The tutoring option

Sending a child to a private tutoring center is a common option for parents. A gakken is usually a small informal home with one or a few private tutors that cater to students’ remedial or supplementary schooling needs. Hiring a private tutor by word of mouth or ads pasted on lampposts is also fairly common but less so, in view of the large numbers of gakken and Kumon tutoring centres and various cramschools.

Though using tutors used to be traditionally associated with older children, such as with a high school student in danger of failing a subject, it is now the norm to begin at elementary levels, usually from third or fourth grade for reputable cramschools and preschool level for Kumon tutoring centres for building literacy and math skills.

The lowering age level likely indicates increased competitiveness in schooling and decreasing parents’ satisfaction with the way their children are taught in school. Parents are now less inclined to be as hands on as those early generations’, and more likely to leave educational responsibility in the hands of “professionals” for their children’s early education and learning of basic and literacy skills. Since tutoring centres and their teachers are seen as the repository of knowledge on the requirements for passing the interviews and tests for getting in prestigious private educational institutions whether these be kindergartens or elementary or higher levels, parents are resorting to such centres even more.

Cramschools can assess special needs of a child, determine what kind of extra help, and may be able to recommend individual private tutors in the area.

A high school or college student may be more affordable for a younger child. Yet professional tutors, or solo tutoring, tend to be more expensive and those credentials or their track records are harder to rely on.

In selecting a tutor, parents should evaluate several factors:

1) if the tutor has experience helping children in a particular subject area;

2) whether the tutor can come to the child’s home, or whether the child can go to the tutor’s home; and

3) whether the tutor motivates the student with positive encouragement.

4) the reputation of the tutor. In Japan, Japanese families usually seek help from tutors either by word of mouth or sometimes by recommendation of a juku.

The official Japanese school system is said to to have a “shadow education” which consist of home-tutors, “juku”, prep schools, correspondence courses, etc. Tutors are considered part of this “shadow education” that is said to contribute to the educational success of Japanese students.

One of the fastest-growing trends in education is the franchised private tutoring company, or learning center, which teaches children individually or in small groups after school. Long established in Japan, the number of these tutoring centers are fast rising quickly in both Canada and the U.S and particularly in Asian countries such as Singapore and Taiwan. Kumon centres is the most well known among these.

Students may enroll in these tutoring centers for remedial help, but many students who are already doing well also enroll to enhance or gain extra skills. The private tutoring companies have their own worksheets and homework. Many of these companies work on a rewards system, giving children tokens for completed assignments, which they can redeem for prizes.

In both Canada and the U.S., private tutoring companies have been hired by public school systems to boost students’ skills. In most cases, the tutors help with remedial math and reading. Initial feedback suggests that this method helps improve students’ test scores, and this combination of private industry and public education is becoming more common.

A growing worldwide trend is the use of online tutoring services, cheap and no hassle, except that students must get used to the use of technology. The situation is no different here.

Below is a listing of local and international tutoring services, home-tutors and online tutors. Cramschools (juku) are good resources and will also refer parents to private home tutors if asked. Jukus are important establishments to which even universities look to pick up the slack when their students require remedial tutoring. A large and important topic in itself, a separate listing is made for cramschools (see side column for directory and information.)

Local tutoring services:

Highly experienced British university English language lecturer offers students on-line training specifically for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam, with particular focus on the Writing module. Contact via email or website.

Specialized Therapy/Tutoring Special Needs Teacher from Australia available for one on one therapy or tutoring. Trained in Applied Behavior Analysis, Discrete Trial Training and teaching strategies for students with learning difficulties. Experienced in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Downs Syndrome and Intellectual disabilities. Also available for activities and babysitting. Jacqui Howell

Kaybee Tutors Math Tutoring; Reading and Writing Tutoring; English as a Second Language Tutoring; Homeschool Tutoring; Homework help available from a certified teacher from Canada and a group of dedicated experienced international school tutors. One on one tutoring, flexible times and locations throughout Tokyo and Yokohama. Help for children to master difficult concepts in a fun and easy way. Visit the website for more info: Phone: 08050534679 Email: Test prep classes also available.

ChezVous website (in English)

Tutoring service, along with babysitting with bilingual sitters, bilingual maid services

Expatriates dotcomhere for lessons and by tutors.japan-guide site.

Sensei Seek dotcom is a database for teachers Japan-wide seeking positions.

Perapera World – free matching service for students and teachers is a tutor-student matching website. The portal page is in Japanese only while the teacher’s page is in English.

English Tutor Japan lets you search private English tutors in Japan for English conversation, reading, writing, grammar, TOEIC, TOEFL & IELTS preparation. English Tutor Japan is a completely FREE service for students and private English tutors. introduces over 1,400 language teachers to students weekly Japan-wide. Display your online profile to new students in under 15 minutes. Your prices. Your schedule. Your teaching style. All languages welcome. Free.

