Welcome to Write Away!
The writing forum for Project Read learners.

We've redesigned our blog so that adult learners working at Project Read can share what they have written with other learners, tutors, and the public. There are a few simple guidelines to be aware of.
  1. This is a moderated site, so submissions and comments will first be reviewed before being approved and published.
  2. Adult learners submitting their writing have the option of using their first name (only) or using "anonymous" for authorship.
  3. We wish to honor the writing efforts of the adult learner/authors, so no major copy editing will be applied, but we may suggest minor corrections in consultation with the author.
  4. Only active Project Read learners are eligible to submit their writing to the Write Away blog and there are two ways of doing this: send submissions via email to projectread@sfpl.org, or stop by the office with a hard copy of your writing.
  5. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not represent those of the San Francisco Public Library and/or the City and County of San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tips for Tutors from the November Round Table Discussion

At the monthly Tutor Round Table discussion, tutors had a lot to say about the following topics:

On encouraging their adult learners to write...
One tutor said her learner showed immediate interest in writing in a Response Journal. The learner's first entry was a page long! The tutor and learner will pass the journal back and forth responding to what each other have written. The tutor was careful to remind the learner that what she writes in the journal doesn't have to be perfect; spelling and grammar are not as important as just getting thoughts down on paper as a first step.

Another tutor at the meeting mentioned that his learner is quite comfortable taking risks when writing, which of course is a great way to learn. His learner turns in as many as 3 or 4 pages of written material which the tutor-learner team then goes over to look for random mistakes and patterns of errors. His learner is highly motivated to start working on punctuation and grammar.

A third tutor at the meeting said that her learner is less comfortable sharing the very personal things that she writes about in her journal. She keeps her journal writings to herself and uses what she writes as a way to deal with life's challenges. Everyone agreed that writing as often as possible, even when material is not shared with the tutor, is a step in the right direction.

On improving comprehension skills...
A tutor at the discussion asked about methods she could use to help her learner improve her comprehension skills. The importance of working on pre-reading activities was discussed. Ideas that were shared included: using a Mind Map to brainstorm vocabulary that the learner already knows regarding the topic he/she is preparing to read about; asking specific literal comprehension question before the learner reads so that he/she stays focused while looking for the answer to the question; using photos accompanying a book or article to generate a pre-reading discussion of what the material might be about; scanning the reading material to locate words that might be difficult for the adult learner--this can be done beforehand by the experienced tutor who knows the vocabulary that is likely to challenge the learner or together as a tutor-learner team before the material is read by the learner.