For Adult Program Tutors

For Potential Tutors

What does a Tutor do?

Tutors work at one of our Families Learning Together sites located throughout Pinellas county and in Manatee county.  They come to the site during scheduled class hours to work one-to-one or in small groups with students to learn English.  Jumping Into English, written by former Cooperative Ministries literacy director Marti Lane, is the curriculum used by tutors with beginning students and teaches life skills, job skills, and basic knowledge needed to live in the United States while quickly increasing English vocabulary, pronunciation, and reading and writing skills.
 
When ready to progress, students work with their tutors using Living in Pinellas (for Pinellas sites), a curriculum designed to provide civics instruction while continuing English language education.
 
As students begin to acquire more extensive use of the English language, tutors who would like to do so are invited to develop lessons on their own, or use our resources or those on the internet to expand their students' vocabulary and skills.

How do I become a Tutor?

Potential tutors start by contacting our Director of Church and Community Relations at kcarpenter@umcm.info or (727) 442-6881 x5.  You will give your contact information and be invited to visit a Families Learning Together site to observe a program in progress.  If you decide to proceed, you'll complete our volunteer application and accompanying forms.  When a background check has been complete successfully, you will begin to assist the tutors at your chosen site as they work with students.  You will also be invited to register for a Tutor Training Workshop.  After completion of this workshop, you will be eligible to begin working with students as an approved tutor.
 

For our Current Tutors 

Tips from Tutors to Tutors!

Emily Bowen suggests taking your English class to MacDonald's, if you are within walking distance.  You have a hands-on way to take concepts and vocabulary from the class and apply them to a real-life situation. 
Stan Shaver accompanied two Czech/Swiss students to Publix to compare prices and locate various sections in the store, such as dairy, poultry, meat, and dry goods. 
Nancy Piacenza and Joe Tash introduced a section on Personal Finances by drawing a large check on the board and identifying the different parts and explaining their meaning.   
 
Cris Wolfe created The Walk and Talk Club, which grew out of the friendship of the women who attend class at Pasadena Community Church’s Families Learning Together Site. The ladies gather with a lunch at a local park, mall, or beach. They walk together, practice their English skills and form strong friendships. 
 
Some other tips:
 
Create a file box of 3 X 5 cards with pictures of objects (example - a fish, a car) then have another box with cards that have the beginning letters of the words for the objects.  Students have to match the picture to the letter that begins the word.
 
Have students prepare a sheet of paper to post by their phone with their name, address and phone number.  When the students are on the phone and are asked questions, they may refer to their info sheet for help in the event that their minds go blank.
 
Create a spiral notebook containing a variety of situations. When students arrive to class a bit early, place them in groups to read about a situation, then discuss what they would do if they encountered it.  For example, "If a water pipe has burst in your home and there is water all over the floor, what would you do?"  The following discussion, in English, of course, increases their verbal skills and equips them for every day situations.
 
How about an International Banquet?  Cris and her team celebrate the success of their students in just this way. The remarkable students hail from Eastern Europe to Nicaragua.  Many have advanced degrees and were forced to leave fine jobs in their native countries.  Through hard work and determination, they endeavor to learn the English language and American culture.  To celebrate their advancement, they gather each May and bring a dish from their native land to share.  The food and company are wonderful, and everyone enjoys hearing the students read essays they have written. 

Resources for Tutors - available at program sites

Jumping Into English
Living in Pinellas
Staying Healthy: An English Learner's Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living - This resource, available from the Florida Literacy Coalition, integrates health literacy into ESL instruction. The materials serve to increase health literacy awareness among ESL students and encourage them to make healthy choices in relation to nutrition, preventative health care and other health related issues. Written at 4th-5th grade level, it is suitable for high-beginning level learners and above.  For more info, contact your site facilitator or click here.

Websites for Tutors

Lessons

4pinellas.info - This site contains the literacy lessons developed by Adult Literacy Consultant Marti Lane.  These lessons, titled Living in Pinellas, are used in our Pinellas County sites and by Pinellas County Schools Adult Education Office to teach civics-focused ESOL. 
 
literacy4all.info - On this site you'll find Getting Started with Computers in online or downloadable form.
 
Florida Literacy Coalition - You'll find a wide variety of resources at this site to hone your skills and those of your students.
  
LiteracyWorks.org - This site offers web-delivered instruction using current and past CNN San Francisco bureau and CBS 5 - KPIX (CBS Broadcasting) news stories.  Each module includes the full text of the story and interactive activities to test comprehension.
 
English Express - This website has newspaper articles from English Express that can be read on-screen or printed.  Some articles have videos to go along with them.  There are also teaching notes that go with each issue of the newspaper.
 

Many Things - This American English pronunciation website allows users to hear a sentence and then choose, from a multiple choice list, which word was said.

MES English - Provides free flashcards with printable worksheets and handouts to match, phonics worksheets,  ESL games, a  project library, certificates, and other activities.

ESL Bits - Offers online listening/reading segments as well as interactive activities that improve reading ability.

Jeopardy Labs - This site lets teachers and students create their own online games of Jeopardy.

 

Resources

Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) - This site offers instructional handouts on subjects such as punctuation, spelling, articles, prepositions, etc.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services - Any tutor working with a student on citizenship test preparation should be sure to familiarize themselves with this information.
  

Tools

4teachers.org - This site is a free, multifaceted site that includes a variety of fast, easy to use tools for teachers.
 

Fun

www.Wonderopolis.org  - Wonderopolis, a program brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy, engages and inspires families in the pursuit of education and learning together, transforming the parent/child relationship into an engine for progress and upward mobility.  Tutors can use this to engage students, then suggest they go home and share what they've learned with their whole family.