International tutoring services:

ClubZ Tutoring Services One-one-one in-home tutoring for K-adults, the largest tutoring program in the world. They claim to have franchised outfits around the world.

Passport School a quality lesson tutoring service and offering private lessons and at-home lessons for kids or adults throughout Fukuoka. They have extensive experience handling group lessons, tutoring returnees, and English lessons for specific purposes such as travel or business. In addition to classrooms in Tnejin and Nishijin in Fukuoka, group lessons are also offered in Karatsu, Yahata and Tobata, Kitakyushu and Ohashi in Fukuoka city. Private lessons will be offered in response to requests throughout Fukuoka prefecture. The tutoring center or school recently joined hands with American English Preschool of Fukuoka.


Net-de-English is a privately owned online school that provides English instruction. Potential students check the website where tutors’ schedules are conveniently located on the website and choose a tutor. The student is introduced through a trial lesson, a “Friendly Meeting”. The student discusses his or her objectives and goals. Net-de-English uses voice chat programs such as MSN Messenger, Windows Net Meeting, and other software for broadband connection to teach students online.

Tutors International is a premium tutoring service that offers tutors for full-time positions or homeschooling worldwide, with good experience and understanding of gifted students and dyslexic and AD/HD youngsters.

Total Math is a math tutoring site.

Star Tutoring.  Individualized learning for all ages.

Smarthinking – online tutoring and writing services – has received favorable reviews in the press.

AnySubject provides online tutoring including homeschooling tutors, anywhere in the world (says the website).

online writing service

Tutors Directory (UK based) offer in home or online tutors.

Online English Tutor, contact Susan Gench through email Description of services submitted by OnlineTutorForEnglish:
We are an online English-ESL school located in New York. We offer private USA Certified ESL-English-Teacher tutors. Our tutors are Americans or Canadians Students communicate with their tutors through Skype, use headphone and microphone or webcam. We are unique in our method of online English instruction: We provide Native English Speaking Tutors as well as Bilingual Tutors. We assess the student’s English level in the first lesson, and then design an individual curriculum. In addition, we offer a variety of learning settings. We offer conversation tutors for those who need rapid improvement in their spoken English. We offer ESL-English plans to those students in need of improvement in grammar or vocabulary in a specific field, such as Computers and Business English. Students can choose as many conversation and grammar hours with their tutor’s help, as they wish. For Conversation Tutor Plans, the fee for Ten Lessons is 100USD offered twice or three times a week. For ESL-Grammar and Conversation, 30USD is the fee for one-hour lesson. Students may take Ten, Twenty, or Forty-Hour Tutor Plans for ESL-Grammar and Conversation, and get discount. For further information, please visit the Enrollment page on our website. Or, students may take a One-Hour Trial Lesson for 30USD to find out if they like the program. In the Trial Lesson, the tutor will assess the student’s English and give advice to the student for how to use Internet resources to improve his or her English. We offer free membership for our English Podcast Lessons and Online Resources.

All About Tutoring links:

Tutoring Clicks In offers more info on several services Sylvan Tutors, Growing Stars, and others.

Books on tutoring:

* Gallop, Catharine M. Individual Tutoring: A Realistic and Effective Solution for Children’s Learning Difficulties. Springfield, IL: C.C. Thomas, 1988.
* MacDonald, Ross B. The Master Tutor: A Guidebook for More Effective Tutoring . Williamsville, NY: Cambridge Stratford Study Skills Institute, 1994.
* Shelton, Leslie. Excellence for All: A New Tutor Training Model: LSCA Title VI Final Performance Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Educational Resources Information Center, 1990.

7 thoughts on “The tutoring option”

  1. This is a very comprehensive post about current tutoring options. In now days online tutoring is fastest growing services. And it has lots of benefits also. Number of Students who are subscribing these services are getting huge day by day

  2. As we know that education is the way to reach the success, so it necessary for us to provide quality education to our kids. For this we need to find out a better education specialist who is able to judge level of your kids then accordingly prepare him/her to clear out in exams.
    NANYANG Tuition is the Leading Home and private Tuition Agency in Singapore, tuition Singapore helped near to 10,000 of students to succeed in their written, spoken as well as motivational skills. tuition agency singapore and piano lesson singapore.

  3. Online tutoring is a great option for many students who are unable for some reason or another to take courses at their day school. It is also a great option for those students who would like to take extra courses not offered by their schools.

  4. Excellent article and resource list! Language is much more than a list of words and rules of grammar, it involves an understanding of culture and why words are spoken in a certain way. I help students privately with speaking fluency, pronunciation, and accent. All the best!

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