Volunteer Tutor Resource

*Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit formerly Literacy and Continuing Education Branch

Adult Literacy Volunteer Tutor Pack. Literacy and Continuing Education*, Winnipeg: Manitoba Education and Training. FREE COPIES AVAILABLE.

This handy volunteer tutor pack contains a set of reference cards describing specific step-by-step approaches to: Getting to Know the Learner- Assessing Learning Levels, Assisted Reading, Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA), the Language Experience Approach to writing, Steps to Spelling and Ways to Remember Spelling including Look, Cover, Write, Check.

Adult Literacy Resource Pack. Manitoba Literacy and Continuing Education*, Winnipeg: Manitoba Education and Training. FREE COPIES AVAILABLE

This handy resource pack includes a booklet entitled "Let's Get Started: An initial assessment pack for adult literacy programs", and an accompanying set of reading selections meant to help the tutor get started with a new learner. The pack does not provide teaching strategies or approaches, but refers tutors to Journeyworkers and the Adult Literacy Volunteer Tutor Pack for these.

Adult Literacy Volunteer Tutor Program Evaluation Kit Thomas, Audrey M. Adult Basic Education. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Province of BC. 1991.

A self-study evaluation kit designed to help programs examine their practice in relation to a number of generally agreed upon "good practice statements", and to reflect upon the evaluation in the hope that it would lead to action and improved programs. According to the author: "The motivation for the evaluation comes from within the program. For it to work, it has to be used by a program that takes seriously the idea that it can improve. The evaluation is a participatory process [involving program coordinators, volunteer tutors and learners] that takes a fair amount of time to complete, but it's worth it!"

"The process: encourages objective evaluation of the program; encourages upgrading of program conditions; suggests areas for growth; enables coordinators to focus on needs of tutors and learners; provides opportunities to plan ahead; promotes group spirit and discussion; provides a tool for in-service development; and provides a basis for program funding proposals."

Basic Skills for Effective Reading. Second Edition. Selma Wilf. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. 1988. LPM LM RW AB WIL

This book is intended for learners with limited reading skills. A step-by-step approach provides students with adequate practice as they learn individual skills. Each skill is explained and then learned through the use of guided practice exercises. The book is divided into the following three parts: working with words, building vocabulary, and improving comprehension.

Connections. Austin: Steck-Vaughn Company. 1992.

This series of books is designed for use by high school students but its contents may be adapted for the adult learner. Life Skills and Writing presents the writing process as a series of steps, while Reading and Literatureutilizes literary passages to develop active reading skills. All of the books contain activities such as fill-in-the-blank, short-answer, and multiple-choice questions, accompanied with answers and explanations. The titles in this series are:

  • Connections. Life Skills and Writing LPM RW BC CON lif
  • Connections. Reading and Literature. LPM RW BC REA lit
  • Connections. Reading and Science. LPM RW BC CON rea
  • Connections. Reading and Social Studies. LPM RW BC REA ss

Goodwill Literacy Tutor Handbook. Clarke, Mallory. Fifth edition. Seattle WA: Goodwill Literacy. 1991. LPM TR RW CLA

This tutor handbook combines theory and practice in a step-by-step approach to tutoring. It includes the "tutoring cycle": choosing material, pre-reading, reading, post-reading, writing, evaluation and planning. It also addresses word attack skills, breaks and games, and lesson planning.

A Guide for Tutoring Adult Literacy Students: Adult Basic Education. Cameron, Joyce and Myrna Rabinowitz. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, Province of British Columbia. 1988. LPM TR VT CAM

This is a very practical guide to tutoring adult literacy students which combines theory, practical approaches and exercises, interspersed with quotes from tutors/learners about their experiences, what works and what doesn't how it feels to be a tutor/learner, etc. Chapters include: The Joys of Tutoring, Getting to Know Your Student; Using the Language Experience Approach; Helping Adults Learn ... to Read; ....Word Attack Skills; Write; ... to Spell; Setting Goals, Assessing Progress, and Planning Lessons; and, Measuring the Results of Tutoring

Homemade Literacy Ideas: Recipes for Success.Tessier, Angela and Carolyn Buffle (eds.) Winnipeg: Association for Community Living - Manitoba. 1993. LPM TR LT TES

This "recipe booklet" is actually a compilation of ideas and strategies developed over the years by tutors and instructors, that use simple "ingredients" in the home. Simple directions for activities that can be fun, instructive, and applied to everyday living of learners contribute to the contents.

