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Tutoring as a social practice : Taiwanese high school students in Vancouver Wu, Angela Mei-Chen. 2003

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TUTORING AS A SOCIAL PRACTICE: TAIWANESE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN VANCOUVER by A N G E L A MEI-CHEN W U B.B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1993 MS.Ed., University of Pennsylvania, 1996 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Language and Literacy Education We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 2003 © Angela Mei-Chen Wu, 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Lo&j^\YkOf> /iK)ri i-jjer&fvj EJucarfi^\ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date D o t a ^ a o o 3 DE-6 (2/88) Abstract Tutoring is a rapidly increasing but under-researched component of the education of immigrant students. This study examines one-on-one tutoring of Taiwanese high school immigrant students in Vancouver. Viewing tutoring as a social practice rather than an instructional tool for teaching academic content, this exploratory study attempts to understand how participants construct tutoring in the British Columbian educational context. Factors such as the patterning of tutorials, the participants' perspectives, and the wider educational context have been considered in this study. This study recruited 12 tutor-tutee pairs, 12 parents, and 10 school teachers. Tutoring interactions were tape-recorded over a ten-month period. Combining aspects of discourse analysis and qualitative research, this study used discourse analysis to study tutoring interactions and qualitative interviews to explore the participants' beliefs about tutoring and schooling. This study explored the interaction patterns of tutoring, examined the participants' assumptions and expectations, and investigated the relationship between the tutoring (informal learning) and the schooling (formal learning) process of immigrant students. The varied patterns of tutorials suggested that tutoring went beyond teaching academic content and served multiple functions for the immigrant families. The patterns focused on addressing the needs of parents and students to interact with their schools, and providing emotional and cultural support. In addition, there seemed to be conflicting voices among the participants regarding the tutorial practices. For example, participants expressed strong and opposing views about the goals of tutoring and the quantity of ii homework, academic content instruction and grammar instruction in tutoring and in schools. These different voices seemed to cause tensions which were explored and negotiated in tutoring interactions. Lastly, the relation between tutoring and its wider educational context was both cooperative and conflictual. For example, while tutoring offered students homework assistance, this assistance caused the school teachers to be concerned with tutor over-helping. Thus, there is a complex and interactive relationship between tutoring and the educational system. To conclude, studying tutoring as a social practice acknowledges the varied tutorial patterns, the conflicts, the dynamics, and the complexity of tutoring interactions. iii T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Tables viii List of Figures x Acknowledgement xi Dedication xiii Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION 1 1.1. Background of this study 1 1.2. Research Questions 7 1.3. Significance of this study 7 1.4. Organization of this dissertation 11 Chapter 2 A REVIEW OF LITERATURE: TUTORING OF IMMIGRANT STUDENTS 15 2.0. Introduction 15 2.1. Importance of tutoring 15 2.2. Research on tutoring 17 2.2.1. How to be a tutor 18 2.2.2. Effectiveness of tutoring 20 2.2.3. Interaction between tutor and tutee 26 2.2.4. Tutoring applied in different situations 29 2.3. A synthesis on the literature of tutoring 31 2.4. Education of immigrant students 34 2.4.1. A characterization of immigrants 35 2.4.2. The need to examine immigrant students 37 2.4.3. Research regarding the education of immigrant students 39 Factors leading to academic success or failure... 40 Power of immigrant students in classes 44 Home-school relationship 49 Effective programs in school for immigrant students 54 Problems at school for immigrant students 57 2.4.4. A synthesis of studies on immigrant students 59 2.5. Rationale for this study 63 2.6. Research questions 67 iv Chapter 3 M E T H O D OF INQUIRY 68 3.0. Introduction 68 3.1. Assumptions of this study 69 3.1.1. Assumptions regarding nature of reality and aim of inquiry 69 3.1.2. Assumptions regarding human behavior, and language.. 69 3.2. Social practice as a unit of analysis and its relation to education 71 3.2.1. Unit of analysis: Social practice 71 3.2.2. Social practice and its broader scope 73 3.3. How a social practice can be studied: Relating ideas from both qualitative traditions and the systemic functional linguistic tradition 76 3.3.1. Assumptions 76 3.3.2. Data collection 81 3.4. Systemic functional linguistics and discourse 81 3.4.1. SFL approaches 81 3.5. The model of discourse and social practice 84 3.5.1. Other ideas which influence the framework of this study 86 3.6. Design of the study 89 3.6.1. Sampling procedure, participants, researcher role 90 3.6.2. Data collection procedure 94 3.6.3. Data analysis 100 3.6.4. Data interpretation and presentation 102 3.7. Soundness of research 104 3.8. Summary 107 Chapter 4 PATTERNS OF TUTORIALS 109 4.0. Introdution 109 4.1. Typical tutorial pattern in Taiwan 112 4.2. Typical tutorial pattern in Vancouver 113 4.3. Variations 116 4.3.1. Variation Pattern 1 116 4.3.2. Variation Pattern 2 121 4.3.3. Variation Pattern 3 125 4.3.4. Variation Pattern 4 128 4.3.5. Variation Pattern 5 132 4.4. Discussion 135 4.4.1. Multiple roles of tutoring 136 4.4.2. Complexity of tutoring 137 4.4.3. Educational needs 138 V Chapter 5 DIFFERING VOICES IN TUTORING 141 5.0. Introduction 141 5.1. Perspectives and interpretation of tutoring 142 5.1.1. Goals of tutoring 142 5.1.2. Homework 146 5.1.3. Academic content and grammar instruction 149 5.2. Discussion of the differing voices 152 Chapter 6 TUTORING A N D ITS WIDER CONTEXT 158 6.0. Introduction 158 6.1. Tutoring: As academic teaching and a forum for discussion.... 159 6.1.1. Tutorials: To teach academic content 161 6.1.2. Tutorials: To discuss ESL programs 162 6.1.3. Tutorials: To gain a aquaintance with learning skills 166 6.1.4. Tutorials: To provide school access for parents 172 Getting an interm report 173 Understanding the report card 178 Understanding student placement 179 Dealing with problems 181 Helping to apply to universities 184 6.2. Tutoring and schooling: Aspects of support and conflict 186 6.2.1. Tutoring as support to schools 187 Providing a forum for the discussion of dilemmas 187 Serving the needs of parents 189 Serving the student 192 6.2.2. Tutoring as conflict to schools 193 6.3. Conclusion: Tutoring and learning organization 196 Chapter 7 CONCLUSION 197 7.0. Introduction 197 7.1. Summary of findings 198 7.1.1. Tutorial patterns 199 7.1.2. Different voices 201 7.1.3. Tutoring and schooling 202 7.2. Theoretical implications: Tutoring as a social practice 204 7.2.1. Examining tutorial patterns 206 7.2.2. Examining the participants' theories 207 7.2.3. Examining the context of tutoring 208 7.2.4. Non-static nature 210 7.3. Practical implications 211 7.4. Directions for future research 212 7.5. Reflections on this study 215 vi References 219 Appendix A Recruitment notice 1 243 Appendix B Recruitment notice 2 244 Appendix C Observation description 245 Appendix D Sample interview questions 246 vii LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1 Reading as a social practice 77 Table 3.2 Heart massage 77 Table 3.3 Participating in a Grade 3 class 78 Table 3.4 Two parts of a social practice 80 Table 3.5 Methods used to study a social practice 80 Table 3.6 Halliday's view of a social practice 82 Table 3.7 Theoretical framework: social practice perspective 83 Table 3.8 Social practice and discourse 84 Table 3.9 Social practice and three types of discourse 86 Table 3.10 Tutor information 91 Table 3.11 Student information 92 Table 3.12 A summary of data bank 99 Table 3.13 Core theme: Patterns of tutoring (field 1: activity enacted) 102 Table 3.14 Core theme: Topic discussed in tutoring (field 2: topic discussed).. 102 Table 4.1 Tutorial pattern in Taiwan 112 Table 4.2 Typical tutorial pattern in Vancouver 113 Table 4.3 Distribution of frequency: variations in tutoring 116 Table 4.4 Tutorial pattern: Focus on school-assigned homework 117 Table 4.5 Tutorial pattern: Focus on alleviating parents' concerns 122 Table 4.6 Tutorial pattern: Focus on meeting students' emtional needs 125 Table 4.7 Raising issues in tutorials by the students 127 Table 4.8 Tutorial pattern: Focus on students' made-up needs 129 viii Table 4.9 Tutors' approaches in detecting students' true needs 130 Table 4.10 Tutorial pattern: Focus on cultural chat 132 Table 4.11 Summary of cultural topics discussed in tutorials 134 Table 5.1 Differing views of the participants regarding the goals of tutoring.... 144 Table 5.2 Different attitudes toward homework 148 Table 5.3 Beliefs about academic and grammar instruction 151 Table 5.4 A summary of differences 153 Table 6.1 Summary of reflection discourse regarding E S L programs 164 Table 6.2 Reflection on oral communication and presentation 169 ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1 Scope of research and units of study 71 Figure 3.2 Educational situation of the students: Social practices 74 Figure 3.3 Tutoring in the wider context of B.C. education 74 Figure 3.4 Data collection methods 99 x A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T I am thankful to many who have supported me throughout this research. I am deeply indebted to all the participants who have given generously of their time. They have shared their experiences with me and provided useful and valuable insights to this study. Their input has not only made this dissertation possible but also allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of this topic. I am most grateful to my advisor, Dr. Bernard Mohan, who has provided me with his time, energy, and critical thoughts throughout this long journey. His encouragement and wisdom have inspired me to apply what I have learned to this research. I have been privileged to learn from his expertise, especially in the theories of teaching and learning and in research. I am also thankful to my committee members, Drs. Margaret Early and Gloria Tang, who have provided constructive feedback on my thesis. Their time and critical insights on my thesis are greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank my external examiner, Dr. Joe Foley, university examiners, Drs. Stephen Carey and Donald Fisher, and chair, Dr. Kadriye Ercikan, who have provided insightful comments and questions at my oral defense. Special thanks also go to my friends James Buchanan-Gibb and Tammy Slater for their careful and thorough proof-reading of this dissertation. Also, I would like to thank members of the special study group at UBC for their on-going support. Their discussion and questions about my work have allowed me to sharpen many aspects of this dissertation. Their advice for my final oral defense presentation was very useful and helpful. xi My most heartfelt gratitude goes to my parents for their love and faith in me. Their continuous support both financially and emotionally have helped me tremendously throughout the many years of my student life. Without them, the completion of this dissertation would not have been possible. In fact, I would like particularly to thank my mother for accompanying me to my oral defense. Also, I would like to give special thanks to my sisters, Victoria and Elaine, for giving much encouragement when I encountered difficulties in writing this dissertation. Their long-distance calls helped greatly in my moments of doubts and uncertainty. In addition, I am thankful to my brother-in-law, H.D., for his expert computer advice. Last but not least, I would also like to acknowledge my appreciation to my husband, Chin-Wan, and my daughter, Amanda, for their patience with my long working hours. Their love and smiles have kept me going when I was frustrated in this journey. There are really no words to describe my gratitude to everyone who has helped me in completing my degree, but thank you all for your support! xii DEDICATION This dissertation is dedicated to Jan-fu Wu and Tzu-chin fan Wu for their unconditional love and support. xiii Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION I think tutoring is a given for many of my students. They also have tutors in Taiwan. I think tutoring is these parents' way of controlling what their children learn here. I don't know what tutoring is like for my students in Taiwan, but I know that I am asked to give homework and challenge my students so that they can move ahead. (Interview of a tutor) Tutoring is getting so popular here. Most of my students in class have some type of tutor at home. I don't know if this is a fashion that will fade in time. Kids need time to learn. They need their time to play. But, obviously, this is not happening here. Academic achievement is the only goal for many of my students. I sometimes wonder if I need to start hiring tutors for my children. How can they continue to survive in school if their peers have this unfair advantage at home? (Interview of a high school teacher) We came to Canada so that our kids can get a better education. But, I don't know sometimes if we made the right decision. My son has to get ahead in school. He must get into a good university. He doesn't have much time. He is already behind in language but he still needs to compete with the local students to enter university. The school here is not giving him the right things. (Interview excerpt of a Taiwanese mother, translated) I thought schools would be easier here. But, it's not true. I still have so much pressure and homework. What's bad now is I have a language problem. Also, in Taiwan, at least, I know what to expect in school. (Interview except of a grade 10 Taiwanese boy attending a high school in Vancouver, British Columbia) 1.1. Background of this study The differing voices provided above raise two concerns addressed in this research. The first is the practice of tutoring for these immigrant students. The second is the educational welfare of immigrant high school students. The immigrant families' use of tutoring provides the rationale for a survey of available research on tutoring. Surprisingly, a very limited amount of research can be found on this topic. Some researchers have 1 discussed the need to examine tutoring more (e.g., Gordon & Gordon, 1990; Graesser, Person, & Huber, 1993; McArthur, Stasz, & Zmuidzinas, 1990). In addition, within the few studies on tutoring, it is even harder to find studies which focus on the tutoring of high school students who are immigrants. In fact, studies have tended to examine the use of tutoring for young children (in reading) or college level students (in second language writing). Also, the few studies on tutoring have tended to focus on its effectiveness in learning or its remedial nature. Thus, a study which does not consider the aspect of effectiveness or remediation but documents the tutoring process for a group of high school immigrant students is needed. More specifically, the relationship between tutoring and the educational experience of immigrant students in schools has not been addressed and is important to study. Since there is a need to examine the relationship between tutoring and the educational experience of immigrant students, the research on the education of immigrant students deserves to be mentioned briefly. The education of immigrant students has been an issue of concern for many scholars in different fields such as anthropology, language education, and sociology (e.g., Adger & Peyton, 1999; Ashworth, 2000; Cummins, 2001; Gibson, 1997a, 1997b; Harklau, 2000; Louie, 2001; Mohan, 1986; Mohan, Leung, & Davison, 2001; Ogbu, 1974, 1991, 1995; Pease-Alvarez & Vasquez, 1994). They have concentrated on different aspects of education for immigrant students. Some examples of research focus are factors leading to academic success or failure of immigrant students (e.g., Brown, 1992; Hayes, 1992; Ogbu, 1974, 1991,1995), the power of immigrant students in school (e.g. Cummins, 2001; Derwing, DeCorby, Ickikawa, & Jamieson, 1999; 2 Grey, 1990; Toohey, 1998), the impact of home-school relationships on learning for immigrant students (e.g., Diaz, Moll, Mehan, 1994; Heath, 1986, 1992;), effective programs for immigrant students (e.g., Ashworth, 2000; Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 1989; Chamot & O'Mally, 1992; Short, 2002;) and needs and problems encountered in school (e.g., Beckett, 1999; Duff, 2001, 2002; Harklau, 1992, 1994a, 1994b; Liang, 1998; Lucas, 1999). It is evident from the work of these researchers that the education of immigrant students is a complex field of study. Within this diversity of interests, what these researchers have in common is their concern for the educational welfare of immigrant students. However, what the researchers may also share is a tendency to seek ways in which the school or the community can assist these immigrant students and their families. As such, immigrant students and their families seem to be passive participants. In contrast, it seems that, based on the different voices provided at the beginning of this chapter, while immigrant students and parents are concerned about receiving a quality education in their new country, they have taken an active role in ensuring academic success through what they are familiar with—tutoring. To summarize, the combination of the popularity of tutoring among the Taiwanese immigrant families and a lack of general research on tutoring and on high school students provides the impetus for undertaking this study. Chapter 2 reviews the research literature on tutoring and the education of immigrant students. The literature on tutoring raises several important issues. First, tutoring is usually considered to serve the purpose of remediation (e.g., Blumenfeld, 1973; 3 Harris & Silva, 1993; Leto, 1995). Second, tutoring is typically viewed as an effective instructional tool (e.g., Fox, 1991; McArthur et al., 1990; Merrill, Merrill, Reiser, & Landes, 1995;). However, the process of tutoring has seldom if ever been examined (e.g., Graesser et al., 1993; Putnam, 1987). Third, the context in which tutoring occurs for second language immigrant students is rarely described. At the same time, the potential relationship between tutoring and schooling has not yet received much attention. Lastly, the methodology used in the study of tutoring has generally used quantitative measures (e.g., Graesser et al., 1993, Graesser & Person, 1994; Graesser, Bowers, Hacker, & Person, 1997). At the same time, the few qualitative studies on tutoring (e.g., Goodwin, Landeau, & Pattan, 1991) have commonly not provided a "thick description" of their theoretical framework and research design, a feature that is considered to be a strength of qualitative research (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). A detailed discussion of research in tutoring can be found in this dissertation (Section 2.2). From the investigation of research on immigrant student education (Section 2.4), several observations can be made. First, the issue of academic success has dominated much of the research on the education of immigrant students (e.g., Chow, 2000; Ernst, 1994; Mehan, Hubbard, & Villanueva, 1994; Roessingh & Kover, 2002; Trueba, 1994). Second, immigrant students have tended to be viewed as powerless or disadvantaged (e.g., Cummins, 2000; Grey, 1990; Harklau, 2000; McKay & Wong, 1996; Nieto, 1999). Third, the broad perspective taken by anthropologists to study immigrant students has been criticized by language researchers such as Harklau (1992) as lacking the details of the students' learning process. At the same time, the studies in language education have 4 focused on examining learning which occurs in schools (e.g., Beckett, 1999; Duff, 2001, 2002; Early, 2001; Liang, 1998;). Attention has not been given to after-school learning as a part of school learning. Lastly, although studies have commented on the problems immigrant students encounter in schools (e.g., Gunderson, 2000; O'Byrne, 2001; Penfield, 1987; Tanners, 1997), few have actually examined how the problems are dealt with by these students day-to-day. Based on the results of the literature search in tutoring and immigrant student education, the position of this study can be described. This is a qualitative study of tutoring which views human beings as active participants in the construction of a social practice (Harre, 1993). In other words, this research attempts to make sense of a situation, in this case tutoring, by examining how the participants contribute to the enactment of this situation. Furthermore, this study assumes that individual action is socially situated, implying that the context of the action is important in this study. These assumptions lead to the socio-cultural perspective that this study intends to take. This socio-cultural perspective points to several theoretical and methodological guidelines for this research. First, this study takes a functional view of language which supposes that language is used by people to make meaning and to conduct their daily activities (Halliday, 1985; 1994). This assumption points to the importance of examining discourse or language used in the construction of a social practice. As evidence of how a social practice is constructed, discourse is traced in the study of a social practice. More details on how discourse is treated in this study can be found in Chapter 3. 5 Second, in line with the assumption of the functional view of language, this study takes a language socialization perspective (Ochs, 1988, 1991; Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986a, 1986b; Schieffelin, 1990) in the study of an activity. This means that participation in an activity or a social practice creates and recreates sociocultural and linguistic knowledge at the same time as the two knowledge domains structure the way the social practice is carried out. In other words, the participants' sociocultural and lingustic knowledge contributes to the enactment of tutoring. Simultaneously, the participation in tutoring creates or recreates sociocultural and linguistic knowledge. This way, by studying the social practice of tutoring, the participants' knowledge or beliefs can be traced. In a similar fashion, by studying the participants' knowledge or beliefs, how tutoring is constructed as a social practice can be documented. How the knowledge or beliefs or documentation of the construction of the social practice can be traced is also the topic of discussion in Chapter 3 on methodology. Third, as mentioned earlier, the context in which a social practice exists is an important concept in this study. Accordingly, the essential question to explore for this study is not of a quantitative nature such as examining the causal relationship between tutoring and academic success. Rather, the focal points of research are on what tutoring is in this British Columbian (BC) educational context and what contextual factors make tutoring the way it is in British Columbia. In other words, this is an exploratory study of what tutoring is in this local context. As such, this study does not presuppose the dichotomy between successful and unsuccessful learners, an assumption that many studies 6 have made in the past. Furthermore, the marginal position of immigrant students is not assumed either. To summarize, this study follows a socio-cultural perspective in the study of one-on-one tutoring of Taiwanese high school immigrant students. It is hoped that by studying tutoring this way, the uniqueness and complexities of tutoring can be captured. A more detailed discussion of the theoretical framework for this study is covered in Chapter 3. 1.2. Research questions The main purpose of this study is to examine a social practice that is gaining popularity among the Taiwanese immigrant population in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This social practice is tutoring. More specifically, this study examines tutoring in light of the voices of different participants and at the same time documents how tutoring is constructed. More specifically, this study develops three research questions: (1) What formats does tutoring take in the local context? (2) How do participants interpret tutoring? (3) How does tutoring fit into the larger learning context of the immigrant students? 1.3. Significance of this study The significance of this study can be viewed in terms of the theoretical contribution to the fields of tutoring and the education of immigrant students and the practical contribution to educators and immigrant families. One possible theoretical contribution is the utilization of the perspective of tutoring as a social practice. The social practice perspective has allowed this study to raise questions which may not have been addressed by the current tutoring research which has generally examined tutoring as an 7 instructional tool. The issues such as how tutoring may be constructed by the participants, how participants' views toward education and learning can be reflected in the tutorial practices, and how tutoring may be related to the wider context can all be discussed within this social practice perspective. To summarize, the theoretical perspective taken has allowed this study to capture the richness and the complexity in the data. In this sense, this study has made a contribution to research because a different approach has been taken to study the one-on-one tutoring of immigrant students. In addition, the use of the social practice perspective implies four other significances of this study. First, the social practice perspective has allowed this study to question what the tutorial patterns are. The flexibility of this perspective to include the exploration of the typical pattern as well as other possible patterns has proven valuable since the format of tutoring changes to meet the demands of the school locally. Second, the social practice perspective has allowed this study to capture the multiple voices of tutoring. The goals of tutoring change according to the local context. Thus, a study of tutoring that views tutoring as achieving one commonly recognized goal in the specific community would not be sufficient in documenting the multiple purposes of tutoring. The multiple perspectives of the participants have demonstrated the complex nature of tutoring. In addition, the complexity of tutoring can be further explored when the different voices of the participants are examined in relation to tutorial patterns. Third, the social practice perspective of tutoring has allowed this study to incorporate the discussion of context for tutoring. This discussion of the relationship between tutoring and its context has provided important insights in many ways, especially 8 regarding the educational process of immigrant students. The education of immigrant students is a much debated area in research. Previous studies have focused on different aspects of education for immigrant students. These studies tend to report the official schooling process. This study examines what students do after school in terms of informal learning in tutoring. The education of immigrant students may not end at school. Much may go on after school. Furthermore, this study provides a detailed documentation of parts of the journey that Taiwanese students go through in being educated in Canada. How do the students and their families manage conflicting or dilemmatic issues such as mainstreaming versus being in an ESL program, and memorization versus understanding? As well, the inclusion of the context of tutoring has expanded this study to include an investigation of the relationship between parental involvement and tutoring. Literature has commented on the usefulness of parental involvement in students' learning (e.g., Epstein, 1986, 1991; Lareau, 1989, 1996). Effort has been made to increase parental involvement in schools (e.g., Guo, 2001). One example is the use of parents' night in an attempt to educate parents about schooling in Canada and encourage parental involvement (Guo, 2001). However, how does the socialization of parents in tutoring suggest a parental involvement of a different form? Although the parents may not be actively present in schools, they may nonetheless be concerned about what their children learn in schools and how they learn. At the same time, they may be educated through tutoring about the educational practices in Canada. When parents address their doubts about the educational practices in schools, are they in a way showing their involvement in their 9 children's learning? However, this type of parental involvement has not been a recognized form. Another significance implied by the inclusion of the context of tutoring is the broadening of educational assumptions in today's multicultural, multilingual society. Senge's (1990) conception of the learning organization has usually been applied to the school. It needs to be applied more broadly and enlarged to include the contribution of informal learning outside of the school. In this broad conception, what further issues of language and culture emerge? What positive and negative relationships between tutoring and schooling are observed? Do schools need to rethink the impact of the parents' buying of education for their children? The last theoretical contribution of this study is related to the nature of tutoring. Rather than a fixed portrayal of tutoring as possessing certain characteristics or as serving a particular function, this study has highlighted the dynamic nature of tutoring. As a result, questions about the nature of tutoring can be raised. Are there dilemmas occurring in tutoring that suggest to researchers in education and cross-cultural communication that an increasing awareness is needed to address how a host of challenges are being dealt with daily by immigrant families? If so, how do the participants confront and deal with the conflicting situations in tutoring? In addition to the possible theoretical contributions mentioned above, there are practical significances also. First, the immigrant families may bring with them many cultural and educational assumptions to their learning in the new environment. How do these affect their learning? Is there a need to ensure that the whole learning community 10 learns together by recognizing differences, discussing differences, and living with differences? Consideration of Taylor's discussion of diversity dialogue to explore differences (1994, 1997) and Senge's (1990) learning organization to include all members in learning may serve as a good starting place. Second, the tutorial participants' educational assumptions and expectations may also influence how they contribute to the construction of tutoring. The question of the participants' biases in tutoring and in learning should be examined. This study has addressed this issue of participants' meaning in the construction of tutoring by examining each of the participants' actions and beliefs. This study has provided some recommendations for participants by raising an awareness of the possible consequences of the participants' own assumptions and biases. 1.4. Organization of this dissertation Chapter 2 reviews current literature on tutoring and the education of immigrant students. This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to the discussion of the available literature on tutoring. This part starts with the need to study tutoring. It then continues to examine and synthesize four areas of research on tutoring. Since one important question to examine in this study is the relationship between tutoring and the educational experience of immigrant students, the second part of this chapter explores the issues important to the education of immigrant students. The second part of Chapter 2 will start by providing a characterization of immigrant students. Following the characterization, the need to examine research on the education of immigrant students will be described. Then, a review of research on the education of immigrant students and a 11 synthesis of that research are offered. Chapter 2 concludes with a discussion of the theoretical perspectives that guide the development of this study by combining the syntheses of the research on tutoring and the research on immigrant students. Research questions are also restated. Chapter 3 describes the methodology of this study. It consists of two parts. The first deals with the theoretical assumptions and framework important to this study. The second deals with the research design of this study. The reason for the inclusion of both parts in this methodology chapter is also provided. Thus, the first part of this chapter starts with a description of the assumptions and theoretical framework for this study by outlining ontological and methodological assumptions. A discussion of the rationale for studying tutoring as a social practice follows. After, theories or models borrowed from the traditions of qualitative and systemic functional linguistics to study a social practice are explained. Following a rationale for how a social practice can be studied, a description of the theoretical framework is provided. Then, in the second part, this chapter moves into the explanation of the research design. The issues of participants, sites, researcher roles, and data collection, analyses and interpretation are all explored. Chapter 3 concludes with a discussion of the trustworthiness of this study. Chapter 4 presents findings on the formats of tutoring. This chapter starts with a description of a pattern of tutoring that the tutors felt was typical and applies it to the data on tutoring interactions. This chapter then proceeds to explain five variations from the typical pattern. Following the description of the five variations, a discussion of what the 12 patterns mean in terms of the education of immigrant students and any unrealized problems in tutoring concludes the chapter. Chapter 5 presents findings on the voices of the different participants in tutoring. This chapter explores some of the issues debated during tutorial sessions. This chapter first identifies three areas related to students' day-to-day school routines most frequently discussed in tutorials by showing how different participants hold different beliefs regarding the issues. The chapter deals with each area in turn and concludes with a summary of the different voices and a discussion of what the different voices mean to the participants. Chapter 6 presents findings on the relationship between tutoring and its wider context. First, this chapter presents data on the complex relationship between tutoring and the immigrant students' current school experience by examining the interconnectedness between the tutorial discourse and interview discourse. Different issues regarding the impact of tutoring on the educational process of immigrant students are highlighted and discussed. Second, this chapter discusses whether tutoring creates support for or conflict with the schooling of the immigrant students in this study. Lastly, this chapter explores the relationship between tutoring and the learning organization. Finally, Chapter 7 provides a discussion of theoretical and practical implications of this study. It starts with a summary of findings. It then examines theoretical implications by revisiting issues regarding what tutoring is and how it is constructed. More specifically, the implications of tutoring as a social practice are described. Then, practical 13 implications for educators, parents, and students are discussed in turn. This chapter ends with comments on directions for future research and a reflection on this study. 14 Chapter 2 A REVIEW OF LITERATURE: TUTORING OF IMMIGRANT STUDENTS 2.0. Introduction This study is particularly interested in one-on-one tutoring where the tutor is typically an adult and an expert in a certain content and the tutee (child or adult) is typically a student in some sort of institution or program and is in the role of a learner. Thus, the topic of peer tutoring is beyond the scope of this study. Having specified the type of tutoring this study explores, this chapter will examine briefly the importance of tutoring in 2.1. In 2.2, a survey of the current literature on tutoring will be provided. Section 2.3 will provide a synthesis of current literature in this area in the hopes of identifying some gaps in that literature. Since the tutees investigated are all school-aged immigrant students attending Vancouver schools, the relationship between the tutoring and the schooling of immigrant students is important in this study. As a result, I will also review literature on the education of immigrant students in Section 2.4. Lastly, in Section 2.5,1 will provide the rationale for undertaking this study as well as restate the research questions guiding this study. 2.1. Importance of tutoring The importance of studying tutoring can be explained in terms of its long history, its frequent application by educators, and its current position in research. "The art of tutoring is as old as education itself (Blumenfeld, 1973, p. 15). This statement succinctly puts tutoring in a historical perspective; in fact, the earliest recorded occurrence of 15 tutoring was around 500 B.C. (Gordon & Gordon, 1990). Many of the ancient civilizations, such as the Druid, Brahmin, Aztec, Inca, and Mayan, utilized one-on-one instruction to teach the religious and cultural beliefs to their children at home. In addition, Gordon and Gordon demonstrate different roles that tutors have played in different periods of history such as the era of new learning in southern and northern Europe (1416-1526), the era of Tudors' tutors (1400-1600) and the era of tutors in the age of reason (1600-1700). By investigating the rich history of tutoring, Gordon and Gordon argue that personalized instruction forms the basis of Western academic education and that educators should treat individualized instruction more seriously. To date, tutoring is still a widely practiced means of instruction. This view is evident in Gordon and Gordon's belief that "after-school tutorial education is a permanent phenomenon in the American education environment" (Gordon & Gordon, 1990, p. 317). Sylvan Learning Centers offer one good example that supports their view. Sylvan has provided services to more than 1.4 million students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in the past twenty years (Sylvan Programs, 2003). It provides individualized instruction and home-based instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills, and test preparation. In addition, Sylvan has over 900 learning centers in the U.S., Canada, and Asia (Sylvan Programs, 2003). The total revenue for Sylvan has steadily increased an average of 17 percent per annum over the last five years (Sylvan Learning Centers, Inc., 2003). Furthermore, a great many education practitioners and researchers such as Arkin (1982), Arkin and Shollar (1982), Bloom (1984), Cameron (1992), Cohen, Kulik, and Kulik (1982), Friedlander (1984), LeBlanc, Leitze, and Emenaker (1995), Leto (1995), 16 Nelson (1991), and Slavin and Yampolsky (1992) would agree on the benefits and effectiveness of one-on-one tutoring in terms of achieving learning and inspiring self-confidence in students. Much of the research assumes that tutoring has a remedial purpose only. However, it would be wrong to assume that tutoring is only useful in remediation. There may be cases in which tutoring serves other functions. One case in point is the use of tutors in the homes of Taiwanese immigrant families whose children are being educated in BC Informal interviews suggest that tutoring plays many important roles in addition to remediation. Current literature does not seem to be positioned well to examine the tutoring practice from the perspective of a minority group in Canada in which tutoring plays multifaceted roles for these families. Thus, in the following sections, the current status of tutoring research will be explained more specifically. 2.2. Research on tutoring The topic of tutoring has been approached from various orientations. This research can be categorized broadly into four general areas. The first type of tutoring study examines the "hows" of tutoring. These include the more practical aspects of tutoring such as games and techniques used most often by tutors. The second type examines the effectiveness of using tutoring as a teaching technique to enhance a particular aspect of schooling. Thus, many studies under this category include topics such as the usefulness of tutoring in developing reading skills or writing skills, in promoting students' confidence, and preventing drop-out. The third type of research in tutoring deals with the interaction that occurs during the tutorial session and the application of the tutorial interaction to design computer-assisted learning programs. The fourth type deals with the different 17 situations in which tutoring can be applied. The research in this area explores how tutoring as an instructional tool is or can be implemented in different areas. Even though the researchers who study tutoring take many different directions, all seem to believe that tutoring is an important area that cannot be ignored in education (Koskinen & Wilson, 1982). In what follows, an attempt will be made to summarize the four broad categories of tutoring research. 2 . 2 . 1 . How to be a tutor The first type of literature on tutoring is more description oriented and makes recommendations with respect to being or becoming a tutor. Many of the suggestions seem to be based on personal accounts of implementing tutoring in different programs. Little explanation of how the advice has evolved is provided. For example, Blumenfeld (1973) summarizes the qualities of a successful tutor and offers suggestions on how to tutor in the areas of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but no description of the source of the advice is given. Blumenfeld believes that tutoring is an art which is learned by doing. Furthermore, he states that "anyone willing and able to do the job can tutor" (1973, p. 17). His depiction of a successful tutor is simple. However, tutoring involves at least two people interacting to achieve a goal. A simple direction to 'just do it' does not do justice to the planning and consideration that is needed because tutoring involves not only the tutor's expectation of what should be taught but also the students' and the parents' expectations since it is usually the parents who are paying and the students who are directly influenced. At the same time, researchers need to ask how school teachers are affected by this individualized instruction after school. For instance, what happens when 18 there is a conflict between what is taught by the tutor and by the school teacher? Thus, indirectly, the school teacher may be important to consider in tutoring. The issue of tutoring seems far more complicated than Blumenfeld's description. This complexity can be seen from the work of several other researchers. Herrmann's work offers an extensive description of an ideal tutor's toolbox for volunteers in community literacy programs. She advocates teaching students to "become independent learners" and advises tutors to "provide support but not do the work for students" (1994, p. 1). In this study, she argues that the students tend to have had unfavorable experiences with schooling or have low levels of literacy so that in order for tutors to work effectively with the students, the tutors must know who the learners are, how to plan for tutorial sessions, and how to interact with learners. Establishing trust and respect, encouraging and engaging learners in true discussions, helping learners think independently, and focusing on a learning process are some of the recommendations for volunteer literacy tutors. A similar type of work has been done by Harris and Silva but not in the area of literacy. Rather, they review different issues and options that a tutor of writing in English as a Second language classes faces. Harris and Silva offer several tutoring tips such as helping explore and recognize writing process differences among students, prioritizing among errors, and adjusting the tutor's own goals and expectations to meet the students' needs (Harris & Silva, 1993). Frank (2000) offers guidelines for tutoring adult English learners in a talk to volunteers in a community-based organization whose main task is to provide conversational practice to non-native speakers of English. In this talk, she suggests suitable topics, materials, and activities, and illustrates teaching 19 strategies for incorporating grammar and pronunciation in the tutorial. This type of work is also provided by Barboza (1994) who reports on materials development for tutoring programs which serve the wives of visiting scholars and foreign students at Stanford University. Others have also attempted to provide advice on becoming a tutor (e.g., Hennessy, 1993; Isserlis, 1991). In addition, Gallop's (1988) four fundamental beliefs regarding the tutoring of children indicate further evidence of the complexity of tutoring. She cautions the tutors to be aware of the child's self-esteem in tutoring, to create a trusting relationship with the tutee, to focus on identifiable problems, and to demonstrate to students that 'help from tutors' should be regarded as fun. Her beliefs concern children who experience more difficulty in schools than their peers. The difficulties range from minor setbacks in learning to more serious learning disabilities and emotional problems. Thus, the work of Blumenfeld, Herrmann, Harris and Silva, Frank, Barboza, and Gallop illustrates that tutoring is not a simple issue to examine. Rather, it is a delicate situation in which careful thought and planning need to be considered. At the same time, depending on who the learners are, tutoring must be adjusted to meet the needs of the students. As literature in this area suggests, tutoring seems to be a complex process. In the next section, I will review studies which examine the effectiveness of tutoring. 2.2.2. Effectiveness of tutoring This area of literature appears to constitute most of the work on tutoring. The central question in this area explores the outcome of using tutoring as an instructional technique to help disadvantaged students. For example, Hay (1992) provides a narrative 20 account of how she helps Joanne, who is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, to overcome learning difficulties and succeed in school both emotionally and academically. After three months of tutoring, Joanne's performance on tests and assignments improved and she became a "happier and more responsible student" (Hay, 1992, p. 15). Another study which demonstrates a similar finding in the context of second language learning is Farmelo (1987), which shows the importance of tutoring in students' second language learning. In this study, the author incorporated volunteer tutoring into The DC Schools Project, which aimed to help non-English-speaking children and adults learn English in Washington DC public schools. Tutoring occurred in school, at Georgetown University campus on Saturdays, or at the homes of immigrant families. Tutors were mostly university students. In the evaluation of this program, Farmelo concludes that the support and encouragement that the tutors provided allowed students to "gain confidence in themselves and their abilities and become more aware of the importance of learning English and excelling in school in order to better their future educational and employment opportunities" (1987, p. 578). The results reported were based only on project evaluation forms and on the fact that there was a continued operation of this project. A description of data collection and analysis procedures was not provided. Cameron's study (1992) reports on a tutoring program in which three forms of tutoring (parent, peer and community tutor) were used to help 'low-progress' readers in rural schools in Australia. The original intention of this program was to provide more time for students to engage in reading because of the positive relationship between reading achievement and reading time (Smyth, 1984 as cited in Cameron, 1992). In this program, 21 tutors were provided training by school counselors and reading specialists. Based on parent and teacher reports and the number of books read in the program, both academic and affective changes seemed to occur in students. For example, many students were reading far more books than the average number in a ten-week period. Also, many home tutors (in this case, parents) commented that the students enjoyed reading much more. This enjoyment might have been a result of less attention to error correction. Related to this finding is the study done by Rafferty (1992), who reports how tutors in a home-based learning program for the disabled in Northern Ireland helped the tutees "to overcome the disadvantages they have encountered" (p. 65). The aim of the program was to train the disabled or those who for any reason could not attend school. The use of the tutor seemed to be a crucial component in the program because the tutor acted as a bridge between the tutee and the outside world. The tutor took on several responsibilities, such as providing career advice, information on employment options, and sources of funding. Leto (1995) provides an ethnographic account of an after-school tutoring project (ARCH project) which attempted to provide tutoring services after school to a group of elementary school students who were suffering from school failure in St. Louis. Through participant observations and interviews, she found that tutoring allowed the students to "erase the educational, racial, and gender boundaries that existed at the beginning of the program" (p. 135). She also found that through the tutoring program, students, families, and the tutors were brought together so that they could grow and learn together. The bond built among the participants as a result of tutoring "generated positive academic and social 22 growth for all connected with the A R C H After-School Program: students, families, and the A R C H staff'(p. 135). In addition, D'Annunzio (1995) illustrates the use of bilingual tutors in adult English education programs and indicates that they create favorable social, affective, and learning outcomes. In this program, bilingual tutors were trained to use the language experience approach to reading and writing with their students. In a two-hour interview, learners reported that their self-confidence increased because the tutor provided a positive atmosphere for learning and demonstrated a willingness to listen to students' problems. Also, weekly observations by the tutors confirmed that learners made a dramatic improvement in academic progress toward their goals. In addition, Segarra (2000) provides a case study of a tutor's successful experience in helping a thirteen-year-old Russian boy develop literacy and English skills. She also provides a description of what she learned from the experience. Furthermore, Jaasma, Center, and Linda (1998) compare tutoring with other educational programs for Southeast Asian refugees and find that tutoring provides a supportive climate for these students. In another study, Goodwin et al. (1991) study the effect of bilingual instructional support through one-on-one tutoring in New Instructional Model schools in Philadelphia. For a period of one month, 45 teachers and tutors were observed and interviewed. A focus group interview of 40 students was also conducted. Most teachers reported that tutors were helpful because they could spend time explaining difficult concepts to students that teachers did not have time to reinforce, provide more individualized instruction to students, and allow students to feel more comfortable asking questions. Likewise, tutors 23 reported a positive attitude to this type of learning and provided similar reasons to those given by the teachers. Students also reported that the tutorials were very helpful in "increasing their understanding of homework assignments and reading materials" (p. 15). In another study which evaluates the effect of implementing a "Success for All" program1 on English as a second language students in an elementary school in Philadelphia for three years, Slavin and Yampolsky (1992) found that the component of one-on-one tutoring at this elementary school was particular useful in reading skill development and English language proficiency, especially for low achievers. Although, in this study, the authors used quantitative measures to draw conclusions about the impact of the program on students' reading levels and implied that the tutoring component made a contribution, no detailed description of how they assessed the usefulness of tutoring was provided. In other words, no clear account of the methods used to make inferences about tutoring and reading development was provided. Graesser and Person (1994) report a similar finding of the positive link between tutoring and academic achievement when they examined the questioning process in the tutoring of twenty-seven college students in a research methods course and thirteen grade seven students in an algebra class. They explored the correlation between the frequency and quality of questions that occurred during tutorial sessions and academic achievement by using quantitative methods to verify their hypotheses. The general claim they make is that there seems to be a positive correlation between academic achievement (as measured 1 The Success for All program was designed for students to acquire and maintain the basic skills from initial entry to finishing elementary schools. This program generally had components such as an innovative reading programs, one-on-one tutoring for students, frequent assessment, and family support (Slavin & Yampolsky, 1992). 