Welcome to Write Away the brand new
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, February 07, 2007

Tips for Tutors from the February Round Table


Here are some of the topics discussed at the February Tutor Round Table meeting:


A tutor discussed the challenge of helping her learner break some old habits which were developed over many years of trying to get by with limited reading skills. For example her learner often guesses at words rather than taking the time to decode them.



  • The tutor mentioned that she often simply reminds her learner that it's okay to slow down and not be in a rush to finish a piece of reading material. In doing this, her learner is paying more attention to what is being read and doing less guesswork.

We also discussed the use of a structured workbook to teach basic reading skills.



  • One tutor mentioned that she wasn't sure how her learner would respond to working with the Patterns in Spelling series. She was happy to find that the learner enjoyed the structured lessons and the ability to look back at previous exercises to see what had been accomplished. Using the workbook also gave the tutor some needed support in teaching some very basic skills.

There was also a discussion of which dictionaries are easier for learners to learn to use.



  • A few tutors commented that the more advanced dictionaries were often overwhelming to beginning readers, especially all the abbreviations indicating derivation and parts of speech which often follow the word.

  • Two dictionaries, available to all learners, which are slightly easier to use are:

Beginner's Dictionary of American English which not only has examples of the word used the context of a sentence. The downside of this dictionary is that it's missing many words found in other, more advanced dictionaries.


Webster's New World Portable Large Print Dictionary which is easy on the eyes but heavy in the backpack or book bag. It has simply written definitions with less detail than dictionaries having regular size font.


2 comments:

Claire said...

As a new tutor, I found it interesting to hear about the challenges that seasoned tutors face.

I hope that more people will take advantage of this blog in the future--good information is always good to share!

Randy W. said...

Thank you, Clair, for attending the round table meeting and making use of this useful resource for tutor support. And thanks for posting your comment to the blog. It IS important to share good information and that is exactly what monthly round tables and the blog are designed to do.