Communicating with tutors: introduction

time to complete: 10-15 minutes

We will start with some basic language you need when communicating with your tutors. This includes language for describing aspects of your studies, that is things you did, are currently doing and will do. It also includes language for evaluating or reflecting on your actions. 

Descriptive language

When communicating with your tutor, you need to be very clear about your actions: what you did, are doing and will do. This descriptive language will help you set up the context for any discussion you want to have with them. For example, you might want to summarise what you have accomplished since you last spoke with your tutor. Have a look at the following phrases:

I met with… on Tuesday to discuss

I conducted two interviews last week but…

I haven’t got the chance to check

I’ve already made some changes to…

I’ve come up with a solution to…

I’m exploring

At the moment, I’m evaluating

I’m currently writing up the section on…

I’ll need to work on

Next week, I’ll start analysing

Evaluative/Reflective language

You will also need to talk about how you feel about aspects of your studies. For this, you will need to use language that shows your evaluation or reflection. For example, you might want to talk about how easy or difficult a specific assignment was, or how you feel about the outcome of a project. As shown in the examples below, this language might be positive or negative.


I’ve enjoyed reading about…

I was really pleased with the feedback…

I feel positive about

I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made so far.

I’m really excited about the opportunity to…


I found X’s theory somewhat challenging.

Phase 3 seems a little ambitious.

I wanted to discuss an issue with you.

It has become a bit of a problem.

I’ve never written a case study before, so I feel a little lost.

Now, it’s time for some practice.

Task: Drag and drop the words into gaps. Pay attention to word form, sentence grammar and meaning.

1. I’ve revised this chapter to… (to revise something – Present Perfect)

2. I felt well satisfied with the project…  (be/feel satisfied with)

3. It has become really difficult to… (be/become difficult to do something)

4. I’ve looked into… (to look into something – Present Perfect)

5. I found it very interesting and useful. (to find something interesting)

6. I’m still struggling with… (to struggle with something – Present Continuous)

7. I’ve been reading about… (to read about something – Present Prefect Continous)

8. I’m very optimistic about the outcome of… (be/feel optimistic about something)

9. It’s hard not to feel a bit disappointed with the result. (be/feel disappointed with something)

10. By our next meeting, I will have prepared a list of…  (to prepare something – Future Perfect)

Let’s move on now to examine other language functions that are useful for communicating with your tutors. Click Next Topic to continue.