How to Skype with a Tutor


All of us at the University of Delaware English Language Institute hope that this new resource can help you, our alumni, to refresh and continue practicing your English, even after leaving your ELI home! Our tutors are available to help you improve your English skills, answer questions, or practice your English with a native/fluent speaker. To get started, here is what you need to do:

  1. You need to have a Skype account to start your video or instant messaging chat with us. If you do not have one, you can sign up for a free account on the Skype website.
  2. You must also have a computer or device that has a webcam, microphone, and screen for video chatting. A smartphone will work if you have the Skype app downloaded.
  3. Log on to your Skype account (using your computer or your phone).
  4. Go to the ELI Tutor Skype Contacts page
  5. Check to see if a tutor is scheduled to be online at a time that is convenient for you. Remember the times that are listed are EDT, UTC/GMT -4 hours.
  6. If they are not available, you can try another tutor who also may be online.
  7. To start a tutoring conversation, click the button that says “Call me!”, “Chat with me”, or “Add me to Skype” next to the ELI Alumni Tutor logo.
  8. Add all of our tutors to your Skype contacts, so that you can see when they are online. You will see all of our tutors’ pictures, names, Skype usernames, and links to chat with them via Skype.
  9. Then, if our tutors are online, we can start the English conversation!

If there are no tutors online, you can send a video message to one of them on Skype asking any questions that you have, or requesting specific topics for tutors to discuss. Then, the tutor you have left the message for will send you a video message in response as soon as they are able, or message you when they see that you are online.

You can also send us an e-mail to request a tutor to respond to you:

If you want to request a topic to be posted to the Tutor Blog, you can click here to fill out a form to submit your topic.

This way, you still can practice your listening skills, and have tutors answer your questions or post videos and articles about topics you are interested in learning about, even if they are not online at the moment.

Tutors can also comment on your pronunciation if you send us a Skype video message, if that is requested.


General Skype Tutoring Guidelines

Tutoring students online in English via Skype is different from tutoring face-to-face in the Tutoring Center of the ELI. Just as we have guidelines for tutoring there, we have guidelines for ELI alumni for Skype tutoring as well:

  • Be in a location that has a strong Wifi connection.
  • Sit somewhere that is quiet and brightly lit, and use your headphones if you can.
  • Try to prepare what you would like to work on, or the topics you would like to discuss.
  • Do not answer your cellphone or have other websites up while Skyping with a tutor.
  • Speak or type only in English when Skyping, just like when you were at the ELI.
  • Use respectful language.
  • Recognize that sometimes internet connections will cause issues with the Skype video or audio conversations. Please be patient with our tutors when this occurs.
  • Be aware that any Skype conversations that our tutors feel are inappropriate or that are spam will immediately be disconnected and the user will be blocked from contacting any of our tutors in the future.


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