21 May 2014

Tutor Conference Tips, Part Two: Reading

In our last post, we started a series on some shared expertise from our tutor conference in early May. At this event, tutors spent the day learning from speakers and each other. The following is part two in the series – some tips for engaging adult learners in reading activities.

  1. Set The Tone
  • Meet in a place that is comfortable for the learner. If you can, remove or avoid distractions by finding a private room or quiet area.
  • Begin the lesson with a casual chat. Talk about your week or about upcoming plans.
  • Be aware of your body language – before, during and after the lesson, ensure you are at ease and remaining patient.
  • Stay interested – don’t look at your watch, phone, or other things in the room. Keep focused on the learner.
  • Stay positive – always offer advice, support, and positive feedback. Be encouraging, and congratulate the learner when they are successful in their learning.
  1. Use Good Sources
  • Ask your learner to bring something they want to read.
  • Newspapers are a great resource – use them to read aloud and summarize the information in the stories.
  • Try journaling as an exercise for both reading and writing skills – have them write and then read back to you.
  • Get to know your learner and always be on the lookout for sources that might be of interest to them.
  • Find something that is fun to read – comics or graphic novels are easy and fun!
  1. Basic Teaching Techniques
  • An old stand-by: sound out letters and guess!
  • Use flash cards with the learner.
  • Work on pronunciation through practice and repetition. 
  • If they are willing, record their voices as they read. 
  • Learn through videos with wording or subtitles.  


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