How to Teach Reading: For Teachers, Parents, Tutors. Fry, Edward. Laguna Beach, CA: Laguna Beach Educational Books. 1992. LPM TR RW FRY

This booklet is written from the standpoint of a teacher, tutor or parent working with the individual student, however many of the methods also apply to small groups or the classroom. The step by step presentation provides specific methods of teaching reading that are suitable for both the beginning reader and the remedial reader of any age from 5 years old up through to adults. There are practical items such as songs, games and phonics charts with diagrams. Sections include determining reading ability, selecting materials, teaching vocabulary, developing phonics skills, sample lessons, comprehension and oral reading tests.

Improving Your Reading With Cartoon Strips. Gruber, Edward. New York: Educational Design Inc. 1988. LPM TR R LAN GRU

Using humour as a motivation to read, cartoons are used as the focus for learning to read. Composed of 60 units, each with a cartoon strip, glossary of unfamiliar words, multiple choice questions, and explanatory answers. These features put words into context and aid in learning comprehension.

It's About Learning: A Student Centred Approach to Adult Learning. Forest, Marsha with Bruce Kappel. Toronto: Frontier College Press, 1988.

A vivid and often moving collection of personal experiences of tutors, students, coordinators and others involved in Frontier College's SCIL Program (Student Centred Individualized Learning). Discusses at a very personal level the SCIL approach to adult literacy, qualities of a good tutor, developing and nurturing the tutor/student relationship, motivation, celebrating accomplishments, etc. Really helps you "feel" what tutoring is all about, for both the tutor and the student.

Journeyworkers: Tutor's Handbook. Approaches to literacy education with adults. Norton, Mary. Calgary: ACCESS NETWORK, The Alberta Educational Communications Corporation, 1988. LPM TR R LAN NOR

This practical and widely used tutor's handbook describes ways to provide instruction for adults to learn through experiencing reading and writing, and through guided practice, which will help them to learn strategies and approaches necessary to become independent readers and writers. Units include: [Reading is] A Matter of Making Sense; Learning from Experience (includes questioning, assisted reading/writing, developing lessons plans); Making Sense of Words (includes recognizing, identifying, and spelling words); Making Sense of Content (strategies for reading and writing such as drawing inference, anticipating audiences' knowledge, main-idea/detail relationships, sequence relationships, recognizing and recalling text information); Tutor Reference Materials (punctuation, common spelling patterns, prefixes and suffixes, using a dictionary to proofread for spelling, using words for filling out forms, 300 most frequently used words in rank order).

Learning Together: A Small Group Literacy Tutor Training Handbook. Fretz, Barbara and Marianne Paul. Core Literacy, Waterloo Region Inc., 1994. LPM TR M TEA FRE

Don't shy away from this handbook because of its focus on small groups! It is not only an excellent resource for training small group literacy tutors, but also contains invaluable background information, ideas and techniques which can be used as is, or easily adapted, either for training tutors or by tutors themselves working with individual students.

The main chapters are: Learning in a Group, Program Planning, Methodology, Communication and Cooperative Learning. Many areas could be easily adapted for one-on-one tutoring, such as: the learner-centred approach, learning style inventories, tutoring styles and how to adapt them to the learner, individual needs assessment, evaluating tutor and learner progress, reading and writing approaches, learning strategies, active listening, learner self-evaluation tools, guidelines for tutors and trainers, etc.

