Tutor Resources

Welcome fellow Literacy Volunteer tutors! We have heard your requests for tips, hints and web links to provide additional information for your students and created this resource page as a guide for you.

As tutors, we strive to help our students move forward to achieve their goals. Additional information on how to “get there from here” can be very helpful. One rule of thumb repeated at Tutor Training is to meet with your new student three times before attempting to begin "lessons."

Workplace Readiness Curriculum & Lesson Plans

Workplace Literacy / Curriculum & Lesson Plans by Mary Beth Moyer, Susan Reilly & Sally Lunt


Workplace Literacy for EOSL Students Curriculum

Lesson Plans for EOSL Students Workplace Readiness:

    Workplace Behaviors & Cultural Differences in the Workplace, Part 1

    Workplace Behaviors & Cultural Differences int he Workplace, Part 2

    Workplace - Ordering

    Workplace - Time Terms

    Workplace - Using Question Words

This resource was made possible by a grant from the Maine Department of Education Office of Adult Education and Family Literacy.

New Guide Available

Teaching Syllabication to Improve Reading Skills by Robin H. Lovrien

Robin Lovrien, PhD, MSpEd:LD, consultant in Adult ESOL, has made her Guide to Syllibicaiton Set available to LV-A tutors. Thank you Robin and the Maine Dept. of Education Office of Adult Education. Click here to get the PDF.


Below are experiences and advise from tutors, trainers, and LV-A staff.

Click on the tutor's name to see their contribution. Click again or on another name to hide the text.

Getting Started

Linda Connelly - on where to begin helping students achieve their goals.

How do we help our student achieve his or her dreams? This could be our first literacy student or our tenth literacy student. Regardless of our experiences, each student is unique and we basically start over with each individual.

How to begin the lesson plan process

  • Is there a “standard” lesson plan to follow?
  • Do I create a plan for my student?
  • Should I create a detailed outline or concrete plan for each time I meet with my student?
  • Our initial answers to these questions may be “Yes, I need a formal plan.” For many of us, following some type of formal learning plan has been the norm. We are comfortable with plans and they provide security and direction for us to remain on target.

    Formal plans may be fine for our learning style and it may be fine for your student at times. However, we must evaluate our individual student's learning style and think about what works best for him or her.

    In a majority of cases, structured plans do not work well for literacy students. It may work on some days for some students and not other days. Depending on what is happening in their lives at the moment, too much structure may cause loss of focus, additional anxiety, and overwhelmed feelings.

    In these times, your student may need a different approach.

    How to step outside of our structured plan comfort zones

    If it's best for my student to not follow a structured plan, what should I use?

    Let's step back for a moment. When we attended tutor training, we learned that as a Literacy Volunteer, the focus is all about the student and finding their unique learning style. Now, we find more questions come to mind:

    • How do I step out of my comfort zone and create an informal daily plan?
    • If I have an informal plan, is the new plan still helping my student move forward to achieve his or her dreams?
    • How do I prepare myself and successfully transition to create a necessary plan that will help my student achieve that day's goals?

    One day at a time and ever-changing lesson plans

    Each tutor session could potentially become a “one day at a time and ever-changing” lesson plan. Once you've connected with your student and find their way of learning, their learning style. and the student's need of the day will act as your guide on certain days. When a session takes a totally different direction than you and your student originally intended, the new side road becomes that day's lesson. This lesson becomes another building block in your student's overall goals.

    When we think about the basics, it makes sense. A student is more apt to have the ability to focus when the plan shifts focus to their need of the day rather than nudging them back to the formalized plan. They may not read the assignment of the day or work on the math equations originally planned, but following their lead on that day's focus typically leads to a successful session.

    LV-A Staff
    For more on lesson planning, please refer to the manual you received at Tutor Training. (Page 124.)



    Help! We're Stuck - When a Student Plateaus


    Moving Ahead - Useful Materials

    Mike Adams

    The following sites provide an opportunity for students to hear/learn/practice the sounds of words at their own pace at home or at a library, in addition to time spent with a tutor.

    Wendy Ambrose

    I have actually found a website that has some free PDF downloads (content area books) for help with the HiSET. You do have to register and the website is very slow when loading the practice tests, but the free stuff is very helpful for students that are working on their equivalency diplomas.

      The website is www.learningexpresshub.com/hsequivalencycenter.

    Make sure that when you do get in there, you select Maine, so that you can get to the HiSET material.



    Good Ideas

    Suzie Stover

    I find that teacher-made materials, while time consuming to make, work best for me. That's because I can make and use just what fits my student (vocabulary, specific skill).

    1. Stories using the Cloze technique. (Google this if you are not familiar with it.) Scrambles sentences.
    2. Scrambled sentences work well for an ELL who needs help with sentence structure. I put individual words on small slips of paper in scrambled order and have student arrange the words in the correct order. This can be useful to reinforce others skills (reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, etc.) as well.

    A website that can be used by students at home for phonics practice is www.starfall.com



    Thank you LV-A tutors for all you do!


    For questions or concerns, please call 207-753-6658 or email: info@literacyvolunteersandro.org