“Practical, Learner-Centered Approach” — Reasons to be a Santa Clara Reads Volunteer, #4

“One of the great things about being an literacy tutor is helping other adults reach their literacy goals based on their specific needs and interests. Here are just a FEW examples:

  •  Read labels on over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
  •  Read product names and labels in a supermarket.
  •  Read a recipe.
  •  Read to own children or grandchildren.
  • Read a repair manual.
  • Complete a job application.
  • Write a resume.
  • Write an e-mail.
  • Read to learn more about a hobby or interest.

As a tutor you build your lesson plans for comprehension, word usage, writing and spelling around the topics that are most useful or interesting to your learner. For example, my current learner is a skilled assembly worker who likes to fish. In our first session, he told me about a recent fishing trip he had made with some relatives, and I wrote down what he said. Then we read his words together, identified words he already knew by sight and others that he understood but had not previously recognized when he saw them, and so on. His “language experience story” served as the springboard for our first tutoring session. We continued to use the theme of fishing for several lessons, reading other books and stories about fishing, writing sentences about fishing, etc. At present, we’re practicing reading, writing and using various forms of words that are part of his work vocabulary such as: weld, welds, welding or manufacture, manufactured, manufacturer. Big words or small are easier to read, write, and use when they are personally relevant to you. That’s why a practical, learner-centered approach is so valuable.” — Pam Leitterman, volunteer tutor

If you’d like to be a Santa Clara adult literacy tutor, get more information from here at the Santa Clara City Library website.

%d bloggers like this: