This article presents new research data on a virtual project of reciprocal peer tutoring for learning and improving Spanish and English. Students aged 9 to 12 years from Scotland and Catalonia were matched to act as a tutor of their own language to his pair. It was intended that students improve both, their own language (helping the tutee), and a foreign language (through their tutor’s help) through reciprocal peer tutoring. Through a methodology that combines a quasiexperimental study and a qualitative analysis of texts, pre-test and post-test results showed statistically significant improvements in reading comprehension (acting as tutors) and writing (acting as tutees) for Catalan students. Scottish students improved only part of their writing (acting as tutees). The analysis of the texts, especially of the support offered by tutors, seems to reveal that the level of support offered by the tutor affects the tutee’s learning opportunities, creating a paradox because the results seems to indicate that when more support given, facilitates more learning opportunities for the tutor, but less for his tutee, and vice versa: the tutee learns more with less structured support –leading to lower opportunities for the tutor’s improvement– where the correction of the error requires more efforts . The resolution of the paradox has to do with the possibilities of adjusting the scaffolding support, as discussed at the end of the article.
- Information and communication technology (ICT)
- Peer learning
- Peer tutoring
- Teaching a second language