Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Jun Zhao

Second Advisor

Robin Conley

Third Advisor

Kateryna Shray


Much research has been conducted from the framework of Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory, and on the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). SCT has a wide application in many fields, including Second Language Acquisition (SLA).

This study collected and analyzed audio-recordings of voluntary, one-on-one tutoring sessions that took place over a six-week period in an Intensive English Program at an American University. The participants included both faculty and peer tutors and English Language Learners (ELLs) in the IE program. The recordings were analyzed to determine if any patterns emerged regarding the target language features on which the tutoring sessions focused. The data showed that low proficiency level students focused more on grammar and surface-level issues in their tutoring sessions, while intermediate students focused on content, and high-intermediate students focused on structure in their writing.

By comparing the results of the data collected for low, intermediate, and high intermediate tutees, the study hopes to show how ELL tutoring programs could be improved to better assist ESL students’ writing and other English skills.


English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.

Tutors and tutoring -- Case studies.