Learning Together: The Challenge of Adult Literacy. A Resource Book for Trainers. Ennis, Frances and Helen Woodrow. St. John's, Newfoundland: Educational Planning and Design Associates Ltd. 1992. LPM TR LT LEA

Although this resource book was intended for trainers of literacy workers, each module contains useful summary sheets meant for use as handouts and overheads. The modules are: Adult Learning, Reading and Writing, Stages of Literacy, Stage I - Feeling Literate, Stage II - Developing Literacy, Stage III - Becoming Literate, Spelling, Curriculum Materials, Getting Started and Evaluation.

Literacy Portfolio Assessment, A Resource for Literacy Workers. Ottawa: Partnerships in Learning. University of Ottawa. 1994 LPM TR NEVA TAY

This guide on assessment is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the method of portfolio assessment. "A portfolio is defined as a purposeful collection of a learner's work that tells a story of the efforts, progress or achievement in a given area. " The assessment process is clearly explained in a step by step format with attractive worksheets that make up the portfolio. These worksheets could easily be adapted as exercises for student use and need not be restricted to use for assessment purposes alone.

The Literacy Tutor. Baker, Diane. Wetaskiwin, Alberta: Wetaskiwin PALS (Program for Adult Literacy Skills).

A handbook designed by the Wetaskiwin PALS and dedicated to each new tutor and learner, to give them confidence as they work and learn together. Contains practical information/tools on the role of the instructor, tutor self-evaluation, Carkhuff's model for planning, writing learning objectives, adapting lesson plans to learning styles, evaluation, the first meeting, tipsheet on tutoring, and "tutor magic".

Many Literacies: Modules for Training Adult Beginning, Readers and Tutors. Gillespie, Marilyn. Amherst, MA.: Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts.1990. LPM TR VT GIL

This handbook was designed to be used by teachers and/or volunteer tutors working with adult beginning readers, that is, English speakers who do not yet read or write well enough to enter a pre-GED program. The author recognizes that most tutors "are deeply concerned with knowing more about how their students view the world and how they learn", thus providing activities designed for mixed groups of students and tutors to explore these issues together. The activities and approaches are meant to be adapted: group activities to one-to-one tutoring, any of the approaches to working with ESL literacy students. It's main purpose is to generate an interest in creative, renovative ways to involve students in the learning process.

Specific chapters include: Creating a Community of Learners (first meetings, what is literacy, myths & facts about illiteracy, adult learning, purposes for reading & writing); Developing a Learning Plan (planning/learning cycle, individual goals, learning contracts, group assessment); Introducing Reading (your reading history, what good readers do, strategies, language experience, sustained silent reading), Writing and Publishing (a writing workshop, the writing process, spelling, revising and editing, dialogue journals, life stories, collective writing).

1001 Practical Ideas for Teaching Language Arts. Moore, Bill Markham, Ont.: Pembroke Publishers Limited. 1989.

A four-booklet series containing "more than a thousand games, strategies, suggestions, exercises, procedures, activities, and ideas to help language live for every student.

Listening, Speaking, Viewing and Doing " provides exciting opportunities for teachers to help students experience all aspects of language. Topics include: what makes a good listener, the listening-reading connection, the advantage of a speaking program, speaking from outlines, planning openings and closings, impromptu speech, building vocabulary, critical television viewing, dramatization, playmaking, performing." LPM TR CD MOO lis

Organizing the Whole Language Classroom: why whole language learning makes sense, "theme" is one way to go, working with the whole class, organizing small groups, meeting individual needs, student-teacher conferences, evaluation and testing. LPM TR CD MOO org

Reading for Whole Language Learning "provides practical hands-on activities to help you: teach basic reading skills, recognize reading styles for different materials, develop good questioning strategies, explore ways to enjoy literature, use new technologies to present a story, poem or play, discover reading aloud (when and why), evaluate reading and literature. LPM TR CD MOO rea

Writing for Whole Language Learning "will help you take students through the writing process and build important writing skills. Includes specific activities on: writing to inform or persuade, writing verse, logs, diaries and journals, cause and effect, spelling and total word control, mechanics of writing, evaluating written work. LPM CD MOO wri

PAL (Project for Adult Literacy) Tutor Guide. Winnipeg Core area Initiative.