24 by examinations) and tutoring, based on the higher number and the type of questions asked during tutorials. For example, questions by both the tutors and the students occurred far more commonly in one-on-one tutorials than in classroom settings. They believe that this finding suggests that "tutoring clearly provides a setting for more active inquiry, particularly on the part of the student" and especially in contexts where the skill of quantitative reasoning is emphasized (p. 128). Also, they observed that a high percentage of the students' questions were knowledge-deficit questions2 which helped students regulate their learning and confirm the correctness of their knowledge. Through the questions, students seemed better able to identify their problems and seek comprehension. The prevalent use of tutoring as an instructional method in many programs seems to suggest an underlying assumption that tutoring has some positive value for learning. Programs such as the Frontier College's Students for Literacy tutoring program and Vancouver Community College's Home-Front Tutoring program focus on helping adult learners who have failed in the public school system or who have been unable to attend school for some reason by attending to their special needs through tutoring (University Affairs 1997; and Vancouver Community College 1997). Also, the key role of tutoring in many open learning situations is evident in a survey of 5,763 Open University students. Sixty-seven percent of these students reported a positive contribution of tutoring to their understanding of their course work (Kelly & Swift, 1993). Furthermore, the belief of the effectiveness of tutoring is shared by the PEARCH project in Israel. This project sent over 2 This type of question refers to questions that arise when the students find a contradiction, an abnormal fact/event, or an unfamiliar word (Graesser & Person, 1994). 25 17,000 university students as tutors each year to help elementary and junior high school children. Tutors worked with the students one-on-one for seven to eight months during the school year. The belief of this project was that a close relationship between the tutor and tutee would help achieve the educational goals (Fresko, 1996). The overall theme of the literature just described is that one-on-one tutoring is effective in various situations for disadvantaged students. The common result is often two-fold: increased abilities academically and a more positive attitude toward learning. In addition, these studies tend to use qualitative research methods of interviews and observations to draw their conclusion that tutoring is effective, with the exception of the studies by Graesser et al. (1993, 1997). However, much of the qualitative research described above has not provided an adequate discussion of the research designs that have guided their research. For example, Farmelo (1987), Cameron (1992), Rafferty (1992), Leto (1995), D'Annunzio (1995), and Goodwin et al. (1991) all seem to agree on the effectiveness of tutoring but how they have arrived at their conclusion is not clear. Much of the time, the conclusion that tutoring is effective is implied. More specifically, the trustworthiness of the studies cannot be addressed. The reason is that the four elements commonly used to judge the trustworthiness of qualitative studies such as credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability cannot be adequately applied in evaluating these studies since not enough information has been provided. 2.2.3. Interaction between tutor and tutee A third type of tutoring research considers the interaction between tutor and tutee. Much of the research in this area tends to analyze many hours of tutor-tutee 26 interaction in order to identify special features of tutoring situations (e.g. Fox, 1991; Lepper & Chabay, 1988; Littman et al., 1990; Putnam, 1987). These features are then used to inform the designing of computer software for educational purposes. The following review of research will attempt to identify the important discoveries in the studies of tutor-tutee interaction. Merrill, Merrill, Reiser, and Landes (1995) analyzed 50 hours of verbal interaction between a tutor and a tutee by using discourse analysis in problem solving. The goal of the four researchers was to "identify factors influencing when tutors intervene and the intervention strategies they use" (p. 319). They compared how two groups of students solved problems in a computer programming text. One group solved the problems independently while the other was under the guidance of a tutor. The tutors had to ensure that students correctly solved each problem before moving on to the next. Before examining the features that made tutoring effective, the researchers first ensured that tutoring was indeed effective by examining the post-test scores. They found that both groups had similar scores, but the tutored group was able to complete the task much faster. They then examined how the tutors assisted their students in developing an understanding of the content through problem solving. They reported that 66 percent of the time when the students correctly solved problems, they received confirmatory feedback. Thus, tutors' rapid confirmation and supportive feedback suggest that tutoring guides learning. Also, tutors use different strategies of feedback on different types of errors. For instance, if tutors found that the discovery of errors would not provide an opportunity for learning, the tutor would just correct the learner's error. On the other hand, if the tutors found that 27 an explanation of the error would benefit the students, the tutor would guide the students in the discovery of the error. To sum up, they argue that tutoring provides carefully monitored guidance without the cost of cognitive and emotional suffering associated with self-learning. A similar finding is also reported by Fox (1991), who demonstrates that tutors offer frequent confirmatory feedback so as to guide students along a productive path in solving their problems. Mc Arthur, Stasz, and Zmuidzinas (1990) provide a description of tutoring activities in algebra. They mention an important issue in one-on-one algebra tutoring, in which they distinguish between remedial and inquiry tutoring in algebra. They define 'remedial tutoring' as the attempt to teach the solving of problems that students have failed to solve earlier and 'inquiry tutoring' as the attempt to teach new concepts to students. McArthur et al. further conclude that "reasoning involved in tutoring is subtle and sophisticated" (p. 39). Three specific points about tutoring are made: (1) competent tutors have many pedagogical rules for defining and introducing tasks and remediating misconceptions; (2) tutors are able to take into consideration many factors such as goals of the students, inferences about student's background knowledge, and overall pedagogical policy when selecting a technique to employ; and (3) tutoring involves planning (McArthur et al., 1991). Lepper, Drake, and O'Donnell-Johnson (1997) also identify features that make tutoring effective by examining tutoring sessions of elementary-level mathematics. Students chosen were the lowest 20 percent in their class. Tutors were chosen on the basis of recommendation by the schools or tutoring agencies. The researchers find that the best 28 tutoring sessions consist of scaffolding in which the tutor gradually introduces increasingly difficult problems for students to solve. Generally, the sessions go in stages of problem selection, problem presentation, and problem solution. With regard to student errors, tutors can choose any of the four strategies: ignoring, preventing, intervening, and debugging such as prompting students to find their errors. In essence, they argue that a successful tutor possesses seven characteristics: intelligence/knowledge, high levels of affective support, a Socratic style of tutoring which makes students' learning active and constructive, a commitment to demanding more of students gradually, an indirect style of teaching, a high level of reflection, and an encouraging style toward students. In addition, Rogoff (1986, 1990) and Wood and Wood (1996) also discuss some of the important features in tutoring. Thus, to summarize, the work of Merrill et al., Fox, McArthur et al., and Lepper et al. in analyzing the tutor-tutee interaction has concentrated on the tutoring of mathematics problem solving. At the same time, feedback to the students during tutorial seems to be a focal point. In addition, the complexities such as the tutor's decisions, reasoning, and planning in the tutorial sessions cannot be ignored. Furthermore, the intention behind their analyses is to provide a model for use in the development of computer-assisted learning tools. 2.2.4. Tutor ing applied i n different situations The last area of literature concerns the application of tutoring in different situations. Schatz (1996) documents his experience in tutoring mathematics and provides advice on future mathematics education. LeBlanc, Leitze and Emenaker (1995) explore 29 the use of a tutorial program to bring collaboration between pre-service and in-service teachers. Zuckermann and Azaria (1999) also report on a study which uses pre-service teachers as tutors for students who need to pass an English graduating examination in Israel. Project Read, sponsored by the Department of Education in Washington, DC (Menlo Park Public Library, 1990), also used tutoring in basic literacy teaching. Tutors received training in literacy and second language teaching methods. Libraries provided space for tutors to work with students. The aim of the program was to provide adult learners' with reading and writing skills. There are many literacy-based community programs supported by libraries throughout the United States that have also used tutoring as a part of their programs (e.g., Cole & Fraser, 1994; Gennaro, 1992; Kostanski, 1994; LaDuke, 1994; Morganstern, 1993; Smyth, Grannell, & Moore, 1994;). Tutoring has also been used in many writing classes or centers (e.g., Cogie, Strain, & Lorinskas, 1999; Cumming & So, 1996; Healy & Bosher, 1992; Nassaji & Swain, 2000; Powers, 1993). And, tutoring has been used in distance learning programs. Mann (1998) reports on an overview of a master's program in linguistics through distance education and measures the quality of this program by examining materials, instructional support such as the tutors, and peer support. Tutoring has also been studied in problem-based learning in a health science curriculum in higher education (e.g., Schmidt, Arend, Kokx, & Boon, 1995). Another application of tutoring is in prisons (Worth, 1993). To summarize, tutoring is employed as a method of instruction in many different settings. The wide application of tutoring in different areas suggests that tutoring is a valued form of instruction. 30 Furthermore, tutoring in these situations seems mainly to address adult learners. Tutoring of school-aged students has not received as much attention. 2.3. A synthesis on the literature of tutoring After reviewing the current literature on tutoring, some observations can be made. First, underlying the literature which provides a description of tips for tutoring and demonstrates the effectiveness of tutoring is one common assumption: Tutoring serves a remedial function. That is, tutoring is aimed at helping students with "problems" such as low reading levels, low mathematics skills, and limited English proficiency. These researchers (Blumenfeld, Harris & Silva, Farmelo, Hay, and Leto) and many tutoring programs regard tutoring as a "remedial" technique to correct the students' "problems." Thus, the results seem to demonstrate a positive influence of tutoring on students' learning and attitude in general. Similarly, although the research done by Merril et al., McArthur et al., and Fox does not attempt to prove that tutoring is useful, they nonetheless assume that tutoring is an effective technique in helping students learn because otherwise they would not have spent hours examining the tutor-tutee interaction as a model for designing computer programs. The effectiveness of the use of tutoring for remediation in learning is no doubt important. However, in my pilot study for this thesis, my preliminary survey of a group of Mandarin-speaking ESL students suggested that tutoring can be much more than remediation. Second, much of the literature on tutoring seems to focus on its effectiveness as an instructional method. The question of the effectiveness of tutoring naturally follows when one views tutoring from a remedial perspective. However, as suggested earlier, not all 3 1 tutoring serves the remediation function. Thus, a more important question to ask may be what is tutoring in addition to remediation? In this case, one may have to consider tutoring as a social activity constructed by various participants who may come from different educational backgrounds and possess different assumptions about learning. For example, as the tutor and tutee engage in tutoring, their beliefs and assumptions on learning may have an impact on how tutoring as an activity unfolds. Furthermore, tutoring may also be constrained by indirect participants such as the parents or the teachers. For instance, if the parents are the ones paying for the tutors, their beliefs and assumptions may also be incorporated in the process of tutoring. The complexity that arises from tutoring can only be realized if one views tutoring from multiple perspectives. In other words, tutoring is not just an instructional method to be used but an activity which is influenced by its participants and contexts. As a result, a qualitative study which explores the many aspects of tutoring may be appropriate. Third, as mentioned earlier, tutoring has been applied in different areas of learning. The literature has discussed areas in which tutoring has been applied. They are mathematics, problem solving in computer programming, literacy development, health science courses, reading, and writing. Only a few studies focus their attention on tutoring in a second language learning situation (e.g., D'Annunzio,1995; Farmelo, 1985). At the same time, these studies tend to utilize either elementary school pupils or adults as participants. The population of young adults aged 14 to 18 has not been examined extensively. Thus, a study of tutoring which occurs in the second language learning environment for high school immigrant students aged 14 to 18 may be called for. 32 Fourth, tutoring has often been examined as an isolated entity. The relationship between tutoring and its larger context, which in this case is the students' current schooling culture, has not been given enough attention beyond questions of cause and effect for learning effectiveness in school. The relationship between tutoring and its context has been viewed by Gordon and Gordon to be important because they believe that "schooling and tutoring did not develop as a socio-educational phenomenon isolated one from the other; in fact, they mutually support each other in providing the broader educational needs of society" (Gordon & Gordon, 1990, p. 331). Their view does not seem to be addressed by the current literature on tutoring. In fact, the current literature still tends to subscribe to the limiting view that tutoring is an aid to learning. The potentially important relationship between schooling and tutoring has not yet received much attention. In other words, how tutoring and schooling relate to each other within the broader educational context should be considered. Thus, the inclusion of multiple perspectives which consider many dimensions of tutoring such as the participants' background and beliefs, the local schooling context, the broader educational context, and the cultural influences is urgently needed in the qualitative study of tutoring. Fifth, a qualitative study of this type will add to the current literature of tutoring, especially in terms of its methodology. The limited number of studies that examine the effectiveness of tutoring tend to explore their focal question by means of quantitative methodology (e.g., Graesser et al., 1993, 1994, 1997; Merrill et. al., 1995). In addition, the few studies that examine this same question through qualitative means tend to describe their methodology over-simplistically. Neither a clear description of the theoretical 33 framework nor a detailed account of data analysis procedure is provided. For example, Goodwin et al., (1991) report that they interviewed and observed students, tutors, and teachers regarding tutoring but they do not provide a clear theoretical framework or research design which guides their study, nor do they provide their assumptions regarding their studies. To conclude, this section has suggested that few attempts have been made to understand the process of tutoring (e.g., Gordon & Gordon, 1990; Graesser et al., 1993; McArthur et al., 1990; Merrill et al., 1995; Putnam, 1987). Given that the limited research on tutoring tends to focus on the effective and remedial nature of tutoring, a study which examines a broader scope of the tutoring process seems to be needed. 2 .4 . Education of immigrant students In the previous section, I have attempted to provide an investigation of the current research on tutoring. I have also provided a rationale for the need to examine the relationship between tutoring and the schooling of immigrant students. Since tutoring research has been reviewed, in this section (2.4), I will review studies regarding the educational process of immigrant students in the hope of identifying important issues for immigrant students' schooling. This way, I can better position my study of tutoring in the larger educational context. I will begin by providing a brief description of different categories of immigrants. Then, I will establish a need to examine the education of immigrant students. Third, I will present a survey of research on the education of immigrant students in order to reveal different aspects of schooling for immigrant students. Fourth, I will provide a synthesis of the literature in this area. 34 2.4.1. A characterization of immigrants In order to understand the education of immigrant students, it is important to first examine the different types of immigrants that exist in the literature. Different terms such as language minority, involuntary minority, immigrant minority, people of color, and foreign-born have all been used across disciplines to refer to the groups of people who migrated from their home country to another. Ogbu (1987a) distinguishes three types of minorities.3 The first type is what he calls "autonomous minorities" (p. 320). This type of minority is "people who are minorities primarily in a numerical sense" and who "are not socially, economically, and politically subordinated" (p. 320). Jews or Mormons in the United States and French Canadians in Canada are two examples of this type of minority. The second type of minority would be the "immigrant minorities." This term refers to "people who have moved more or less voluntarily to the United States because they believe that this would lead to greater economic well-being, better overall opportunities, and/or greater political freedom" (p. 321). Two examples are the Chinese in Stockton, California, and the Punjabi Indians in Valleyside, California. In Canada, the large wave of immigrants, especially from the business class category,4 in the last 20 years from Hongkong, Taiwan, and China would belong to this group. These immigrants have come 3 According to Ogbu (1987a), his distinction of the three types of immigrant is not meant to provide stereotypes of minorities. He does acknowledge that there are still individual differences within any given minority. Since his focus is not on individual differences, he feels that the three broad categories of immigrant groups provide a good basis for his discussions. 4 Canada immigration has different requirements for different categories of immigrant status. Some examples are family class, business class, skilled worker class, and refugees. If an applicant meets all the criteria under a specific category, then he or she will be allowed to enter Canada as an immigrant. People can choose the category for which they want to apply. The business investor's category is one example of the different categories offered. Thus, immigrants admitted to Canada under the business investor's category are entering Canada at their own will (Citizenship and immigration Canada, 2003). 35 to Canada of their own volition in hopes of obtaining a better life. Involuntary minorities are the third type. They are the people who were brought into a new society involuntarily through slavery, conquest, or colonization. Ogbu cited American Indians, African-Americans, and native Hawaiians as examples in the United States. In Canada, the aboriginal peoples would be categorized in this group because they became a minority group in Canada through colonization. Suarez-Orozco (2001) examines the recent immigrant population of the US and finds that the highly heterogeneous population makes categorization of immigrants difficult. For example, there are highly educated, highly skilled immigrants who migrate to the United States intending to succeed and who do succeed. At the same time, there are semiskilled or unskilled immigrants who have had poor education in their home countries and who tend to continue to live in poverty in their new homeland. In addition, the author finds that in the United States before 1965, most immigrants came from Europe or Canada, but after 1965, over 50 percent came from Latin America and over 25 percent from Asia. In Canada, from 1999 to 2001, immigrants from Asia constituted the biggest category of immigrants.5 Furthermore, the immigrants in the economic class,6 which 5 According to statistics published by Canadian Immigration in 2001, 50.78%, 53.03%, and 53.1% of the immigrants in Canada came from Asia in the years 1999, 2000, and 2001, respectively. The second and third biggest groups of immigrants come from Europe/the United Kingdom and Africa/Middle East, although the difference between the two regions is small. For each of the three years, roughly 19% of immigrants came from Europe and the United Kingdom and 18% came from Africa/Middle East (Citizenship and immigration Canada, 2002). 6 The term 'economic class' is used by Canada Immigration to refer to people who migrate to Canada for economic reasons. There are many subcategories within this class. Generally, immigrants in the economic class must meet a set of strict financial, educational, and language criteria. For example, a business investor is one of the sub-categories within this class. Some of the criteria include an investment of $400,000 to the Canadian government, a net worth of $800,000, a college education, and some proficiency in English or 36 includes business class and skilled-worker class make up the biggest immigrant group in Canada. This group of immigrants constitutes over 55 percent of all immigrants in Canada (Citizenship and immigration Canada, 2002). Ashworth (2000) distinguishes three kinds of immigrants who have continued to migrate to Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She categorizes them as economic immigrants, refugees, and family members. She regards the economic immigrants as those who move to a new country for an economic reason such as the seeking of employment. Refugees are those who seek to avoid political or religious persecution. Family members are those who move to another country to join their relatives who have moved to that country before them. Her categories of immigrants seem to correspond to the categories listed by the Canadian Immigration Act. To summarize, due to the highly heterogeneous nature of the immigrant population, one must be aware of the variety of the possible types of immigrants when one examines the research done on the education of immigrant students. Each group of immigrants may come to a new environment with different cultural assumptions, backgrounds, and goals and thus have different immigrant experiences (Ogbu, 1987a, 1987b). Thus, gaining a full understanding of the different types of immigrants will help provide an accurate interpretation of the implications of research in this area. 2.4.2. The need to examine immigrant students The need to examine the educational experience of immigrant students can be identified from several sources. First, Suarez-Orozco (2001) points out that as a result of French. These requirements imply that these immigrants must be quite affluent and educated before coming to Canada (Citizenship and immigration Canada, 2003). 37 globalization, large-scale immigration will continue to occur in different places around the world. He further argues that one critical and neglected area in the discussion of immigration is the experience of immigrant children. For the children of immigrants, schooling is "the primary point of sustained and close contact with a crucial institution of the society their parents choose to join. For many immigrant children, it is the only point of systematic and meaningful contact with the new society" (p. 345-346). Second, the rate at which schools are receiving immigrant students is increasing quickly (Mohan, Leung, & Davison, 2001). Davison (2001) reported that in Victoria, Australia "in 1996 there were 125,315 children enrolled in the publicly funded school sector who were either born in a non-English speaking country or born in Australia with one or both parents born in a non-English country" (p. 12-13). This figure represents 24.2 percent of the Victoria state school population. Similarly, in large urban centers in Canada, the immigrant student population ranges from about 20 percent to over 50 percent of the general student population (Roessingh, 1999). As well, in the United States, the number of immigrant students in public schools grew 70 percent as compared to only a 14 percent increase in the total enrollment (Short, 2002). Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco (2001) confirm this trend of increasing immigrant students by citing the example of New York public schools which have an immigrant student population of 48 percent. Thus, this increasing trend in the immigrant student population seems to be a permanent situation in several English-speaking countries. Third, recognizing this increasing trend, Mohan, Leung, and Davison (2001) further argue that the "changes in immigration are having a strong impact on school 38 populations" (p. 2). The changing pattern of student population means that schools must deal with the new situation in terms of policy and educational practices. Thus, an interest in the educational welfare of these students has sparked a wide discussion (e.g., August & Hakuta, 1997; Brinton, Sasser & Winningham, 1992; Derwing, DeCorby, Ichkiawa, & Jamieson, 1999; Ernst, 1994; Grey, 1990; Gunderson, 2000; Harklau, 1994a, 1994b; Levine, 1990; O'Byrne, 2001; Roessingh, 1999; Roessingh & Kover, 2002; Valdes, 1998). Topics such as the factors which contribute to academic success or failure, the adaptation process of immigrant students in school, the schools' effort in meeting the diverse student needs, and the impact of home culture on the schooling of immigrant children are some of the concerns of educators. To summarize, the permanency of immigration, the increasing proportion of immigrant students in public schools, and the changes made by the schools to meet the needs of the students have all shown that the issue of the education of immigrant students is ever so important to examine. 2.4.3. Research regarding the education of immigrant students Research in the area of the education of immigrant students has been approached by disciplines such as anthropology, education, and second language learning/acquisition. Each discipline makes a unique contribution in research regarding the lives of these immigrant students and their families. As this area of study is broad and varied, it is not possible to review all studies that exist regarding the education of immigrant students. However, an attempt is made throughout the following few sections to highlight the directions as well as the results of some of the research that has been carried out. 39 Different aspects of the schooling process for immigrant students have been examined by different scholars (e.g., Crawford, 2000; Hones & Cha, 1999; and Ogulnick, 2000; Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco, 2001). This section will review literature in this area from both broad and specific perspectives. On a broad level, it will examine three issues regarding immigrant education. The first issue is the academic achievement of immigrant students. The second issue deals with power inequality in schools for immigrant students. The third issue is the influence of home culture on the schooling of immigrant students. At a specific level, this paper will examine issues related to classroom practices and learning. These issues include the elements of effective or non-effective school programs or policies, problems in mainstreaming immigrant students, and the voices of teacher, student, and parent in the classrooms. Factors leading to academic success or failure In this category of research, one is most concerned with the question of why an immigrant student is successful or not in schools (e.g., Chen & Stevenson, 1995; Chow, 2000; Cortes, 1994; Lee, 1994; Mehan, Hubbard, & Villanueva, 1994; Mizokakawa & Ryckman, 1990; Ogbu 1974, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987a, 1987b, 1991, 1995; Stevenson, Strigler, Lee, Lucker, Kitamura, & Hsu, 1985). Much of the work in this area originates in the field of anthropology. John Ogbu has published widely on the topic of the academic achievement of minority students. As mentioned earlier, he has categorized immigrants into three groups. Based on a comparative analysis on the different achievement patterns for immigrant students, Ogbu finds three factors contribute to the school success or failure of immigrant students: society at large, the school, and the 40 minority community. He argues that the success or failure of immigrants in school depends on whether or not they come from a society where unequal opportunity has caused them not to see education as socially and economically rewarding. Furthermore, the immigrant students' achievement also depends on whether or not the relationship between the minority and the school, which is controlled by the dominant-group members, encourages the minority students to define schools as not oppressing their home culture and their identity. Lastly, whether or not a trusting relationship which encourages minority students to accept the school practices is established is another factor that influences the immigrant students' success in school. Given these factors, Ogbu concludes that involuntary minorities such as the African-Americans demonstrate a high academic failure rate because they have had unequal access to schooling in the past, they have been caught in the conflict between schooling and their home values, and they have developed a distrust of white people which makes accepting school practices so much harder (Ogbu, 1987a, 1987b 1991, 1995). Ogbu's work stimulated much interest. Based on neo-Vygotskian thinking, Trueba (1988) argues that intellectual development is closely linked to cooperative social activities. Embedded in social activities are the culturally appropriate values of the mainstream school system. To help minority students achieve in school is to provide a system of assistance when they participate in meaningful and culturally appropriate social activities. Thus, unless schools create an effective learning environment which takes cultural influences into account, immigrant students will not succeed. Along this line of research on the interconnectedness of academic success and learning environment, the 41 work of others such as Banks (1992), Brown (1992), McGroarty (1994), and Scarcella (1992) have all examined the critical roles of social and cultural factors in the education of language minority students. Hayes (1992) provides an alternative model to explain the differences in the academic success or failure of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. In order to account for the under-achievement of Mexican-Americans, Hayes proposes that four factors must be added: the age and previous educational background of the student, the educational background of the parents of the immigrant student, the extent of home country ties, and the interaction between the Latino and schools.7 Gibson (1997a, 1997b) views the dichotomy between voluntary immigrants and involuntary minorities as too simplistic, citing five examples of immigrant receiving countries: the Netherlands, France, Britain, Israel, and Canada. She documents the relationship between academic success and several factors, such as reasons for leaving the homeland, the status of immigrants in the new country, and the nature of available resources to the group. She also proposes that second-generation immigrant youth perform better if they have strong ties to their ethnic community while they become acculturated into the new community. As well, she suggests possible gender difference in the academic success of immigrant students, although she argues that more research is still needed. Lastly, she emphasizes the importance of examining the relationship among youth identities, the structure of power relations within schools, and academic engagement. 7 See Hayes (1992) for a detailed discussion of how the four factors can help explain the academic failure of Mexican-Americans. 42 This last point on the relationship between power relations and academic success is exactly what Cummins (1986, 1997, 2000, 2001) proposes in his framework. He advocates the view that "the negotiation of identity in the interaction between educators and students plays a central role in the extent to which students are willing to become academically engaged" (1997, p. 423). He further provides the school failure of African-Canadian and First Nations students as examples of identity formation leading to poor academic achievement. "What is evident is a historical, and current pattern of coercive relations of power in which African-Canadian student identities have been constructed as deficient and actively devalued in classroom interactions" (1997, p. 426). Lastly, Conchas (2001) finds in his study that it is the different school programs that have caused variability in achievement among Latino students. He used a participant-observation approach to study a group of 26 Latino students attending a high school with many low-income minority students in the western United States. He wanted to examine the relationship between academic achievement and four different school programs for low-income Latino students by observing how the Latino students performed and interacted with others in each of the four programs: general program, medical academy, graphics academy, and advanced placement program. One of the findings he provides is that Latino students in the general program had the weakest institutional support as well as minimal peer and teacher support. As a result, they had low achievement in school. However, the Latino students in the medical program, with its very supportive structure, seemed to have a strong sense of social belonging and high academic success. 43 To summarize, Ogbu's framework explains factors leading to the success or failure of immigrant students, and much of the study in this area contributes to his model by adding other factors to consider or by studying different groups of immigrant students. The main concern, though, for all studies in this area is academic performance of different groups of immigrant students. Power of immigrant students in classes Another area of research deals with the issue of power in education for immigrant students. In this area, the powerlessness experienced by immigrant students is explored. J. Cummins has published widely on this topic. Earlier, in the discussion of factors related to academic success, Cummins' model proposed in 1986 was described. In a more recent article, Cummins (2001) further explains his framework and argues that "the influence of the societal power structure is mediated by the way educators define their roles in relation to students' language and culture, community participation, pedagogy, and assessment" (p. 652). Educators have choices and power in what they teach even if they have to operate within the constraints of educational policies, prescribed curriculum, and working conditions. Cummins argues that even when schools exercise English-only policies, teachers do not have to devalue the student's home culture and language. As an example of Cummins' notion of educators' power in schools, Grey's study demonstrates how an institution's policy can lead to the marginal status of immigrant students in school (Grey, 1990). In his study of ethnic relations between immigrant and mainstream students in Garden City High School in Kansas, he finds several factors contributing to the marginal status. One factor is institutional policies which neglect the 44 needs of immigrant students. For example, the school established an English-as-a-second-language program without having clear goals for what the program should accomplish. The only vaguely-defined goal was that the students in this program were to become a part of this American high school. Another factor is the lack of empathy for immigrant students shown by mainstream teachers and students. For example, while many mainstream teachers and students recognize that the ESL teachers and the students seem isolated, they believe that this isolation is the result of a lower expectation of academic achievement for immigrant students. Thus, the stereotype of immigrant students as failures widens the gap between the mainstream and the immigrant population. In addition, the lack of explicit school policies regarding the acceptance of immigrant students further blocks the integration of the mainstream and ESL students. For example, although the school principal encouraged extracurricular activities such as sports, when the immigrant students wanted to set up a soccer club, the principal showed no interest in helping them find a sponsor because a soccer club would have distracted attention from the planning of a new football program, a program much more valued by the principal and by the mainstream student body. The marginal status experienced by immigrant students is also evidenced in the next study. McKay and Wong (1996) studied four Chinese adolescent immigrant students and found that multiple identities and discourses were present and interacting in classes which these four students attended. Colonized or racialized discourse occurred in the communication of the students and the teachers. This type of discourse refers to beliefs such as English ability as an indicator of cognitive maturity, sophistication, 45 Americanization, and general personal worthiness, and immigrant status as a sign of deficiency and backwardness. For example, a very culturally sensitive ESL teacher who showed much respect for students' native language in class showed this colonized or racialized discourse in his thinking, McKay and Wong maintain, when he revealed to the researchers that his prior experience in special education prepared him well for teaching ESL students. The teacher's equating of ESL students and special education students was noted by the researchers as an example of the belief that limited English proficiency is regarded as a handicap. In addition, in the treatment of the students, a teacher's aide treated more assimilated students better and regarded students with heavily accented English and less westernized behavior as troublemakers. In sum, the display of this type of discourse is in congruence with the common assumption that ESL programs have a marginal status in schools and that ESL is a "dummy program." McKay and Wong further suggest that this discourse appears "to have a range of effects on the focal students' investment in learning English"8 (p. 586). In another study of the marginalization of immigrant students, Harklau (2000) shows how the assumptions of the institutions can easily position the immigrant students in an unfavorable light. Although Harklau's focus was not on the power of the institution over immigrant students, it was clear from her observations of the changes in the status of immigrant students in two different contexts that immigrant students were very vulnerable to their environment. They could easily be categorized as "deficient." See McKay and Wong (1996) for more detail on the relationship between different types of discourses and investment in learning English. 46 Harklau (2000) followed three immigrant students from their last years of high school to their first year in a community college. While in their high school, the three students were mainly placed in the mainstream classes with very limited English as a second language support. Through interviews, observations of students' interaction with the teachers and other students and students' written work at school, Harklau found the overall image of immigrant students at the high school level was that they were "well-behaved, hardworking, persevering students" (p. 51). However, as the three immigrant students entered the English-as-a-second language (ESL) classes in the community college, they gradually lost their initial enthusiasm for learning. This was due to a mismatch between the goals of the community ESL classes and the educational background and American experience of the three students. The ESL classes at this community college were aimed at newly arrived immigrant students who had received most of their education outside the United States. Thus, when the three immigrant students who had had much mainstream experience at the high school level attended these classes, many of their needs differed from that of the newly arrived ESL students. For example, in one college ESL class, the assumption was that students needed explicit grammar instruction because of their lack of experience in English. However, for immigrant students who were long-term residents such as the three students Harklau followed, much of their knowledge of grammar was intuitive because of their previous experience in high school. Much of the form and usage of English was implicit for them. As a result, these students performed quite poorly on grammar tests that required them to label sentences with grammatical terminology. Through the course of the term, Harklau's 47 subjects became what the teachers labeled as "deficient." To summarize, the three immigrant students' experiences in both contexts show that schools and other institutions play a vital role in positioning immigrant students, which in turn influences their academic achievement and motivation to learn. Toohey (1998) investigated the practices of a grade one classroom and found that the common practices in the classroom serve to separate immigrant students from the mainstream students. These practices eventually lead to labeling immigrant students as "deficient" members of the mainstream culture and excluding them from practices which would allow them to develop competence and expertise. For example, Toohey argues that the grade one teacher's placement of ESL students and Anglophone children who had difficulty in school near the teacher limited peer interaction for ESL students and resulted in students sounding inappropriately like teachers. Thus, by following the classroom practices, not only were the immigrant children not able to become competent members of the mainstream culture, but many opportunities were also curtailed. She concluded her discussion by stating her worry for the future of these immigrant children who may be isolated from and disempowered by the mainstream culture. The theme of powerlessness or marginal positioning of immigrant students is a concern in the work of Wason-Ellam regarding the education of immigrant students. Wason-Ellam (2001) documents an ethnographic study that examined two Chinese immigrant families in Canada and found that the themes which consistently emerged for the children of the two families were isolation, oppression, and apprehension. Similarly, Herbert (2001), who reviews current literature on the role of education on the identity of 48 youth, found that ethnic minority adolescents are often caught in the dilemma between developing a positive self-image and receiving messages that devalued their existence. She argues that Canadian education plays an important role in the identity formation of these minority youth. She finds that much of the formal and hidden curriculum places these immigrant youth in an inferior position. In addition, it seems that curriculum cannot be the only culprit in marginalizing students; the immigrant students themselves as well as the mainstream teachers and students find that being schooled in a second language environment is not viewed as an asset but as a problem. In another study, Derwing, DeCorby, Ichikawa, and Jamieson (1999) found that being an English-as-a-second language learner was equated with stupidity when they attempted to find factors that led to academic failure of high school immigrant students in Alberta. To summarize, studies in this area indicate that immigrant students experience an unequal power distribution in schools (see also Cummins, 1996; Delpit, 1988). These studies have found that immigrant students tend to be viewed as being "deficient" or "stupid," which implies that immigrant students have been marginalized in schools. Home-school relationship The third area of research concerns the home-school relationship of immigrant students. Heath is one scholar who examines the relationship between home and school learning (Heath, 1982a 1982b, 1983, 1986, 1992). She notices that there is a gap between the types of language use reinforced by the school and by the families and communities. This gap, she argues, can contribute to the academic failure of immigrant children. For example, by comparing the common language uses in the mainstream school activities and 49 language uses at home of Chinese-American families, she found that while the mainstream classes use recounts9 often to summarize known materials to others in the class or to display knowledge, Chinese families seldom use them at home. In fact, Chinese families tend to use accounts10 often at home. Parents expect children to discuss their actions and knowledge at home. However, the use of accounts is quite restricted in schools. Thus, the differing patterns of language use in the home and at school could create problems in learning for immigrant students (Heath, 1992). Other work on the connection of home and school learning for immigrant students can be seen in Diaz, Moll, and Mehan (1994), Kao (1995), Pease-Alvarez and Vasquez (1994), and Schneider and Lee (1990). Sarroub (2001) approaches the question of home-school relationship quite differently from Heath. Whereas Heath focuses on the different language use patterns of school and home, Sarroub describes the tension that arises between immigrant students' lives at home and at school. Sarroub documented a case study of Yemeni girls attending high schools in the United States. She illustrates that even though these students are quite successful academically, they struggle to maintain a balance between maintaining family honor, becoming good mothers, and succeeding in school. Research that examines home-school relations often investigates the roles of parents in their children's schooling experience. A positive correlation between parental involvement and school success has been established by many researchers (e.g., Becher, 9 Recounts refer to language used in retelling a story or an experience that both the teller and the listener already knows (Heath, 1994). 1 0 Accounts refer to language used to provide new information to the listener or to provide a new interpretation of something that a listener knows already. Typically, for an account to be accepted, a listener evaluates both the truth value and the organization of the story (Heath, 1994). 