Tutoring centre

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Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hello, native speakers of English!

In Spain, children and teenagers sometimes need to go over what they've been taught at school, or further explanation because they can't keep up with the classes, or just further practice in whatever area their teacher(s) at school are covering. It's quite common for these kids to attend a centre after school (in the afternoon/evening) to get this kind of help (where they work in small groups - usually between 5 and 10 people). I would like to highlight that these centres have nothing to do with extra-curricular activities (they're separate from elementary or secondary schools, and, as they're private, parents have to pay for it).

What are these centres called? I've heard the expression "cram school" or "grind school" in the British Isles, but it appears these centres/schools help students prepare for specific examinations such as the A-levels, whereas the ones I have in mind would help students over the course of an academic year (or in summer if they failed a subject(s)), at any academic level (young children to teenagers).

I've also heard "tutoring centres (or centers)" is used in the US, but "to tutor" implies one-to-one teaching in my head (maybe I'm wrong). Also, this expression doesn't seem to be in use in Britain, as "tutor" (noun) usually refers to a kind of university teacher, or a private teacher who comes to the home of a child.

Thank you in advance.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Li'l Bull. One company that specializes in such services calls itself "Sylvan Learning Center". Though I'm not sure how common the use of "learning center" is, it definitely sounds to me like the sort of inoffensive term that companies would use. I wouldn't have any problem understanding "tutoring center" and wouldn't necessarily believe that it involved one-on-one sessions between a tutor and a student. I suspect that the word "remedial" is falling out of favor because people find it offensive.
     
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    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thanks, owlman.

    The phrase "learning center" sounds terribly commercial to me (however "inoffensive" it may sound to you). I'm looking for a word/phrase a student or parent would use informally.

    Are these centers (e.g. Sylvan) very common in the US (whether they are widely advertised or not)?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome. As I am neither a parent nor a student, I'll wait for other members to offer you suggestions on what term students or parents might use for these places.

    Regarding your second question, I can tell you that Sylvan Learning Centers are widespread and well-advertised in my part of the country.
     
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    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I've never run across anything like this. Closest I've ever seen was "summer school" - courses taught at school during the summer vacation, either for remedial purposes or for those who wanted to fit in an extra course or two.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Tutoring centers" returns millions of hits on Google, including the aforementioned Sylvan operation.

    But, no, the practice of sending children to tutoring centers is not as widespread in the U.S. as it is elsewhere, such as the juku in Japan.

    My impression is that this sort of operation is more prevalent in societies where student performance determines the educational and work path a young person will follow for the rest of his/her life. We are not that rigid in the U.S.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The Princeton Review is fairly well known (well, to me) and they describe themselves this way: We offer test preparation programs for all the major admissions exams ... (Source: The Princeton Review)

    So I would call these places test-preparation schools/classes -- test-prep/test prep for short. And after creating such a cool expression, I checked Google and the term is everywhere. (Google results)
     
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