Tutor manual designed for volunteer tutors working in community-based literacy programs. The main approach taken is using language and the experience of the learner to write a story. Included are example activities to create your own sessions, lesson planning, tips for tutors, record keeping, using community resources and your neighborhood.

Partnerships in Literacy: A guide for Community Organization and Program Development. Watson, Wendy and Barbara Bate. Victoria, BC: British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. 1991. LPM TR PP WAT

This guide uses a community-based approach, using the philosophy that cooperation among community groups is essential to a successful literacy strategy. The aim is to help beginning literacy groups develop into strong organizations and encourage new directions in literacy partnerships. Four major areas of focus are: developing a community literacy organization, implementing a program, examples of innovative literacy partnership projects, and a detailed description of 37 different programs in BC. A practical step by step account covers essential aspects from fundraising to tutor training, and program evaluation. Specific examples of partnerships with libraries, media, family literacy, business, and labour, and advocacy groups are provided.

Passing the GED: A Complete Preparation for the High School Equivalency Examination, New Revised Canadian Edition. Agincourt, Ont.: GAGE Educational Publishing Company, 1995. LPM GED GEN PAS

This is the Canadian edition of a very thorough and hands on guide that may be used to prepare for the High School Equivalency Examinations. Sample test items, warm-up exercises and tips, mini-tests with answers, and overviews of each subject area tested on the GED are provided.

People Reading Series. Stevens, Darlene and Terrie Moar. LPM TR E SPN STE

A series designed for people at beginning reading levels and has materials for adults labeled with a mental disability. Also created for integrating into adult literacy programs that include people with a variety of skills. Provided are instructional techniques and activities to develop specific skill areas. The use of photographs of people in everyday situations makes this an approachable book for tutor and learner. The series contains four learner books each accompanied by an instructor's manual.

Recommendations of the Manitoba Task Force on Literacy. Manitoba Task Force on Literacy. Winnipeg: Manitoba Education & Training. 1989. LPM TR IP MAN

The mandate of this particular Task Force was to determine the magnitude of literacy issues among affected groups, and to recommend strategies for continuous programming on literacy. Twenty-eight recommendations covering issues of policy, funding, the MB Adult Literacy Council, the Literacy Office, supports for learners, awareness, at-risk students, Aboriginal literacy, ESL, training and education, are presented in this publication.

Read All About It!! Tutor Adults with Daily Newspaper. Tutor Handbook. Lawson, U., K. New York: Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. 1984. LPM TR RW LAW

If you are interested in developing lesson plans that are focused on using the newspaper as a teaching tool, then this is the handbook for you! A variety of lesson plans incorporate newspaper clippings from both Canada and the United States, with explanations on using them.

Reading for Today, A sequential program for adults. Beers, J. et. al. Austin,Texas: Steck-Vaughn Company. 1987. LPM LM RW AB REA

An easy to use, and approachable series of five books and teacher's guide for adult learners. This sequential program has students read units that teach and practice all subskills simultaneously. Life-coping themes, sight words, phonics, oral and structural language, and comprehension are some of the techniques employed. Each page contains activities using photographs interspersed with words. The teacher's guide also includes student objectives, teaching notes, reviews, and a diagnostic placement form.

The Right to Read: Tutor's Handbook for the SCIL Program (Student Centred Individualized Learning). Carpenter, Tracy. Frontier College Press, 1986. LPM TR M TEA CAR

A practical "how-to" resource manual meant to assist volunteer tutors in developing effective individual learning programs with the active input of their students. With three main sections focusing on Reading, Writing and Math, this tutor's handbook also includes information on the Literacy Crisis, What is a Tutor, and sections on Starting Out, Tutoring Independently, Special Considerations, Ending Tutor/Student Relationships and Long-Term Lesson Planning.