50 1986; Cassanova, 1996; Chavkin, 1993; Coleman, 1991; Comer, 1986; Eccles & Harold, 1996; Epstein,1991, 1995; Henderson, 1987; Henderson, Morburger, & Boom, 1986; Lareau, 1989; Lopez, 2001; Weist, 1990). However, parents of different ethnic backgrounds and social classes may view the role of parental involvement quite differently. Louie (2001) conducted both surveys and interviews of sixty-eight undergraduate immigrant students from Columbia University and Hunter College, a part of City University of New York. The central question she explored was the relationship between social class and Chinese immigrant parents' expectations, strategies, and investment in their children's education. She used a survey to establish the class background of the students. Her interviews centered around issues such as students' educational experience, career goals, views on racial and ethnic stratification, and perceptions of family attitude to education. Generally, she finds that regardless of the social class, parents have high expectations of their children in education. She also finds that students attribute their achievement to the values that their parents have instilled in them. This value stresses hard work and education as the only method for upward mobility. However, what seems to differ for parents in middle and working class backgrounds is the educational strategies used to advance their children's education. Middle class Chinese immigrant parents seem to be more active in their children's learning by sending them to the best schools, paying for private lessons to ensure academic success in school, being involved in the school daily routines, and by closely monitoring children's progress in school and their spare time. Similar to middle class parents, working class parents are extremely concerned 51 about making the best choices for their children's education but they cannot afford the time and money. Through social networking in the community, they seek out what they believe to be the best schools to send their children to. Parents change their children's schools constantly until they find the best without incurring additional costs. In terms of how these students view their parents' investment in their education, students in the working class group view education as a way to overcome the financial constraints encountered by their parents, whereas students whose parents have more education and financial resources view education as a way to overcome cultural and language problems experienced by their parents. Both groups view their academic achievement as the payoff for their parents' sacrifice in migrating. To summarize, Louie has demonstrated that Chinese immigrant parents, regardless of background, invest heavily in their children's education. This devotion seems to be quite positively linked to students' determination to succeed in schools. So far, it has been established that home-school relationship is an important aspect of immigrant students' education. Furthermore, parental involvement seems to relate positively to academic success. As well, different patterns of parental involvement can be found in different immigrant groups. In this next study, Lewis and Forman (2002) demonstrate the impact of social class and school culture on parental involvement. They studied two very different patterns of parental involvement at two elementary schools. Forestview is an elementary school with 86 percent European American and 14 percent immigrant students in a middle-class neighborhood in Northern California whereas Metro is a school with 44 percent African-American and 54 percent immigrant students located 52 in a low-income area on the Eastern seaboard. They find a collaborative relationship between the school and the parents at Metro but a conflicting one at Forestview. They find that both social class and school culture influence the way the parent-teacher relationship is established. Teachers at Forestview feel disempowered because of the resources and authority the parents have over the school. Parents seem to believe that their presence is a positive contribution to the school even if their presence is not always welcomed. Thus, the school culture tends to discourage parental involvement in the school. On the other hand, the fact that Metro parents do not have the kind of power and resources Forestview parents have allows the Metro teachers to treat the parents as part of their community. Feeling respected and empowered, teachers are able to develop a meaningful and caring relationship with the parents. The school culture, then, is quite open to parental involvement. Despite the above differences in the relationship between the school and the parents, the common agenda of parents and teachers in both schools is to do what is best for children. Some themes emerge in the area of home-school relationships for immigrant students. First, patterns of home and school practices may differ drastically for immigrant students. The education of immigrant students should take this factor into consideration. Second, parental involvement should be examined because it relates to academic success. However, one must be aware of the different types of parental involvement that are available (e.g. the Chinese pattern of parental involvement). Lastly, supportive relationships should be built between teachers and parents in order to encourage parental involvement. 53 Effective programs in school for immigrant students In the previous three sections, attention has been given to broad issues that are central to educating immigrant students. Issues such as the factors leading to academic achievement, the marginal positioning of immigrant students in school, and the impact of home-school relationship have been explored. In the next section, specific issues such as the variety of programs available to immigrant students and problems of immigrant students in school will be explored. Research in this area tends to be found in the field of second language education. Impacted by the great number of immigrant students, public schools in Canada, Australia, England, and the United States have attempted to implement different programs in order to meet the diverse needs of immigrant students (Ashworth, 2000). Short (2002), for example, reports on 115 newcomer programs for newly arrived immigrant students in urban middle and high schools in the United States. In her study, she describes three main goals of newcomer programs: provide students with basic English skills, provide instruction in content areas, and help acculturate students to the school system. Also, she provides detailed descriptions of the profiles of the immigrant students, the program locations, three different school models, the length of daily programs and program enrollment, the instructional design which includes language of instruction, content area instruction, literacy development, and orientation activities to U.S. schools and communities, assessment procedures, staffing consideration, and services to orient the parents of these students. Lastly, she provides three effective programs and suggests important features that are essential to their success. All three are full-day programs with 54 both ESL and content courses. Also, within these programs, community partnership is established to provide services such as health care, housing assistance, counseling, tutoring, and adult education to families and students. Similarly, Ashworth (2000) has examined programs offered in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States and has found twenty-eight different program options available. She categorizes the programs into six: self-contained, withdrawal/pull-out, mainstream, special, out-of-school, and bilingual programs.11 She argues that three factors influence the effectiveness of different programs. They are the expectation of students' academic success, explicit program aims and outcomes, and the school's commitment to language support for immigrant students. Ernst (1994) conducted a one-year ethnographic study of one English-as-a-second language program in an elementary school in the United States. The program design addresses the important needs of immigrant students. The program attends to both language and content and stresses the importance of helping students overcome emotional hardship. The policy of valuing the students' native culture and language is also a strength. Furthermore, the inclusion of parents in the program also seems to help make the program effective. Davison and Williams (2001) and Adger and Peyton (1999) also share interest in researching effective programs for immigrant students. What is common to these researchers is the notion that immigrant education is a complex issue which requires much careful planning. Immigrant students have distinct needs which must be addressed by the 1 1 For a detailed discussion of what these programs are, see Ashworth (2000). 55 programs. At the same time, participants such as the teachers, school administrators, students, parents and community members all seem to be contributing members in making a program successful. Programs that stress the importance of integrating language and content have also caught the attention of many researchers (e.g., Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 1989; Cantoni-Harvey, 1987; Chamot & O'Mally, 1992; Early & Hooper, 2001; Early, 2001; Harklau, 1994a, 1994b; Mohan, 1986; Short, 1999). The issue of integrating language and content is particularly important to immigrant students because of the length of time it takes to master a second language for schooling.12 At the same time, these immigrant students' development of academic knowledge cannot be placed on hold until they have mastered their second language (Mohan et al., 2001). The importance of this view of integrating language and content for immigrant students is further witnessed in Roessingh's (1999) study in an Alberta high school. She reports on the success of implementing an adjunct block of English support to an English Literature class for immigrant students. The main objectives of the adjunct block are to give students more time to learn and to give ESL and mainstream teachers an opportunity to collaborate language and content. The quantitative results of the students' reading scores illustrated that students showed gains in both reading comprehension and vocabulary levels, and that students seemed to reflect success in regular English classes later as evidenced by the improved mark in English classes. In addition, Roessingh and Cummins (1992) argues that it takes about five to seven years for the development of cognitive academic language proficiency, proficiency needed for the mastering of academic subjects in school. 56 Kover (2002) conducted similar research on improving young-arriving immigrant students' English grades. Again, after a series of interventions to integrate language and content instruction, students seemed to show improvement, especially on the provincial level English exams. 1 4 To summarize, regardless of the different types of programs, large-scale newcomer programs or language and content programs, the central purpose for these programs seems to be to ensure the academic success of immigrant students. Problems at school for immigrant students In addition to examining programs designed for immigrant students, researchers have focused on identifying the unique needs or problems of immigrant students. This area of research includes a wide array of topics such as the discussion of the problems immigrant students face in transition from E S L classes to mainstream classes (Harklau, 1992, 1994a, 1994b, 1999), teachers' concerns for immigrant students' needs in mainstream classes (Penfield, 1987), strategies to ease the transitional difficulty of immigrant students (Lucas, 1999; O'Byrne, 2001), dilemmas immigrant students experience as a result of a mismatch between what actually occurs in classes and what policies or theories suggest should happen in class (Valdes, 1998), tension immigrant students experience when engaging in commonly used North American educational practices such as cooperative learning (Liang, 1998) and project-based learning (Beckett, 1999) and immigrant students' struggles with the expectations of the school and schooling 1 3 Young-arriving immigrant students here refers to students who have migrated to Canada at an elementary school age. These students show a lack of academic language proficiency but are not recognized any longer as ESL students needing support. 1 4 In Alberta, all Grade 12 students who wish to enter university must pass the English 12 course which consists of marks from the school and from the provincial level final exam. 57 process, racism in schools, native language loss, identity search, and parental communication (Gunderson, 2000; Tanners, 1997). With this line of inquiry on immigrant students' needs and problems came the discussion of the benefits or problems of including immigrant students in the mainstream education (Levine, 1990; Piatt, Harper & Mendoza, 2003). Studies focusing on the specific challenges encountered in mainstream classes have been conducted by Duff (2001, 2002). Duff (2001) studied English as a second language (ESL) students, most of whom were immigrant students, in two Grade 10 social studies classes in a Canadian high school and explored the challenges in terms of language, literacy, content, and culture these E S L students faced. Through interviews and observations for two years, she found that in order for E S L students to participate successfully in social studies classes, E S L students needed to have "a deep knowledge of academic language or textbook content" and "a knowledge of popular North American culture, a repertoire of newsworthy current events, and an ability to express a range of perspectives on social issues, as well as the ability to enter quick-paced, highly contextualized interactions" (p. 120). Thus, E S L students experienced different types of challenges in class. Some of the challenges included minimal use of the required textbook with many teacher supplemented activities and readings, a fast rate of speech in classes, a lack of time for comprehension checks, a lack of visual support in common activities such as listening to long narratives, a lack of confidence in spontaneous public speaking, and limited comprehension and participation in current events discussions as a result of a lack of familiarity with the items in the news, a knowledge of content and popular culture, and 58 an ability to take turns quickly. Despite these difficulties, Duff reports that the E S L students in this study still tended to pass in both classes, receiving typically B ' s and C s for their grades. She attributed this success partly to the nature of this group of students as "diligent, resourceful, and privileged" (p. 122). She found that many of these students had private tutors, good study skills, and L l literacy. They also regularly reviewed course materials, formed study sessions in L l groups after school, and had a strong academic foundation. To summarize, many second language studies have examined various aspects of difficulties encountered by immigrant students in school. A s is evident in these studies, being schooled as an immigrant student in a second language environment is indeed a challenging process. Students need to fulfill the demands not only of the day-to-day classes but also of the broader educational and cultural institutions. 2.4.4. A synthesis of studies on immigrant students In this review, several aspects regarding the educational processes of immigrant students have been presented. The review in this area has raised several concerns regarding the research concerning immigrant students. First, due to the heterogeneous nature of immigrant students, it is difficult to compare systematically the different results of different studies. For example, studies of factors leading to the academic achievement of immigrant students show that even within the same ethnic group, differences in academic achievement can be found (Conchas, 2001). Thus, any generalization about the academic achievement of any immigrant student group is deemed difficult. However, the unique contributions of each study bring multiple perspectives on the schooling of 59 immigrant students. This multiplicity makes the study of immigrant students more complex and challenging. Secondly, many of the studies of the schooling of immigrant students focus on the issue of the academic or social success of immigrant students. That is, many studies make a distinction between successful examples and unsuccessful examples before examining their focal research questions. For example, the research on the variability in academic achievement of different ethnic groups approaches its central question by asking why some groups outperform others. Similarly, studies that examine the home-school relationship attempt to frame their research problem by asking how the differences between home and school contribute to the academic success or failure of the group studied. In addition, research that examines effective programs for immigrant students implies that a dichotomy between effective and non-effective programs exists. Furthermore, many studies that examine the problems immigrant students experience in classes and in school make the assumption that these problems may hinder the success of immigrant students in school. Thus, accounts of immigrant students' schooling experiences which do not assume the successful versus unsuccessful schooling experience are scarce. More specifically, a study which examines what immigrant students go through in a new educational environment and how they deal with the requirement of the school without separating the students into the categories of success or failure seems to be called for. As such, it should not be a study that differentiates good or bad students, nor should it be a study which makes judgments about teaching practices. 60 Third, the issue of the marginal position of immigrant students has been documented in many studies. Because of the minority status of many immigrant students in the new dominant society, it is natural to view these immigrant students as a disadvantaged group. Cummins (2001) and others have provided evidence for their powerlessness. While it may be true that this unequal power relation exists in many cases, studies tend to examine the powerlessness of the immigrant students and not their resourcefulness. Duff (2001) is an exception, finding ESL students that she studies are "part of large, thriving ethnolinguistic communities offering various cultural resources and social networks" (p. 122). This type of student seems to be under-represented in the study of immigrant students. Fourth, much of the research on the schooling of immigrant students comes from the fields of anthropology and second language education. One criticism of anthropological studies of immigrant students is that those studies tend to take a broad perspective in investigating the relationship between the home, community, and school experiences of immigrant students. As such, the detailed description of the "day-to-day enactment of component processes such as second language acquisition—what the process of learning is like, and how individuals fare within this context" seems to be neglected (Harklau, 1992, p. 13). Second language classroom research such as the studies done by Duff (2001, 2002), Liang (1998), and Beckett (1999) may be able to address the lack of detailed linguistic and cultural learning processes of these immigrant students. However, these studies tend to focus on classrooms within schools as sites of examination. The 61 problem is that official schooling only occupies five to eight hours of the students' lives. As Duff (2001) points out, the ESL students she studied spent time reviewing and attending tutorial classes after school in order to meet the demands of the school. A study that examines tutoring as an unofficial part of the immigrant students' official schooling experience has not yet been explored. Jeffs and Smith (1990) would define tutoring as a type of informal education.16 They further argue that informal education is "a vibrant and somewhat undervalued form of practice" (p. 23). Fifth, literature has addressed the challenges immigrant students encounter both culturally and linguistically in schools. However, very few studies have examined whether or not these challenges are resolved, and if so, how they are dealt with. Some studies have briefly mentioned how some of the problems are addressed. For example, Duff (2001) notes that some turn to tutors. Also, Guo (2001), who examines parent-teacher meetings at a Canadian high school, finds that parents "ran their own school system" (p. 149) when their children met problems in school or when they had doubts about the educational practices their children were engaged in. She finds that parents either sent their children to private schools or hired tutors. In addition, Harklau (1992) finds that the tracking system used for ESL students "places them in the lowest echelon of 1 5 North American schools tend to be in session from about eight o'clock in the morning to about four o'clock in the afternoon. There are variations within schools, of course. However, generally the school operates within this time frame. 1 6 Jeffs and Smith define informal education as possessing characteristics such as the following. First, it can occur in a variety of settings with no regular or prescribed form. Second, learning that occurs here may not necessarily be accidental. Purposeful and conscious actions may be associated with learning. Third, the participants have control over what should be learned. Learning is negotiated. Fourth, collaboration and mutual respect are often involved. Their definition may not have included all the characteristics of how one may define informal education. However, their explanation seems to provide a beginning into such type of learning. 62 the educational system, with a language handicap at the outset, and asks them to work their way out if they can" (p. 182). In any case, detailed accounts of the attempts to resolve the challenges immigrant students face in schools are not found. To summarize, future work on immigrant students should take the following into consideration. First, it is important to recognize the complexity inherent in the education of immigrant students. Second, the assumption of the distinction between success and failure should be limited. Third, marginality of immigrant students should not always be assumed; rather, the resourcefulness aspect deserves some attention. Fourth, a broad level examination of the general educational experience of immigrant students should be supported by a detailed account of day-to-day occurrences. Lastly, more attempts should be made to examine how immigrant students make efforts to resolve their issues. 2.5. Rationale for this study Based on the review of literature on the education of immigrant students and tutoring, four theoretical perspectives will guide the development of this study. This is a study of one-on-one tutoring of Taiwanese high school immigrant students who are also speakers of English as a second language. First, tutoring will be viewed as a social practice. Whether tutoring is effective in helping immigrant students learn is not the concern here. Rather, this study considers tutoring as an activity that immigrant students engage in and construct with other participants. Also, this study attempts to examine various forces that could potentially influence the way in which tutoring is constructed. Thus, socio-cultural factors such as the cultural and educational background of the participants, the educational context of 63 tutoring, and the culture of schooling in North America may all bear importance to tutoring. Second, tutoring will not be viewed as an instructional technique aimed at servicing powerless immigrant students. In other words, this study does not examine tutoring as a tool to aid learning. Also, immigrant students are not viewed as being in a marginal position. In fact, these immigrant students pay to be tutored. Their financial resources and local network demonstrate that they are not as powerless as some may assume. Third, tutoring is viewed in light of the larger educational context, the BC educational context. The broad issues of the relationship of learning, schooling, and tutoring will be explored. For example, the question of how tutoring as an unofficial part of schooling fits into the larger educational frame will be investigated. As well, the relationship between the day-to-day schooling process of immigrant students and tutoring will also be considered. For example, Duff (2001) comments on immigrant students' challenges in a social studies class. She reports that most of these students still pass the class and mentions that many of the students rely on tutors. It is this type of relationship that this study of tutoring will attempt to explore. Similarly, Guo (2001) studied parent-teacher meetings at a Vancouver school and found a gap between the teachers' and parents' understanding of ESL programs. She comments that as parents find that schooling is not fulfilling their own understanding of what education should be, they turn to tutoring. This type of relationship between tutoring, parental expectations, and schooling is of critical importance when one examines the tutoring of immigrant students. 64 Fourth, in terms of methodological considerations, both discourse analysis and qualitative methods will be used. Discourse analysis will be used to analyze tutoring interactions. Qualitative interviews will be used to explore participants' beliefs about tutoring and schooling. More discussion of the methodological assumptions will be made in the following chapter. Lastly, since much of the literature on tutoring and the education of immigrant students emphasizes the role of collaboration, community links, and parental involvement, this study will also borrow Senge's (1990) idea of learning organization in guiding the theoretical framework of this study. Senge argues that people need to relinquish the notion that the "world is created of separate, unrelated forces" (p. 3). When people are able to forgo this concept, then they are able to build "learning organizations, organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free and where people are continually learning how to learn together" (p. 3). Specifically, Senge proposes five dimensions of learning organization. The first is the "systems thinking" which he defines as "a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static 'snapshots'. It is a set of general principles—distilled over the course of the twentieth century, spanning fields as diverse as the physical and social sciences, engineering and management" (p. 68). The second is "personal mastery" which refers to "the discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our 65 energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively" (p. 7). The third is the "mental models" which are defined as "deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action" (p. 8). The fourth is "building shared vision" which refers to people forming a shared vision for the future. The fifth is "team learning" in which participants of a team start dialoguing with each other in order to "enter into a genuine 'thinking together'" (p. 10). Applying Senge's learning organization to education, Wagner (1994), who examines high school reforms, advocates that a school be viewed as a "learning community" which necessarily involves the entire school community consisting of students, faculty, parents, and community members cooperating to "help create continuous improvement" (p. 268). Similarly, this study takes the perspective of a school as a learning community. As such, based on the "systems thinking," this study will take a holistic view ofthe schooling of Taiwanese immigrant students. In particular, in addition to the education students receive from schools, what students do as a part of their learning after school should also be considered as a part of the learning community. In other words, both formal (typically associated with education received in schools) and informal learning (typically associated with learning of no regular or prescribed form) contribute to how Taiwanese students learn in this learning community. Also, the dimensions of personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, and team learning may all help this learning community "to realize its potential" (Senge, 1990, p. 12). 66 To summarize, viewing a school as a learning community means that interrelationships exist among participants, their actions, and the educational context. Therefore, to understand fully the schooling process of the Taiwanese immigrant students, the educational practices in schools the students engage in, their family practices, and the wider educational philosophies should all be taken into account. Although this study does not focus on all the aspects of this learning community, this study does acknowledge the possible complexity that exists in the discussion on learning community. Thus, the learning community or learning organization is not limited to the school but includes the tutoring that occurs outside school. It is important to note that Senge's model of a learning organization is an ideal model. When we consider a specific school and the informal learning connected with it as a learning organization, as we do in this thesis, we deal with the actual case. I find that the ideal model raises important questions about schools as learning organizations. However, I do not expect the actual case to conform to the ideal. 2.6. Research questions Following the theoretical framework outlined above, three research questions will guide this exploratory study of tutoring: (1) What format does tutoring take in the local context? (2) How do participants interpret tutoring? (3) How does tutoring fit into the larger learning context of the students? 67 Chapter 3 M E T H O D S O F INQUIRY 3.0. Introduction As described in the last chapter, a qualitative study of tutoring will be the primary means by which the exploration of tutoring begins. This chapter will describe the methodology used in this study. However, discussions in this chapter will not be limited to an account of the design of the study and a small number of methodological assumptions. It will show that the assumptions of the study include general theories which are fundamental to the way the topic of tutoring will be studied (e.g. the SFL view of language, discourse, and context). Much of the material about these general theories could equally have been included in the review of literature chapter, but they have been dealt with here because they are central to the methodology of this thesis. They will be discussed first. Following the description of the assumptions in this study, the rationale for studying tutoring as a social practice will be explained. Next, a discussion of how a social practice can be studied will be provided with an explanation on the origins of the ideas. Following that, a theoretical framework which guides this research will be given. Based on the theoretical framework, the design of the study will be described. Lastly, the strategies used to ensure trustworthiness will be clarified. 6 8 3.1. Assumptions of this study 3.1.1. Assumptions regarding nature of reality and aim of inquiry This study does not take the positivist's paradigm which assumes that an apprehendable reality exists and that knowledge can be found by testing hypotheses which are facts or laws (Lincoln & Guba, 2000); the aim of inquiry is to explain and predict a phenomenon. In fact, this study makes the assumption of the nature of reality similar to the constructivist's paradigm "which assumes multiple, apprehendable, and sometimes conflicting social realities that are the products of human intellects, but that may change as their constructors become more informed and sophisticated" (Guba & Lincoln, 1994, p. 111); the aim of inquiry for a constructivist is to understand and reconstruct a phenomenon (Lincoln & Guba, 2000). In addition, this study also takes the view of naturalism which "proposes that as far as possible, the social world should be studied in its 'natural' state, undisturbed by the researcher" (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1996, p. 6). Therefore, by combining the constructivist's view of reality and the naturalist view of research, this study utilizes qualitative methods to try to understand and interpret a phenomenon in a natural setting and not in a carefully controlled laboratory. That is, the phenomenon to be understood naturally is tutoring as it occurs in the homes of the students after school. 3.1.2. Assumptions regarding human behavior and language In line with the constructivist's assumption that reality is constructed by people, this study emphasizes the importance of human behavior as "the structured product of the joint actions of intelligent and knowledgeable agents acting to further some end or other. It is not the effects of causes" (Harre, 1993, p. 107). This view is unlike the traditional 69 experimental view that human behavior is "the effect of causal processes, triggered by the stimuli to which the subjects are exposed" (Harre, 1993, p. 14). A problem with the experimental view is that it emphasizes behavior to the neglect of the contribution of humans as knowledgeable and meaning-making agents. Thus, rather than focusing on human behavior as passively stimulated by an external source, this study will recognize the importance of human as active agents in their behavior. As mentioned earlier, this study broadly assumes the constructivist's view of reality. One particular aspect of reality that constructivists emphasize is the pluralistic nature of reality. This pluralistic nature refers to the belief that "reality is expressible in a variety of symbol and language systems" (Schwandt, 1994, p. 125). Given that multiple realities exist and that language plays a central role in constructing realities, it is important now to outline the assumption about language that this study takes. The theory of language that this study takes is that of systemic functional linguistics (SFL). In this field, language is viewed as a resource for meaning and not as a system of rules (e.g., Halliday, 1985, 1994; Halliday & Martin, 1993). As such, language is viewed as a meaning-making system which then allows one to interpret an action through examining the language used. As a result, discourse will be an important concept in this study. Denzin (1997) argues that "discourse is the material practice that constitutes representation and description" (p. 23). To summarize, this study takes the constructivist's view of multiple realities to study a naturally occurring situation in which a human participant actively contributes to 70 the meaning of the situation. In the process, language is used for making meaning which then allows the researcher to make sense of the situation by examining discourses. 3.2. Social practice as a unit of analysis and its relation to education Sections 3.2 to 3.5.1 are based on lecture notes and class handouts from Dr. B. Mohan's course, L L E D 571, in 2002. 3.2.1. Unit of analysis: Social practice The term "social practice" can be illustrated using Spradley's discussion of the scope of research (see Figure 3.1) from micro-ethnography, which studies a single social situation, to macro-ethnography, which studies a social unit. Spradley (1980) shows that at the micro-ethnographic level, the most basic unit to be studied is a social situation which is defined as "the stream of behavior (activities) carried out by people (actors) in a particular location (place)" (Spradley, 1980, p. 86). It is evident in the following table taken from Spradley's book, Participant Observation, that different units of analysis can be taken depending on the type of research one aims to do. Figure 3.1: Scope of research and units of study (Taken from Spradley, 1980, p. 30) Scope of research Social units studied Macro-Ethnography • T Micro-Ethnography Complex Society Multiple communities A single community Multiple social institutions A single social institution Multiple social situations A single social situation It seems appropriate for this study to start at what Spradley terms a single 'social situation' because the goal of this study is to examine the practice of tutoring which typically only 71 involves two people (tutor and tutee) at home. This is not a study at the more macro-ethnographic level because the focus of the study is not on an institution or tutorial school, or a community of tutorial practices, or a society. Of course, the social practice of tutoring is not limited to one instance of the social situation of tutoring anymore than the game of tennis is limited to a single tennis match. Like a game, the social practice of tutoring is a unit of cultural knowledge which interprets and generates the stream of behavior produced by the participants. Social practices have been studied by researchers in different fields such as anthropology, sociolinguistics, systemic functional linguistics, and sociology. For example, Ochs (1988) proposed a model of language learning by examining a social practice (activity) which would mediate linguistic and culture knowledge. Research in this area of language socialization has documented the process of how participation in an activity or a social practice socializes learners culturally and linguistically (e.g., Duff,1995, 1996, Mohan & Smith, 1992, Morita, 2000). Similar to Ochs, this study takes social practice as a starting point. A social practice in this study is defined as a unit of cultural meaning usually constructed and nurtured through discourse (Mohan, 2002). Being cultural, a social practice is value-laden in nature. This broad assumption of the social practice is in line with the ontological assumption of qualitative studies that stress "the socially constructed nature of reality, the intimate relationship between the researcher and what is studied, and the situational constraints that shape inquiry (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). Specifically, in this study, the social practice is one-on-one tutoring of Taiwanese high school immigrant students. 72 Examining tutoring as a social practice involves examining tutoring from a socio-cultural perspective which assumes that tutoring is constructed by the participants who assign meaning to this social practice. Thus, by examining the actual tutorials and the meanings attached to tutoring, this research will attempt to unravel the potentially complex relationship between action, meaning, background knowledge, and context for tutoring. How a social practice can be studied will be discussed in a later section. 3.2.2. Social practice and its broader scope The larger picture in which this social practice fits is education. In other words, education is considered as "a cultural institution, a matrix of social practices governed by cultural norms and values" (Halliday, 1999, p. 9). This concept of viewing education as social practices had previously been examined by John Dewey (1916) who viewed education as initiating learners into the activities of society. Thus, it is the intent of this methodology to examine what tutoring as a social practice is, how it is constructed, and how it fits in education. A word of caution is in order. Different social practices can be related to each other in different ways. For example, a social practice can contain a discussion of another social practice. Tutoring as a social practice can include a discussion of the social practice of ESL programs. A confusion may occur when one intends to study the social practice of tutoring but finds the researcher's attention is drawn away from tutoring because participants devote much time in the tutorial sessions discussing ESL programs. Thus, it is important to be clear which social practice one is examining. Figure 3.2, which follows, gives some examples of social practices in the educational situation of the students in this study. 73 Figure 3.2: Educational situation of the students: Social practices Education Social practice: Cooperative learning Social practice: Parents Night Socia l practice: Assessment Social practice: Project-based learning Social practice: Teaching Social practice: Extracurricular activities Social practice: Tutoring Social practice: ESL program In the following figure (Figure 3.3), an attempt has been made to locate the social practice of tutoring in the wider context of British Columbian education. Figure 3.3: Tutoring in the wider context of B.C. education B.C. Educational System Home Influence Home culture school Social Practice: Tutoring Tutor teaches tutee some topic/content. Tutor and tutee are actors in this social practice. Parents'/students' views of education Parents' view of ESL programs Teacher Influence School requirement Social practices in school: projects, ESL programs, cooperative learning, assessment, parents' night 7 4 An initial look at tutoring as a social practice seems simple. The central box shows that tutoring is the social practice which involves two direct participants: tutor and tutee. Some content/topic is taught during tutorials. The content could be topics in English, math, social studies, or science. However, when one considers the broader context in which tutoring exists, the social practice becomes more complex. First, tutoring is a practice that takes place at home so that home influence could become a factor in the construction of tutoring. As a result, how the context of the home interacts with the social practice will become interesting. Second, although the tutoring practice takes place at home after school, the content of tutoring relates to the students' current school requirements. Thus, the potential interaction between the school and tutoring becomes another layer of complication. Third, both the interaction of tutoring and home and the interaction of tutoring and school will occur under the constraint of the BC educational system. Thus, the question of how tutoring is developing in the context of the BC educational system is another added layer. To summarize, learning in the BC educational system means taking part in the social practices within it. Tutoring is one of the many social practices that Taiwanese high school immigrant students undertake. There are many possible social practices in schools. The social practice of tutoring occurs at home after school hours. At the same time, the school regulations and the BC educational system may influence how tutoring unfolds because a social practice exists in a larger context. 75 3.3. How a social practice can be studied: Relating ideas from both qualitative traditions and the systemic functional linguistic tradition In this section, I will begin by identifying two assumptions about social practices. These will be explored in detail below. As mentioned earlier, using Spradley's concept, one can view a society or culture as including many social practices. This study makes two other assumptions. First, a social practice is made up of cultural action and cultural knowledge. Second, a social practice can be studied by examining action discourse and reflection discourse. 3.3.1. Assumptions This study draws on Spradley's concept of a social practice as composed of cultural action and cultural knowledge. Specifically, Spradley (1980) approaches the analysis of a social practice by making distinctions among cultural behavior, cultural artifacts, and cultural knowledge. For example, he identified reading as a cultural behavior that many people engage in while they are in trains. He further argued that the activity of reading is dependent on many cultural artifacts such as newspapers, books, and billboards. Both cultural action and cultural artifacts are easily observable. However, cultural knowledge such as being able to decode the sentences in the newspaper, knowing where to start reading, and being able to tell the differences in terms of the messages to be conveyed by a newspaper article or a billboard advertisement is required in order to enact the activity of reading. As such, knowing that one starts reading from left to right and from top to bottom would allow a reader to know the sequence of text. Therefore, he 76 argues that cultural knowledge is fundamental in enabling people to interpret and generate behavior in a social practice (see Table 3.1). Table 3.1: Reading as a social practice Social Practice Reading on a train Cultural knowledge Knowing how to decode, knowing the rules of reading, knowing the differences in intended messages (not observable, hidden) Cultural action, cultural artifact Reading Artifacts: newspaper, billboard, bookmark (observable) Spradley's definition of "culture" is not just what we typically understand culture to be (culture seen as a national culture; e.g., Korea versus Thailand). He sees culture also as the "definition of the situation" (Spradley, 1980, p. 87). Therefore, culture means the different frames of meaning that people can apply to their everyday lives. He further provided an example of three policeman giving a heart massage and oxygen to a heart attack victim (see Table 3.2). Table 3.2: Heart massage Cultural knowledge (two frames of interpretation) Spanish bystander: Police beating a victim Police: Helping someone in need Cultural behavior Giving a heart massage to a patient Since cultural knowledge cannot be observed directly, Spradley (1980) suggested using semantic analysis of social situations in order to make inferences about culture. Based on his own research, he developed a chart of semantic relationships useful in helping to analyze cultural action, cultural artifacts, and cultural knowledge (see Spradley, 1980, p. 95). What is central to his method for studying social practices in ethnography is the combination of an action and an associated frame of meaning. This study shares a similar position with Spradley, viewing social practice as a semiotic of cultural knowledge and cultural action. 77 Doyle, a student of Spradley, provided an example of using Spradley's perspective to analyze the culture of classrooms. Doyle (1972) interviewed a Grade 3 pupil and found that the child viewed school in terms of sequences of regulated activities. Some activities were associated with specific identities and spaces. Her study illustrated well that being a Grade 3 pupil meant knowing both the sequence of the activities which were more clearly visible and the knowledge of identity and space associated with the activity. The knowledge of identity and space would seem to be implicit in the activities. An observer who saw only the sequence of the classes would miss much essential cultural information that this Grade 3 pupil possessed (see Table 3.3). Table 3.3: Participating in a Grade 3 class Social Practice (unit of meaning in culture) Participating in a Grade 3 class Cultural knowledge Classification of roles of learners in classroom Cultural action The time sequence of a typical school day Similarly, making a distinction comparable to Spradley, Harre, Clarke, and Carlo (1985) view human action as composed of acts and resources. They believe that an act is "a behavior that somebody intended" (p. 83), resources are "the body of knowledge of legitimate projects, rules and conventions appropriate for persons of our sort in specific situations" (p. 85). Harre (1993) further discusses the ideas of acts and resources in relation to linguistic concepts of competence and performance. In other words, he views resources as in some way similar to linguistic competence which relates to a person's background knowledge about language. Harre and his colleagues also stress the interconnectedness of the socio-cultural knowledge and action. 78 Cranach, a Swiss social psychologist, also assumes this type of a distinction for analyzing a human activity. He advocates seeing human action as "an actor's goal-directed, planned, intended and conscious behavior, which is socially directed (or controlled)" (Cranach, 1982, p. 36). He further suggests that this human action contains two structures, "a manifest structure (behavior) and a latent structure (conscious cognition)" (p. 43). In his later book, Cranach (1992) labels the two structures as knowledge and action. In addition, he suggests that the relationship between knowledge and action is a dynamic one in that an "action is steered by knowledge, and knowledge is confirmed or changed through action" (p. 12). In Language and Content (1986), Mohan proposes a knowledge framework useful for integrating language and content instruction for ESL students. Central to his model is the idea of an activity, composed of a theory and a practice. He believes that both aspects are essential to learning because "without the practical, students cannot apply what they know; without the theoretical, students cannot understand what they are doing, nor transfer what they know" (p. 43). Thus, he sees an activity as a "mode of thought and conduct" which has "a pattern of action." It also involves a "background knowledge" which allows students to understand and interpret the action. To summarize, the distinction that this study has taken for social practice is not new. Although terms and concepts used may vary, researchers from different areas have assumed this two part distinction (action and knowledge) in analyzing a human activity, or a social practice. Table 3.4. shows how a social practice can be viewed in this study. 79 Table 3.4: Two parts of a social practice Spradley (1980) Harre etai. (1985) Cranach (1982,1992) Mohan (1986) Cultural knowledge Resources Knowledge Theory Cultural action Acts Action Practice 3.3.2. Data collection The data collection methods used to gather information by the different researchers mentioned above typically include observation and interviews. How exactly a researcher in different research traditions uses observation and interview may vary. However, the goals of using the two methods to collect data on the two sides of a social practice are similar. Table 3.5 illustrates methods used by researchers to examine social practices. Table 3.5: Methods used to study a social practice Social practice Spradley (1980) Cranach (1982,1992) Theory Ethnographic interview Interview Practice Participant observation Observation As the table illustrates, Spradley, for example, uses ethnographic interviews as a method of exploring the theory of a social practice but uses participant observation as a way of investigating the practice. Similarly, Cranach uses much the same data collection methods. Typically in qualitative research, observation involves "the systematic noting and recording of events, behavior, and artifacts (objects) in the social setting chosen for study" (Marshall & Rossman, 1995, p. 79). In addition, interviews are used to discover participants' meaning for their activities (Marshall & Rossman, 1995). More specifically, interviews "may allow one to generate information that would be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain otherwise—both about events described and about perspectives and discursive strategies" (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1996, p. 131). Both observations and interviews are important methods to use together in research because "the data from each 80 can be used to illuminate the other" (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1996, p. 131). This study will use these two methods in its data collecting by observing tutorials and interviewing participants. A description of the schedule of observations and interviews will be explained in more detail in Section 3.6. 3.4. Systemic functional linguistics and discourse The previous sections have emphasized the interconnectedness between cultural behavior and cultural knowledge, or theory and practice within a social practice. The question that now arises is how the social practice can be analyzed and interpreted. An assumption made earlier in the discussion of the definition of a social practice is that it is constructed through discourse. Thus, discourse has a central place in this study. In order to understand the social practice, one can trace the discourses generated in the social practice. In this study, terms such as language use, linguistic exchange, and discourse have been used to mean a similar concept: language used in a social practice. This definition of discourse as language use comes from the functionalist paradigm (Schiffrin, 1994). Discourse analysis becomes influential in this study. However, discourse analysis is a field of study that arises from many different academic disciplines such as linguistics, anthropology, sociology, communication, and social psychology (Schiffrin, 1994). This study mainly uses ideas from systemic functional linguistics (SFL) to treat discourse. In the following section, how ideas of SFL influence the study of tutoring will be explained. 