Notes from September 1st Tutor Roundtable
- One tutor mentioned that he and his learner had been working on the topic of African-American history. His learner enjoys doing research on the Internet and they have found a wealth of reading material while using the Project Read computer lab. When his learner has trouble with a word, they focus on breaking it down into syllables. It was suggested that they might also look at the 3rd floor Project Read collection at the Main Library which includes many easy-to-read books on the subject of African-American history.
- Another tutor has been helping her learner focus on pronouncing and writing word endings correctly. To do this they have been spending time breaking words down and looking at spelling patterns associated with the common word endings.
- The challenge of teaching grammar was also discussed. A tutor mentioned that he has had success using Write All About It, a comprehensive grammar workbook available FREE in the Project Read office for tutor-learner teams. He and his learner will soon start working on the learner's goal of writing personal letters--a good opportunity to reinforce grammar skills introduced in the workbook.
- The tutors also discussed ways to encourage learners to get their thoughts down on paper. One method suggested was the good old mind mapping technique introduced during tutor training. Another reminder was to always begin with a topic of interest to the learner or bring in photos or newspaper articles for the learner to respond to in writing.
- One final tip offered by a tutor was on the topic of planning the tutoring session. She said that initially her sessions had been one and a half hours in length, but she found that a lot of time was being consumed by chit chat before the actual instruction could begin. She decided to simply add that time to the overall session length. She's meeting with her learner for two hours now, but making sure that a smooth transition occurs between the time for socializing and instruction.