- One tutor mentioned that while her learner seems very motivated and consistently attends their scheduled sessions, she is worried about the learner becoming bored with what they are working on.
It was suggested that she may want to utilize a variety of instructional methods, connecting with various learning styles, when teaching basic skills. In this way the instructional approach is varied and the same techniques are not always used over and over.
Another suggestion was to ask the learner to write some short pieces about him or herself --often a favorite writing topic. The tutor can then use these writing samples as a starting point for basic skills instruction. The tutor-learner team could even submit the learner's writing for publication in an upcoming issue of Update, the Project Read newsletter.
Finally, it was recommended that the tutor design learning activities that are directly connected to the real-life needs of the adult learner. Even if the tutor is already doing this, it's always a good idea to remind your learner how each instructional activity is directly related to the goal, because it may not always be obvious to the learner him/herself.
- Another tutor brought up the common question of how to measure the learner's progress. The tutor mentioned that her learner likes to read very short novels from the juvenile collection because of the feeling of accomplishment he experiences upon completion, but sometimes the tutor herself does not feel that enough progress is being made.
It was mentioned that sometimes a volunteer tutor needs to let go of his or her own definition of progress and instead focus on what the learner sees as progress which is significant for them. Even seemingly small achievements, like finishing an 80-page book for example, can be huge for the learner. And regularly looking back at all the accomplishments important to your learner can help him or her maintain their motivation and commitment to learning.
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Please join us for the next Tutor Roundtable meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 2, at 6:00 PM in the Project Read Conference Room.