Supermarket View (The). Leeds: The Printed Resource Unit for Continuing Education, Leeds City Council Department of Education. 1980. LPM TR M TEA SUP

A photopack containing a selection of signs and some common food products found in a supermarket. May be used with individual students or small groups of beginning readers as a stimulus for developing oral language, or as an aid teaching a wide range of skills (ie. speaking, reading, comprehension, writing, numeracy). Includes tutor's notes, sample workcard and flashcards. Photos are of British products, but provides an excellent example for developing your own photopack and how to use it.

Survival Vocabulary Books. Richey, Jim. Haywood, CA: Janus Book Publishers. 1979 LPM LM LS AB RIC

This set of six books contains self-explanatory units designed to help learn vocabulary for specific life situations. The books are entitled: Restaurant Language, Job Application Language, Drug Store Language, Credit Language, Supermarket Language and Clothing Language.

Thinking Skills. Wagner, Rudolph F. Portland, Maine: J. Weston Walch, Publisher. 1982.

A series containing copy masters of student worksheets and answer keys. Includes:

  • Summaries and Symbolizations LPM TR R LAN WED v.1
  • Classification and Opposites LPM TR R LAN WED v.1
  • Analogies and Similes LPM TR R LAN WED v.2
  • Creative Thinking and Problem Solving LPM TR R LAN WED v.2
  • Inferential Thinking LPM TR R LAN WED v.2

TUTOR: Techniques Used in the Teaching of Reading. Sixth Edition. Colvin, Ruth J. and Jane H. Root. Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. Syracruse, New York, 1987. LPM TR R LAL COL

A handbook for teaching basic reading to adults and teenagers. "This book is organized to enable tutors to become competent in the following areas: ability to evaluate for placement, diagnosis, and achievement; ability to plan and evaluate an instructional lesson; ability to apply the methods and approaches of Language Experience, Sight Words, Context Clues, Phonics, and Word Patterns to any literary or informational resources of adult or teenage interest newspapers, sports articles, job-related materials, household product labels, drivers' manuals or pleasure reading; ability to use assisted reading techniques to lead the learner into material beyond his or her current reading ability; ability to integrate writing skills into lessons from the very beginning; sensitivity to the needs of the adult new reader. Accompanied by personal illustrations from the experiences of real people.

Tutor Ways: A Training Program for Literacy Tutors. Swift Current, SK.: Cypress Hills Regional College. 1994 LPM TR M TEA TUT

A multi-media package designed to provide practical tutor training which can be easily accessed by individual tutors or small groups with minimal or no professional supervision. The focus is on helping adult learners improve their

reading, writing, speaking and/or mathematical skills. Each module consists of (1) a manual explaining what is to be learned, providing examples to illustrate it, exercises to practice it, and an answer key for the exercises; and (2) a video tape which further models the new information through actual sessions with learners. The manual also includes a discussions in each module regarding the ESL learner, and the importance of "culture" as it applies not only to the ethnic background of the learner, but also to the specific places within our own culture (such as various workplaces, the doctor's office, etc.)

The modules are: Performing a Task Analysis on Learner's Goals; Writing and Using Language Experience Stories; Using Learner-Centred Materials to Teach Reading Skills, and Planning Effective Lessons.

Unscrambling Spelling. Klein, Cynthia and Robin Millar. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1990. LPM TR RW KLE c.2

This book is designed to encourage teachers to teach spelling, by using students' own written words as the basis of an individualized spelling program. Explanations of how to develop an individualized scheme for each student and how to discover effective strategies for remembering spellings are given. Suggestions are offered on how to integrate the individualized approach into the classroom. Included are photocopiable resource sheets that may be used to stimulate discussion about spelling , learning, and language issues. A resource and reference guide used to explore particular topics are also provided.

The Volunteer Tutor's Toolbox. Herrmann, Beth Ann (ed.) Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association. 1994. LPM TR R LAN VOL

This excellent new resource "is intended for the brand new tutor who may be apprehensive about the first (or even the fourth or fifth) lesson with a young or adult learner. It strongly emphasizes the language experience approach and individualized reading, and dismisses almost entirely the role of phonics in reading instruction. Written from the experiences of a variety of volunteer tutors and adult learners, it is written in a conversational tone for easy reading and avoids the use of professional literacy jargon as much as possible. Also "offers specific advice on improving study skills and test-taking abilities."

