Adapt, acquire, diffuse, learn: Filipino online English tutors as intercultural bricoleurs

Joy Hannah Panaligan, Nathaniel Ming Curran

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Since 2010, the Philippines has been one of the largest contributors of workers to the increasingly global industry of remote English language tutoring. In this nascent and growing industry, Filipino online English tutors are employed by online platforms as independent contractors where they instruct students on a piece-meal basis. This article draws on interviews with 11 Filipino online tutors to discuss the various strategies that Filipino online English tutors deploy to successfully navigate their encounters with students whose cultural backgrounds differ from their own. We suggest the notion of intercultural bricolage to make sense of online tutors' self-acquired strategies for retaining students and succeeding as online tutors despite the various difficulties encountered with this type of remote work. While the notion of intercultural bricolage applies to the practices of many offline language teachers as well, we highlight how elements unique to online teaching—including lesson-by-lesson contracts—make intercultural bricolage an indispensable component of tutors’ success on online language teaching platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage and Communication
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Intercultural bricolage
  • Intercultural communication
  • Online tutoring platforms
  • OTPs
  • Philippines English

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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