3.4.1. S F L approaches Language use/discourse and context are interrelated. Without taking context into consideration, a linguistic interaction would be hard to understand. To illustrate this point, 81 Eggins (1994) provided a simple example of how difficult it is to understand a sentence without context. "I suggest we attack the reds" is the sentence she provides. The sentence, of course, could suggest any number of actions, eating candies in red wrappers or drinking wine, for example. Thus, language use in context is a crucial concept in this study. Halliday's notion of context is an important contribution to this study. Halliday (1999) provides a theoretical model for explaining the relationship between language use and context. Halliday (1999) combines the contributions of British researchers, Malinowski and Firth, and American researchers, Sapir and Whorf, to arrive at a theory of meaning useful in analyzing a social practice. Malinowski and Firth, in Halliday's mind, stress the situation as the context in the study of language in context. That is, they see "language as a form of action, as the enactment of social relationships and social processes" (Halliday, 1999, p. 6). Sapir and Whorf, on the other hand, stress the culture as the context. They see "language as a form of reflection, as the construal of experience into a theory or model of reality" (Halliday, 1999, p. 6). Halliday believes that both contexts are complementary in considering the study of discourses in context. Table 3.6 shows Halliday's view of a social practice. Table 3.6: Halliday's view of a social practice Halliday (1999) Malinowski & Firth Sapir & Whorf Context of culture Language as reflection-construal of experience into a theory of reality Context of situation (field, tenor, mode analysis) Language as action-enactment of social relationships and social processes In fact, Halliday views the relationship of situation and culture as follows: "They are not two different things; they are the same thing seen from different points of view. A 82 situation, as we are envisaging it, is simply an instance of culture; or, to put it the other way around, a culture is the potential behind all the different types of situations that occur" (Halliday, 1999, p. 8). He uses the relation between climate and weather as an example to further illustrate his point. Weather includes the actual instances of temperature, precipitation, and air movement that one can feel whereas climate is the "potential that lies behind all these things; it is weather seen from a distance, by an observer standing some way off in time" (Halliday, 1999, p. 9). Thus, to summarize, examining the discourses of a social practice from either the context of situation angle or from the context of culture angle is not two different phenomena but one in which different positions are pursued. This is an important concept in this study because this study will pursue both contexts in order to have a more comprehensive look at multiple discourses generated in the social practice of tutoring. Combining the tradition of qualitative research and discourse analysis from SFL tradition, a social practice is studied based on the following theoretical framework (Table 3.7). Table 3.7: Theoretical framework: Social practice perspective Social Practice Qualitative Tradition: Spradley (1980) Methods (Spradley, Harre, Cranach) Discourse Tradition: Halliday(1999) Theory Cultural knowledge Interviews Context of culture (Reflection) Practice Cultural action Observations Context of situation (Action) At a more detailed level, Halliday provided three dimensions of the context of situation which influence the way language is used: field, tenor, and mode (Eggins, 1994). The field refers to the topic/focus of the activity. Tenor refers to the role relationship between participants. Mode is the role of language (spoken versus written). The three 83 dimensions of the context of situation can help one understand discourse in a social practice. For example, one uses language differently when writing an academic paper as opposed to giving a speech (mode variation). At the same time, the topic of the academic paper could be about linguistics or mathematics (field variation). Similarly, the language of the speech may be different depending on the type of audience: professor or classmates (tenor variation). Harre (1993) also advocates analyzing discourses into categories similar to action and reflection discourses. Harre argues that discourse provides evidence for a person's resources and acts. Harre distinguishes between two types of discourse as evidence of a social practice. Harre uses "acts discourse" to refer to language used in accomplishing or attempting to accomplish an activity. He uses "accounts discourse" to refer to language people use to talk about the activity or the theories related to the activity. In summary, this thesis will make use of the distinction between action discourse and reflection discourse. 3.5. The model of discourse and social practice As mentioned earlier, this study mainly follows Mohan's synthesis of the traditions of Spradley on the qualitative side and Halliday on the discourse side to study a social practice. The model will be provided in Table 3.8. Table 3.8: Social prac tice and discourses Social practice (Mohan, 1986) Spradley (1980) Qualitative methods Halliday (1999) Discourse Theory Cultural knowledge Interviews Context of Culture Reflection Practice Cultural behavior/action Observations Context of situation Action 84 The social practice under study is tutoring. To understand how a social practice is constructed, one must examine the actual behavior of the social practice and the associated frame of cultural meaning. In other words, the social practice of tutoring is viewed by examining the actual tutorials (practice side) and the different frames of meaning that participants bring (theory side). As mentioned earlier, interviews are used as a method of getting information on the theory of the social practice. Observations are used to gather data on the actual enactment of the social practice. Since people use language in constructing their social practices, tracing discourses in the social practice will be an important process. Furthermore, the importance of contexts for discourse was previously established. Again, the idea of approaching both the context of situation as evidenced in discourses in tutorials and the context of culture as evidence in discourses in the participants' reflection will be fruitful. A note of caution is that two types of reflection discourse exist. One is general reflection and the other is specific reflection (Mohan, 2002). When people talk about the social practice in general, the discourse generated will be treated as general reflection. For example, when a teacher talks about what she believes tutoring can accomplish for students, she is giving a general reflection on tutoring. However, when the teacher talks about a particular student being tutored on a particular occasion, she is providing a specific reflection. Typically, both general and specific reflection discourses are found in interviews when participants discuss reasons behind their actions or beliefs. However, there could be specific reflection arising from observation data where participants describe or justify their actions right away during the 85 action. For simplicity, this study will not differentiate the different types of reflection. To summarize, my model roughly corresponds to Table 3.9. Table 3 .9: Social practice and three types of discourse Social practice Spradley (1980) Halliday (1999) Tutoring Discourse Theory Cultural knowledge Context of culture Interviews of participants Reflection-general Reflection-specific Practice Cultural action Context of situation Observations of tutorials Action 3.5.1. Other ideas which influence the framework of this study It is important to note that the field aspect of the register analysis in the context of situation can be further divided into field one and field two. Field one refers to the social practice being enacted and field two refers to the topic discussed. Without distinguishing the two fields, the complexity of tutoring would be hard to understand. This is especially true when participants reflect on their tutoring experience because they often switch between reflecting on the tutoring practice and talking in general about other schooling practices in Canada. Thus, it is important for the researcher to be clear as to what the participant is doing in order to provide an accurate account of the social practice. In this study, tutoring is viewed as a social practice. Tutorial interactions (the 'action discourse' in tutoring) will be analyzed as a genre. Based on the tutorial interaction data, a systemic functional linguist can view the format of tutoring as a curriculum genre. Genre is defined as "a staged, goal-oriented, purposeful activity in which speakers engage as members of our culture" (Martin, 1984, p. 25). Thus, in this case, tutoring interaction can be viewed as a genre of one-on-one learning interaction in contrast to one-to-many learning interaction in the classroom. "Genre theory is about 86 bringing this unconscious cultural knowledge to consciousness by describing how we use language to do things" (Eggins, 1994, p. 46). People are "familiar with not only the schematic structure of everyday genres, but also the typical realizations: the typical types of meanings that get made in each stage of a genre, the typical words and structures that get used to express them" (p. 46). In Chapter 4, the interviews of Taiwanese subjects about the schematic structure of tutoring will be reported to take advantage of the Taiwanese subjects' familiarity with genre structure. Eggins would argue that whenever language is used to achieve a culturally recognized and established purpose, there is a genre. One example of genre that Eggins (1994) used is "placing a bet" because it is "a recognizable social activity in our culture" (Eggins, 1994, p. 27). Based on the sequenced steps in placing bets, the words used, and the culturally recognized purpose, one can be sure that the genre is "placing a bet." Thus, a genre analysis will be applied to tutoring interactions, (i.e., the action discourse of tutoring). However, as this study's model indicates, the discourse data of tutoring includes both action discourse and reflection. A social practice analysis of tutoring should include the multiple discourses all relating to the specific tutoring situation under investigation. For example, the action discourse, the teacher's reflection discourse, the tutor's reflection discourse, and the student's reflection are all examples of discourses that constitute the social practice of tutoring. Qualitative methods will be used to analyze these reflection discourses. Furthermore, the links between the reflection discourses and the action discourses will be explored. One problem of applying genre analysis to tutoring interactions occurs when the data involve different cultural contexts. For example, tutorials may look similar across 87 different cultures and have similar general goals of enhancing learning but may differ in other ways. 'Participants' theories' of tutoring in one culture may be different from another culture. For example, just because the tutoring format in Taiwan may look like the tutoring format in Canada, one cannot assume that the theories of tutoring in Taiwan are exactly the same as in Canada. Scollon and Scollon (2001) emphasize this idea of different frames of interpretation in intercultural communication. A valuable feature of a social practice analysis is that it encourages the examination of the reflection discourses as well as the action discourses. A social practice analysis is able to use reflection discourse as a window on the interpretations that individuals from different cultures bring to the process of tutoring. Because of the possible differences in the theories and interpretation of the social practice, it is also possible that these differences could lead to conflicts in social practices. This study will not assume that there will be conflicts nor will this study assume a dilemmatic perspective in examining the social practice. However, this study will be sensitive to conflicts in examining discourses of tutoring. One theory of conflicts resulting in dilemmas is proposed by Billig, Condor, Edwards, Gane, Middleton, and Radley (1988). This theory reminds the researcher of the importance of keeping this aspect in mind for this particular study. Billig et al. believe that "ordinary people do not necessarily have simple views about their social worlds and about their places in these worlds. Instead, their thinking is frequently characterized by the presence of opposing themes" (p. 143). Furthermore, they argue that conflicts relate not just to opposing ways of viewing the world. Rather, they appear in practice and in discourse. As well, these 88 conflicts cause dilemmas when choices have to be made. At the same time, these choices become very difficult to make because "either way, the dilemma still remains a dilemma" (p. 9). Tracy (1997) showed positive support for this theory of conflict when she studied academic colloquia in universities. She analyzed colloquia from the individual participant's perspective as well as from the group perspective. She found conflicts and dilemmas in both situations. In academic colloquia, one of the roles of the participants was to be a discussant in group discussions. As a discussant, he wanted to appear intellectually competent without showing that he cared about this aspect. To summarize, taking tutoring as a social practice, this study relates tutoring interactions, analyzed in genre terms, to participants' reflections, analyzed by qualitative methods. Although this study does not assume that conflicts will occur in a social practice as a result of different frames of interpretation, it recognizes that conflicts may exist. 3.6. Design of the study This section will describe the design of this study. The design of this study followed the funneling process which aimed to start with the general issues and move into specific ones (Duff, 1995; Watson-Gegeo, 1988). That is, I began my research from some broad research topics based on the result of a pilot study before the actual data collection started. Following the development of the study, research questions were formulated and refined. In the sections to follow, how the study proceeded will be explained. First, a sampling procedure is described followed by a description of the participants and research sites. In addition, the role of researcher will be discussed. Second, data collection 89 procedures will be described which include a schedule of interviews and observations. Third, data analysis methods will be given. Fourth, issues regarding the interpretation and presentation of data will be discussed. Last, the trustworthiness of the study will be considered. 3.6.1. Sampling procedure, participants, researcher role The sampling procedure used is purposeful sampling because the aim of this research is to provide insights about the tutoring of Taiwanese immigrant students who are English as a second language speakers without generalizing to all tutoring cases. Purposeful sampling, by definition, is "selecting information-rich cases for study in-depth" (Patton, 1990, p. 169). The students and tutors who are experiencing tutoring can provide information about their actual tutorial process to allow the researcher to understand the unique and complex nature of the social practice. The sampling procedure should be recursive (LeCompte & Preissle, 1993). That is, the selection of the initial group of participants "is a developmental, ad hoc procedure rather than an a priori parameter of research design" (p. 66). Selecting the initial group of Taiwanese students is the first stage in the exploration of this study. As the research progresses, other participants are added because the scope of the research questions is extended or refined to address new developments in the study. This study initially only recruited students and tutors who were directly involved in the tutoring process on a continual basis. However, as the research continued, it was soon discovered that indirect participants such as the school teachers, counselors, and the parents of the immigrant 90 students also offered information which would enrich this study. As a result, the sample grew larger to include the indirect stakeholders of tutoring. Twelve tutor-tutee pairs were recruited. The following two tables illustrate their background. The number assigned to the tutors matches the number assigned to the tutees. For example, tutor 1 teaches tutee 1. Information such as the tutors' educational and ethnic background and teaching experience is not described because this study does not attempt to seek the relationship between these factors and tutoring. However, this is not to say that these factors are not important. They may indeed influence the way in which tutoring is constructed, but due to the exploratory nature of this study, the discussion of these factors will be limited. Nonetheless, through interviews and on-going discussions with the tutors, the researcher was able to obtain some of the information about the tutors' background in teaching and education. Where necessary, the tutors' background information will be provided. Table 3.10: "Tutor information Tutor 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Gender F F M M M M F F F M M M Language N NN N N N N NN N N N N N As to the background of the Taiwanese students, the discussion is also limited to their gender, grade level and length of time in Vancouver. The discussion of factors such as the family's socio-economic status, students' previous educational background, and their first language literacy skills will be restricted due to the nature of this study. All twelve Taiwanese tutees attend a West-side secondary school in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 91 Table 3.11: Student information Tutee 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Gender F F F F F F M M M M M M Grade 8 9 10 12 12 8 8 10 9 11 11 12 Length (years) 2 3.5 3 1 3 2 2 2.5 1.5 1.5 2 1 In addition, twelve Taiwanese mothers and twelve teachers, both ESL and content teachers, were included in this study. Most of the mothers have limited proficiency in English. That is, they usually require an interpreter when they speak to the tutors or the teachers in school. None of the mothers worked outside the home. They were all full-time housewives. Some of them attended English classes two times a week. It was hoped that at least one of the ESL or content teachers of each student would be interviewed but it was not always possible. The teachers who were interviewed were a combination of ESL and content teachers and counselors. As is common in many schools, some of the ESL teachers also teach content classes, so some teachers were able to provide insights about tutoring from both perspectives. Since tutoring often took place in the homes of students, the sites of research are the homes of different students. Most of the tutorials occurred in the study of the students' homes. The observations of tutorials and the interviews of parents and students took place in students' homes. Interviews of school teachers took place at their schools. Interviews of tutors occurred at students' homes, tutors' homes, or in coffee shops. The location of the interviews was often chosen by the interviewees. Marshall and Rossman (1995) explain that "in qualitative studies, the researcher is the 'instrument': Her presence in the lives of the participants invited to be part of the study is fundamental to the paradigm" (p. 59). They caution the researchers regarding issues 92 such as gaining access to sites efficiently, having a good interpersonal skills such as building trust and rapport, and being aware of reciprocity and ethics. Indeed, the importance of establishing rapport and building trust with the family, the students, and the tutors turned out to be crucial in this study for several reasons. First, tutoring took place in students' homes, which were considered to be private spaces for the participants. Thus, allowing a stranger into their house for an extended period of time required some negotiation with the family. Fortunately, my role as a Taiwanese student who had shared a similar type of schooling experience to many of the students allowed me to build a good rapport with the family more easily. For example, I often had to share with the immigrant families my experience of being schooled in Vancouver at a high-school age. Through this type of exchange, parents and students regarded me as someone from the inside who understood them and as a resource they could refer to. Secondly, gaining trust from the tutors so that they did not view me as a competitor was also a challenge. Since I share the same language as the students and the parents in this study, when tutors initially met me, they tended to be reserved when I interviewed them. However, my experience as a former tutor helped me in building a trusting relationship with the tutors so that through time I was able to become friends with many of the tutors. This was accomplished through much communication about tutoring, teaching, and the learning of Taiwanese immigrant students. Third, my bilingual ability also helped me in establishing a good relationship with the students and the mothers. For example, since many mothers were unfamiliar with many aspects of living in a different country, I offered my help whenever I could. A 93 mother once asked me to show her how to use the library so that she could help her son in the future. The issues of reciprocity and ethics were treated with care. I often provided help to parents, students, and tutors whenever possible. For example, when a tutor asked me about a summer program at UBC that his student was interested in, I volunteered to obtain information for the tutor and the student. However, I was careful in volunteering information so that my advice or action would not disrupt the relationship between the parents, students, and tutors. Tutors sometimes unintentionally asked me for information about the family because I spoke the same language. As a researcher, I had to be careful not to over-step my boundary. To summarize, while it is important to establish a trusting relationship with the participants, I had to maintain my neutrality in observations. I tried to maintain, what Spradley advocates for a participant observer, "a balance between being an insider and an outsider, between participation and observation" (Spradley, 1980, p. 60). 3.6.2. Data collection procedure Data collection took place for ten months from February, 2000, until December, 2000. A month prior to data collection, a pilot study was conducted to find out about people's general expectations of tutoring. Included in the pilot study were a focus group interview of Asian parents attending an ESL class and informal surveys of tutors in Vancouver and in Taiwan. The goal of the pilot study was to provide a sense of direction for the study of tutoring since no study of this sort had been conducted previously. Once some themes were identified from the pilot study, observations were set up to find out what tutoring practice is like for Taiwanese immigrant families. The twelve tutor-tutee 94 pairs were observed and audio-taped for one hour twice a week. Excluding spring break and long-weekends, the total number of available data collection time was 32 weeks in the ten-month period. Thus, the total number of observations collected was 768 hours. Both descriptive and focused observation processes were used. Descriptive observation was first used to obtain a sense of the general structure of the tutorials. Angrosino and Mays de Perez (2000) state that one observes everything in this type of observation and that the researchers assume nothing and take nothing for granted. They also argue that once the researchers have used the descriptive observations to rule out the irrelevant information, focused observations can be used. In line with their thinking, this study also used focused observations in order to concentrate on emerging patterns. While observing, field notes were taken so that my interpretation of the events could be recorded in order to help me reflect some of the recurring themes and unusual patterns of tutorials. Within a week of each observation, the recording of the observations was transcribed. Based on the transcriptions, the researcher generated a list of questions to be explored in the interviews later. The goal of the observations was to find out how the tutorials were constructed by examining how the tutorials proceeded and what occurred in the tutorials. Observations of how the tutors and the tutees interacted provided much valuable insight into the dynamics of their relationship. Furthermore, the topic discussed in the tutorials also shed light on some of the issues important to the students and their mothers. As mentioned earlier, questions arose as a result of the observations. Thus, interviews were set up to explore some of those questions and to gain a deeper understanding of the meanings participants assigned to tutoring. Furthermore, interviews 9 5 could help overcome the risk of researcher bias because much of the interpretation of observations depends exclusively on the researchers' perception (Adler & Adler, 1994). The goal of getting the participants' perspectives on the phenomenon under study was to elicit the participants' deep personal beliefs about tutoring and education in general. Tutors, students, and parents were interviewed for approximately one hour once a month. As a result, there were about 360 hours of interviews. Interviews were transcribed as soon as the interviews were finished. Although there were questions to be asked to the participants, the format of the interviews tended to be unstructured. That is, I had identified some general topics that I wanted to explore from the observations but in order to capture "the complex behavior of members of society without imposing any a priori categorization that may limit the field of inquiry" (Fontana & Frey, 2000), I employed an unstructured interview technique. This way, the participants were open to discuss freely their opinion and beliefs of the issues raised. This is similar to what LeCompte & Preissle (1993) call "the general interview guide" where a list of guidelines is provided and introduced naturally into the conversation so that all the topics that the researchers want to cover will be included. The initial interviews of the tutors, students, and the mothers tended to center around the issues of the general expectations and roles of tutoring, common educational practices in Canada, common problems encountered in school and in coming to a new environment, and goals of the future. As tutoring continued, specific issues surfaced which provided some basis for interview questions later on. For example, the issues of poor attendance, teacher's unfair evaluation of student work, tutor's over-emphasis on 96 helping students' homework, and mothers' frustration with their inability to help with their children were brought up in tutorials. Observing these issues, I focused my later interviews on those issues in order to get a deeper understanding of them from different perspectives. Often, these issues confronted not just the students, mothers, and the tutors. School teachers and counselors dealt with them also. Thus, these issues were also discussed in the interviews with the teachers. School teachers and counselors were interviewed three times in the ten-month period for one hour each. However, if the need arose, more interviews were scheduled by special arrangement. The interviews of the teachers added up to about forty-five hours. Again, the interviews were transcribed shortly after the sessions were completed to uncover important themes for the study. In the first interview with the teachers, my goal was to get the teachers' general perspective on the issue of tutoring, the education of immigrant students who were non-native speakers of English, and beliefs about teaching and learning. In the second and third interviews, more focused questions which had arisen from the tutorials were discussed. Also, teachers were encouraged to share any stories about tutoring that they had encountered in their teaching. In short, the goals of the interviews were to discover the theories of the participants regarding tutoring, learning, and education in Canada, and to detect emerging themes in tutoring. In order to supplement observations and interviews, an unobtrusive method1 of data collection in the form of document review was also used. As a supplement, documents provide "another perspective on the phenomenon, elaborating its complexity" 1 Unobtrusive measures refer to data collection methods that will not interfere with the ongoing activities of the situation under study (Marshall & Rossman, 1995). 97 (Marshall & Rossman, 1995, p. 95). Ethnographers also support the use of this type of data collection because of "its potential for generating valuable process and baseline data" (LeCompte & Preissle, 1993, p. 218). For this study, published materials from tutorial agencies, homework assignments from tutorials observed, guidelines for tutoring in schools obtained from a teacher in a special education class, curriculum guidelines for different grade levels and English as a second language classes, and community newspaper clippings on tutoring are some examples of the documents collected in order to provide a fuller account of what tutoring is like in Vancouver. To summarize, this study used multiple procedures in data collection. Figure 3.10 illustrates how the methods were used. The arrows in the diagram mean that the two boxes inform each other. The data collection procedures are cyclical in nature. That is, each method was used repeatedly to inform the other. A method was not just used once to collect all data. The triangulation of methods illustrated well Denzin and Lincoln's (1994) notion that "no single method can grasp the subtle variations in ongoing human experience" (p. 12). Following Figure 3.3, Table 3.12 summarizes the data collection methods and databank. 98 Figure 3.4: Data collection methods Table 3.12: A summary of databank Methods Data Collection Schedule Data collected 1. Tutorial Observations •Twice or three times a week •On-going •Fields notes on 64 observations per tutor-student pair for a total of 768 observations for all 12 tutor-tutee pairs •A total of 768 hours of transcribed observation data 2. Interviews with students •Once a month •On-going •Audio-taped and transcribed interviews •10 interviews per student for a total of 120 interviews for all students •A total of 120 hours of interview transcription 3. Interviews with parents •Once a month •On-going • Audio-taped and transcribed interviews •10 interviews per parent for a total of 120 interviews for all parents •A total of 120 hours of interview transcription 99 4. Interview with tutors •Once a month •On-going • Audio-taped and transcribed interviews •10 interviews per tutor for a total of 120 interviews for all tutors •A total of 120 hours of interview transcription 5. Interviews with school teachers/counselor •Three times spread out over 10 months • Audio-taped and transcribed interviews •3 interviews per teacher for a total of 36 interviews for all teachers •A total of 45 hours of interview transcription 6. Documents •On-going •published materials from tutorial agencies •homework assignments from tutorials •guidelines for tutoring in schools •curriculum guidelines for different grade levels and English as a second language classes •newspaper clippings on tutoring 3.6.3. Data analyses Drawing on SFL's approach to discourse analysis, this study categorized the discourse data collected into action or reflection discourses. Once the two categories were established, themes were identified through the use the coding schemes used by grounded theorists. Thus, data analyses were primarily inductive so that themes came directly from the data (Marshall & Rossman, 1995; Patton, 1990; Schumacher & McMillan, 1993). Grounded theory advocates "an iterative process by which the analyst becomes more and more 'grounded' in the data and develops increasingly richer concepts and models of how the phenomenon being studied really works" (Weitzman, 2000, p. 783). Based on the three types of coding strategies used by Strauss and Corbin (1990,1998), emergent themes and relationship between the themes were formed. In open coding, I aimed to identify the characteristics of tutoring that were important to the participants. For example, I was able 100 to identify the different roles of tutors such as the cultural intermediary, emotional counselor, or knowledge expert. I also applied an axial coding strategy in which I searched for sub-categories within the major themes and sought to identify relationships between the themes and the sub-categories. These two strategies were similar in some way to Spradley's (1980) domain analysis in which a researcher searched for patterns or "domains" that surfaced from data and established links between categories through semantic relationship. One example that showed how this coding strategy worked occurred when cheating (sub-category) was identified as a result (semantic relationship: cause-effect) of the tutor's role as knowledge expert (main theme/domain). In addition to the two strategies used, selective coding which aimed at selecting core themes, relating the core themes to other themes, validating the relationships among themes, and adding other themes was also used in order to search for an comprehensive portrayal of tutoring. In these strategies, core issues such as the topic and format of tutorials were identified. The identification of the distinction between the topic and the format of tutoring roughly correlated with Halliday's discussion of field 1 (activity enacted-actual tutoring) and field 2 (topic discussed in tutoring). The identification of the two core issues made the management of the mass amount of data easier because participants often switched from discussing a topic in tutoring to actual tutorial practice in one observation or one interview. Having described the procedures of data analyses, two examples of analyzed data (Table 3.13 and 3.14) will be provided in the following two tables. They illustrated the result of data analyses done using the different strategies mentioned above. 101 Table 3.13: Core theme: Patterns of tutoring (field 1: activity enacted) Reflection Discourse Mother: I hire tutors to make sure my son improves his English quickly. I also want him to do well in school homework because I can't help. Tutor: I find myself in a dilemma sometimes. Mothers want one thing but students want another. I mean mothers hire me to make sure the students get homework and learn things. But, students sometimes distract me from doing so when I spend time helping them with school things. Sometimes, they really need my help but I feel guilty when I can't teach new things to them. Action Discourse Tutor: Let's look at the vocabulary unit that I gave you last week. Student: Ok. But I want you to help me with my social studies first. Tutor: What's the problem? Student: I have to read this section of my text and answer these questions. Tutor: Have you read the text? Student: No. I think we can read together. Tutor: Well, that will take a lot of time. I won't have time to give you new things then. Student: That's ok. Tutor: Well... Table 3.14: Core theme: Topic discussed in tutoring (field 2: topic discussed) Reflection Discourse Teacher: It always takes us a long time to decide who gets to go to regular classes. We take many factors into consideration. Students' performance at school, their standardized tests in the beginning and at the end of the school year, and the availability of spaces in regular classes are some examples. Mother: I think the teachers just put students that are aggressive to regular classes. My son is very quiet so his teacher doesn't notice him that much. Student: I get good grades on my homework but not on tests. That's why I am still in ESL. Action Discourse Student: I will be in an ESL class again next year. My mom will be upset. Tutor: Have you talked to your teacher about why you will be in ESL again? Student: Yeah, he says my reading score is too low to enter regular class. Tutor: So what criteria do they use to see if you can take regular classes? 3.6.4. Data interpretation and presentation Interpretation of data produces understandings of the questions studied which "are shaped by genre, narrative, stylistic, personal, cultural, and paradigmatic conventions" 102 (Denzin, 1994, p. 507). Having realized this, the interpretation of this study follows the constructionist approach to interpretation which is based on the "triangulated empirical materials that are trustworthy" (Denzin, 1994, p. 508). As a result of the multiple methods in data collection and analyses, data will be presented as a distinction between two core themes (in Halliday's terms of field one and field two) and as "social representations" of tutoring for Taiwanese immigrant families in Canada. The two core themes generated from the data are arranged in two separate data chapters. The first core theme which deals directly with the issues of tutoring corresponds to Halliday's field one and is presented in Chapter 4. The main concern here is with the analysis of tutoring interactions between a tutor and a student. Issues such as the format of tutoring and dilemmas of tutoring are discussed. The second core theme which deals with what Halliday (1978, 1999) calls field two relates to "the subject matter" of the social practice of tutoring. That is, Chapter 5 of this study discusses some of the important issues that arise in tutoring interviews. Examples of these issues are the goals of tutoring to meet the demands of the Vancouver schools, the need for more homework, and the quality and quantity of academic and grammar instruction. Data presented as "social representations" of tutoring for Taiwanese immigrant families are data which represent "organized knowledge on the level of a social system, concerning a certain topic" (Cranach, 1992, p. 10). In other words, this social representation is the knowledge shared by members of a community and can be used as " a common interpretive schema as well as means of communication" (Kruse & Schwars, 1992, p. 23). Also, social representations can be viewed at an interpersonal or collective 103 level (Doise, Clemence, & Lorenzi-Ciolidi, 1993). This study has chosen to view tutoring at a collective level. That is, the views of the different participants are brought together to shed light on what tutoring can be. This study recognizes that the views of the participants cannot be generalized to all tutoring cases and that individual differences do occur even within the participants in this study. However, this study believes that "representations are organizing principles that regulate symbolic relations" (Doise et al., 1993, p. 64). Thus, presenting the data as a social representation will provide a guideline to tutoring of a similar nature, not a generalization. 3.7. Soundness of research Criteria to be used for examining qualitative studies have been a topic of discussion for many (e.g., Altheide & Johnson, 1994; Cresswell, 1998; Edge & Richards, 1998; Garratt & Hodkinson, 1998; Lather, 1991, 1994; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Marshall & Rossman, 1995; Peshkin, 1993; Seale, 1999; Wolcott, 1994). The common criteria such as validity, reliability, and objectivity used for judging a quantitative study which typically searches for a single truth in reality is not appropriate for a qualitative study which contains pluralistic and interpretive perspectives of reality. Instead, a qualitative study is better viewed in light of its trustworthiness which includes the perspectives of credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Marshall & Rossman, 1995). Credibility refers to "a check on the objectivity of observations and concepts" (Ratner, 1997, p. 202). To enhance the credibility of research findings and reduce researcher bias and other threats to validity, Marshall and Rossman (1995) suggest using a 104 triangulation of multiple sources to data collection and analyses. Patton (1990) suggests four types of triangulation: methods, sources, analyst and theory. This study used all four types of triangulation to ensure credibility. First, multiple data collection methods such as observations, interviews, and document analysis were all employed in this study. Second, source triangulation refers to the use of different data sources. This study collected and compared data from observations and interviews of different participants at different times. Checking for consistency and inconsistency between observations and interviews and among participants' views regarding different issues was also done to ensure source triangulation. Third, analyst triangulation was adopted through an on-going discussion with thesis committee members, other Ph.D. students in the field of second language education, and participants of the study. More specifically, to ensure that I have interpreted the observations and interviews accurately, I have shown the transcribed data to various participants to obtain their confirmation. This type of member check, according to Lincoln and Guba (1985), is considered "the most crucial technique for establishing credibility" (p. 314). Finally, although not many theories of tutoring exist in literature, theory triangulation was employed through the multiple perspectives taken in my theoretical framework which included a discussion of learning organization, socio-cultural view of an activity, and discourse analysis. In addition to triangulation, the lengthy data collection period of ten months provided time for continuous data analyses and comparison. Moreover, the use of students and parents' native language in the interviews allowed for credibility (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993). To summarize, the triangulation, 105 the data collection time, the use of participants' language, and researcher assumptions made early on in the study all contributed to enhancing credibility of this project. The issue of transferability or generalizability of qualitative findings has traditionally been viewed as a weakness because of the problem of generalizing from a small sample to a large population by more positivist research (Marshall & Rossman, 1995; Stake, 1994; Yin, 1994). To counter this challenge, Marshall and Rossman argue that a clearly stated theoretical framework which includes a detailed discussion of the concepts, models, and parameters of the research should be done so that the readers can decide whether or not the study is transferable to other settings or theories. As such, the goal here is not to make generalization of the findings. This study devoted sufficient description to the assumptions of research, the theoretical framework, and the context of the social practice under study. Given the "richly contextualized, problematized, and theorized reports and interpretations," the readers should have enough information to judge the transferability of findings to other new contexts (Edge & Richards, 1998, p. 350). Dependability refers to the situations in which researchers attempt "to account for changing conditions in the phenomenon chosen for study as well as changes in the design created by increasingly refined understanding of the setting" (Marshall & Rossman, 1995, p. 145). This concept is known as the issue of reliability in positivist research which assumes an unchanging world. This study dealt with the issue of dependability by noting unexpected occurrences in tutoring, refining my research problems and design of the study continually, taking into consideration factors not accounted for in the original research 106 plan, including additional participants when needed, using multiple methods, and taking time to review the data collected. Confirmability in qualitative research is roughly equivalent to objectivity in more traditional research. As inherent in any research, the researcher subjectivity will shape the study. However, confirmability can still be achieved by ensuring that general findings are supported by data directly so that implications can be made (Marshall & Rossman, 1995). To ensure that the criterion of confirmability is met, strategies such as using member checks on the transcribed data, generating themes from data collected, not imposing themes on the data, and sharing field notes and reflective journals with participants in this study were employed. To summarize, the trustworthiness of this study was established through several means with the acknowledgement that the researcher's interpretations were influenced by her personal and educational background. 3 . 8 . Summary This chapter discussed both theoretical and methodological consideration for this study of tutoring as a social practice. This chapter started by providing a description of the assumptions of this study. The notion of a social practice as a starting unit was then discussed. The discussion then went on to examine tutoring as a social practice. A qualitative study of tutoring as a social practice means that multiple perspectives will be used to examine tutoring. Socio-cultural factors, the local context in which tutoring occurs, and the larger Canadian educational context are all considered as a part of studying tutoring. The approach to the study of a social practice draws upon Mohan's synthesis of 107 Spadley (1980) and Halliday (1999) and it regards a social practice as composed of a theory and a practice. The chapter then proceeded to the discussion of the formation of the theoretical model guiding this project. Following that, the design of the study, including the description of the participants and researcher roles, and the design of the data collection, analyses, and presentation were described. The researcher mainly acted as a participant observer during the research. Multiple methods were used in data collection. Data analyses followed Strauss and Corbin's (1990) grounded approach. Cranach's (1992) idea of social representation used to present data was also discussed. The chapter concluded with a discussion of the strategies used to ensure the trustworthiness of the research. 108 Chapter 4 PATTERNS O F T U T O R I A L S 4.0. Introduction The first research question that this study attempts to examine is the format of tutoring. I have chosen to examine the patterns of tutoring first in order to gain a basic understanding of how the tutorials progressed for these immigrant students. To obtain the patterns of tutorials, I observed and tape-recorded tutorials for several months. I then transcribed the tutorials in order to establish the patterns of tutorials. In other words, the findings in this chapter have been obtained mainly from observations. However, interview excerpts have also been used to highlight important themes raised by the tutorial patterns. This examination of "patterns" or "forms" begins with ideas drawn from genre research. Hyon (1996) states that "genre has become a popular framework for analyzing the form and function of nonliterary discourse, such as the research article, as well as a tool for developing educational practices in fields such as rhetoric, composition studies, professional writing, linguistics, and English for specific purposes" (p. 693). More specifically, Hyon categorizes genre research into three traditions: English for specific purpose, new rhetoric studies, and the Australian genre theories. Although the context and the focus of genre research differ for the three traditions, a common concern seems to be with establishing a form. Whether this form is analyzed in itself or in relation to cultural or situational contexts, the central assumption is that there is a form to be identified. For example, researchers in English for specific purposes (ESP) tend to examine the characteristics and goals that oral or written academic or professional texts have within a 109 social context (e.g., Bhatia, 1993; Flowerdew, 1993; Love, 1991; Swales, 1986, 1990). The ESP field tends to focus its attention on identifying genres for nonnative speakers of English. On the other hand, New Rhetoric studies tend to be associated with first language teaching such as composition studies and professional writing. Their focus is mainly the relationship between genre and situational contexts (e.g., Bazerman, 1988, 1994; Miller, 1994; Yates & Orlikowski, 1992). Lastly, the Australian genre theories are heavily influenced by Halliday's view of the interconnectedness among form, function, and social context. They view genres as culturally specific forms occurring in contexts to achieve goals (e.g., Christie, 1991; Eggins, 1994; Martin, Christie, & Rothery, 1987; Martin, 1991). In this study, I have applied aspects of genre analysis to tutoring interactions between tutors and students. I have borrowed from the Australian genre theories in guiding this analysis. A description of the basic concepts and terms borrowed from Australian genre theories is provided in Chapter 3. Therefore, I will now describe how I have applied the concepts. My analysis describes the schematic structure of tutoring interactions. In other words, my analysis will aim to describe the staged, step-by-step organization of the tutoring genre. Like other genre analysts, I have used the distinction between obligatory and optional elements of schematic structure to distinguish between texts which are 'typical' versions of a genre essentially containing obligatory elements and texts which are 'variations' of a genre because they also include optional elements. I identified a typical version of the tutoring genre by using cultural members' judgments about what is typical 110 in tutoring interactions. Then, I checked this basic version by comparing it with actual tutoring texts. Having established evidence for this typical version, I then concentrated on variations of the tutoring genre. There are several reasons for concentrating on variations of the tutoring genre. As I worked through the data, I sensed that the variations were frequent, perhaps more frequent than might be expected. Related to this reason is another: I sensed that tutors were responding to a range of demands on their services which went beyond simply tutoring academic content. I used three procedures in establishing a common pattern as well as the variations. First, as mentioned earlier, I used the judgments of culture members to identify a typical version of the tutorial pattern. In this study, this version is identified by interviewing tutors who had planned and conducted tutorials in Taiwan. Identifying this pattern allowed me to gain an understanding of parents' expectations of the tutorial patterns in Vancouver. It is important to understand parents' expectations of how the tutorials are to be carried out because they have ultimate control of tutoring, and parents' knowledge of tutoring is based on their experience in Taiwan. I judged that these tutors, as central participants, were better able to articulate the schematic structure of tutoring than the parents. Of course, because the context of tutorials differs in Taiwan and Vancouver, one cannot assume that tutorial patterns are the same. Second, based on the actual tutorial observations, the most common pattern is identified. Third, variations from the most common pattern were then focused on. I l l 4.1. Typical tutorial pattern in Taiwan A typical tutorial pattern in Taiwan was established by interviews with several tutors in Taiwan. Eight Taiwanese tutors were interviewed in order to establish a broad view of the tutorial pattern in Taiwan. Each tutor had at least ten years of experience in tutoring English to high school students in Taiwan. They all reported that since the goal of the tutorials was to prepare for the university entrance examination, much time in the tutorial was devoted to grammar, vocabulary, and 300-word composition practice. In addition to reviewing school subject content, tutorials aimed to cover more challenging content because the level of difficulty of the university entrance exam is unpredictable. The typical pattern that the tutors followed is described in Table 4.1. Table 4.1: Tutorial pattern in Taiwan 1. Socialize. 