The chapters are: Practical Tips for Volunteer Tutors (developing and maintaining successful relationships, communicating effectively, planning and implementing lessons); Effective Literacy Instruction; Building Characteristics of Successful Readers and Writers; Helping Learners Complete Assigned Work; Effective Literacy Assessment; Where to go When You Need More Help lists recommended resources for further assistance; and Some Final Thoughts about Literacy and Tutoring.

Whole Language and Adult Literacy Instruction. Davies, Paula and Ann McQuaid. BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. 1992. LPM TR TP WHO

The aim of this book is to enable you to adopt whole language strategies for adult learners. As well as some personal reflections of the authors' experiences in applying the whole language approach in adult literacy classes, several teaching strategies that may be used in a variety of settings are discussed. Two extensive lists of references are also supplied.

Wordless Book (The). Human Resources Development Canada. Quebec: National Literacy Secretariat, Human Resources Development Canada. 1994.

Available FREE from National Literacy Secretariat, Human Resources Development Canada, 25 Eddy Street, Hull, Quebec K1A 1K5 or FAX (819) 953-8076. (Your program may have copies on hand or want to order multiple copies). Each book contains a tear-out Tutor's Manual.

"The Wordless Book is 24 pages of stories without words. Designed as an interactive teaching tool for today's adult learners, it leads, learners to the fun side of reading and writing, regardless of their reading level. The book allows learners to make up the stories, as this is their book. While tutors and learners are working together on the stories that they pick, learners can improve their spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and organization.

The stories are designed for adults. Non-readers can develop story ideas as others write for them. More advanced readers can fill in the blanks themselves. All readers will benefit by what they learn working with their tutors, and when they review their stories later."

WordPower: Tutor Training Manual. Butler, Maureen. Yukon Literacy Council, Whitehorse, YT. 1990. LPM TR M TEA BUT

This "experiential workbook" for volunteer tutors provides interesting overviews of many aspects of adult literacy, experiential exercises for tutors to reflect upon their own knowledge, attitudes and approaches to literacy, and practical tools and instructional techniques. Some of the areas covered include: adult learners; volunteer tutoring; assessment (including numeracy); approaches to teaching reading; goal setting, lesson planning and evaluation; and getting started.

Writing Activities for Newspaper Readers: A Teacher's Resource. Gebhard, Ann Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press. 1986. LPM TR RW GEB

"This manual will show you how to create effective writing activities based on reading a newspaper." The four units focus on: Providing an atmosphere that promotes confidence, Helping students gain control [of the writing process], Helping students to achieve competence, and Integrating control and competence activities.

Writing Our Lives: Reflections on Dialogue Journal Writing with Adults Learning English. Peyton, Joy Kreeft and Jana Staton (eds). Prentice-Hall, Inc. and the Centre for Applied Linguistics, 1991. LPM TR RW WRI

"There have been many publications about dialogue journal writing, but none focusing on the adult developing literacy in English as a second language. [This book] represents the latest thinking on this practice, by leading teachers and researchers in adult literacy. This long-awaited volume presents a rationale for making open and continuing dialogue a central part of any work with adults, and discusses various approaches to promoting this dialogue with students, tutors, and teachers in many different types of programs. [It] also includes practical how-to suggestions for starting and maintaining written dialogue with adult ESL students, and concludes with the most comprehensive resource list now available for further reading about dialogue journal practice and research."

Life Long Reading, A Basic Course. Rouhier, Kathleen M. Englewood Cliffs,NJ: Cambridge Adult Education, Prentice Hall Regents. 1993. LPM LM RW AA ROU

Survival Vocabulary. Wedler, Gertrude. Portland, Maine: J. Weston Walch, Publisher. 1984. LPM TR R LAN WED v.1, v.2, v.3

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