind of online work and to contribute to the training of our students. At the beginning, it wasn’t an easy job, because of connectivity problems and the lack of technological resources. But the students have expressed their gratitude about being able to participate in these tutorials, and that motivates our tutors to continue with what they are doing and to improve each day,” said Valentina Sáez, who is in charge of this support program and who works as a teacher at CODI.
Catalina Leyton is a nursing student at UFRO and currently taking an Intermediate English course at CODI. According to her, this e-learning support is a very positive contribution during the online semester. “I really appreciate the patience of the tutors and their willingness to help us. Besides, the lessons are very didactic and innovative and each tutor has his or her own way of teaching,” she pointed out.
Finally, it is also worth mentioning that the support of CODI has been extended to students who have manifested a personal interest and motivation to continue working on their English language skills, although they already completed the language requirements of UFRO; either to improve their employment options, or for scholarship-related reasons for studying abroad.
Written by: Rocio Yañez Alvarez