Business English Learners’ Perceptions of Synchronous Online Tuition as a Substitute for Face-to-Face Tuition in a French-Speaking Context

Daniel Costa


The purpose of this research study was to delve into Business English learners’ perceptions of synchronous online tuition and its potential as a substitute for face-to-face tuition in a one-to-one educational context. It involved nine French-speaking students spanning different proficiency levels and who completed at least a course consisting of twenty lessons which involved voice and text-based communication using Cisco Webex Meeting Center. They were asked to complete questionnaires and to attend semi-structured interviews in French, which were recorded and transcribed.

The results show that the learners were generally pleased with the course and its medium. They commented on its flexibility both in terms of space and time, the former enabling them to have lessons from their office or home and the latter allowing them to schedule lessons according to their schedules. The respondents believed that the voice-based nature of the medium was effective in enhancing their listening and speaking skills, but not all acknowledged the benefits of text-based communication. Technical issues were considered a hindrance by several participants, while digital literacy, learning disabilities and learning styles were alluded to as factors which could affect the learning process. Blended learning was suggested to include further practice with colleagues or face-to-face tuition.

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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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