2. Review work given by tutor from the previous session. 3. Check homework given by tutor from the previous session. 4. Discuss concepts students have problems with. 5. Provide new supplemental materials/concepts to students. 6. Assign homework on the newly covered materials/concepts provided by the tutor. An important note to mention about tutorials in Taiwan is the fact that tutorials are for giving additional challenging materials so as to prepare the students for the university entrance exam. Thus, tutors try to provide much homework to help the students remember what they are learning as well as to meet the expectation of the parents. Students are expected to finish the tutor's assigned homework in addition to school-assigned work. In my discussions with the parents, I was given the impression that parents seem to hold strong expectations still that tutoring in Vancouver should proceed in the format similar to that followed in Taiwan, even though the context is different. After all, the 112 parents believe that the goal of tutoring is to provide homework and academically challenging content to students to ensure success in learning. However, as much as the parents hope that tutoring will follow the expected pattern, the reality of tutoring in this context seems to suggest that there are many variations. In the next section, the most frequently occurring pattern of tutoring in Vancouver will first be described. Then, five variations from the pattern will follow. 4.2. Typical tutorial pattern in Vancouver The total number of hours of tutorials collected is 768 hours. In the description of the various stages of the different patterns of the tutorials, the transcripts will not be shown in their entirety in order to reduce the length of the example for each pattern. In other words, a brief section of the tutorial transcripts for each stage of the various patterns will be shown. Out of 768 hours, 476 hours of tutorials (62%) are in the pattern described below, deemed to be the most common pattern because of its frequency. This pattern seems to be agreed-upon by tutor and parents. Table 4.2 provides the stages of tutorials for this pattern. Table 4.2: Typical tutorial pattern in Vancouver T2=Tutor 2, S2=Student 2 Stages of Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Socialize T2: How's school today? S2: Good. We had a test today in ESL science. T2: Oh! How did you do? S2: Okay. I didn't have time to study too much. T2: Too bad. You didn't tell me last time I was here. S2: Yeah. I forgot. T2: Ok, let's move on to today's lesson. 2. Review work from previous session T2: Last time, we did irregular past tense verbs. Did you have time to review the list I gave you? S2: Yeah. I looked at it. 113 T2: Ok. What's the past tense form of "to spin"? S2: Spun? T2: Good. What about the past tense form of "jog"? S2: Jag? T2: No. Think again. S2: I don't know. T2: Jogged with double "g" and regular "ed" ending. 3. Check homework from previous session T2: Let me see the homework I gave you last time. Where is your reading card 9? S2: Here. T2: (Checks the answers) You have some mistakes here. We will talk about this after I check all your work. Show me your vocabulary. T2: (Checks the answers) Good! I like the sentences you made. What about your writing about "my father?" T2: (Checks the paragraph) The paragraph is too short. You didn't describe your father enough. We can talk about how to make it longer. 4. Discuss homework or problems students have T2: You got number 2 wrong. You had "b" but the answer is "c." Why was Mary so sad after her mother left? You choose "because she missed her mother." But, she isn't sad because of her mother but because her mother also took her brother away. She couldn't depend on her brother anymore. So you should have chosen "c." You see in paragraph 9, it says that she kept thinking back on all the times her brother was by her side whenever she had a problem. S2: Yeah. I didn't understand that part. T2: Ok. Let's read it together. [S2 and T2 continue to read together] 5. Provide new supplemental materials T2: Here is the next vocabulary lesson. All the words are used often in social studies. Do you know what "region" is? S2: Yeah. An area. T2: Good. You may know some of the words already but it's okay. Do you know "artifacts"? S2: No. T2: It means "tools and pottery made by people long ago." This word is used quite often when you look at the history of ancient people. 6. Assign homework on the newly supplemented materials T2: So for homework next time, why don't you finish Exercises 1 to 5 on the vocabulary sheet? S2: Okay. T2: Also, edit your paragraph on "my father." Remember to add details and examples like we discussed. Also, why don't you do two more reading cards? And... 114 S2: Wow. That's so much. I have a test next week. T2: Okay. Do just one reading card. The two typical tutorial patterns in Vancouver and in Taiwan seem quite similar. The only difference occurs in the materials given to students. For English tutors in Taiwan, there is a nationally required school text for each grade of high school English classes. Thus, the tutors tend to provide additional material to supplement the basic concepts prescribed by the school curriculum but at a level higher than what the students need to learn at school. For example, the school curriculum for Grade 8 English class may require students to learn the basic rules of using the past tense. The tutors will drill the students not just in quantity of exercises on the past tense but also in the complexity of the exercises. By the end of the unit on past tenses, it is expected that all the rules as well as the special cases of past tense usage are mastered. Even if the difficulty of the exercise is beyond the students' capability, they are still forced to learn it. However, tutors in Vancouver have a different aim in providing their students with material. Since there isn't a required text for ESL classes, the tutors bring what they believe to be academically challenging materials according to what is being covered in school and the students' proficiency level. For example, one tutor reports that she has a Grade 9 Taiwanese student who is a beginner in English and takes ESL Level 1 in school. The tutor then has brought material such as vocabulary and simple reading stories at a Grade 4 level. The tutor also comments that this decision to adapt a low level of material has not been well received by the mother and the student because they expect to receive academic content at a Grade 9 level or higher. 115 4.3. Variations In addition to the most common pattern of tutoring, there are five variations of tutoring in order to meet the local demands of the school. The variations seem to occur in response to the different needs raised in tutoring by the students and the parents. The five various patterns account for approximately 38 percent of the tutorial sessions (292 hours). Within the variations, the distribution of frequency for each pattern is summarized. Table 4.3: Distribution of frequency: Variations in tutoring Variations Frequency 1. Focusing on school assigned work 78/292 = 27% 2. Focusing on solving parents' concerns 65/292 = 22% 3. Focusing on meeting students' emotional needs 57/292 = 20% 4. Focusing on students' made-up needs 59/292 = 20% 5. Focusing on cultural chat 33/292= 11% 4.3.1. Variation Pattern 1 The focus of this pattern is on the tutor assisting students with school work. Here, the pattern differs from the typical tutorial pattern in that the tutor's focus is no longer providing academically challenging material but ensuring that the students succeed in their current classes so that they can be mainstreamed sooner. The following type of transcript is often found to be typical in this pattern. Sometimes it is the student who initiates the change in the tutorial direction. Sometimes the tutor takes the initial step by bringing up the issue with questions such as: "Do you have any questions from school?" The following text (action discourse text 4.1) shows how the student typically signals the tutor to provide help in school work. 116 Action Discourse 4.1: Tutorial focus on school work Action S1: Can we don't do your work today? Discourse T l : Why? SI: We are doing Egypt in school now. I don't understand. T l : Has your teacher given you anything about Egypt? SI: Yeah. Today, we have to read from page 20 to 40. So long. I have many vocabulary. T l : Okay. Why don't we read it together? I will explain the terms as we read. This tutorial pattern usually takes the following format (Table 4.4). Table 4.4: Tutorial pattern: Focus on school-assigned homework Stages of Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Socialize. T5: Hi! How are you today? S5: Bad. T5: How come? 2. Student raises a question about school. Or tutor asks if student has a problem in school. S5: I have problem in socials. T5: What's the problem? S5: I have test tomorrow but I don't know how to study 3. Help with school work. T5: Let's see what we can do to review? S5: Yeah. My mom want me to get A's. T5: What chapter will you be tested on? S5: From here to here. T5: That's a lot. We may not have time to finish everything. 4. If time allows, tutor provides pre-selected materials for extra practice. T5: Okay. That's all for today. We don't have time today to cover the new reading. Let's do it next time. S5: Okay. So I don't get homework today because test tomorrow. 5. Assign homework. T5: I'll still give you a little. You have three days after your test to finish this homework. S5: But, I have to rest. For some families, this pattern is the only pattern of tutorial for the students. For others, this pattern occurs at different times according to students' needs. Tutors must decide whether to help students with their school assigned work or to continue with the original plan of giving students the prepared tutorial work. In this pattern, since the more 117 immediate concern is to take care of the students' needs at school, tutors choose to respond to the students' needs. However, this decision raises a few dilemmas for the tutorial participants. First, for the tutors, there is the worry that when they spend time helping students with their school work, they are not meeting the parents' expectation of providing challenging materials. The implication of this worry is that their tutorial job may not be secure. On the other hand, if the students' grades improve, the tutors will probably receive the credit for it and, of course, a greater measure of job security. Several quotes from interviews with tutors describe this dilemma succinctly. Reflection Discourse 4.1: Tutors' voices on dilemmas Reflection Discourse T3: I often debate with myself who I should cater to in tutoring. After all, it is the parents who pay me. And the money is great from tutoring. But, at the same time, I feel that my responsibility is to my students. I find it hard to choose sometimes. T7: I never know how much time I should spend helping my students with their homework. T10: I really think that it is more important to focus on the students' immediate needs but parents don't share this goal. Second, parents have concerns about the decisions that tutors make. Parents want their children to succeed in school so that they can enter university. Thus, when the tutors help their children with school work, the parents are grateful because they are unable to help due to their limited language proficiency. However, if the tutors spend time helping students with school work only, there is no time to challenge students to learn more difficult concepts, which could mean that the students may lag behind in terms of content learning compared to their peers who do not have language as a barrier to learning. This 118 worries parents because they hire tutors to ensure that their children will be able to compete successfully with others. Quotes from mothers describe this concern. Reflection Discourse 4.2: Mothers' reasons for hiring tutors1 Reflection Discourse P5: / hire tutors to make sure that my son gets the best education possible. Because he is an ESL student, he needs to work twice as hard so I hire a tutor to make sure that he is not behind. But I know that he finds ESL classes hard sometimes so I am okay if the tutor sometimes helps with his school work because I don't want him to fail his ESL classes. But then, I worry that if my tutor only concentrates on ESL work, then he has no time to advance. ESL work doesn't count, you know. PI: / don't like it if the tutor spends too much time helping my daughter with school work because it means no time to do more challenging work. PI2: Both learning more content and doing well in school are important. So I really want my son's tutor to work on both but it's hard sometimes. My son is already in Grade 12 so he actually has a lot of problems in school. His tutor spends a lot of time with him on school work. Third, students develop two learning strategies that may be worrisome to parents, tutors, or school teachers. For one, students become overly dependent on their tutors. Some students report that they do not attempt to try their homework from school because they can receive help from their tutors. Secondly, if tutors spend time helping them with school work, time spent on tutor-assigned work will be reduced. Interview discourses suggest these two types of behavior are commonly displayed by the students. 1 In this study, all parents have chosen to express their thoughts in Mandarin. Thus, parents' comments in tutorials and in interviews have all been translated and displayed in italics throughout the thesis. 119 Reflection Discourse 4.3: Students' voices about tutoring Reflection Discourse S8: I just have to get my tutor to tell me the answer. My tutor is worried about my grade in school so whenever I ask, she will help. When she help, I always get good grade. I don't have to think. She just tell me what to do. I like it. Also, when she help me, she has no time to teach me other things. I have time for computer. S7: I always waiting for my tutor help me with school work. This way, she has no time to give me a lot of homework. S3: It more efficient to wait my tutor to help me about school work. Socials is always hard for me so I don't try. My tutor help. Lastly, the school teachers are concerned about tutors over-helping the students with school-assigned homework. Although the teachers report that they do not mind students receiving some help from home with their homework, they worry that there is no way of controlling the amount and the type of help received. They sometimes reduce the number of take-home assignments in order to avoid unfairness. In addition, they report that some of their Taiwanese students have a tendency to rely on others to solve problems without making an initial effort. The school teachers do not seem to like this trait of over-reliance on others. For example, one teacher said, "Whenever my Taiwanese students come and ask me a question, they just want a direct answer from me without understanding the reasons for the answer. I never want to just give the answer to them but it is very hard to get them to think." (Interview with a teacher, T2) Another teacher's statement about the homework problem is quite alarming. This teacher had to change her teaching strategy as a result of tutors' over-helping with homework. T3: I used to think that students need time at home to reflect on what they have learned in school through homework. But, I find that I don't give out homework as much now because so many of my students have tutors at home to help them. I never know whether I am marking my student's or the tutor's work. I had several confrontations with my students about their homework because I didn't think that 120 they had done it themselves. But they brought in their parents to help convince me that the work was done by the students. This type of situation is hard to handle as I have no solid evidence that they didn't do their work. So, I just decided to give tests or in-class assignments to avoid such hassles. This type of complaint is shared by other teachers in this study. Reflection Discourse 4.4: School teachers' complaints Reflection Discourse T8: I simply don't give out take-home assignments anymore. If I want my students to do written work, I give them time to write in school. I collect the assignments right away. T9: I had a bad experience with a tutor once. One student came to me with his tutor and mother once to prove that he did his take-home essay by himself. The tutor insisted on the fact that he only edited the essay. But, I know this student's level of English. I really didn't think he could have written the piece. To summarize, the examples above clearly show that behind a tutor's decision lie concerns that tutorial participants struggle with. The issues of what needs tutors should attend to, how parents can ensure academic success, how students can deal with the pressure from school and parents, and how teachers can eliminate unfairness in schools are questions that are important in the exploration of tutoring. However, not much attention has been given to how these issues interact with each other in tutoring. 4.3.2. Variation Pattern 2 This pattern differs from the typical pattern because the parents interrupt the tutorial session by posing a problem to the tutor. The problems posed tend to be related to the educational differences which the parents find hard to understand. The following tutorial excerpt demonstrates how and when the parents interrupt the tutorial session. Furthermore, it shows how the tutorial session diverges from the normal pattern. 121 Table 4.5: Tutorial pattern: Focus on alleviating parents' concerns Stages of Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Socialize T3: H i ! What's up? S3: Not much. T3: Is school ok? S3: Yeah. T3: Okay. Let 's see your homework from last time. 2. A parent walks in and decides to present a problem about his child or about schooling in general P3: (Mother walks in and asks the son to translate to the tutor) S3: M y mom wants to talk to you about my schedule next term. T3: Yeah? Does she want to talk after the tutorial? (Mother speaks to son in Chinese.) S3: No. M y mom wants to talk now. T3: Okay. Do you have any problems about your homework last time? S3: No . T3: Okay. What is it your mother wants to talk about. (Son talks to mother in Chinese) S3: She is unhappy why I am still in E S L next year. 3. Tutor interacts with the parent to clarify misunderstanding or to explain about educational concepts in Canada. T3: Wel l , your teacher must feel that you are not ready yet to be mainstreamed. (Mother expresses more dissatisfaction in Chinese.) S3: M y mom say that I have been in E S L for 3 years. T3: Wel l , your school must have certain procedures that they follow for moving you out of E S L classes. S3: No . The teacher just moves the people she likes out of E S L classes. M y mom feel that the teacher doesn't like me also. T3: Tell your mother that I don't think it's true. Each school is a little different in moving students to regular classes. For example, one school that I know gives standardized tests to all students at the end of the term to see i f they can go to regular classes. The school would also look at how well a student performs in E S L classes. I think there are many factors that teachers consider in moving students out of E S L . (Student translates to Mom) 4. If time-allows, check homework from previous class T3: Wel l , we don't have much time left. Why don't you show me your homework from last time so that I can quickly check it over before I give you new homework. S3: It's okay i f you don't have time to give me new one. T3: No. I think you'd better do more homework in 122 order to be out of ESL soon. I think your mother is getting impatient. You must work harder. S3: Yeah, yeah. I know. 5. Assign homework T3: Why don't you read chapter 3 and do the questions from 1-20 for next time. Then, you can write 25 sentences using the new vocabulary. I will give you a test next time on the new vocabulary. In this pattern, the tutorial session is interrupted by the parent who has a problem and who therefore wishes to consult the tutor. When this occurs, the tutor has to make a decision whether to pursue the mother's problem at this point or to continue with the tutorial session. In the example above, the tutor obviously chose to talk to the mother about the child's schedule for next term. However, the tutor ensured that the student had no urgent problems before moving onto the parent's concern. What is interesting in this pattern is the need for the tutors to satisfy the parents' need for communication. The parents did not originally intend to hire tutors to communicate their problems. However, as the tutor becomes an important part of the children's education, the tutor naturally becomes one of the adults that the parents feel they can trust in matters regarding men-children's education. The following interview excerpts clearly demonstrate the tutors' and the parents' feelings. Reflection Discourse 4.5: Tutors' views on tutoring in addressing parental concerns Reflection Discourse T3: I can really sympathize with these Taiwanese mothers' situations. They want the best for their children but they don't know how to get it here. As I go to the homes of these students two or three times a week, it's natural for the parent to come to me for advice when there is a problem. I guess I am the only native speaker who is also a link to their children's school. Who else can they turn to? T8: I don't mind spending some time with my students' mothers when they express a concern. I mean they are the ones paying me. Parents need to understand what I am doing with their kids. 123 T10: I feel sorry for some of my students' mothers. Several times, my students' mothers became quite frustrated when their children experience difficulty in schools. I think the frustration is that they don't know how to provide help to their children. This is where I step in sometimes. Reflection Discourse 4.6: Parents' views of their needs Reflection Discourse P3: / don't know much about schools here. I can't always tell my friends about my daughter's problem. It's shameful if all my friends know that my daughter has a problem. So I ask my daughter's tutor. He is very good. He is a teacher also. He also has three children so he understands. That's why I always ask him when I don't understand something about what my daughter is doing. He has good advice. P7: I like my son's tutor for English. She knows Canadian education well even though she is not born here. She helps me and my son a lot about school. She understands my son's experience. PI2: My son's tutor is so kind. He is patient when I discuss with him about my son's problem. I mean I have very poor English but he still listens. He helps my son do library research often. My son didn't know the library system before. This pattern also reveals some frequently discussed issues such as moving out of ESL classes, entering universities, doing oral presentations and research projects, understanding report cards in school, getting interim reports from school, and meeting teachers in school. The following quotes from the tutorial sessions summarize the main concerns parents raised. Reflection Discourse 4.7: Parental concerns Reflection Discourse P7: / want my son to move into regular classes as soon as possible so that he can enter university. P4: If my daughter can enter university okay, then my job here is done. Do you know anything about universities here? P6: A report card should tell me what you get on homework and tests. Ask your tutor to explain the teachers' comments to me? Ask him why the comments are good but you get all Cs. PI: Ask your tutor if you're doing better in your oral presentations. P10: I am very worried about his keyboarding. What is this interim report? PI 1: Can you and I go the parent-teacher meeting tomorrow? 124 4.3.3. Variation Pattern 3 This pattern of tutorial session focuses on meeting students' emotional needs. This pattern contains five stages as the others do, but it does not follow the usual format. At the second stage the student brings up an issue which the tutor feels is worth exploring, and the tutoring format changes. The following excerpt shows how this pattern of tutoring proceeds in stages. Table 4.6: Tutorial pattern: Focus on meeting students' emotional needs Stages of Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Socialize T5: You look sad today. S5: No. I just woke up from my nap. T5: Still sleepy? S5: A little. I went to bed late. T5: Why? 2. Student brings up an issue which she does not want to share with parents. S5: I was on internet chatting with my friends. T5: How late did you stay up? S5: Till 3am. T5: Does your mother know that? S5: No. Of course not. Don't tell my mom. T5: Who did you talk to on line? S5: This guy in grade 12 at school. Can you give me some advice? 3. Tutor decides that the issue is worth exploring. T5: About the guy? S5: Yeah. But don't tell my mom. I am not allowed to have a boyfriend. T5: Is this boy your boyfriend? S5: Maybe. T5: What do you mean? S5: He wants to go out with me. T5: Well, this sounds serious. You are only in Grade 8. Tell me a little more about this boy. S5: You promise you won't tell my mom. T5: Don't worry. I won't say anything. 4. Tutor responds by trying to find out more about the issue and by providing advice if possible. S5: He is from Taiwan also and he will graduate this year. T5: How did you meet? S5: At the school cafeteria. He is my friend's brother's friend. He is so cute. T5: So you see him at school. 125 S5: Yeah. Everyday at school. That's why I love lunch time now. T5: You said that he wanted to go out with you. S5: Yeah. Next Saturday. He wants me to go to his place. His parents will not be home. But what should I tell my mom? I have to lie. T5: No. I don't think it's a good idea to go to someone's house for the first date. You've seen each other at school but you've never gone out right? S5: Yeah. T5: You have? S5: No. We haven't. T5: Why don't you just go to the movies or something for the first time? I think it's safer this way. You should know him better before going to his house. Also, I don't think your mother would like you going to a stranger's house. Why don't you try talking to your mother also? S5: Noway. She'll kill me. T5: Oh! Why? (The discussion continues this way.) 5. Tutor ends session by giving some homework. T5: I am sorry that we've spent the entire session talking about this boy. We've got no time now to do this vocabulary I brought today. S5: No. It's okay. I was very confused. I wanted to talk to an adult but not my mom. She doesn't understand. T5: I know boys are important when I was at your age. But don't forget that you have a science test next week. S5: Yeah. I know. T5: Why don't you finish this vocabulary for homework and start reviewing your science. I'll give you a pre-test on your science next time we see each other. This tutorial pattern takes place whenever a student brings up an issue which the tutor considers to be serious. The tutor again responds to the student's needs by giving up the usual tutorial content. When interviewed, some tutors expressed that some issues cannot be ignored so that they would rather sacrifice some tutorial time in order to avoid 126 perhaps a bigger problem later. The following interview excerpt from a tutor reveals his feeling about this issue: T5: I feel sorry for some of my students. Their parents are so focused on their academic excellence that they sometimes ignore these kids' emotional needs. I don't mind spending time with them talking if they want to open up to me. Kids have asked me about relationships which I find is an issue that is prohibited at home. But, I think they need to have the correct idea about relationships. I don't know how much I can help but I listen. If I really find something too serious, I find a way to talk to the parents. Other tutors also report a similar experience with their students. Reflection Discourse 4.8: Tutors' views toward dealing with students' emotional needs Reflection Discourse T2: I know my students tell me things they don't want their parents to know about. T9: My students suffer a lot of emotional stress. Adjusting to a new school environment, making friends, and making their parents happy are all things my students feel frustrated about. I'd like to help when I can. T7: One of my students ran away from home once because she was under too much pressure from home. She called me. I spent quite a bit of time talking to her and convinced her to contact her parents in the end. Luckily, everything turned out okay. In this pattern, some of the issues that students find hard to discuss with their parents or friends but are shared in the tutorial sessions are forming relationships, fitting in, feeling suicidal because of pressure from school and from parents, and using the internet to make friends. These issues do not generally come up during interviews but they do occur in tutorial sessions quite often. In the examples below, tutorial transcripts will show how students approach their tutors in raising and discussing these issues. Issues in Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Forming Relationship S6: I like this girl in school. I really want to go out with her. How do I ask? T6: Is this girl in your class? 127 S6: Yeah. She looks so shy. My friend told me she likes me too. T6: Oh! What will your mother say? S6: I can't tell my mom. 2. Fitting in SI: I hate my social studies class. T l : Why? S1: There is a group of white kids who are always laughing at me. T l : How do you know they are laughing at you? S1: Every time I pass them, they start laughing. Sometimes they whisper and point at my clothes. I feel so ashamed. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't want my mom to know because she'll go see the teacher. I don't want that. I already feel bad. T l : You shouldn't feel there is something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with who you are and what you look like. Some kids are mean because they like to make fun of people. 3. Feeling suicidal because of pressure from school and parents S3: I am so sad. I have no energy. I don't want to live. T3: What's wrong? S3: I failed my English test. I know my mom would be mad. I didn't tell her yet. I don't have any friends. All my friends in school just want to copy my math work but they are not really my friends. Why is my English so poor? My dad wants me to go to universities in the US so I have to study for SAT. T3: It does sound like you have a lot of pressure. But, don't be so discouraged. Don't think about all the thing you have to do at once. Let's prioritize them and take it one at a time. 4. Using internet to make friends S8: Do you use internet? T8: Yeah. S8: Have you ever met a perfect person on the net? T8: You should be careful when using the net. S8: I know. I'll tell you something but you can't tell my mom. 4.3.4. Variation Pattern 4 This pattern of tutorial session occurs when the students do not finish the tutor-assigned homework or when the students just do not feel like going through the regular routine of tutorials. The way that the students try to turn the regular tutoring pattern into this one is by pretending to need help with school work or by providing discussion topics 128 to get the tutor's attention away from the tutorial work. The following table will illustrate how the stages of tutoring proceed. Table 4.8: Tutorial pattern: Focus on students' made-up needs Stages of Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Socialize. S9: Hi! T9: How's everything? S9: Good. Busy in school. 2. Check homework from previous class. T9: Have you finished your homework? S9: Yeah. Most of it. T9: Ok. Let's take a look at your social studies notes I asked you to write last time. 3. Student raises questions about school assigned work. S9: Actually, can you help me with this oral presentation first? T9: I thought we did that already last week. S9: Yeah but I want you to see me practice again. T9: When will you actually do this oral presentation? S9: I think next week it will be my turn. T9: Ok. We can practice the next time I come. S9: No. But there are some words I don't know how to say. 4. Briefly discuss about the questions raised by student and move on to tutor-prepared materials. T9: All right. Show me the words. S9: Here. I circled them. T9: I thought we did all those words before. S9: Yeah but they are still hard for me. T9: Why don't you repeat the words after me? (The tutor repeated each word twice and the student repeated) T9: Ok. Let's see your social studies notes. S9: Here. T9: You did only one section. S9: Yeah. It was too hard and I didn't know how to do it. T9: We went over it in detail in the last class. S9: I was very busy in school this week. We had choir practice because there will be a concert soon. 5. Tutor discusses the importance of finishing tutor-assigned homework. T9: Next time, if you didn't finish your homework, you should just tell me. Don't try to work on something you really don't need help with. S9: I really wanted help with the oral presentation. T9: I already spent quite a bit of time on your oral presentation. Your mother hired me to improve your English. So it's important that you follow what I have planned for you. Don't try to fool around. I know social 129 studies is a hard subject to learn but you really need to learn it. We can slow down if you have a problem but don't give me excuses for not doing your homework. In this particular example, the tutor caught the true intention of the student's question and therefore did not allow the student to direct the tutorial. Other variations of the questions that students have raised to direct the tutor's attention away from the regular routine of the tutorials are as follows. Action Discourse 4 .2: Student questions to distract tutors Action Discourse S3: Will you allow your daughter to go out when she's in grade 8? S6: What would you do if you caught your students cheating? S9: I don't know how to connect to Vancouver Public Library from my computer at home. Can you show me? S l l : I don't understand this section in my science book. SI: I have a spelling test tomorrow. Can you give me a pre-test? When the tutors were interviewed as to how they determined whether the students' questions were real questions or made-up ones, the tutors had different approaches. The following table summarizes their approaches. However, they also commented that it was sometimes hard to distinguish the students' true needs from specious needs, so they were not always able to detect the students' manipulative behavior. Sometimes, if the tutors were suspicious but unsure, they would give the students the benefit of the doubt. Table 4 .9 : Tutors' approaches in detecting students' true needs Reflection Discourse T6: I can tell that my students are lying about their needs when they ask things that we've covered before. They don't usually like to review things. T4: I usually find out more about their questions by asking more specific questions. If they give me very vague answers, then I know they probably haven't finished what I had given them. For example, one student asked me to explain again the government system in Canada which we had covered previously. When I asked him what part he didn't understand, he started to give very vague answers like everything or the part about the parliament. Then, I knew there was something wrong. I would continue 130 asking questions I knew he couldn't answer. T l : Whenever my students bring up practice tests in class, I know there is a plot. They hate tests. I would sometimes give them practice tests in the tutorial to help them review for their school tests but they never seem to like the idea. So I know if the students initiate the need to be tested, then there is a problem. I know that I am not always right but most of the time, I can feel it. T10: I usually walk in to the tutorial by greeting the students. If a student says he's been busy at school, 90% of the time he hasn't finished the homework I asked him to do. Students are so obvious. Usually, when I greet them, they just reply, 'good' or 'not bad'. They never seem like they care about my greeting. But, as soon as they have more to say when I greet them, then chances are they will make up things they need help with later. T i l : Whenever a student starts asking personal questions or big philosophical questions, I know he doesn't want to do my work. I am surprised by the questions they can think of to get out of doing the regular tutorial routine. In this pattern of tutorial, one can see that students try hard to move away from the regular tutorial work. Although they may not be successful, one must wonder about the motivation for this type of act. Thus, the students were interviewed as to why they would attempt to cheat their tutors. Most replied that they wanted a break from the pressure of work. Some revealing quotes from the students can provide some insights into the pressure that these Taiwanese ESL students are struggling with. Reflection discourse 4.10: Students' views toward pressure from tutoring and school Reflection Discourse S2: I have so many tutors. I have English, math, science, and piano after school. I have to practice for each one every day. I get more work here than in Taiwan. S4: I have to lie so I get break. My mom is always after me for homework. So she try to keep me busy by giving me so much work. I also get work from school. I want to do well but I am tired sometimes. S5: I hate going to school here. In Taiwan, I can use my own language. English is hard and I have so much catch up. I always feel behind. All my friends are in universities already. I am still taking English 11 but I am in Grade 12. I can't stand the pressure my mom gives me. She always telling me her friends' children are in universities already. S9: I stay up till midnight every day to do my homework. But my mom is 131 not happy. She give me more pressure. I already do so much work to catch up. Never enough. I can never finish. I need to relax also. So I lie sometimes just to get a break. S10: Sometime, I want running away from home. I have so much work. My parents are pressuring me, my tutors are pressuring me to learn, my school is pressuring me. So I sometimes lie to my tutor because he can't do anything to me. My mom hired him. I put his work last. He know it but sometimes he let me go. He know I have pressure. S11: I have to get into a good university so I have to work hard. So my mom hiring so many people to help me. But my head can't take anymore. It's full. Why can't I be like my friends in school? I have no time to have friends. It's so bored. I blame my tutors sometimes so I not do my homework. 4.3.5. Variation Pattern 5 Culture can be defined as the "'know-how' that a person must possess to get through the task of daily living" (Wardhaugh, 1992, p. 217). Wardhaugh also believes that the knowledge of culture is socially acquired and learned (Wardhaugh, 1992). Therefore, in this pattern of tutoring, tutors interact with students through the tutorials and share some knowledge about the "culture" of living in Canada. Students, in return, also offer their knowledge of their "home culture" to share with the tutor. Thus, the interaction moves in both directions. As a result, in this pattern of tutorials, cultural chat refers to talk that revolves around the issues of living in Canada and in Taiwan. Again, the tutorial sessions take a different direction when the student initiates a conversation with a question about living in Canada. The pattern proceeds in five stages. Table 4.10: Tutorial pattern: Focus on cultural chat Stages of Tutorials Action Discourse 1. Socialize. T7: Hi! S7: Hi! T7: You look happy today. S7: Yeah. We have a holiday. T7: Yeah. Christmas holidays. 132 2. Student initiates a chat about living in Canada. S7: What do you usually do? T7: You mean what I do? S7: No. I mean Canadians. T7: Well, I think each family is a little different. But generally we get together on Christmas Day with our family to have a big dinner. S7: What do you eat? T7: In my family, we always have a turkey. My mom makes very good shortbread cookies. We also have Christmas cakes. 3. Discuss in more details about the topic raised in stage 2. S7: What is shortbread cookies? Is it made from bread? T7: No. They are made from butter and flour. They come from Scotland. I should bring some for you to try. S7: Yeah. Can you show me how to make it? 4. Student tells the tutor about home culture and makes comparison with the current situation. (This stage does not always occur.) S7: So Christmas is a little like our Chinese New Year. T7: Oh! In what ways? S7: We get together with our family and eat too. But we different things from you. T7: When is Chinese New Year? S7: This year is in mid-February. T7: Is it different each year? S7: Yeah because we have a different calendar. 5. Review of previous tutorials or provide work on the topic of discussion today, if time allows. T7: It's quite interesting today. I learn something about Chinese New Year. S7: Yeah. This is better than doing regular work. And I learn also. T7: Yeah but too bad we won't be able to just talk all the time. You have tests and homework to study for. S7: Yeah. T7: So, over the holiday, why don't you get the book on "Christmas Story" that we talked about today. You've never read it right? You can read it and write a little book report. That won't be too much for the holidays. This pattern also tends to occur around other Canadian holidays. As students get certain holidays, they ask questions about the origins and the customs of the holidays. The content and atmosphere of this pattern tend to be less serious than the patterns mentioned 133 before. However, this pattern does not occur frequently. Furthermore, it is the students who initiate this chat. Some of the topics for cultural chats are young Canadians' activities, Canadian food, origins and customs of Canadian holidays, Canadian places to visit, and Canadian politics. Examples of how the students start the chat are provided below. Table 4.11: Summary of cultural topics discussed in tutorials Action 1. Young Canadian's activities Discourse S1: What do white kids do after school? T l : Well, they do all sort of different things. SI: Do they have tutors like me? T l : I imagine not. SI: So they just play? T l : Not necessarily. Some older kids probably have a job after school. Others probably belong to sports groups. 2. Canadian food S5: Do you eat steak every day? T5: No. Of course not. S5: But in our book in Taiwan, they say that white people eat steak for food. T5: We sometimes eat steaks but there are many other types of food we eat. S5: Like what? 3. Origin and custom of Canadian holiday S6: How come all the pictures on Thanksgiving books have Indians? T6: Because I think it's the Indians who started the whole tradition of Thanksgiving. S6: Why? T6: They first started as a celebration for a full harvest for the year. 4. Canadian places to visit S8: This summer we want to visit East Canada. Have you been to East Canada? T8: Yeah, sure. How long do you want to go for? S8: My mom says 10 days. We want to go by ourselves but we don't know what's good to go. T8: Well, Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City are three places I would go for sure. S8: Why? 5. Canadian politics S9: Why do they use the word 'party' all the time whenever there is an 134 election? Do they have parties a lot for election? T9: No. "Party" here means a "political group." A political party has a set of beliefs they go after. If people like the beliefs of that party, then they would choose to belong or to vote for that political party. S9: What are the different ones here? T9: You mean the different political parties for the federal or provincial level? S9: Are they different? Lastly, chatting which is not a part of the official tutoring sessions occurs in this pattern and makes the tutorial session more like a casual conversation. This chat is different from the initial socializing stage which occurs in the beginning of all tutorial sessions. The socializing stage tends to be short and is more of a standard courtesy offered by the tutors to get the tutorial session started. However, the chat tends to turn out to be a longer discussion of a topic such as living in Canada. Furthermore, the content of the chat seems to contain detail and explanation and is mostly initiated by the students. One note of caution here is that the "cultural" information that the tutors provide may be quite individually based. Therefore, in this discussion of cultural chat, the definition of "culture" follows a loose definition which refers to the tutors' understanding of the different aspects of living in Canada. Since the goal of this chapter is to describe the different patterns of tutorials, no further discussion of the meaning of "culture" will be provided as it is beyond the scope of this chapter. 4.4. Discussion The various patterns of tutoring raise three issues. First, there are multiple roles of tutoring in the Vancouver context as compared to one standard role of providing academic content. Second, the combination of the conflicting voices of the participants 135 and the multiple roles of tutoring further indicates the complexity of tutoring. Third, the various patterns of tutoring raise questions regarding the education of immigrant high school students. 4.4.1. M u l t i p l e roles of tutoring The various patterns of tutoring suggest that tutoring may change with context. Both the Taiwanese pattern and the most common pattern of tutoring in Vancouver indicate that tutoring seems to follow a specific pattern to achieve a specific goal (e.g., the five stages of tutoring to teach challenging academic content). This pattern of tutoring seems to be in congruence with systemic functional linguists' definition of genre as goal-oriented social processes in stages to achieve a purpose (Martin, Christie, & Rothery, 1987). Furthermore, the most common tutorial pattern found in this study is a pattern agreed upon between the tutors and the parents. However, the discussion of the tutorial format does not end here. Variations in the tutorial patterns suggest a need to gain a deeper understanding of tutoring in this case. Each variation of the tutorial pattern can be associated with a different need identified either by a student or a parent. Although the tutorials may still proceed in stages, the patterns appear to be reshaped by different circumstances. In fact, each variation seems to reflect parents' or students' encounters with the new educational experiences in Vancouver. As such, multiple roles of tutoring become apparent. For example, the tutor seems to play the roles of knowledge expert, counselor and friend, and cultural informant. Also, from the rather similar distribution in the frequency of the 136 various patterns, one can probably assume that each role of tutoring has importance. In other words, tutoring in Vancouver frequently fulfills more than one role. The existence of multiple roles of tutoring also challenges research which assumes the nature of tutoring as remedial (e.g., Cameron, 1992; Hay, 1992; Rafferty, 1992). In their studies, tutoring has tended to be used to help students who need improvement. The students may have learning difficulties or physical disabilities. Tutoring for these people is to remedy the students' problems. Interviews with school teachers in this study also report that tutoring to them is for students who are failing in schools. There seems to be a common notion that tutoring is a strategy for remediation. However, this study demonstrates that tutoring isn't necessarily for remediation. In the case of Taiwanese parents, tutoring has been used to provide challenge to students academically in Taiwan and in Vancouver. Furthermore, this study finds some roles of tutoring that research in tutoring has not examined. For example, the role of tutoring in targeting parents' concerns about the educational practices their children are engaged in seems to be relatively unexamined in tutoring research. Thus, the multifaceted nature of tutoring in this study suggests that tutoring is not a simple matter of being a teaching strategy. Much sophistication is required of the tutor. Participants' values and expectations seem to influence the tutoring situations. At the same time, the changing circumstances of tutoring seem to provide the possibility of different forms of tutoring. 4.4.2. Complexity of tutoring The complexity of tutoring can be further illustrated when one examines the different values reflected in the different patterns. For example, variation one shows 137 participants have their own ideas about what the main focus of the tutorial should be: school work or tutor work. Although it is the tutor who makes the final decision, the tutor is constrained by the parents' demands and student's needs. Parents want the tutors to focus on academically challenging content to ensure their children's success. However, tutors must also cater to students' immediate educational needs. At the same time, school teachers express concern for tutors who provide too much help to students. Although parents and school teachers do not have a direct influence on the content of tutoring, their concerns do seem to place limitations on tutors' actions. Thus, for each pattern to occur, tutors must make choices. The values of the participants will influence the choice to be made. Each of the tutors' choices seems to occur to meet the demands of the new educational context (schools that students in this study attend). As a result, the discussion of tutoring goes beyond asking what tutoring can provide. Different educational values and expectations of the participants as well as the situational constraints must also be considered. Chapter 5 will deal with the different participants' views toward tutoring. As such, the complexity of tutoring can be explored in more detail. 4.4.3. Educational needs of Taiwanese immigrant students The variations in tutoring also introduce some questions regarding the education of Taiwanese immigrant students. For parents, the original intention of hiring the tutor is to provide challenging materials to students so that they can be mainstreamed sooner. As variations in tutorials occur, the original intention of the tutorials may be lost. What the parents believe that they are buying for their children may not be exactly what the children are getting. 