What is the purpose of the tutorials?
Language Maintenance Tutorials are for practicing a language you already know. Most tutorials focus on conversation practice. However, our tutors know that every student is different, and design their lessons according to each student’s individual needs.
What languages are offered?
What language are you interested in? We can find you a tutor in almost any language. There are nearly 800 languages spoken in New York City every day!
How is the program structured?
Each tutorial consists of ten (10) sessions of ninety (90) minutes over the course of one semester.
Who are the tutors?
Our tutors are generally native-speaking graduate students and instructors in modern language departments. For a less commonly taught language, a tutor might come from a non-language department, or have teaching experience in a field other than language instruction. All tutoring applicants are vetted personally by the LMT Coordinator before being selected.
Is my tutor a native speaker?
Yes, in the vast majority of cases. However, being a native speaker of a language does not necessarily mean you are qualified to teach that language, and vice versa. All tutors are selected by the LMT Coordinator based on language-level and prior teaching experience.
Do I need to be a registered, full-time student at Columbia to do a tutorial?
No! Although it will cost you more. The student rate is $650, whereas non-students pay $900. The program makes no distinction between students who are part-time and students who are full-time.
Do I need to be a graduate student to participate in an LMT?
It depends. Our tutors are ALWAYS registered, full-time graduate students. But our tutorials are open to all, even if they are meant primarily for students on the graduate level.
Can I do a group tutorial?
No. We no longer offer group tutorials.
I don’t speak a foreign language, but I want to learn.
Unfortunately, LMTs are only for students who already have some knowledge of the language they wish to study, and are interested in bettering what they know.
Can I get course credit?
No. Only official language department courses can give you that.
Will I be graded?
No. These are strictly for your own benefit.
Can I take a tutorial during the summer?
No. Tutorials take place during the Fall and Spring semesters only.
About the Sessions
What should my tutor be teaching me?
What do you want your tutor to teach you? At the beginning of the tutorials, you should discuss in detail what you expect from your meetings. It is very helpful to be as clear as possible with your tutor. Remember, if you’re unsatisfied at any time with the direction of your classes, let your tutor know right away.
Can I work on my reading skills with my tutor?
Yes, but keep in mind that the LMT program places a primary focus on oral comprehension and speaking skills.
Can I work on my conversation and speaking skills with my tutor?
Yes! That’s the point.
Can I work on my writing skills with my tutor?
Yes, but again, the primary focus of the LMT is spoken communication.
I need help with my legal/medical/business Russian. Can my tutor help me with that?
Of course. Tutors should respond to the individual needs of their students. If you have anything specific you’d like to work on, mention it on your application, and once again to your tutor when you begin to meet. It is helpful to be as particular as possible with your tutor, so that your tutor can best respond to your needs.
Payment and Registration
How do I register?
You can register in person at the LRC. Click here for directions and hours.
How much does an LMT cost?
Are you a current Columbia student? The price for Columbia students is $650. (The price for non-Columbia students is $900.) There is also a non-refundable application fee of $30 per student (Columbia and non-Columbia alike). These $30 are included in the total cost of the program. So, if you are a Columbia student, you will pay the $30 application plus $620 after you receive notification that we have found you a tutor.
I’m an alumnus. How much do I pay?
You pay $900. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer a reduced rate.
When do I pay?
First, you pay the $30 non-refundable application fee at the same time that you submit your application. When you receive notice that your tutor has been found, you should come pay the remaining balance at the Language Resource Center as soon as possible. Only once the student has paid in full can the tutorial begin. Click here for directions to the LRC and its business hours.
How do I pay?
All students must pay at the LRC reception desk. We accept credit and debit, as well as cash and check.
Is there financial assistance available?
Yes! Take a peak at our subsidies and grants page to see what we offer.
Do I need to be a registered, full-time student at Columbia to be a tutor?
Do I need to have prior experience in teaching my language to be a tutor?
Preferably, yes. All applicants are vetted for teaching experience as well as language teaching experience. The best applicant, therefore, would be someone who has extensive teaching experience in the language they wish to tutor. However, all are welcome to apply.
Will the LMT program/coordinator/my student provide me with teaching materials?
No. Teaching materials and lesson plans are exclusively the responsibility of the tutor.
How do I register?
Payment and Required Documentation
What are the required documents I need to submit? When do I submit them? Where do I submit them?
Once you have received notification that you have been selected as a tutor (and only then, not before) you will be asked to submit certain documents. These documents are absolutely necessary in order for you to be paid. These documents ought to be submitted as soon as possible (that is, as soon as you receive notification that you have been matched with your student), and are available at the LRC reception desk. For a complete list of the documents you will be asked to submit, please see the For Tutors page.
And just to repeat: YOU WILL NOT BE PAID UNTIL ALL DOCUMENTS ARE SUBMITTED.
How much are tutors paid?
All tutors receive $500 before taxes, which is broken into two payments of $250 to be issued during the beginning of November and again at the end of November, for the Fall semester; or, for the Spring semester, during the first week of March and again toward the beginning of April.
How do I get paid?
The default form of payment is check. If you already receive a check from Columbia for work in another department, your payment will be added to that check. Otherwise, you will receive a check from the LRC, which you can pick up anytime from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, once you’ve received notification that checks have been issued.
If you would like to receive your payment in the form of a direct deposit, you can find directions for how to set this up on the Human Resources website.
Remember, it is unlawful for any tutor to receive payment before he or she has submitted ALL the appropriate paperwork. A list of these necessary documents can be found here.
When is the registration period?
Registration periods generally run from the start of every semester until the end of the first month.
For Fall 2014, registration will take place from September 8th to September 30th.
When do tutorials begin?
Tutorials should begin after you receive an email from the coordinator with the name and contact information of your tutor. Once you have this information, you should get into contact with one another and make arrangements to meet.
When do tutorials end?
Tutorials end after the tenth and final session, before the end of the semester. It is not encouraged that tutorials continue into reading days and exam periods.
Where do we meet?
Wherever you’d like! There are plenty of quiet spaces around the Morningside campus. The Lerner lounges are a good option, as well as those in the Law school on Amsterdam, or even a local café. Perhaps you or your tutor live in university housing nearby. Anywhere, really. Unfortunately, neither the LRC nor LMT program can provide you with classrooms.
When do we meet?
Whenever you’re both free. It is the shared responsibility of both the tutor and the student to decide on a regular meeting time.
Where is the Language Resource Center (LRC) located?
The LRC is located on Columbia’s Morningside Campus at 420 W 118th Street in the International Affairs Building, on Amsterdam Avenue between 116th Street and 118th Street. We are on the third floor. For complete directions, click here.
When is the LRC open?
Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am until 5pm, all year round. Bear in mind that we are closed for University holidays.
I submitted the $30 application fee, but I didn’t participate in the program. Can I receive a refund?
No. The application fee is non-refundable.
It’s December 6th. I didn’t like my tutor. We only met three times, and she wasn’t prepared at all. Can I receive a refund?
Maybe. If there is a problem with your tutorial, it is important to report it to the coordinator as soon as possible. Throughout the course of the semester, you should have received several emails from the coordinator verifying that your sessions were running smoothly. If there has been a problem since October, and you did not report it until the end of the semester, it is very difficult to receive a refund, because your tutor has probably been paid already.
Any problems or concerns should be directed to the LMT Coordinator. You can also call (212) 854-9226.
I don’t have one whole hour and a half to meet each week. Can I meet with my tutor for two weekly sessions of forty-five minutes each?
Of course—as long as you both agree to it.
I need to cancel my tutorial for tomorrow. Is this alright?
As long as you notify the tutor in advance and he/she agrees. It is your responsibility to reschedule any missed session, the sooner the better.
What happens if my tutor/my student and I miss a session?
Because it is the shared responsibility of both you and your tutor/student to make up any missed classes, you should make those arrangements with them. Perhaps you could meet twice one week. Keep in mind that you should try your best not to miss any sessions. What might start off as one make up class might quickly turn into three or more, which puts a lot of pressure on the tutor.
Can I meet with my tutor/my student after the end of the semester?
We strongly encourage you to complete your tutorials before the start of the exam period, and certainly before the end of the semester. Perhaps your tutor/student will agree to meet through the end of the semester, but this should be considered a special exception and personal favor granted at the tutor’s discretion.
I still have questions. Who can I talk to?
All inquiries, concerns, and question should be directed to the LMT coordinator. You can email the coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 854-9226.