Russian Language Journal


study, interviews, students, tutors, Russian Flagship Program


This paper presents findings from a small-scale qualitative study based on interviews with Russian Flagship students and tutors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to explore students’ and tutors’ perceptions of tutoring in the UW-Madison Russian Flagship Program. The UW-Madison Russian Flagship is a rigorous undergraduate program funded by a grant from the National Security Education Program (NSEP) to provide opportunities for highly motivated students of any major to reach a Superior level of proficiency in Russian by graduation. Students in the program are provided with two to four hours per week of individual tutoring in Russian. The present study follows up on a formal program evaluation conducted in fall 2010, which revealed that students considered tutoring to be the single most beneficial aspect of the Russian Flagship program for their learning. This study aims to provide further insights into student and tutor perceptions of tutoring, including their beliefs about those aspects of tutoring that are most helpful for their learning of Russian. The paper compares student and tutor perceptions with the vision for tutoring in the UW-Madison Russian Flagship articulated by the program’s directors, and discusses implications relevant not only for Flagship programs, but for any Russian program which includes structured tutoring or is interested in exploring tutoring to complement in-class instruction.