138 In addition, one issue raised in the examination of the patterns of tutoring is the concern for students' behavior as a result of tutoring. Students have reported a tendency to over-rely on the tutor's help. As such, tutoring seems to encourage students to search for a quick and easy solution to complete their school requirements. Also, students have complained about academic and parental pressure. The emotional stress has caused students to be manipulative, taking advantage of their parents' lack of English proficiency and the tutors' concern for their educational needs. Another issue is related to the parents' concern for their children's education. One strong message in the examination of tutoring is Taiwanese parents' eagerness to ensure the academic success of their children. To many of these parents, academic achievement is the key to a good future. However, the patterns of the tutorials would suggest that parents may need to rethink their assumptions about educational goals. In other words, parents may need to ask themselves two questions. First, is the over-emphasis on excellent academic achievement really appropriate for their children? Second, do their expectations of what should be learned in school and in tutoring correspond to the students' current situations in their schools? Last, tutors seem to possess the important role of an intermediary. That is, when issues concerning schools are brought to the tutors by the parents or the students, the tutors have an initial access into the situation. As such, tutors have the responsibility to identify and interpret the situation carefully and correctly. In any case, the tutors' reaction to or suggestion about the situation may have a significant impact on how the problems posed by the parents or the students are perceived and acted upon. Thus, the question of 139 the influence of tutor action on the education of immigrant students is worth further exploration. In summary, tutoring provides an opportunity for further thought on the education of immigrant students. In Chapter 6, the relationship between tutoring and its larger context (the educational context in Vancouver) will be explored. This way, questions raised above regarding the education of Taiwanese immigrant students can be explored further. 140 Chapter 5 D I F F E R E N T V O I C E S I N T U T O R I N G i 5.0. Introduction Tutoring is an activity that is carried out by many Taiwanese immigrant families at home. The activity of tutoring was a very important part of education for these Taiwanese students before coming to Vancouver. For example, all students in this study reported that they had spent on average fifteen hours per week after school in tutorials on academic subjects in Taiwan. Similarly, they spend about ten hours in tutorials of academic subjects after school in Vancouver. Although students do not spend as much time in tutorials as in Taiwan, they still spend a considerable amount of their time in tutorial classes. It is the purpose of this chapter to investigate how participants view tutoring by examining mainly the interview data. In the activity of tutoring, there are the direct participants, the student and the tutor, and the indirect participants, the parents and the school teachers. Although the indirect participants are not directly involved in the tutorials, their voices on different issues are important to consider because they are a part of the students' learning context. In the sections to follow, the second research question will be explored. Specifically, the question is: How do different participants view tutoring? Typically, the parents in this study pay tutors to teach subject matter to their children. In this sense, there is a common goal for tutoring. That is, tutors are paid to teach what the parents ask and students are expected to learn what their parents want them to. However, do all the participants share this common goal? Are there different voices 141 concerning what tutoring is or should be? Do the participants have the same or different expectations regarding tutoring? 5.1. Perspectives and interpretation of tutoring This study explores the question of whether participants bring different expectations and beliefs about learning to the tutoring situation. In other words, participants' perspectives on and interpretations of tutoring will be investigated. More specifically, evidence about the goals of tutoring will be examined first. Second, beliefs about the adequate amount of homework will be reported. Third, participants' beliefs regarding academic content and grammar instruction will be analyzed. These three issues became apparent when the participants were asked to give their opinions about what tutoring is and should accomplish. The following sections on the different voices with regard to the goals of tutoring, the issue of homework, and the beliefs about academic content and grammar instruction will illustrate that the participants' interpretation of what tutoring is cannot be assumed to be similar. Moreover, participants' deep-rooted beliefs about learning may influence how participants contribute to tutoring. 5.1.1. Goals of tutoring In this section, the purpose of tutoring is investigated. Parents, students, tutors, and teachers hold different beliefs about the goals of tutoring. Furthermore, some of these participants' goals seem contradictory. Reflection Discourse 5.1 shows conflicting views of the goals of tutoring held by the participants. Parents regard tutoring as the only method to ensure academic success for their children, while the children often regard it as pressure. Although some students do recognize the benefit of a tutor helping them to meet the 142 demands of school, most students in this study tend to regard tutoring as another source of work. Tutors who are paid by the parents must cater to both parents and the students. At the same time, the tutors attempt to maintain a balance between their teaching beliefs and the parents' and students' needs. Although the school teachers are not directly involved in tutoring, many of their students are. Thus, the teachers' views of the goals of tutoring are also examined to provide a more comprehensive view of what tutoring can mean to different participants. Reflection Discourse 5.1: Purpose of tutoring P5 = Parent 5, S5 = Student 5, T5 = Tutor 51, Te C = Teacher C 2 Reflection Discourse P5: My English is poor, so I don't know how to help my daughter in school, so I hire a tutor. I want my daughter to move into regular classes as soon as possible so that she can enter university. My daughter came in Grade 9 so she doesn't have time to waste. I must make sure that she can compete with others when she applies to universities. Both my husband and I moved here so that she can get into a good university. S5: I have many tutors. I always have a lot of homework from different tutors, but my parents say I have no choice if I want to have a good future. But sometimes I feel tired. Why do I have to work so hard? My friends don't have so many tutors. All I do is homework, homework, and homework. I have pressure from my mother, my tutors, and my teachers. I hate so much work, but I have no choice. But I like it when my tutor helps me with my school work. T5: I am hired by the parents to help improve the student's English and to enable him to enter a university. That's what I do. I understand the parents' frustration when they find out that their children may have difficulty entering university. So I try all I can to help. But at the same time, I feel bad for my students who are under a lot of pressure from their parents and from being in a new environment. I know that my students don't want so much work from me, but I have to give them extra because their parents pay me to give more homework. Also, I know that sometimes my students benefit more from me when I help them with school work, but I don't want the parents to think that I am doing schoolwork for their children. Deciding what to focus on in 1 The relationship between the tutor, parent, and student is that tutor 5 teaches student 5. Parent 5 is the parent of student 5. However, this relationship does not apply to teachers interviewed. 2 The letter beside the teacher denotes the specific teacher's comments regarding the issues. The letter not the number was used because the teachers interviewed are not necessarily the tutees' teachers in school. 143 tutorials sometimes is a challenging task for me. Te C: Some of my students' parents have very short term goals but learning is a life-long process. These parents turn their own short term goals of entering university into their children's goals. Therefore, many of my students are in a hurry to move out of ESL classes quickly so that they can enter university like their parents want them to. But I don't think the students really understand what a university education really means. I can see that tutoring can be helpful for slow students, but I really don't understand why some parents insist on having different tutors for students whom I consider to be performing quite well in school. I don't think tutoring is the answer to all problems, but parents seem to think so. From the text above, it is clear that, to parents, entering a good university ensures a good future. Tutoring can help parents realize this goal for their children. Thus, parents seem to have a more immediate short-term goal for education. However, from the school teacher's point of view, learning is more than just entering university. The teacher seems to have a more long-term learning goal for students. Tutoring for teachers is for remedial purposes. Students view tutoring as mostly a source of pressure with occasional benefits. At the same time, tutors are caught in the midst of parental beliefs, student needs, and their own beliefs. The following table provides more examples of the participants who share similar opinions toward tutoring to the participants in Reflection Discourse 5.1. Table 5.1: Differing views of the participants regarding the goals of tutoring Reflection Discourse Parents' views P2: Even though my daughter came at a young age, I still find that she's behind in English. So I got her a tutor. P7: My son is not a hard worker, so I must pressure him. But I don't understand his school things. So I think a tutor will be helpful. PI 1: Without a tutor, my son will not be able to enter a university. He's behind because he is lazy. His English is also a problem. I can ask my tutor to push him. PI 2: We have been here for one year. My son is still in ESL but he should be in Grade 12 and taking regular classes. He must improve faster. So my friend gave me a good tutor's name to help him. 144 Students' Views S2: My mother is worried about my school. I think I am an OK student but she wants me to get all As. All I do is work. I have no friends. I have tutors for English, math and science. I like my English tutor the best. He knows my problem. S4: I know that I will not enter university next year because my English is not good enough. There is so much for me to catch up. I need to study English, worry about getting a good grade in math and science, and understand things in social studies. I also need to volunteer in hospitals because my mother wants me to be a doctor. My mother hires many tutors for me to make sure that I do well in everything. But I have so little time and so much pressure from everyone. I am tired. I sometimes enjoy talking to my English tutor because he know a lot about many thing. S9: My mother wants me to learn everything. I have so much homework every day. I have no time for other thing but work. I never have time to play basketball. I have more pressure now. I have so much work but I don't want to stop my tutoring because I don't want to be slow. Also, sometimes, tutors are very helpful about school things. S10: School is a lot hard for me here than Taiwan because of my English. I have a tutor for math, science, English and French. I got homework from each tutor everyday. I work until midnight all the time but I am still behind. My mother is always unhappy because I didn't get all A. My science tutor is very good because he is at university. He tells me many things about universities and making friends here. Tutors' views T2: I am never sure whether I should follow parents' wishes or students' needs. They sometimes conflict. Parents always want more and harder work for the students, but the students want to do less and easier work. I also think that one of my jobs as a tutor is to provide help to my students about attending schools here. T6: I feel sorry for some of my students who are under tremendous pressure from both schools and family. I often do provide a lot of homework to my students because the parents want me to but I do occasionally give my students a break. I think students appreciate that. Helping my students adjust to schools here is one of my goals as a tutor. I help with school work when I see that the student is suffering. T10: My students' parents want to see their children studying all the time. I don't think it's healthy. Many of my students have no time to reflect on their learning. I am always amazed by how little time my students get to enjoy themselves. Teachers' views Te A: It seems many of my students have tutors at home. I don't agree with the hiring of tutors unless students are failing something. 145 Te D: Tutoring is good for some people but not for all. I think tutoring is beneficial if students have a lot of problems adjusting to school requirements here. But the situation now is crazy. Almost all my students have at least one tutor. Some even have more. I don't know how students can have time to do things other than academic work. Te G: I think parents push too hard. Learning English takes time but parents don't seem to want to allow for this time. Some tutors provide too much help to the students when it comes to school work. Learning isn't just for grades. To summarize, data suggest that tutoring is defined differently by different participants. Parents view tutoring a method of helping their children succeed academically. Students view tutoring as a source of pressure and work. At the same time, they seem to accept tutoring in order to satisfy their parents. Tutors seem to view tutoring as fulfilling parents' expectations and meeting students' needs. School teachers seem to regard tutoring as necessary only for some. 5.1.2. Homework A positive relationship between homework and learning has been discussed by researchers (Cooper, 1989; North & Pillay 2002). Homework has generally been believed to provide benefits to learning because it provides improvements in retaining factual knowledge, developing problem-solving skills, and understanding concepts (North & Pillay, 2002). In this study, homework is an issue that seems to be important in tutoring. More specifically, participants seem to vary in their views about the quantity of homework. For the Taiwanese parents, ensuring that their children complete a large quantity of homework is all that they feel they can do to help their children in school because of their limited English proficiency. On the other hand, the school teachers are trained 146 professionals who must teach to a set curriculum. Therefore, they may have their own ideas about the appropriate amount of homework. The students are put under tremendous pressure because they must follow their parents' wishes by completing homework given by the school and the many different tutors hired by the parents. At the same time, tutors who are paid by the parents and who have their own beliefs about homework and teaching are struggling to balance what parents want and with real needs of the students. The difference of opinion sometimes results in tension among the different people involved, which then creates problems that are difficult to deal with. The problems caused by the tension created by different participants' beliefs will be explored more in Chapter 6 on the relationship between schooling and tutoring. Reflection Discourse 5.2: Homework: Too much or too little Reflection Discourse P7: My son has too much free time. He used to do homework everyday for at least 5 hours. But, now he spends 1 or 2 hours only on homework. That's not enough. I don't know what to give him to do so I want his tutors to give him lots of homework; otherwise, he doesn't study. S7: Each of my tutors give me 1 to 2 hours of homework. I have three tutors plus I have to practice piano. I don't have time to play computer. T7: I understand the parents' concern for their children so I try to give homework to my tutoring students as much as I can. At the same time, I also know that some of my tutoring students just can't absorb so much and that they need time to relax and play with other kids. So in order to make both happy, I try to give easy homework that will occupy some time for the kids and yet doesn't require too much brainwork. This way, the parents see students working but the students aren't terribly unhappy doing it. Te B: I feel these immigrant families push the kids in a wrong direction. The kids need time to adjust to the new environment. Simply giving lot of homework to force the students to rote learn isn't a good method. For many families, education is one of the main reasons for immigration but when these people move here, they want their old method of learning back. It just doesn't seem logical. 147 This text clearly illustrates the various beliefs regarding homework. Again, the importance of this issue is shared by other participants in this study. Table 5.2: Different attitudes toward homework Reflection Discourse Parents' views P3: The best way to make sure learning happens is through homework. In Taiwan, my daughter did well in school. She was always doing homework given by her teachers in school. P5: My daughter doesn't get enough homework from school so I need to give her more at home. I don't want her to waste time. P8: More homework is better. In Taiwan, teachers already give a lot of homework, so I don't have to worry. But, here, my son never gets homework from school, so I ask my son's tutor to give more work. Students' views SI: I do homework for at least 5 hours a day. I sometimes just don't care so I do bad job. My mother get mad when my tutor tell my mom. S3: I do more homework here than Taiwan. I have tutor every day. I have homework from school and tutor. If I sitting in front of my desk, my mother is happy. Sometimes I pretending to study to make my mother happy but really I am day-dreaming. S l l : The demand of the school here is high. My mother's expectation of me is high also. So I am always studying and doing homework. I don't get so much work from schools but my tutors give me a lot. Iutors' views T4: I think schooling is hard enough for my students, so I sometimes ignore the parents' request for more homework. But I can't always ignore their demand because I'd be out of a job. So, to compromise, I give my students homework every other time I see them. So far, it has been okay with my students and their parents. T8: I do what I am paid to do. I give lots of difficult homework to my students to challenge them. But, I doubt the benefits of doing this sometimes when my students show signs of low motivation. T9: Parents ask me to provide at least three hours of homework to my students each day. But I think that's way too much. I see homework as a review for the things learned in tutorials so I give some, but I don't overdo it. On average, I give about an hour of homework a day to my students. Since most of my students have other tutors, I think an hour from me is more than enough. Parents complain to me about my method but I try to explain my reasons to them. Some are okay with my rationale and some are not. Teachers' views Te E: Homework is one of the parents' favorite topics in parent-teacher meetings for many of my students. My students' parents just want more 148 homework. I believe in giving some homework to students but if they know the material well, then why pressure them to do more? Te G: I don't think homework is the key to success in school. Lots of students complete all their homework assignments but learn nothing from the homework. So I think the important thing for parents to think about is the amount of actual learning not homework. Te K: I give quite a bit of homework to my ESL students because many parents request it. But the problem is that many of my students don't complete their homework assignments. Even if some of them do complete their assignments, much of the quality is poor. I think that my students are just getting too much because they get work from school and from their tutors. I don't think my students are handling all the work efficiently. To summarize, parents expect learning to be achieved through homework, so tutoring is expected to provide extra homework to the students. Students, on the other hand, seem to complain about the amount of homework received. Tutors seem to try to meet parents' expectations by giving some homework but not so much that the students cannot complete it. Teachers seem to understand the importance of homework for parents but the teachers also seem to feel that giving more homework is not always the key to academic success. The disadvantages of homework have been evidenced by Painter (1999) who described her negative experience in giving too much homework to her students. 5.1.3. Academic content and grammar instruction This example involves the amount of academic content and grammar instruction received by Taiwanese students at school and in tutoring. The following excerpt will illustrate again the tension formed as a result of differences in beliefs. Parents regard more academic content and grammar instruction as better educational practices for their children. This belief leads to more demand on the tutors to provide more work in this area. As a 149 result, students suffer from parental pressure again. The idea of "more is better" expressed by the parents is not necessarily shared by the tutors and the school teachers. Reflection Discourse 5.3: Academic and grammar instruction Reflection Discourse P2: The school here is not providing enough challenging material. My daughter finds the math too easy here. She has already learned all the concepts for her Grade 9 math in Taiwan. My daughter needs to improve in English. The ESL classes are not giving her enough vocabulary to memorize and grammar to learn. Grammar and vocabulary are so important. My daughter watches movies sometimes in class. I don't think it is right. S2: I like to tell my mother that school things are easy and that I already know everything so that she won't make me study more. But really sometimes I think English is really hard. I have difficult times in ESL social studies and transitional English classes. I don't do good either in my other ESL classes. The reading my teacher give me has so many vocabularies. I love grammar work because it is the easiest homework to do. If you know the rules, then you can do all the exercise. Many questions are the same. You don't need to think. It is a better homework than doing a research project in my ESL social studies. T2: Parents just want more and more challenging academic and grammar work for the students. But giving harder grammatical exercises and academic content does not help my students' current situation in school. I try to make sure that my students keep up with what is learned in school also. I try to find out what my students are doing in school so that I can review school subjects with them. This way, students' report cards won't look too bad. It is so important to parents to see concrete improvement in grades from school report cards in order for them to believe that hiring a tutor is really worth the money! So I try to balance between academic and grammar instruction and help with school work. Te E: Some of my students' parents have very unrealistic expectations of what their children should learn in school and strange ideas about language learning. I get asked by parents all the time about teaching harder things at a faster pace which I don't necessarily agree with. Students need time for language development. Grammar is a key concern for many of my students' parents. I agree with its importance but it isn't the only thing that the students need. Knowing all the grammatical rules does not mean that the students can function proficiently in English. The beliefs about the amount of academic content and grammar instruction expressed by the participants in the above excerpt can also be seen in other participants' views. 150 Table 5.3: Beliefs about academic and grammar instruction Reflection Discourse Parents' views P I : My daughter is not getting enough grammar in school. She learned more grammar in Taiwan than here. Also, her math classes are too easy. She needs to be challenged in grammar and academic subjects. P4: My daughter doesn't seem to learn anything in school. All she does is field trips. She doesn't get anything hard in school. She's already in Grade 12. She must be prepared for university, but I don't think she is. She is still reading easy stories in English when she should be reading literature. P6: School here is not challenging enough. I want my daughter to take advanced math but there is no space in the class for her. In regular math, the teacher teaches one chapter every two weeks. That's too slow. She needs to learn more to be ready for university. Students' views S6: Math is easy for me but English and social studies are hard. But my mother think that everything easy for me just because math is easy. So she always want me take advanced classes in all my subjects. I don't think I am good. S7: My mother thinks my grammar is poor because I did not learn grammar in Taiwan. So she push me to learning grammar in tutoring. But grammars don't help me to get a good mark in regular classes like science and social studies. My teachers don't take marks off for bad grammar when we do science or social studies work. S8: My mother always thinks school here is too easy. But that not true. English is hard. We get many hard thing in science and socials too. When my social teacher do news, I have many vocabulary. My mom thinks my problem is grammar but it's not. My problem is understanding in my social and science textbook. There are just too many new words. Tutors' views T l : I guess many of my students' parents learned a lot of grammar when they learned English in their home country. Naturally, they assume that grammar is the key to learning English. I do think grammar is important to learn but for many of my students, grammar isn't the priority. The more pressing issue is dealing with the academic content in school. T3: Parents seem to think that school does not place high demands on students. That is not true. I find that many of my students are suffering even in ESL classes. So when parents ask for more grammar or more academically challenging material for my students, I get frustrated because I don't think their children can really absorb harder material. T i l : I do provide a lot of instruction on grammar but I think that grammar isn't the only problem my students have. Parents seem to want to emphasize grammar instruction. So I do grammar. But my students certainly are experiencing other types of difficulty in schools. 151 Teachers' views Te B: I think many ESL parents come from a different educational culture so they have different concepts of what constitutes good language learning. They really need to understand more of what's going on in schools here. More academic instruction isn't always what the ESL students need. Te H: My ESL students' parents are extremely concerned about grammar instruction. I agree that grammar is important but parents over-emphasize it. [ don't really know where they get this idea from. Te J: My Taiwanese students' parents always ask me to provide more academically challenging material for students to do at home. I think that my students have enough to do from what I give them in school. But parents just want more. I keep telling them that more isn't always better. But I am not getting through to them. To summarize, parents seem to hold the view that the more academic content and grammar instruction their children get, the better it is for them. Students, as mentioned in the previous sections, view more academic content and grammar instruction as more pressure and more work. In addition, they do not seem to appreciate the amount of extra work they receive. Tutors seem to maintain a balance here also between parents' requirements and students' needs. School teachers do not seem to agree with the parents that more academic content and grammar instruction are necessarily better for the students. 5.2. Discussion of the differing voices This chapter intends to answer the second research question which asks how different participants view tutoring. The data seem to suggest that different participants have different beliefs regarding tutoring. Different participants seem to hold strong and yet different opinions about tutoring. More specifically, the purpose of tutoring, the amount of homework instruction, and the quality and quantity of academic content and grammar seem to be three areas where participants vary in their attitudes. Table 5.4 summarizes the 152 findings about the different participants' voices regarding tutoring. The differences in views also occur when issues such as the usefulness of ESL programs and the values of different learning styles emphasized in students' current schools are discussed in tutorials. However, attention in this chapter has been given to how participants view tutoring through the different voices regarding the goals in tutoring, homework and academic content and grammar instruction. The other two issues will be dealt with in Chapter 6. Table 5.4: A summary of differences Issue 1: Tutoring Purpose Parents: 1. To enter university and move out of ESL classes as soon as possible 2. To ensure that their children are competitive enough in schools 3. To help with homework assigned by school teachers Students 1. To enter university 2. To provide advice and counseling 3. To fill in lack of cultural knowledge 4. To make parents happy Tutors 1. To balance between what the parents desire and what the students need 2. To fill the gap between the school and the family Teachers 1. Tutoring is not necessary since the school already has a set curriculum 2. Tutoring is for students who do not excel academically. 3. Tutoring provides an opportunity for students to get help in school work. Issue 2: Quantity of homework Parents School does not seem to provide enough homework. Students Students feel that there is too much homework. Tutors The quantity of homework depends on individual situations. Teachers Students should receive just an appropriate amount of homework. Issue 3: Quantity and quality of academic content instruction Parents The more academic content the school provides to students, the better it is for them. Students There is too much to learn. Academic requirement is high and pressure from tutoring is great. Tutors This issue should really depend on what the students need. Teachers Students need time to learn. Students should not be pushed. Issue 4: Quantity of grammar instruction Parents Not enough grammar is covered in schools. Students Grammar is helpful sometimes. Too many grammatical exercises can be boring. Tutors Grammar is important to cover in tutorials because parents expect it. Grammar 153 is not everything. Teachers Grammar is not all that students need. Table 5.4 suggests that there are major differences in participants' views of tutoring. Parents regard tutoring as a method of ensuring academic achievement. As a result, parents force their children to learn by asking the tutors to provide more work at home as well as more academic content and grammar instruction. Also, the parents' eagerness to push their children in tutoring seems to reflect the parents' beliefs about learning. For example, the parents' idea of using more homework to track students' learning seems to be one of the driving forces in the hiring of tutors. This view of homework to ensure student progress has also been documented in other studies (Li, 2000; Stevenson & Stigler, 1992). In addition, students receive much work based on what parents believe is lacking in their children's education. For instance, the incorporation of grammar instruction in tutoring seems to be quite important to parents. In addition, the parents' lack of English proficiency also helps provide an incentive to hire tutors in order to fulfill the role of supervising. The parents' limited English proficiency and knowledge about school requirements seem to have made them dependent on the tutors. To summarize, tutoring, for parents, seems to fill knowledge gaps parents perceive in their children's current school curricula and to provide assistance beyond parental capability. Students seem to view tutoring as a method of putting pressure on them. Tutoring, to students, seems mainly negative because of the added homework and academic content. They seem to accept of this tutorial pressure because they have expressed desires to enter universities. However, the pursuit of academic achievement for the purpose of being 154 admitted to university seems to reflect the parents' goals rather than the students' when students reveal in the interviews that attending universities will provide satisfaction to their parents. Yet, tutoring is not entirely useless to students. They perceive tutoring to be helpful sometimes in relation to providing advice and counseling about school work. Tutors are paid by the parents and are constrained by the needs of the students. Tutors view tutoring as mediating between parents' expectations and student needs. Tutors fulfill perceived gaps between the immigrant families and the students' schools. Also, in terms of providing homework and academic contents instruction, the tutors seem to be pulled in two directions. Parents require more but the students complain about the overwhelming quantity. Since both the students and the parents are their clients, satisfaction from both parties seems important. In addition, tutors not only mediate but also hold independent views, a point that will be discussed later. School teachers view tutoring as providing remedial help which is not needed for everyone. Furthermore, like parents, school teachers view homework as important but differ as to the appropriate amount. To them, more homework and more grammar instruction are not always what students need. Thus, teachers do not seem to find convincing the rationale that tutoring should provide extra homework and grammar instruction. Also, the school teachers seem to view parents' need to push their children to learn more quickly as unreasonable. The different perspectives on tutoring expressed by the different participants seem to create tensions among participants. For example, tension seems to be created between the parents and the students when the parents' need to push their children to learn becomes 155 an added source of pressure for the students, who are already under tremendous pressure from school. At the same time, this mismatch between the parents' expectation of their children and their children' actual willingness and ability to learn seems to become a source of tension for tutors. After all, when tutors plan the tutorials, they must satisfy two opposing forces. What can further contribute to this tension for the tutors is their background and commitment to teaching. Influenced by their own teaching experience and background, the tutors' view of teaching and learning may differ from that of parents and students. For example, interviews of the tutors reveal the difficulty of making tutorial decisions when they have to balance the demands of different parties and their own goals (e.g., in the area of language work). In addition, a source of tension in tutoring seems to occur between the school teachers' and the parents' views of learning, even though they are both indirect participants. Parents push students to learn through tutoring, which the school teachers regard as not always necessary. School teachers question parents' views of what constitutes good language learning. Tension seems to be created for school teachers and the parents in the issue of academic content and grammar instruction. To many parents in this study, grammar instruction is associated with good language learning. Although the teachers do not seem to dispute the importance of grammar instruction, they do report that grammar may not be the only item that students need to master. Also, parents' desire to push their children to learn challenging academic content in a short time also worries the school teachers, who seem to agree with research which suggests that developing academic language proficiency requires time (Cummins, 1992). 156 This study has not found direct evidence in the data of explicit tensions between school teachers and tutors even though the researcher is aware from other sources of this kind of tension occurring. For example, tension could be created when a mismatch occurs between tutors' and school teachers' views of what students need to learn. However, this study has found that school teachers seem to be influenced in some ways by the practice of tutoring, although this impact does not seem to be caused directly by the tutors alone. This issue will be dealt with in Chapter 6. To summarize, tutoring seems to create tension among participants. To conclude, what seems to be a simple question of what tutoring is becomes a complex issue of who the participants are and what they bring to tutoring in terms of their educational values, beliefs, and experience. In addition, the different voices of the participants illustrate that tutoring is not a simple matter of tutors interacting with tutees. Rather, tutoring in this case is co-constructed by different participants. Their different voices regarding different issues reflect their different assumptions and beliefs. These differences seem to create tensions among participants. As a result, tutoring seems to be a social practice not easily defined nor described. 157 Chapter 6 T U T O R I N G A N D ITS WIDER C O N T E X T 6.0. Introduction The previous two chapters suggest that the study of tutoring is complex. Chapter 4, which described the various patterns of tutoring, illustrates that multiple factors influence the format of tutoring. Chapter 5, on the different voices, demonstrates the importance of examining participants' theories about educational values, expectations, and assumptions in tutoring. Furthermore, the participants' values and expectations seem to be reflected in the tutorial patterns. Also, this study borrows from Senge's (1990) concept of a learning organization which includes both formal and informal learning in order to provide a full account of the students' learning experience. Many studies on the education of immigrant students have focused on aspects of formal learning in schools. Similarly, the concept of learning organization has been applied in terms of learning in institutions such as schools (Wagner, 1994). Tutoring, an example of informal learning, has not been studied in relation to a learning community. Thus, the central aim of this chapter is to address the question of how tutoring fits into the larger learning community. Since both formal (the school) and informal learning should be considered parts of the learning community, the more specific focus is on how the tutoring and the formal schooling experience interrelate for Taiwanese immigrant students. Focusing on this question, this study identifies the themes related to school practices from tutorial data. Participants are interviewed in order to gain further insights into their mental models (Senge's term to refer to deep-rooted beliefs) regarding the themes raised. Following this concept, this data 158 chapter will illustrate the correlation between action and reflection discourses regarding different themes. 6.1. Tutoring: As academic teaching and a forum for discussion The relationship between tutoring and schooling for immigrant students seems complex. On the surface, tutoring provides the teaching of academic material. The most common pattern found in the Chapter 4 supports the idea that academic content is often the topic of discussion in tutoring. However, further investigation suggests that tutoring also provides opportunities for incidental discussion among participants about educational practices in schools. The term "incidental discussion" is used here because although the main task of tutoring is the discussion of academic content, there seem to be many opportunities in the tutorials where participants are able to examine their mismatched beliefs about educational practices and philosophies. In other words, the discussion of topics other than academic content occurrs unplanned in the process of tutoring. The incidental discussion can broadly be separated into three types. They are (1) debates about ESL programs, (2) different learning styles in students' current schools, and (3) ease of access to schools for parents. Moreover, these discussion themes occur during the tutorials, but a deeper understanding of the themes is not obtainable simply by observation. Interviews of the participants are essential. The reason for using the interview data to support the tutorial data is that themes may have been identified in the tutorials, but how the themes and problems are discussed and resolved may not be explicitly expressed in the tutorials. For example, tutorial data may provide evidence of a parent's dissatisfaction with the ESL program but the source or the cause of her 159 dissatisfaction may not have been explained in the tutorial data. Also, the participants do not take time during the tutorial to examine these issues because the more pressing issue is with teaching of academic content. The use of interviews helps solve the problem of not obtaining enough detailed information about the issues. Furthermore, since many of the themes identified occur in an on-going manner, continuous interviews to trace how the themes unfold are important in this chapter. The data in this chapter will be presented in two categories: action and reflection discourses. Action discourse will come from tutorial data whereas reflection discourse will originate in interview data. This separation of discourses is critical for this chapter because tutorial data provides only half the picture on the incidental discussions in tutoring. Interview data are necessary to gain a deeper insight. In addition, in presenting the data in this chapter, the emphasis will be placed on illustrating issues through particular cases rather than showing that an issue affects the majority of participants. Since this study is of an exploratory nature, it is more important at this stage to highlight the issues rather than count the frequency of the themes. Thus, only one example for each discussion theme will be provided. In the sections to follow, findings will be presented. First, an example of tutorials to demonstrate the type of academic teaching found in tutorials will be provided. This example will be used as a comparison to the incidental discussion in tutorials. Second, examples to illustrate the three broad themes described above will be provided to demonstrate that tutoring provides a forum for participants to examine their different concepts of education. 160 6.1.1. Tutorials: To teach academic content Text 6.1 offers an example of a tutor explaining parts of a play to a student. The action discourse illustrates how a tutor explains the background knowledge needed to understand the play, The Crucible. The reflection discourse demonstrates the tutor's theories in his beliefs about the important elements of the play. Also, parent's and student's views on what has been learned in this particular tutorial is explained through their reflection discourse. The tutor in this example provides background knowledge that the student seems to be lacking in order to help him understand the play better. This type of teaching is quite commonly expected in tutorials. Text 6.1: Teaching a play Reflection Discourse T12: Students find literature difficult. Reading a play like The Crucible requires a lot of background knowledge that students would not necessarily have. So I try to bridge this gap for my students. S12: Literature is really hard. Even when I have no vocabularies, I still don't understand it because there are many hidden meaning. We have to guess what the author mean. PI2: / know that my son's tutor helps him a lot with his regular English class. There are many cultural things my son doesn't know. So his tutor can help. I know nothing about English literature. When I was in university in Taiwan, Chinese literature was hard for me too even though Chinese is my first language. Action Discourse T12: What about reading and literature? Are you doing okay? S12: Yes. I am reading The Crucible. T12: Are you half-way through? SI2: Yeah. T12: Can you understand it all? S12: They were killing each other. I don't understand why they killed each other? T12: As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. The problem with The Crucible is that when you read the play, it's just unbelievable. You think, in literature, this won't work because characters need motivation. S12: This is not fiction? T12: No. It isn't non-fiction. But he's based all of these on historical research. And that's essentially what was happening that people just 161 seemed to be going wild and making all these kinds of assertions. There didn't seem to be any reason for it especially when people start jumping up and saying I have been doing it too for no particular... Have they started yet? S12: No. T12: They will. I believe. In that play, people will start making confessions to start. Confessions to things that a 20th century audience thinks cannot possibly be true because we just don't believe that if there is a devil that the devil somehow materializes on the earth and seduces people into going along with this plan or whatever it is that the devils do. We are not even very clear anymore... S12: You said that it's based on historical research? T12: In fact, he gives a lot of references, doesn't he? Isn't there a lot of comments on the author's part throughout the play? S12: Yeah. He commented on the characters. So you mean they are true? T12: Yeah. The year is true. The historical incidents are true. I think even the characters are true. Obviously, there are a lot of things going on. (The tutor continued explaining the elements of this play that makes the reading of it difficult) 6.1.2. Tutorials: To discuss E S L programs In contrast to the typical academic content of the tutorials described above, other themes have been identified. The first theme is the usefulness of ESL programs. This issue was raised in Guo's (2001) study, in which she reported on both the parents' and the teacher's perspectives on ESL programs and found that discrepancies exist between the two regarding this issue. Similarly, in this current study, it was also found that much dissatisfaction about ESL programs occurs and that similar discrepancies exist. The following example occurs in a tutorial when the student complains about not being able to take regular English 8 the following term. The mother joins the discussion and consults the tutor. The tutor and the mother decide to see the school teacher together. The tutorial data simply highlight the fact that the student and the parent are concerned 162 about the student's not being mainstreamed. However, the issue is not that simple. In fact, later interviews of the participants illustrate that mainstreaming is not the only concern, and the participants seem equally concerned about the ESL programs. Tutoring seems to provide an opportunity for parents to raise this issue. Although the tutorial data do not show that the problem of mainstreaming is solved for the parents and the students, at least parents are able to voice their worry. The interviews show that both the mother and the student still hold negative attitudes about many aspects of ESL programs even though the tutor has tried to help. Text 6.2: Discussing E S L programs Reflection Discourse Participants expressed many different concerns related to the problem of mainstreaming. Due to the large amount of data, a summary of their different concerns will be provided in Table 6.1 so that different views will be more clearly demonstrated. Action Discourse 1. Tutor and student discussed the student's not being able to leave E S L class. S3: I won't be in regular English 10 next year because I am not good enough. T3: That's too bad. I guess we'll have to work harder. 2. Parents talked to tutor about daughter's progress in school. P3: I am concerned about my daughter's progress. If she can't take regular English 10, she will not be able to graduate in time. She's been here for three years and she still has to take ESL. My friend's daughter came here for one year and she can take regular English 8 already. T3: There must be a reason why. We can go and talk to the teacher to find out why if you like. P3: Yeah. Good. Can you go with me? T3: Sure. (The tutor made an appointment to see the ESL teacher.) 3. Several days after the meeting, the parent talked to the tutor again about the result of the meeting at school. P3: I don't agree with the teacher. I think the teacher does not like Emily. Can you make sure that you give my daughter more homework to make sure that she can be out of ESL next year? T3: I understand your frustration. Emily is doing quite well. Don't worry. There are a few things that I can work on with Emily according to 163 the school teacher. I agree. I will try to bring some material to help Emily. Okay, Emily, let's get started. S3: What did my teacher say about me? T3: Well, your teacher said that you spent too much time talking in Chinese in class. S3: No. I was helping my friend. He just came and don't understand what the teacher saying. T3: Yeah, but according to your teacher, you often interrupt the class. But this is not the reason why you are not allowed to take regular English 10. S3: Then, why? T3: First, you missed a few assignments. Second, your writing is still full of mistakes. Third, some of your spelling tests were bad. Lastly, the country project you did was not thorough enough. S3: That's not true. I only miss two assignment because I was sick. I did bad on one spelling test because I forget about test. I got a B on my project last time. T3: Well, maybe you are right but it's too late to talk about this now. Let's concentrate on improving your writing and hopefully we can bring you out of the ESL class next year. Table 6.1: Summary of reflection discourse regarding E S L programs Reflection Discourse 1. Performance Assessment P3: I believe that having no standardized testing is no good for schools here. Evaluating students' levels based on projects and very few tests is not very good. In Taiwan, students receive many exams. That's better. T3: Assessment isn't always made very clear to my students. For example, one of my student's teachers in school really seems to base his evaluation on just homework assignments. But other times, teachers are very explicit. The teacher we went to see for Emily is very explicit in how she evaluates her students. Te A: Rote-learning and tests will not make students learn English. Students need to be immersed in the environment to learn. Tests won't tell me my students' proficiency in English. Te D: We assess students holistically. We consider a combination of factors such as homework assignments, tests, and behavior in school. S3: There no tests here. In Taiwan, we have many tests. Here, teacher use homework assignments. 2. Exit Standard P3: There is no standard for ESL classes. Some schools allow students to move out of ESL classes easily and some don't. There is no one test for deciding if students can be out of ESL. That's why my daughter is still in ESL after 3 years. My friend's children are in all regular after I year in 164 ESL at a different school. T3: There doesn't seem to be an explicit guideline that everyone can follow for an ESL student to be mainstreamed. It seems that different criteria are used for different schools. Te C: When I send a student to a regular class, I have to consider whether he's mature enough and whether he's ready mentally and academically. I don't base my judgment on my personal likes or dislikes. S3: Students my teacher like can go to regular. My teacher don't like me so I in ESL for three years. 