PAR Tutor News
Partners in Reading (PAR) Tutor Training
Volunteers needed - teach adults basic skills!
Become a PAR tutor and work one-to-one or lead a small group of English-speaking adults teaching them basic reading, writing, computer skills, and life skills. Sign up to volunteer today!
Here's what a PAR tutor has to say about her volunteer experience:
"Volunteering as a tutor is a wonderful and rewarding experience. At times, I think I get more from my student than he does from me. I am so proud of the progress he is making in reading and conversation, as well as comprehension. I strongly encourage others to start the new year by volunteering as a literacy tutor. You don't have to live in San Jose to join this award winning program, either."
To find out if tutoring is right for you, click on the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Partners in Reading Materials
Look for PAR reading materials at these 4 branches:
You can find interesting books that will help your learners practice reading. There are books on history, science, cars, health, and many other topics. You can search for them in the library catalog with the number 428.62 and then check them out with your library card. You have to go to one of the branches above to check out the books. Here are some examples of books you can check out of the PAR book collection.
Family Learning Centers
You will find easy to read materials and computers with PAR software the Family Learning Centers at Hillview Branch, Tully Community Branch, Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch, Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Branch, East San José Carnegie Branch, Seven Trees Branch, and Bascom Branch.
New Ideas for Tutors
Spend a few minutes during a tutoring session reading to your learners. It is important that your learners hear you read fluently and follow along at the same time. Stop to ask comprehension questions and for predictions too.
- What just happened?
- Why did she say that?
- What does _____ mean?
- What will happen next?
Choose a book that will interest your learners, but that may not be something they would read on their own. Have fun!
- Avoid giving your learners the answer.
- Instead, ask questions to lead your learners to the correct answer.
- The process of questioning with your learners can be used as a tool for self-correction.
- Wh- (who, what, where, when, why) questions are very helpful because you'll be able to tell right away if your learner understands what you read.
- Ask your learners how they learned something new. What strategies did they use? What tools did they use?
- In measuring progress, what can they do now with new skills?
- What are other people seeing in them that they didn’t see before?
- In setting new goals, how will their lives be different with this new skill?
- Find ways to have your learners practice writing during each tutoring session.
- Don’t correct everything. Instead, pick a few things that are most important to communication and ask questions to lead your learners toward error correction in writing.
- Copying, dictation, filling in blanks, and free writing are a few ways to practice writing. Some writing should be left uncorrected.
- Have your learners correct writing from someone else instead of finding problems with their own writing. You can make up exercises with common errors to practice a writing skill, such as periods.
- Use one of those spam emails that are always loaded with errors to practice finding out what the writer meant to say, and then practice the skill of rewriting.
Great Ideas From Tutors in the Know
- Start from where your learner is. - Jim
- If the dictionary lets you down for the explanation of a word, try the Thesaurus. – Dorothy
- When working on spelling, find as many words as possible in that word “family” that the learner can master. For example, if the student learns “make,” follow it up with fake, take, lake, wake etc. Then change the “k” to “d” and you've got made, fade, bade, etc. So, just by learning one word, the learner can also pick up many others. - Virginia
- Before each session, briefly tell your student what you're going to focus on, and why. - Mike
- After each session, a compliment will usually motivate your student to continue, and to work towards improvement. - Mike
- Try to gain the confidence of your learner by making friends. - Dennis
- Encourage your learner to speak English as often as possible. - Brian
- It's important to read about subjects that interest your learner. - Gretchen
- Find material in the PAR lab that interests your learner. Also, use the library's materials to complement what you are studying. - Gretchen
- Try a variety of reading materials on subjects that interest the learner. - Diana
Join PAR-Ticipate, a Website for PAR Tutors
Want to discuss questions and concerns with other tutors?
Share techniques that work for you and your learners?
Share materials that you have used during tutoring sessions?
PAR tutors can reach out to each other through this interactive website. If you are a PAR tutor and have not already joined this online community, please write to PAR in the general PAR email box at email@example.com and request an invitation for PAR-Ticipate.
If you already have a PAR-Ticipate account, click here.