Coming out of the shadows: investing in English private tutoring at a transition point in Kazakhstan’s education system during the global pandemic

Anas Hajar, Mehmet Karakus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Unequal access to language learning resources has been exacerbated by the global expansion of English private tutoring (EPT). Despite its popularity, no study has examined the implications of EPT during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this mixed-methods study explored the nature and effectiveness of EPT that first-year Kazakhstani undergraduate students had experienced over the previous 12 months during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was informed by Benson’s (2011) model of language learning beyond the classroom. Data were collected through a close-ended questionnaire and semi-structured online interviews. The study found that 318 out of 750 (42.4%) had experienced EPT, and 64% of respondents had received face-to-face EPT although it was considered a health risk during the pandemic. All the interviewees perceived EPT sessions as an encouraging environment for coaching towards the university entrance examination and expanding their knowledge. They attributed this mainly to the individual attention they obtained from their tutors, which was lacking in online classes with their English teachers due to teachers’ indifferent attitude to students’ questions and the limited duration of video conferencing sessions. The participants acted agentively by evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of online EPT. Pedagogical implications and areas for further research are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage Learning Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2 2023

Keywords

  • English private tutoring
  • shadow education
  • equity
  • mixed-methods approach

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