3. Exit Time and Procedure P3: It simply takes too long for my daughter to be in regular classes. I know my daughter's teachers in school want me to be patient but they don't know that my daughter doesn't have the time. T3: It has really taken Emily quite a while to be mainstreamed. I know that she still has some problems but keeping her in ESL for so long is really de-motivating for her. Te C: We give students two standardized tests to measure English proficiency in the beginning and at the end of the term. We then have a meeting to decide which students exit the ESL classes. The ESL teachers, the counselors, and the content teachers are all consulted. It takes 5 to 7 years to develop academic proficiency. S3: At first, I like ESL class because my teacher and friends. But, after 3 year, I feel I am not learning anything. 4. Content of E S L Classes P3: Sylvan learning center has a very structured program for improving reading because there is a textbook. But the ESL classes here have no structure. There are no textbooks. My daughter does strange assignments like listening to radio, watching TV, and reading comic books. They are no good for improving English. P3: My daughter also tells me that ESL is too easy. T3: Emily and her mother both think that ESL classes are too easy but from what Emily brings home from school, I think her ESL teacher is really giving her some useful things to prepare her for regular classes. I don't think that the ESL material is all that easy for Emily. Te B: Parents and students assume that ESL classes are too easy. But, really, lots of time, students can't even complete the tasks I give them. They assume ESL classes are easy because they don't count toward graduation credits. I prepare my students for entering regular classes. S3: We do a lot of easy stuffs in ESL. I do harder things with my tutors at home. We get easy spelling and stories. 5. Motivational Factors P3: Students need to be pressured and challenged to move ahead. So they really shouldn't keep students in ESL too long. Because ESL does not give 165 my daughter pressure so she gets lazy. T3: My students and their mothers are used to having pressure from the teachers. So I am kind of expected to give pressure to make sure they learn. Te B: I think that pressure on students to be mainstreamed is not the responsibility of the teachers. Students must want to achieve in order to do well in school. But some parents assume that it's our job to push the students to study. S3: My ESL teacher are easy. They are kind. They know we have English problem so they are easy. They don't have high standard. To summarize, it seems as though there is no easy solution to resolve the mismatch in beliefs about ESL programs. This issue was debated continuously by the participants. Sometimes, action was taken. For example, some of the parents decided to send their children to supplementary schools such as Sylvan Learning Center in addition to tutoring at home in order to get what they believed was lacking in their children's education. Some transferred their children to different schools. To complicate the matter for these ESL students, differences occurred regarding other issues as well. In the next section, data will be shown on how students and their parents cope with the different learning styles in Vancouver schools. 6.1.3. Tutorial: To gain acquaintance with learning skills Oral presentations, oral participation in class, and research projects are three issues that tutors spent much time helping students with. In much of the tutorial and interview data, concerns about the three issues are expressed. One example of a mother's effort to ensure that her son achieves excellence in oral presentations through the help of a tutor is provided in Text 6.4. In this example, the mother tries to understand how her son is doing in oral presentations through the help of a tutor. In discussing her concerns, the mother 166 also expresses some of her doubts about the value of oral presentations. However, despite the doubts the mother has, she seeks help from the tutor to ensure that she can provide some help to her son at home. Interviews with the mother and other participants will further illustrate different attitudes toward this skill. Text 6.4: Discussing the value of oral presentations Reflection Discourse Different participants' views of oral presentation will be displayed in Table 6.2. Action Discourse 1. Mother chats with the tutor about son's progress and the value of oral presentation. P7: How's my son doing in speech? Is he getting better? T7: Yes. A lot better than the first time. He's done four so far. P7: That's a lot. Why do they have to do so many? I think they should have more tests. T7: Actually, oral presentation is a very good way of testing students to see if they can express what they have learned to others. If they can explain the topic well, then he's probably learned the topic. Paper exams are good also but there is value in doing an oral presentation. In fact, I think John is really improving in his oral communication ability. P7: But the teacher still doesn't give him A. He is always memorizing his script. You are already helping him so much. What else can he do to get an A? What is the teacher's expectation? T7: If you like, we can make an appointment to see the teacher to see what we can do at home to help John do even better. P7: Good. Can you go with me? Tl: Yes. 2. Tutor goes with the mother to see the school teacher about student grades and how to make better oral presentations. (The meeting between the parent and the teacher in school was not taped but an interview with the tutor, the parent, and the teacher was conducted. Their views are displayed in Table 6.5) 3. Mother chats with the tutor about how she can help at home. T7: Maybe you can be John's audience when he practices. P7: What do I listen for ? T7: You can make sure he has good eye contact. You can time him. You can see if he has good pauses and smiles. You can also make sure that he is not reading his script. P7: What about his grammar? T7: Don't worry about that. I always check his content to make sure that all his sentences are correct. 167 4. Mother questions the value of oral presentation again. P7: / listened to John several times. He seems to know what he wants to say well. He is not reading but I don't know whether what he says is correct or not. T7: That's good. So long as you remind John of eye contact, and not reading his script. You don't need to worry about the rest. P7: Yeah, but I am still not sure what he will learn from this? T7: You'll be surprised about how much he can learn. Since he rehearsed the topic so many times, he really learned the material well. I gave him a small test the other day to see what he remembered from his speech without telling him ahead of time. He actually got 80% correct. So don't think that just because he is not writing things down, he is not learning. Also, he seems much more confident now when he speaks English. P7: I noticed that too. He used to be so afraid when I ask him to translate things for me when we go out to buy things. Now, he is happier doing it. T7: Just give him some more time. I am sure this oral presentation skill training will help him get rid of his shyness and stage-fright. In addition, he will be more fluent in speaking English and expressing himself more effectively later. He just needs to be trained more. P7: I hope so. 5. The tutor re-assures the mother of the importance of oral presentation by giving examples of her other students. P7: John only got a B on his last presentation. I know he worked hard but I don't know what his problem is. Tl: B is not a bad mark. Besides, when he is actually presenting, he may be a bit more nervous than practicing at home with us. So he may have lost some points there. P7: Do you think that the teacher is really fair? Tl: Yeah. The teacher was very clear about what she is looking for on an oral presentation. She told us that last time. So you don't need to worry that she grades John on her impression. She has very definite criteria. Remember, she also said that John speaks a bit fast when he presents. Maybe when he gets nervous, he forgets to slow down. Also, John still needs more training to be perfect on his presentation. But, I think for someone who's been in the school system here for just two years, John is doing well. P7: My husband wants to see all As on his report card because he wants John to go to medical school. Tl: I understand your pressure. John will get better. I am sure. He is a very bright student. I taught a student a while ago who was extremely shy, even more so than John. When we worked on her first oral presentation, I was so frustrated because I couldn't understand anything she said even though we practiced so many times. She failed her first presentation. She 168 was so horrible. But she was very determined in improving her oral speech. When she graduated, she was the valedictorian for her class. P7: What is "Vale.."? T7: A person who gives a speech to the audience on behalf of the graduating class when he graduates from school. P7: I hope John can be that good some day. T7: I am sure he will. He is really doing well. Table 6.2: Reflection on oral communication and presentation 1. Attitude toward oral presentations (Beginning of term) 1. Attitude toward oral presentations (End of term) Reflection Discourse Parents P7: / don't know why students do oral presentations here. The best way to know if someone learns is through tests. Tutors T7: Oral presentation is always hard in the beginning for ESL students because it is a format of learning that is not emphasized in the students' previous education. P7: / used to think that an oral presentation is a real waste of time. But now, as I see my son improves his English skill, it may have some good points. My son isn't as shy anymore. My son's tutor helps a lot. She teaches me something about presentations too. But I still think testing is a better form of ensuring that learning has been achieved. If my son gets a different teacher next year, his new teacher may have different expectation, then he has to re-learn all the rules. 1 don't see how oral presentations can be so beneficial because they are not objective. Tl: I am amazed at some of my students' improvement. They work hard. I know some still don't like doing it. I spend a lot of time helping not just my students but their mothers. Mothers are concerned about their children. I had to explain to the mothers often the advantages of oral presentation assignments. I think it's important that the mother learns to understand the value. 169 Student S7: I hate oral presentation. My teacher just give it because she don't want to teach. My classmates laugh when I speak bad English in front of class. Teacher Te B: Parents don't see the value of skills such as oral presentations and research projects. But, I am a firm believer in those. Te H: Parents and students are more concerned about grades than learning. The value of oral presentations is long term but parents are only interested in what percentage their children get. S7: I hate oral presentations. I do so many this term. I feel more okay now but I have to put a lot of work. I still not do too well. I got B last time. I am happy. My mother is too. TeB: I know that parents are frustrated because they are concerned about their children's future. So when I give assignments like oral presentations and research projects, it's harder for them to grasp concretely. I used to think that it was only a matter of cultural differences. But I think time pressure is also important for parents. TeH: I know that students hate oral presentations. Some of the native speakers dislike them also. But, a lot of my ESL students are lucky, they get help from a tutor at home. I am actually quite happy to see that even though they say they hate oral presentations, they do quite well. I guess they must have really received a lot of help. 2. Evaluation criteria for oral presentation (Beginning of term) 2. Evaluation criteria for oral presentation (End of term) Reflection Discourse Parents P7: It seems hard to evaluate oral presentations. It's so subjective. My son's teacher even asks his classmates to give grade. I don't think it's fair. Tutor T7: Some teachers explain their criteria for evaluation of oral presentations clearly and some don't. John's teacher seems to be P7: / went to see the teacher in school many times to see how John's grade will improve in oral presentations. She tells my son's tutor how to help my son get better. I think it's good that my tutor understands how she marks. My son's tutor says that the teacher is very fair. But I don't know. Tl: I think John's teacher must have been very sick of me. I have gone to see her a few times with John's mother. Speaking to the teacher has really 170 quite explicit. She gives a sheet of what she is looking for to the students before the oral presentations. I think that's very helpful. Student S7: I don't understand how my teacher judge me. She give a list of important thing to know but they are so subjective. Like eye-contact, how does she grade eye-contact? Teacher Te F: I know parents question my rationale for evaluation of oral presentations. I try to ease their worry by giving them a clear set of criteria. I do try to be objective but I know this type of grading can be hard. helped me focus on what is important for the teacher. So I coach John according to what the teacher likes. I think she is a very explicit teacher. But not all my students are this lucky. I've seen teachers who are a lot less structured in their marking. S7: I think I know what my teacher want. After doing so many, I know about the good amount of eye-contact. I was very afraid to look at people when I talk in beginning. Now, I can smile at my friends. So I think I get better marks. Te F: I still get lots of questions about evaluation. I haven't changed but I think that parents and students have because of time. After doing a few, I think that the criteria becomes more concrete for them to understand. Of course, tutors help but I sure spend a lot of time talking to the tutors. This example illustrates an important point about tutoring and the educational practice of oral presentation in schools. That is, tutoring seems to provide an opportunity for the parents and the students to realize the value of this skill. In Text 6.4, it is evident that the tutor has gone out of her way to make sure that the mother sees the value of oral presentations. The tutor's actions are quite clear. Also, tutors spend much time in coaching the students at home in order to perform well. The interviews with the mother demonstrate that the mother gradually comes to see some merit in oral presentations although she still doubts the real value of it. Tutors play an intermediary role in 171 negotiating the differences between parents' and students' understanding of this skill and teachers' expectations. Many ideas are exchanged throughout the term when students learn these different skills at school. The participants negotiated in a similar fashion as the example above shows. The process of negotiation may or may not be smooth but the activity of tutoring allows us to see the dynamics of this process. The above example also illustrates another facet in the relationship between tutoring and the educational experiences of immigrant families. Specifically, not only does tutoring provide an opportunity for parents and students to work through their differences, it also allows parents and students to alter their beliefs and assumptions. One might argue that without tutoring, students and the parents may still develop an understanding of oral presentations through events like Parents' Night. Tutoring differs, however, in that parents and the students are the ones initiating the need to examine their beliefs. In contrast, the Parents' Night addresses some of these issues according to a set schedule (Guo, 2001). Since parents and the students are the ones seeing the need to change, they may be more willing to learn new information. However, the willingness to change beliefs has not always resulted in a changed attitude toward the educational practices. Last, this type of negotiation in tutoring happens throughout the term and with other topics such as the usefulness of research projects, field trips, oral participation in class and group work. 6.1.4. Tutorials: To provide school access for parents Another common concern that tutors deal with often is the ease of access to school for the parents. Within this broad issue, there are five problems that the parents and the 172 students face constantly and that are dealt with in tutorials. The first of these problems is the receiving of an interim report. The second is the understanding of the report card. The third is the understanding the placement of the student in different school programs. The fourth is dealing with problems at school. The fifth is helping to apply to universities and planning courses. An example for each issue found from tutorial and interview data will help define the problems. The examples illustrate that tutoring may provide access for parents to the school system. More specifically, tutoring seems to answer many parents' questions about their children's schools. However, one must be cautious about making the conclusion that a positive relationship between the schools and these Taiwanese immigrant students is established through tutoring. The negative influence of tutoring on schools will be discussed in a later section. Getting an interim report The interim report is a new concept to the mother and the students in this example. Both the mother and the student approach the tutor for an explanation of the interim report. As a result, the tutor suggests seeing the school teacher because the mother implies that the failing grade is a result of teacher discrimination. After seeing the teacher, both the tutor and the mother realize that the student has led the mother to believe wrongly that he has been doing well in school. The parents' lack of understanding of school policies has allowed some of the immigrant students to take advantage of this situation. Tutors seem to assist parents in understanding their children's learning environment. 173 Text 6.5: Explaining about an interim report Reflection Parents Discourse P10: I never knew what an interim report was until my son got it. I think it is a good system for the teacher to remind me that my son is doing poorly in school before the report card is out. We never got this in Taiwan. If my son did poorly on his test, then he would fail. He would not get a second chance. Here, students have more space to improve. It's a good idea. P10: / was so angry with Gary that I punished him when I got home from the meeting. I couldn't believe that he behaved so badly in school. He never used to be like that. I had more control over him when I was in Taiwan. I was both surprised and hurt to find out about his performance in school. Because of my bad English, I can only rely on what my son tells me about school. So I missed many things that were happening in school. I was a much better mother in Taiwan. At least, in Taiwan, I would know whether my son was lying or not. Maybe we made a mistake sending Gary here for schooling. (The mother was quite emotional at this point) P10: / am also more suspicious of my son now. I won't just believe everything he tells me. I always check with my son's tutor. Tutors T10: I try to find out as many things as I can from the students about school so that I can tell the parents what is happening with their children in school. Parents will never be able to know everything that is happening in school but I try to provide as much information as I can so that the parents wouldn't feel so lost. Most of my students' parents can understand my meaning when I speak slowly. Parents are disappointed when they find out the education their children are receiving is different from what they expected. T10: I see this problem occurs quite frequently. Students use their parents' lack of understanding about schools and their limited English proficiency to hide bad news from the mothers. After the meeting, I found out that Gary missed many assignments and that those assignments counted for 60% of the mark for the course. He was given plenty of time in school to complete the assignments. If he did not have time to finish them, he could go into the keyboarding room to complete his assignments before or after school but he never bothered going. The teacher also told me that Gary tended to waste a lot of time talking in class. The teacher was not happy with Gary's attitude and work habits in school. Students S10: My parents can't really talk to my teachers in school like in Taiwan. So every time my mother ask me about my homework, I will always say, "finish." But, sometimes, I didn't even do. My mother don't understand schools because she can't speak English. Schools here are very different from Taiwan. 174 Teachers Te E: I am glad that Gary's mother came to see me. I was surprised to find out that Gary's mother didn't know about Gary's poor work habits and attitude in school. I guess there are a lot of differences between the mother's knowledge of schools in Taiwan and here. Te E: I was also surprised to find out that interim reports were new to some ESL students. I assumed that everyone would know the goal of an interim report. Action Discourse Student receives an interim report from school S10: I get this interim report from my keyboarding class today. I don't know what to do. T10: O.K. Let me see. You are getting 40% on keyboarding. Why are you getting such a low mark? S10: Because I am very slow in typing. T10: I am sure that is not the only thing you are graded on in keyboarding class. Don't you have assignments that you have to hand in? (Mother walks in.) P10: I am very worried about his keyboarding. I don't know why he is getting such a low mark in keyboarding. This is such an easy class. I see my son practice all the time at home. I even bought software so that he can practice at home by himself. My son told me that his keyboarding teacher doesn't like him and that she is always very hard on ESL students. T10: I don't think we should jump to conclusions about why he is doing poorly in keyboarding. There could be many reasons. Maybe he is missing some assignments. Maybe he is not participating enough in class. Another thing could be that he is just too slow in typing. We should make an appointment with the teacher in school to see what the reason was for his low mark in keyboarding. P10: Ok. Could you go with me? T10: Sure. I will write a note to the teacher for an appointment next week. (The result of the meeting is illustrated in the interviews) To summarize, this example shows that tutoring helps reveal a true picture of the student's behavior in school. At the same time, tutoring allows the mother an opportunity to learn about the new school practices. Also, the school teacher develops a deeper understanding of his student and his family. 175 Understanding the report card In this example, the mother approaches the tutor when she receives a report card. The mother reveals frustration in not understanding the letter grade received when there are only good comments. The data suggest that the issue debated is the different interpretations of what report cards can mean. Grading for ESL classes does not seem explicit. There seem to be variations among teachers. The teachers seem to possess a good rationale for how one should be assessed in their mind. However, parents expect an entirely different grading rationale. The tutors who see different students from different classes and different schools express difficulty in giving an accurate interpretation of what the grading means. The tutor in this case seems to take on the important responsibility of helping to interpret the meaning of the report card to the parents. Text 6.6: Understanding a report card Reflection Discourse Parents P9: A report card should reflect my son's test score in classes. It should also tell me his rank in class. I want to know if he is good enough to get into a university. But report cards here don't tell me these kind of things. There are just teachers' comments. They don't provide much information about my son but only if the teacher likes my son. Tutors T9: It can be hard to interpret report cards here. Teachers have different marking scheme and criteria. For example, two students of mine are in two different Social Studies 9 classes. They have very different assignments and tests. As a result, evaluation criteria may be quite different for the two teachers. So, it's hard to tell really how the student is doing from report cards. There are a lot of variations among teachers. My Taiwanese students are more number oriented. They are used to seeing percentage grades. Students S9: I like when we don't get grade or mark. Then my mother don't know what I get in school. We just get comments. In Taiwan, we get a percent. Then my mother will know if I do bad in school. Teachers 176 Te D: Even though we don't give a percentage or letter grade for ESL classes, I calculate all my students' assignments and tests in percentages for myself. Based on the percentage, I provide written comments to the students. For example, if a student gets about 70 percent, then he's considered a weak student because he gets 30 percent wrong on my assignments and tests. So my comments will reflect that. Not every teacher marks this way. Te H: I give an A when the student gets over 90 percent on all my assignments and tests and behaves well. C+ means that the student is progressing satisfactorily but could work harder. B means that the student is doing well in my class but is not proficient enough in English to do well in regular classes. Te G: I know parents and students want numbers on report cards but we don't do that anymore unless the course follows a set curriculum. Action Discourse 1. Getting report cards in school S9: I have my report card today. My mother is very angry. T9: Why? S9: I have many C. T9: Let me see. (Reading over report card) T9: At least, your work habit is good and you have good comments from your teachers. S9: Nobody look at that. All my mother care is my letter grade. (Mother comes in) P9: Did you see his report card? How can he get into university with his mark? T9: The first term is usually harder so the teachers tend to give a lower mark so that there is room for improvement later. P9: He gets all good comments like "works hard," "good student," and "goodprogress" but he receives a low mark like "C." Why? I really don't understand. T9: Brian has only been here for one year, C is not a bad mark at all. He's probably getting Cs because his English is not good enough but his teachers' good comments probably mean that he pays attention in class and does all his work for school. There is the parent-teacher meeting next week. Maybe you can ask the teacher to be sure. 2. After the parent-teacher meeting, the mother talks to the tutor again. P9: / saw Brian's teachers. They told me why he gets Cs in his classes. He behaves well in school. He doesn't talk too much. He does all his assigned work quietly and does not disturb others. So the teachers like him in class but his letter grades are not very good because he didn't do well on his tests and some of his assignments. Also, the teacher said if he could 177 speak more in class, then he would receive a better oral participation mark. I know Brian behaves well but I really just want him to get good mark to go into university. Can you push him more? T9: Yeah. I w i l l try. I w i l l make sure that I review with him for his tests and check his assignments. To summarize, tutoring seems to provide an opportunity for parents to question the differences in grading between parents' expectations and actual school practices. Tutors who may or may not provide an accurate interpretation of the report cards seem to fulfill this role of interpreter for the parents. Understanding student placement In the next two examples, two mothers seem to have a strong attitude about what the school should provide for their children's education. However, when this strong attitude is not in congruence with the current school practices, frustration occurs. Tutors are involved in these two examples as advocates for both the parents and the school. Although it is difficult for the tutors to be completely neutral, they seem to assume this intermediary position between the school and the immigrant family. In addition, these two examples illustrate three problems for parents. First, Taiwanese parents seem to hold a strong belief in academic success and would not accept other career choices. Second, even though there is program flexibility, Taiwanese parents do not necessarily appreciate this flexibility. Programs such as International Baccalaureate programs and advanced programs seem more highly regarded than skill-based programs to these families. Third, parents seem quick to blame the schools for not accommodating the needs of the students when the schools do not meet the demand of the parents. Although parents may still 178 possess strong beliefs about the type of education their children need, parents have been able to explore some of these problems in tutoring. Text 6.7: Understanding the placement process of different programs Reflection Discourse Parents P2: / don't understand why the school would not make room for my daughter to take advanced math. I don't believe there is not even one single space for her. My friend's children can take anything they want in their school. That's why I think private schools may be the answer. They will have more money for programs. P6: / know that Joni is a slow learner. Her teachers in Taiwan told me also. But I thought schools here would be more understanding. I want the schools to help me find a good way to teach her. There are too many students in one class in Taiwan so the teacher has no time to pay special attention to Joni. I thought that here would be different. I am very disappointed. Tutors T2: I am not sure if the counselor really can't find a space for Diane or if he is just too lazy. It's hard to tell in this case without seeing the counselor myself. I do know of cases where the counselors are quite accommodating of students' requests. But schools are different. T6: It's hard to convince Joni's mother that she may never excel academically. I think that the counselor's recommendation is really honest. A skill-based program will make Joni a lot happier. But, it's too bad that Joni's mother does not share this. Students S2: I really don't want to take advanced math. I have enough work. If I can be lazy sometimes, then I like it. I don't need to study for math now. S6: I want take the program. I never doing good in school. Everyone know I am stupid. Teachers Te E: Some parents don't really understand how we place students in different classes. I mean we need to take into consideration the teachers, classrooms, and class size when we plan courses. Of course, it's a lot more complex than I can tell you but parents don't care. They just want results. Action 1. Advanced Math Program P2: Do you know if there are harder programs in school for math that Diane can take? T2: I think so. Why? P2: Diane's math is too easy for her now. She gets over 95 percent on all her tests now. Also, she's learned a lot ofthe concepts already from her math tutor at home. 179 T2: What class is she in now? P2: Math 9. I want her to take Math 10 or advanced math. T2: You'll probably have to see the counselor. Maybe Diane can ask her counselor tomorrow when she goes to school. (After Diane sees the counselor, the mother talks to the tutor again.) S2: The counselor say no because there no space. T2: Oh. I guess it's hard to find a space for you in the middle of the term. Did you ask if you can take a harder course next term? S2: Yeah but the counselor don't know yet. I wait till course planning later. (It is not necessarily clear whether the student is reporting the counselor's message accurately because in the interview earlier, the student has expressed that she has no interest in taking advanced math.) P2: The school should open more classes to accommodate the needs ofthe students. But the government has no money. T2: Yeah. P2: Have you heard of Crofton House? T2: A very expensive girls only school. (At the end of the term, the mother transferred Diane to a private school.) 2. Skill-based Program P6: / have this note from the counselor to see her on Monday about Joni. T6: Do you want me to go with you? P6: Yes. I think the counselor wants to talk to me about Joni's problems in school. (After the meeting with the counselor, the mother discusses the counselor's recommendation to send Joni to a skill-based program at a different school because of her learning disability.) P6: Does this skill-based program allow Joni to go to universities? T6: I don't think so. But the important thing is that when she graduates from high school, she can develop skills other than academic skills. The counselor said that Joni may have a learning difficulty if she continues in the academically based programs. I think also that Joni is very unhappy. P6: But if she does not get into universities, she has no future. She doesn't have to go to a good university but any university will be okay. T6: Going to a university is not the only option for Joni. (The tutor continued this discussion with Joni's mother about not pushing Joni in academic work. At the end, the mother still decided to turn down the counselor's suggestion. Joni continued taking academic courses in the current school. She failed all courses except Art and PE.) To summarize, the availability of school programs seems to concern parents. These Taiwanese parents may be more inclined to challenge their children in academic 180 programs. However, the problem is that not all students want to or should be challenged. Tutors who may or may not be familiar with all the programs and their goals are asked to provide advice to the parents. Again, tutors provide a link between the school and the parents but the effectiveness of this link is difficult to assess. Dealing with problems In addition to reading the interim reports, understanding report cards, and understanding different school programs, tutoring also deals with issues such as skipping classes, taking summer courses, getting permission to take a summer course for credit, and discussing students' personal issues. Examples in Text 6.8 show that tutors are expected to be problem solvers because parents approach them with many school-related problems. Some problems are easily dealt with but others are not. In the first example, the tutor helps the mother discover the student's poor attendance record. In the second example, the tutor recommends a summer course to take. The third example shows that the tutor helps a student obtain permission to take a summer course for credit even though the school rule does not permit the student to do so. The last example shows that the tutor discovers an example of inappropriate student behavior and tries to correct the student. These examples show that tutors do not just provide academic support to students. Text 6.8: Dealing with student problems in school Reflection Discourse Parents P8: 1 get a lot of letters from the school. I never know what they are. I tried using my dictionary to help me understand but sometime they are just too hard. My son's tutor is good this way. So I just show her everything I get from school. P I : My son's tutor was a school teacher before she retired so she knows many things about schools. I find she's a good resource person about school things. I also trust her because I know she'll tell me the truth. 181 P4: My son's tutor has helped me contact the school many times. He wrote a letter for my son to get permission to take English 11 in the summer. My son was able to take it in the end because of his letter. Tutors T8: Skipping classes is a problem for many of my students. I guess it's easier to skip here than in Taiwan. I don't know the best way to prevent it, but I think some counselors are kind enough to provide the parents the attendance record. T l : I get asked about summer courses a lot. Some of my students take summer courses because of time pressure. Some take them because they think summer school is easier. T4: I really don't like writing letters for parents to ask for permission to take summer courses for credits. Schools are different. Sometimes, I can be successful in persuading the school. But, sometimes, not. My students always want to take English 11 or 12 in the summer so I get asked to write letters often. I write them even when I think the students are really not ready because the parents want me to. Students S8: Too bad my mother know about skipping. The tutor know too much. SI: I trust my tutor's recommendation. She has recommended many good summer courses. S4: Summer courses are easy to pass. All my friends say it. So I want to take English 11 in summer so I graduate soon. S11: I tell my tutor many things. He don't tell my mom. I tell him about girls. He understand because he's young too. Teachers Te E: Some parents make unreasonable requests. I know ESL students have the pressure of graduating and entering university. But there is no reason to hurry the students if they are not ready. I get so many requests to take summer courses for credit especially for English 11 and 12. But, I really can't allow it if the student has not even taken English 10. Parents won't accept this though. I get calls from tutors sometimes but there is usually nothing I can do. Action Discourse 1. Skipping classes P8: What's this? My son gave me this today. T8: He's been skipping classes. P8: How can that be? I drive him to school everyday. T8: He may be in school but he's not attending all his classes. For example, I think he's been skipping quite a few math and ESL classes. S8: I don't go to those because I have to study for my social. T8: Really? You have skipped quite a few classes to study. Have you had so many tests? P8: What should I do? 182 T8: Let me call the school and find out. (In the following tutorial, the tutor told the mother that the school counselor would fax a weekly report of this student's attendance record so that the mother could be more informed.) 2. Taking summer courses S1: My mother want me take summer school. What should I take? T l : Are you taking regular Socials 9 next year? SI: No. Social 8. T l : Then you can take Preview Social Studies 8 so you know the type of content you'll learn. SI: Do you know something fun? 3. Asking permission from school to take a summer course for credit P4: Can you write a letter for me asking the school to let Serena take English 11 for credit in the summer so that she can take English 12 in September? T4: Sure. P4: Her counselor said that she cannot take English 11 for credit because she doesn't have English 10. But, if she does not take English 11 in the summer, then she won't graduate. I really want you to convince the counselor to let her. Serena can get help from you in the summer. T4: I'll try my best but I can't guarantee it. Sometimes, the school can be very strict about allowing ESL students to take a regular course for credit when they don't have all the prerequisites. To summarize, tutors seem to provide different types of non-academic support to students and their mothers about school practices. Tutors seem to be a direct source of help to the family. How the tutors have approached the problems posed to them is not a matter of concern at this point. Rather, what seems interesting is that Taiwanese parents and their children seem to prefer seeking help for a wide range of problems from the tutors, even though they were not originally hired to provide this type of support. As mentioned earlier, the original intention of hiring tutors was to provide academic instruction. 183 Helping to apply to universities The issue that this section tries to highlight is tutors' help in selecting courses for schools and applying to universities. For many immigrant parents and students, university entrance is an extremely important event. Since their objective is to enter university, all the course planning revolves around what counts for university. In order to achieve their goal, the tutor seems to help the family select the courses that would ensure a high mark. Text 6.9 will show two examples. One occurs when the student approaches the tutor to help with course selection for the following term. The other example illustrates a tutor's assistance in applying to universities. Text 6.9: Doing course selection and applying to university Reflection Discourse Parents P5: The counselors are not very helpful here. They don't give good advice. They are too busy and have too many students. My tutor really knows my daughter's strength and weakness. He knows what she needs. P4: Schools invite different universities to talk about university application but there are too many things to know. It's hard to know all the requirement in one session. During the application process, we still have many questions but we can't always see the counselor. Tutors T5: The competitiveness of university entrance now has meant that students must obtain a pretty high GPA. So the goal in course selection for me is to find courses which will count toward universities entrance and are easy to get high marks in. I've recommended taking Mandarin 12 because it's a course that's easy for Taiwanese students. It's also a course that the university will count. T4: I guess students like discussing university entrance and course planning with me rather than the school counselor because I know the students' current situation better. I can tell students what to do. School counselors may not be as direct. T4: Applying to universities here is difficult. The process is quite different for students because in Taiwan, I think there is a university entrance exam. But, here, students apply using their transcripts from schools. Also, different schools have different requirements. I think it's hard for anyone to understand the whole process. 184 Students S5: I am only applying to UBC. So I'll take Mandarin 12, English 12, Math 12 and Chemistry 12. I can get A in everything but not English. So, if I got only 60 percent I can still get into UBC. My tutor tell me easy course can balance my bad English. S4: My tutor is very helpful because I want to know if I need TOEFL to apply to universities. But, I call school many times but every one gave me different answer. He know many people and have many experience. He help other student to apply. Teachers Te I: I know that university entrance is important to many students. So course planning becomes important to ensure that all the requirements are met. I know that ESL students are frustrated sometimes because of their English. So they all want to take Mandarin 12 because they can get a high mark easily. But the original intention of a second language requirement is to expose students to a language other than their native language. Our Mandarin 12 class has mostly students who speak Mandarin as their first language. I really don't think it's fair but students don't care. They just want to get a high mark. Action Discourse 1. Doing course planning S5: I have to give this course plan to counselor tomorrow. T5: Yeah, what are you going to take? S5: I don't know. Help me. T5: Let's look at your required courses first. S5: I must take English 12, Math 12, Biology 12, and Social Studies 11. T5: You need another grade 12 course. Choose something easy so that you can get a good mark. You'll be quite busy already in all the other academic subjects. S5: Maybe Mandarin 12. T5: Yeah. You won't need to study. Also, getting an A in Mandarin will also help bring up your GPA for university since your English mark will probably not be too good. 2. Applying to university S4: Can you check this application? T4: Yeah. What other schools have you applied to? S4: U C L A , Central Michigan University, University of Washington. T4: All in the States? S4: Yeah, more schools to choose. Easier too. T4: Let's look at your statement of intent first. What are you getting for your first term? 185 To summarize, course planning and university application are two tasks for which tutors are not originally hired but which in reality they provide much help with. Similarly, in the previous sections, it has been pointed out that tutoring provides assistance in different areas such as learning to cope with different educational practices and understanding different school requirements. In other words, the examples have demonstrated that tutoring provides much non-academic support in addition to the original expectation of academic teaching. Three points need to be made about the different types of non-academic support. First, tutoring seems to provide an open forum to different tutorial participants to express and perhaps question their assumptions about education in an on-going manner. For example, through tutoring, participants' views of the goals of E S L programs and common educational practices can be examined. More specifically, in some cases, mothers have even changed some of their previously held beliefs about oral presentations. Second, tutoring and students' current schooling experience seem to affect one another in different ways. For example, students' and parents' lack of understanding of school practices such as the interim reports, report cards, and summer course selection seems to be addressed through tutoring. Third, the impact of tutoring on the education of Taiwanese immigrant students is a complex issue to examine. In the next section, an attempt w i l l be made to discuss the complexity of tutoring with respect to Taiwanese high school students' educational experience in their schools now. 6.2. Tutoring and schooling: Aspects of support and conflict The data presented in the previous section suggest that tutoring can be a complex social practice for Taiwanese immigrant high school students. Although one important 186 goal of tutoring is the teaching of academic content, the exploration of tutoring as a site of discussion for participants' concern in Section 6.1 has demonstrated that tutoring and schooling of immigrant students is a complicated issue because tutoring does not simply affect students' knowledge of school subjects. Further complexity can be seen when I explore the ways in which tutoring supports schooling or conflicts with it. This question of tutoring as providing harmony or conflict will be discussed in two stages. First, I will discuss the data in this chapter from the perspective of tutoring as providing support to schools for immigrant students and their parents. Second, I will explore the data from the perspective of tutoring as being in conflict with schooling. 6.2.1. Tutoring as support to schools Tutoring seems to provide support to schools for immigrant students and their parents in three ways. First, tutoring provides a forum for a discussion of issues or problems in school. Second, tutoring seems to serve parents' needs by providing support to parents' understanding of the school practices. Third, tutoring seems to provide academic, emotional, and cultural support to students. The following sections will discuss each type of support in tutoring in turn. Providing a forum for the discussion of dilemmas Tutoring seems to provide a forum for parents to discuss dilemmatic issues/problems raised in Section 6.1 with other participants. Billig et al. (1988) argues that the existence of dilemmas provides the opportunity for productive thought. Indeed, tutorial data show that dilemmas can appear in tutoring. For example, the values of some ofthe learning styles used in the students' current schools have been questioned. Parents 187 say that oral presentations are too highly regarded in their children's education in Vancouver. Teachers say that both ESL students and their parents have a short-term goal of achievement without considering the long-term goal of learning. Students who have not had much experience in oral presentation in their formal schooling regard the practice as an indication of teachers' laziness. Tutors who are hired by the parents must be sensitive to parents' doubts and students' need to receive help. Variations in the participants' beliefs can indicate dilemmas. In addition, the dilemmas that participants encounter seem to result in some unique discussions in tutoring. Parents and students who come from a very different educational culture find some of the usual educational practices in Vancouver difficult to understand. Tutoring provides an environment for parents and students to discuss and work on some of the different beliefs. In addition, although teachers are not directly involved with tutoring, some of the differences are brought to the teachers' attention through the tutors. This type of interaction through tutoring where parents, students, tutors, and the schoolteachers have an opportunity to work together has been witnessed at various points in this study. In this sense, tutoring seems to provide a greater harmony among the interests of the parents, students, and schools because, through tutoring, parents and students seem to be able to address their concerns. Participants in the tutorial seem to be "learning to learn together," an ideal which Senge (1990) advocates in his model of learning organization. He suggests that we need to 'learning organizations,' organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive 188 patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together, (p. 3) However, it is not the intent of this paper to advocate that all educational dilemmas can be addressed and handled in tutoring. What should be made clear is that some but not all problems or conflicts are discussed and worked on through tutoring. There are dilemmatic issues which occur in tutoring and are addressed by the participants but still are not resolved. One example of this is the discussion on mainstreaming ESL students. Parents continue to spend time voicing their concerns about mainstreaming their children to tutors and school teachers. However, restricted by policies at school, teachers cannot always solve these parents' concerns. Likewise, tutors who attempt to explain to parents the rationale for the lengthy process of mainstreaming find much of their effort wasted because of parents' refusal to acknowledge this fact. In addition, there may be issues, which do not surface at all in tutoring but still are problematic for ESL parents and students. Serving the needs of parents In addition, the harmony among the interests of the tutorial participants seems to be enhanced further by the unique contribution of tutoring in serving the needs of the parents. Guo (2001) reports that Parents' Night does not seem to address parental needs sufficiently because she believes that the activity of parents' night may not have allowed for culturally different styles of negotiation. A comparison of Parents' Night and tutoring with regard to serving the parents helps illuminate more information about how tutoring 189 assists parents' dilemmas that Parents' Night did not seem to accomplish. There are three differences in the approaches to serving the parents between tutoring and Parents' Night. One major difference is the involvement of tutors. In this process of negotiation, tutors seem to take on unique roles. First, the tutors are interpreters of parent concerns. Second, the tutors are intermediary between teacher and parents. Third, the tutors are resources for the immigrant families. For example, one parent approached the tutor about his concern for his child's low grade in typing. The tutor immediately started explaining some possible reasons for the low grades such as not completing assignments on time, doing poorly on tests, and not concentrating in classes (Tutor as an interpreter). The parent went to the child and asked if he did everything he was supposed to in class. The child implied that the low grade was the result of the teacher's prejudice. The parent went back to the tutor. As a result, the tutor suggested going to see the teacher (Tutor as an intermediary). After the meeting with the teacher, the parent found out the low grades resulted from a combination of not finishing assignments, poor tests, and skipping classes. The tutor then provided a few different ways to help improve this child's grade in typing (Tutor as a resource). It is important to document that not all the involvement of the tutors provide positive benefits to aid negotiation process, although this study has found that the involvement of the tutors in negotiating tends to be positive. A second major difference is that in Guo's study, parent concerns and learning issues are brought together through a one-time event: parents' night. Schoolteachers and parents seem to be on opposite sides of the discussion table. On the other hand, similar issues are brought together gradually in the tutorial sessions which occur at the homes of 190 the families and in an on-going manner. The on-going discussion allows parents time to reflect and express themselves. For example, student progression from E S L to mainstream classes is one issue which causes much debate. It is seen from Chapter 5 that one of the reasons parents hire tutors is to ensure that the children are mainstreamed as quickly as possible. Tutors, who are hired by the parents, aim to mainstream the students quickly but must still operate within the students' capabilities and within the school policies. Teachers, who are restricted by school curriculum and who must deal with many aspects of student learning, may not be able to mainstream the students quickly. It seems as though each participant has his own agenda. Since tutoring occurs on a continuing basis, parents are able to approach tutors with this issue more often. A t the same time, as the need arises, parents are able to take the initiative in contacting the schoolteachers through the help of the tutor. This frequent contact with the tutors and the teachers may provide parents more time and opportunity to come to understand what it means to learn in a new environment. Similarly, the more frequent and private contacts with the teacher may also allow the teachers more opportunities to understand parents' frustration. Thus, the type of interaction in tutoring provides an opportunity for parents to negotiate their own differences and differences with the teachers in an on-going manner. This type of interaction is unlike the interaction that occurs at Parents' Nights and which attempts to address E S L problems in one night a few times a year. The third difference relates to the context in which dilemmas are addressed. For parents' night, negotiation or communication occurs at the school with a group of E S L parents, teachers, school administrators, students, and bilingual aides. Thus, the solutions 191 and suggestions raised during discussion may be targeted at a general level. For example, the issue of the usefulness of ESL programs was brought up through an ESL teacher's presentation at parents' night (Guo, 2001). However, when the same issue is brought up in tutorials, parents can deal with the matter in the privacy of their own home with someone familiar with the situation. In addition, any recommendation made may be targeted both generally and specifically toward the students. Thus, the setting, the privacy, the time allotted for addressing general or specific concerns and the familiar relationship between interactants are all factors which can add to the complexities in addressing parental concerns. Serving the student In addition to providing aid to parents, it has been suggested in Chapter 4 and Section 6.1 of this chapter that tutoring seems to offer support to students academically, emotionally, and culturally. In terms of academic support, tutors help students in different areas such as English literature, social studies, writing, and grammar. Also, tutors provide emotional encouragement to students in areas such as dealing with stress from school, making friends in school, and discussing personal issues. Furthermore, tutors provide cultural information about living in Canada and attending schools in Vancouver. Although this study has not examined the long-term effects of these types of help to students, one important point to note is the multi-faceted influence of tutors in Taiwanese students' education in Vancouver. 192 6.2.2. Tutoring as conflict to schools In addition to both academic and non-academic support of tutoring, tutoring seems to create conflicts for immigrant families and schools in three areas. They are conflict created by parents' desire to control the type of education provided to their children, conflict created by the pressure of tutoring, and potential conflict created by the intermediary role of the tutors. Each conflict will be dealt with in the following paragraphs. The first conflict created by tutoring seems to affect the school teachers in two ways. School teachers have reported that they have been placed in a difficult position when the tutors are brought in by the parents to discuss their children's education. For example, teachers have complained about the added pressure of dealing with parents' demands to allow students to take summer courses for credit even though the students do not have all the prerequisites. If the teachers waive the school requirements for students whose parents hire tutors to help them exit the educational system sooner, are the teachers doing a disservice to the students because they may not have the proper background in the course content? Also, is this practice of waiving requirements fair to ESL students who cannot afford the luxury of a tutor? As well, school teachers' professional judgment of best language practices seems to be challenged by the parents who have asked tutors to provide specialized instruction in academic content and grammar because the parents feel that the teachers have not provided enough. Thus, school teachers seem to have been placed in a conflicting position of meeting their professional responsibilities and responding to parents' wishes. 1 9 3 In addition, the school teachers are affected by the conflicts created by tutoring in that some teachers reported that they had to change some of their classroom practices because of the tutors' intervention in students' school work. For instance, in order to avoid the possibility of receiving student assignments in which tutors have provided too much help, some teachers have decreased the number of take-home assignments. As well, teachers have reported that they have formed unpleasant relationships with students whose work they have failed on the suspicion that the tutors completed the student assignments. This unpleasant relationship, the teachers report, seems to cause even more unpleasant encounters later on. A second conflicting relationship seems to influence the students. Data seem to suggest that the pressure of tutoring, parents, and schools have encouraged the formation of behaviors such as not revealing the truth about school practices to the parents and the tutors and developing a strong reliance on tutors for help in school homework. This finding was first identified during the discussion on the patterns of tutoring in Chapter 4. One of the patterns occurs because the students want to avoid getting more work. This finding is further supported in this chapter when parents talk with the tutors about the progress of the students in school. In tutorial discussions, parents realize that students do not reveal the truth about their performance or attendance in school. The possibility of manipulation of the parents and the tutors by the students is something that perhaps the parents have not expected to see. This seems significant because even though tutoring may be one of the sources of pressure for students, at the same time, it seems to provide a connection between the parents and the school to rectify the students' problems. The dual 194 but conflicting effects of tutoring on students suggest that tutoring is a complex and delicate social practice. A final conflict raised by tutoring is the intermediary role that tutors provide. Data have provided some positive evidence that tutors seem helpful as intermediaries to parents and students in dealing with different types of school problems such as reading report cards and interim reports. It seems that in this study, the tutors have not been reported to cause misinterpretation among participants except over the issue regarding the amount of help provided on school work. It is nonetheless important to realize a potential conflict caused by tutors' interpretations of the educational practices their students are involved in can occur. For example, when tutors provide approaches to oral presentation skills that are different from what the school teachers provide, a possible conflict may result. A teachers may ask students to prepare key words on a note card to help them remember what to say, but a tutor may advise students to memorize a pre-written script so that the speech will run more smoothly. Both may be satisfactory in their approaches but the differences in their approaches may create confusion for students. This aspect of potential conflict created by tutors as intermediaries or interpreters of problems for immigrant families has not been dealt with in this study not because of its lack of importance but because it has not caused a problem in this study. Nonetheless, although this study has not focused on judging the appropriateness of tutors' actions, the potential of tutors as intermediary to contribute both positively and negatively should be acknowledged. 195 6.3. Conclusion: Tutoring and learning organization In the review of the literature on the education of immigrant students, the concept of informal education was introduced. Tutoring would be regarded as a type of informal education by scholars such as Jeffs and Smith (1990). This type of informal education has not been discussed in Senge's model of school as a learning organization. However, this study shows that the learning of immigrant students does not just involve formal schooling. Informal education such as tutoring influences students' learning as well as their schooling process. In addition, the relationship between tutoring and its wider context is not a simple matter to describe. It is not a matter of concluding that tutoring offers a positive or negative contribution to the learning and schooling of Taiwanese immigrant students. In fact, the data in this chapter show that tutoring, learning, and the wider educational context have a complex and interactive relation. Tutoring in this study is an intriguing example of informal education with strong ties to formal education. Furthermore, the relationship between tutoring and formal schooling underlines the need for Senge's model of the school as a learning organization to incorporate tutoring and related forms of informal learning. As well, Senge's ideal model of a learning organization in which participants learn together should be viewed with caution when tutoring seems to provide both supportive and conflicting relationships with the schooling of immigrant students. 196 Chapter 7 C O N C L U S I O N 7.0. Introduction This is a study of tutoring as a social practice from a socio-cultural perspective. In this way, tutoring is not studied as an instructional tool which enhances learning but as a socially constructed activity by participants who are Taiwanese immigrant high school students attending public secondary schools in Vancouver. As such, tutoring is studied in light of the participants' actions and reflections and the context in which it exists. For example, issues such as the participants' goals and expectations with regard to tutoring, the contextual factors which may influence the construction of the tutorials, and the actual tutorial patterns all have importance in this study. The ultimate goal of this thesis is to provide an understanding of how tutoring as a social practice in the context of the Vancouver educational environment is interpreted and constructed by the participants using qualitative methods and discourse analysis. More specifically, the three research questions are: 1. What formats does tutoring take in this context? 2. How do participants interpret tutoring? 3. How does tutoring fit into the larger learning context of the students? The goal of this chapter is to offer a summary of the findings to the three research questions and a discussion of implications in theory, pedagogy, and research. I will first 197 provide a brief summary of the findings to each of the three research questions. I will then discuss theoretical and practical implications of this study. Following the implications, I will offer directions for future research. To conclude this chapter, I will provide a reflection on this study. 7.1. Summary of findings This study provides an understanding of the tutoring of Taiwanese immigrant students in the educational context of Vancouver. Three major findings emerged from the multiple data collection and analysis methods in this study. First, the expected pattern of teaching academic content occurs frequently. However, variations from the expected pattern occur often. Also, the patterns of tutoring appear to be related to the demands of the local educational environment. The variations in the pattern lead to the exploration of the participants' theories (e.g., educational beliefs and values) in order to gain further insights into the construction of tutorial practices. Second, the participants' different voices in tutoring suggest that tutoring is an activity which involves complex interaction among different participants whose values deeply influence the way tutoring is constructed in this context. More specifically, both the direct participants, the tutors and the students, and the indirect participants, the parents and the school teachers, bring different expectations, goals, and educational beliefs to the tutorial situations. As a result, different interpretations of tutoring exist. This finding of the different interpretations seems to occur also in intercultural communication (Scollon & Scollon, 2001). Third, there is a close and complex relationship between tutoring and its wider educational 198 context. In this study, the wider context is the schools that these Taiwanese immigrant students attend in Vancouver. Specifically, both supportive and conflicting relationships between tutoring and these students' schools seem to exist. To sum up, tutoring seems to be a complex social practice which may be constrained by the local educational demand, influenced by the participants' expectations and educational beliefs, and interrelated with the local educational practices. 7.1.1. Tutorial patterns Chapter 4 provides a description of the tutorial patterns based on the observations of tutoring. Data has suggested that 62 percent of the time, tutoring as observed in this study follows an agreed-upon format. The agreed-upon format seems to focus on providing additional and challenging academic content and homework to students. The remaining 38 percent of the tutorial patterns are variations from the most common tutorial pattern. Each of the patterns seems to have a different focus. For example, one of the patterns focuses on assistance with school-assigned work for the students. As mentioned earlier, the tutorial pattern expected by parents is that which provides extra work to the students. Thus, helping students with their school work is not expected to occur in tutoring. However, data have suggested that tutors seem willing to change their tutorial agenda when the students approach them with school work. As a result, a variation from the typical tutorial pattern forms. The distribution of the frequency and a discussion of each variation pattern can be found in Chapter 4. 199 The variations of the tutorial patterns raise three concerns. First, the multiple roles of tutoring found in this study seem to challenge the concept of tutoring as serving only a remedial purpose, an assumption made by some researchers of tutoring (e.g., Cameron, 1992; Hay, 1992). Second, the variations demonstrate that tutoring can be complex to explore. The variations in the tutorial patterns suggest that situational constraints such as the demand of the students' local schools, and the needs of the parents and the expectations of the school teachers can all influence how tutoring is to be carried out. Setting the tutorial agenda is not simply a matter of selecting certain academic content. Rather, there seems to be an informal tutorial agenda (e.g., addressing students' emotional needs) that goes beyond the official contract of tutoring (e.g., providing academic content). Furthermore, the informal agenda seems to be associated with the participants' choices and values. This relationship between a genre and the participants' choices and values has also been identified in Semenova's (2000) study of resumes as a genre. Third, the variations have also raised a need to be aware of the educational needs of the immigrant students and their families. The topic of immigrant student needs in school is not new. Researchers have examined different needs (e.g., linguistic, emotional, and transitional needs) of immigrant students (e.g., Beckett, 1999; Duff, 2001; Harklau, 1992, 1994; Liang, 1998;). This study, too, has found the importance of recognizing these needs in tutoring. 200 7.1.2. Different voices Chapter 5 in this study provides an account of the different voices in tutoring. Different themes appear in the interviews of the participants regarding their views of tutoring. Participants seem to report different and sometimes contradictory attitudes toward the issues. Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 deal with different participants' views on these issues. Specifically, Chapter 5 deals with three issues: the goals of tutoring, the amount of homework, and the quality and quantity of the academic content and grammar instruction. Chapter 6 deals with issues related to the students' local educational environment (e.g., oral presentations, mainstreaming). Parents regard tutoring as a method of ensuring their children's academic success as well as a method of pressuring their children to achieve excellence in school in the least amount of time. As a result, parents use tutoring to provide more homework, and more academic content and grammar instruction. Students tend to view tutoring negatively as a source of added pressure from parents. Students report that the added homework and academic content prevent them from having relaxation time. However, students also acknowledge the usefulness of tutoring in providing assistance in school-assigned work. Tutors are placed in the middle between parents and students because the tutors report that they must cater to the parents' expectations as well as the students' needs. When parental expectations are interpreted by the students as pressure, the tutors must be careful to satisfy both parties. After all, tutors who are paid by the parents are in direct contact with the students in the tutorials, so the students' needs and capabilities have to be considered 201 by the tutors. School teachers, although not directly involved in the tutorials, seem to provide an important facet to the study of tutoring. The school teachers interviewed in this study believe that tutoring should be used to provide remedial help to those who need it and that tutoring has been over-used by some immigrant parents to push their children to learn. These teachers believe that the use of tutoring to force students to learn does not seem necessary. The different voices of the participants suggest that tutoring cannot be simply described as providing assistance to students in learning academic skills and content as previous research has suggested (e.g., D'Annunzio, 1995; Goodwin et al., 1991). In fact, the voices of the participants reflect the possibility of multiple goals and expectations in tutoring. In addition, the different voices may at times create tensions among the participants. For example, tension between the parents and the students seems evident when they report different expectations of what tutoring means to them. The concept of tension as a result of differences in expectations or values is not unfounded. Studies have focused on tension occurring in different situations (e.g., Billig et al., 1988; Duff, 2002; Lave, 1988, Liang, 1998; Prior, 1998; Zamel, 1997). To summarize, different voices of the tutorial participants and the tensions created by the different voices have demonstrated that tutoring is not a simple social practice. 7.1.3. Tutoring and schooling As mentioned earlier, variations in tutoring has raised the need to examine how tutoring responds to the educational needs of these Taiwanese immigrant students. 202 Chapter 6 addresses the question of the relationship between tutoring and the larger learning community by further examining the tutorial and interview data. Data in Chapter 6 have suggested that tutoring provides more than just the teaching of academic content. In fact, in addition to the teaching of academic content, tutoring seems to address the needs of the Taiwanese immigrant families in three ways. First, tutoring provides a forum for participants to debate the usefulness of ESL programs in schools. The issue of the usefulness of different types of ESL programs has also been studied (e.g., Ashworth, 2000; Short, 2002). Second, tutoring provides an opportunity for participants to examine common educational practices such as oral presentations, oral participation in class, and research projects. Third, tutoring gives parents access to their children's school. Studies have found that parental involvement is important in students' learning in school (e.g., Coleman, 1991; Lareau, 1989). Also, studies have examined different methods in which parents become involved in their children's learning in school (e.g., Guo, 2001; Lewis & Forman, 2002; Lopez, 2001). This study has contributed to these studies by describing a case of parents who attempted to get involved in their children's learning through tutoring. As such, tutoring seems to bring out a unique aspect of parental involvement. Parents in this case seem to take an active role in their children's learning by attempting to learn about their children's schooling process from tutors. For example, parents have reported that the tutors provide assistance in helping them understand the requirements and the common practices in schools. Issues such as understanding the meaning of interim reports and report cards, 203 learning about the different school programs, dealing with problems at school, and helping students apply to universities have all been addressed in tutoring. An initial examination of what tutoring provides in terms of school-related benefits to students and their parents would show that tutoring seems supportive of the students' school. However, the relationship between the tutoring and the schooling of immigrant students does not seem to end here. In fact, conflicting relationships also seem to exist. For example, school teachers have complained that tutoring has placed them in a difficult position and caused them to alter some of their practices in classes. Also, students have reported that the pressure created by tutoring has caused them to hide some truths about schools from their parents and tutors in order to avoid getting more work. To summarize, the variations in the patterns of tutoring, the different voices regarding the expectations of tutoring, and the dual supportive and conflicting relationship between tutoring and schooling of Taiwanese immigrant students have demonstrated that tutoring is a complicated social practice. 7.2. Theoretical implications: Tutoring as a social practice Tutoring in this study has been viewed as a social practice rather than as an effective instructional tool. As mentioned earlier in the literature review on tutoring research, researchers have assumed tutoring is an instructional tool for learning and as such that a common question explored is the features that make tutoring effective or ineffective. However, viewing tutoring as an instructional tool may be limiting. As this study shows, when tutoring is viewed as a social practice, different perspectives regarding 204 tutoring can be discussed. More specifically, this study has been able to document tutorial practices through observations (action discourse) and provide the theories of the participants regarding the tutorial practices through interviews (reflection discourse). In addition to examining the relationship between tutorial practices and participants' theories, the social practice perspective has allowed this study to incorporate the context of tutoring in the discussion so that more of the complexity of can be described. Therefore, an important theoretical implication is that the perspective of tutoring as a social practice allows the researcher to raise issues and consider factors which would otherwise be neglected if tutoring were perceived as an instructional tool. As well, the fact that tutoring is studied from a social practice perspective is a novelty in research on tutoring because other studies have examined tutoring from a quantitative orientation (e.g., McArthur et al., 1991; Merrill et al., 1995). Also, qualitative studies of tutoring have tended to view tutoring as an instructional tool, not as a social practice (e.g., Cameron, 1992; Farmelo, 1987). What this study also contributes is the length of time devoted to data collection, on-going reflection on the research questions, and triangulation in data collection and analyses on a problem that few studies have examined. The tutoring of Taiwanese immigrant students in Vancouver provides a unique context in which tutoring can be studied. In the next few sections, I will describe four theoretical implications suggested by viewing tutoring as a social practice. 205 7.2.1. Examining tutorial patterns As a part of studying tutoring as a social practice made up of practices and theories, I have examined the patterns of tutorials as evidence of the practice of tutoring. In an attempt to answer the question on the pattern of tutoring raised by examining the practice side of the social practice, I have followed genre research pedagogy borrowed from the field of systemic functional linguistics to establish a common pattern of tutoring which is identified through the schematic structure consisting of obligatory elements (e.g., Eggins, 1994; Eggins & Slade, 1997). As a genre researcher would, I have been able to identify the broad purpose within the common pattern to be the teaching of academic content. In addition to the common pattern, I have also focused my attention on the variations of the common pattern by analyzing the optional elements. The focus of this attention has proved to be fruitful because there seems to be other goals of tutoring reflected in the variations. These variations account for 38 percent of the data. Tutoring in this case satisfies not only the broad goal of teaching academic content but also other goals such as meeting student needs, addressing parental needs, and providing cultural information. The perspective of social practice has allowed me to focus on establishing a common pattern as well as variations so that a more complete account of the tutorial practices can be provided. As a result, a theoretical implication of a social practice perspective in the examination of tutorial patterns can be made. That is, while this study agrees with the standard practice in genre theory of establishing the common pattern, this 206 study has illustrated the value of the analysis of the variations as important patterns of tutoring. This way, a more detailed account of the tutorial practices in Vancouver can be provided. 7.2.2. Examin ing the participants ' theories Another part of the social practice is the focus on discovering the theories. This aspect of the social practice has allowed me to raise the question of the different views of the participants in Chapter 5. I have examined the voices of the participants through interviews in order to gain a better understanding of the tutorial practices. The different voices of the participants seem to suggest that tensions and dilemmas occur in tutoring. Tracing the participants' theories in tutoring and linking them to the tutorial practices have allowed me to identify some factors which may underlie some of these tensions and dilemmas. For example, the variation analysis has identified one variation as focusing on addressing parents' concerns. Analysis of the interviews suggests that this variation seems to occur as a result of the parents' need to understand the school requirements and to control their children's educational progress. The combination of the action and reflection discourse in tracing the social practice of tutoring has allowed me to examine not only the common pattern and its variations but also the reasoning behind the patterns. This way, an inference can be made. Tutoring can be viewed from two perspectives. Different patterns of tutoring can be related to the multiple voices of the participants. Alternatively, multiple and perhaps 207 conflicting goals of the participants can be traced to the conflicts underlying the patterns of tutoring. 7.2.3. Examining the context of tutoring Studying tutoring as a social practice naturally allows me to raise the question of the context that a social practice occurs in. In fact, Chapter 6 raises this question of how the social practice of tutoring fits into its wider social context in a society. In this study, the wider social context is viewed through the concept of a learning organization proposed by Senge (1990). As such, the educational experience of these Taiwanese immigrant students includes informal learning such as tutoring and formal learning such as the education provided by schools. Indeed, the close and complex relationship between the formal and informal learning within this learning organization has demonstrated the importance of including an analysis of context for tutoring. For example, the question of whether tutoring has a supportive or conflicting role in relation to the schooling of immigrant students has demonstrated the importance of taking both formal learning and informal learning into consideration in a learning organization. Also, this close relationship between formal and informal learning also leads to another question that may be important. That is, if tutoring continues to be an important practice that parents use to assist their children to reach the goals they have set for them, how would schools account for equality in education when some students are more privileged than others in receiving help with the school requirements? Can equality in education be achieved? 208 As well, in examining the relationship between formal and informal learning, data have suggested that informal learning such as tutoring provides valuable insights into the formal learning occurring in schools. For instance, this study has been able to address issues that students encounter in schools by bringing together the multiple perspectives of the parents, students, tutors, and the teachers. Typically, when one examines the students' problems in school, a natural tendency may be to examine the students' and the teachers' perspectives only (e.g., Duff, 2001; Harklau, 1992). However, the study of tutoring has allowed me to include the views of other participants, such as the parents and the tutors, who seem to contribute in many important ways to the students' learning also. The use of oral presentations in classes is one example in which the inclusion of the parents' expectations and the tutors' interpretation may provide important insights into students' performance in this area. While studies have provided recommendations for non-native speakers of English to become socialized in oral presentation and participation skills in class (e.g., Harklau, 1999, 2000; Harklau, Losey, & Siegal, 1999; Morita, 2000), this study has added to the discussion the perspectives of the parents and the tutors. Thus, tutoring seems to provide a window in which schooling experiences of immigrant students are examined in relation to the interaction among different participants such as the parents, students, tutors, and the school teachers. Also, tutoring seems to offer a forum in which participants are brought together to address some of the problems of schooling. In this regard, tutoring seems to provide an opportunity for researchers to witness how immigrant students and their families live with their dilemmas. As such, tutoring can shed light on 209 what students and their parents need in their education and what schools need to be aware of. To summarize, another theoretical implication here is that studies on the education of immigrant students should pay attention to interaction between the formal and informal learning environment. Furthermore, the contributions of the parents, students, tutors and the school teachers to the learning environment should be acknowledged. This concept has also been advocated by Wagner (1994) who believes that reforms in school require the effort of many participants to create continuous improvement. 7.2.4. Non-static nature Another theoretical implication of this study is that the social practice of tutoring seems to be non-static. In other words, data have highlighted how tutoring has allowed the participants the opportunity to explore some of the tensions or dilemmas in an on-going manner. For example, the issue of the amount of homework presents a dilemmatic situation for the participants of tutoring. Parents view homework as a way to help the students learn, but the students seem to regard tutorial homework as added pressure. To complicate this situation further, the tutor who has been hired to provide additional homework to students ends up helping students with their school assigned work to such an extent that school teachers become concerned. The patterns of tutorial in Chapter 4 and the different voices in Chapter 5 provide evidence that tensions and dilemmas occur in tutoring. The notion of examining a dilemmatic situation which involves tensions and contradictions is not new. Tracy (1997) studies academic colloquia at the university level 210 and identifies multiple dilemmas. Furthermore, she has offered proposals to address the dilemmas that participants face so that a better academic discussion can be cultivated. Similarly, tutoring seems to provide an opportunity for dilemmas to be addressed. For example, tutoring has provided a forum for the discussion of the usefulness of ESL programs and the standard for assessment of ESL students. Also, discussions regarding different dilemmas seem to reoccur at different times so that the participants can revisit the issues. Some even report a change in their beliefs. For example, some parents have reported that they have changed their beliefs about the value of oral presentations after seeing the changes in their children's oral skills and that they have learned about the educational culture in Vancouver through the tutors. What seems important to note is not the fact that changes in attitudes occur in tutoring. Rather, an important implication is that the social practice seems to imply a continuing process whereby problematic situations occur which are then addressed by the participants. In an on-going manner, the participants confront and deal with the issues, even though there may not always be a solution. This type of dynamic interplay of the participants and the context seems to raise one's awareness of the nature of a social practice. 7.3. Practical implications In addition to the theoretical implications, there are several practical implications. Researchers in education and tutoring must be open to a more comprehensive view of tutoring which incorporates the participants as well as the contexts in order to capture the complexity and dynamics of tutoring. Furthermore, they should be open to the benefits of 211 viewing tutoring as a social practice which traces the link between the actual practices and the participants' theories. Educators of immigrant students, the immigrant students, and their families must recognize more fully that the education of immigrant students is not an easy task. Different participants must work collaboratively if they wish to ensure that immigrant students' needs are met. Parents should be aware that tutoring is not the key to all problems. Learning to understand and live with the educational practices of the students' new environment may be equally important. Students should learn to take full advantage and appreciate the resources they have in school and at home rather than use the resources negatively. Tutors must continue to be careful in playing out their roles since their interpretations of the schooling situations may highly influence the interaction between the parents, students, and the school teachers. They must be aware of their own assumptions and beliefs so as not to provide a misguided interpretation of the educational practices in Vancouver. 7.4. Directions for future research In addition to the theoretical and practical implications made in this study, I will mention four directions for research. First, more studies of tutoring should be done because there is a limited amount of research on tutoring as Chapter 2 demonstrates. This study has addressed one-on-one tutoring of Taiwanese immigrant students in Vancouver; however, more studies which focus on other student populations in different educational contexts may help provide further insights into the understanding of tutoring. Furthermore, the popularity of tutoring agencies such as Sylvan Learning Centers may 212 suggest a need to examine this tutorial industry and its impact on public school education. Issues such as the patterns of tutorials and their relationship to the schooling of immigrant children may be fruitful. Another area of tutoring research should examine the question of whether and how tutoring varies across cultures. Second, future research on tutoring should also examine further the relationship between tutoring and the parents' learning about their children's schooling process. This study has found that parents hired tutors for the purpose of teaching academic content to their children. What has also been found in this study is that tutoring also seems to serve the needs of the parents. For example, parents have reported that they learned about the different school requirements for their children as well as their children's performance in schools through tutoring. Guo's (2001) study of Parents' Night shows that the parents' night is the school's effort to inform parents about their children's schools and learning. Guo documents the problems of Parents' Night as a result of different communication styles. It seems that tutoring provides a similar function to the Parents' Night in educating the parents. This study has contrasted briefly how Parents' Night and tutoring may differ in addressing the parents' concerns but has not provided a detailed analysis of the relation between the two events. Thus, more studies may be needed on how parents' concerns can be addressed. Also, the need to study the parents' learning in tutoring is raised. Third, this research has shown that a complex relationship between the tutoring and the schooling of immigrant students exists. More studies may be needed on the roles of the tutors in this relationship. As indicated in this study, tutors seem to serve the roles 213 of interpreters, intermediaries, and resources, suggesting a positive contribution of the tutors to the students' learning. However, although no direct evidence has been found of tutors' negative contribution to the schooling process here, this study acknowledges that tutors may be biased in their interpretations and that conflicting relationships between tutoring and schooling may be possible. Thus, studies focusing on the roles of the tutors and their impact on students' learning may be called for. Fourth, future research on tutoring should address the aspect of power. This study has not focused on the issue of parental and student power in tutoring but has noted two questions of power in tutoring. Parents may often be assumed to be in a weaker power position in relation to the school teachers because the parents may not have the expertise in learning and teaching and they are in an unfamiliar educational environment (e.g., MacLure & Walker, 2000; Tung, 2000; Wine, 2001). However, this thesis suggests that ESL parents may not seem as powerless as assumes because of the economic power that these parents display through the hiring of tutors. As evident in this study, a number of ESL parents who come to Canada expecting a specific type of education find that they are not satisfied with the education system. Naturally, they use the resources they have to rectify the situation. In this case, parents use their economic power to buy the type of education they want for their children. Tutoring or transferring the students to private schools are some of the strategies parents may use. The parents want to provide the best they can for their children; however, this does raise an interesting question regarding the impact of parents' buying of education. What is the effect on students whose parents are 214 not able to afford the same opportunity? What can the current education system do for this type of inequality? Perhaps there are no easy answers. In this study, the fact that parents exercise their economic power to achieve their goals raises an interesting research issue which examines two sources of power. How will the power of the school be influenced in relation to student learning when the power of parents seems to exert influence over student learning also? Moreover, this study raises another question of power which deserves more attention: The question of the students' power to change the tutorial agenda suggests a need to examine this issue of power further. In some studies of immigrant students, ESL students have been assumed to be marginalized in learning (e.g., Derwing et al., 1999; McKay & Wong, 1996). However, tutorial patterns have shown that students have been able to change the tutor's agenda by initiating questions so as to direct tutors' attention away from their pre-planned lessons. In this case, even though the tutors still have the final say in what is done in tutorials, they seem to be influenced in some ways by the students. This way, these Taiwanese ESL students do not seem to display a powerless position. To summarize, the issue of power in tutoring is worth further exploration. The issue of power relations in interactions has been an on-going theoretical debate in critical research (e.g., Cummins, 1996; Kumaravadivelu, 1999; Norton, 1997). 7.5. Reflections on this study To conclude this dissertation, I would like to offer a reflection on conducting this research. First, as mentioned earlier in the methodology chapter (Chapter 3), establishing 215 a rapport with the participants was very important to this study. The on-going contact with the immigrant families and tutors has allowed me to gain valuable insights which have then made this study possible. However, the completion of this study does not mean that the relationship between the participants and the researcher ends. In fact, I continue to offer my assistance to the mothers, the students, and the tutors when I can. Continuous dialoguing with the mothers, students, and the tutors has enabled us to share our thoughts regarding the schooling process for immigrant students. Learning continues for me as a researcher. Second, this study is not without limitations. One of the limitations of this study is the treatment of each of the groups of participants' voices as uniform. That is, individual differences among participants (e.g., students) have not been investigated. For example, students may have different educational goals depending on their current grade level or their age of entry into a Canadian educational system. As such, the intensity of tutoring may be affected. Students who are in a higher grade level or who arrived in Canada at an older age may regard the goal of entering university as more urgent. This goal, in turn, may increase the difficulty level in tutorial content and the quantity of the tutorial hours. Although this study has recruited students across different grade levels and different entry ages, their differences have not been documented. Furthermore, the background of immigrant families (e.g., parents' educational background or socio-economic class) has not been considered in this study but may bear importance. Studies that examine the schooling of language minority students have 216 argued the importance of studying the relationship between social factors (e.g., socio-economic status, ethnic background) and second language learning (e.g., Cortes, 1986; Ogbu & Matute-Bianchi, 1994; Preston, 1989; Skehan, 1990; Svanes, 1988). The importance of social factors should also be recognized in future studies of tutoring because the parents' socio-economic class could determine how tutoring is used in their children's educational process. For example, the fathers of the immigrant families in this study are professionals, such as doctors or lawyers, residing in Taiwan whereas as the mothers are all full-time housewives whose main job in Canada is to provide care to their children. As such, the parents in this study tend to be quite willing to use tutoring to supplement the school's academic courses. The cost of tutoring does not seem to be a concern for parents in this study. This study has not considered the impact of the participants' socio-economic class on tutoring. In addition, this study has documented many dilemmas faced by the immigrant families, the tutors, and the school teachers. However, this study has not considered dilemmas that occur when the tutors are also the school teachers. The role conflicts of tutors who are also school teachers do seem particularly intense. For example, a tutor who is also a school teacher of the tutee may be caught in a conflict of interest as she must cater to both the parents and the students and follow the principles of good teaching. These two roles may not be in harmony with each other. To summarize, the conclusion of this dissertation does not end my concern for tutoring and the education of immigrant students. In fact, it is the beginning of more 217 inquiry and research for me. 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Toward a model of tranculturation. TESOL Quarterly, 31, 341-352 242 Appendix A R E C R U I T M E N T N O T I C E 1 Tutors, Students, and Parents: Volunteers needed! I am a Ph.D. student from the University of British Columbia. As a part of the requirement for completing my degree, I am researching one-on-one tutoring of high school ESL students from Taiwan. Therefore, I am looking for eight volunteers and their parents and tutors to participate in my project. The main objective of this project is to investigate what occurs during tutorial sessions. This project is not to evaluate what is taught or learned during tutorial sessions but to provide an account of what goes on during tutorials for ESL students. The participation of this project will involve two things. First, your permission to audio-tape tutorial sessions for two hours a week. Second, interviews with tutors, students, and parents individually will be conducted once a month. This involvement of this project will take ten months. If you are interested in volunteering for this project or if you would like to have more information about this project, please contact Angela Mei-Chen Wu at the following e-mail address or phone number. T H A N K Y O U F O R Y O U R H E L P ! Angela Wu 243 Appendix B RECRUITMENT NOTICE 2 High School Teachers Needed! I am a Ph.D. student from the University of British Columbia. A s a part of the requirement for completing my degree, I am researching one-on-one tutoring of high school E S L students from Taiwan. Therefore, I am looking for five high school teachers to be volunteers for my project. The main objective of this project is to investigate what occurs during tutorial sessions. This project is not to evaluate what is taught or learned during tutorial sessions but to provide an account of what goes on during tutorials for E S L students. I need school teachers because I would like your view on one-on-one tutoring of Taiwanese students. If you have had some experience tutoring or know of some students from your school who have had tutoring and you would like to share your insights, please call me at the following phone number or e-mail me at the following address. The participation of this project w i l l only involve one interview of one hour in duration. Thanks. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP! Angela Wu 244 Appendix C O B S E R V A T I O N D E S C R I P T I O N This project w i l l not involve formal observations but audio-taping of tutorial sessions. The researcher w i l l set up equipment at students' homes. The students w i l l be responsible for tuning on the tape recorder at the beginning of each session. The researcher w i l l be at homes of the students for the first and second sessions to ensure that all equipment is properly connected and that tapes are provided. After the initial set up, the researcher w i l l be at the homes of the students once a month to conduct follow up interviews and collect the finished tapes. However, participants can call me anytime for more information. The researcher w i l l periodically call the participants to make sure that taping is working well . 245 Appendix D S A M P L E INTERVIEW QUESTIONS For tutors: 1. How long have you been tutoring? 2. Can you describe how your tutoring sessions proceed usually? 3. Does tutoring complement or supplement the school material? If so, how and in what ways? 4. In your opinion, what types of relationship do you think a tutor should play between the children's schools and their families? Why do you think so? 5. What are some difficulties you encounter in tutoring? For students: 1. How long have you had a tutor? 2. Can you describe how you tutoring sessions proceed usually? 3. What are some difficulties you encounter in schooling? 4. What roles do you think a tutor plays in your learning? 5. Does tutoring complement or supplement the school material? If so, how in what ways? 6. Do you think tutoring is necessary to ensure success in schools? 7. What type of relationship do you have with your tutor? For parents: 1. What is the importance of tutoring to your children's schooling in Canada? 2. What are some difficulties that you believe your children encounter in moving to Canada? 3. What are some difficulties you encounter about your children's education in Canada? 4. What roles do you think a tutor plays in your children's learning and in your 246 family? 5. In your opinion, does tutoring complement or supplement the school material? If so, how and in what ways? 6. In your opinion, is tutoring necessary to ensure ESL student's success in schools? Why? 7. How do you find tutors for your children? For school teachers 1. In your opinion, what types of relationship do you think a tutor should play the children's schools and their families? Why do you think so? 2. In your experience, have your students' tutors ever interfered directly or indirectly your teaching? Could you provide examples if possible? 3. In your opinion, does tutoring complement or supplement the school material? If so, how and in what ways? 4. In your opinion, has tutoring helped or hindered the ESL students in your class? How has this been accomplished? Could you provide some examples? 5. In your opinion, is tutoring necessary for you students? 247 


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