Fall Issue of “Notebook”!

Hi, tutors!

I arrived at work today to find the Fall issue of ProLiteracy’s Notebook waiting in my inbox.  As usual, Notebook has something for both ESOL and Basic Literacy tutors.  The first article is all about engaging in casual conversation that every ESOL tutor will find helpful.  The story about using recipes for building reading and numeracy skills can be used for both ESOL and basic literacy learners—and some pretty tasty looking recipes included, too!  Check it out!


Best, lder

Getting to Know You!

Hi, tutors!

The information in this article (link below) is probably best for ESOL tutors, but all of you who have attended our volunteer orientation and trainings will see something familiar.  With our ESOL classes starting back next month, your learners will be meeting new classmates.  A good ice breaker is a great way to encourage interaction and prompt using English in your class.  The author highlights concepts that you have heard in your ESOL tutor training:  comprehensible input, negotiate meaning, output.


Check it out!

Have a great week-end!


What’s in a Name?

Hi, tutors!

TESOL International blogger, Judie Haynes, recently posted a story about naming conventions among immigrants coming to our communities.  (http://blog.tesol.org/7-naming-customs-from-around-the-world/).  She held that learning how to properly pronounce and spell a person’s name is a sign of respect and is important in making each one feel welcome in our classrooms.  She cited the Guide to Names and Naming Practices to help us English speakers understand the naming customs of other countries (https://www.fbiic.gov/public/2008/nov/Naming_practice_guide_UK_2006.pdf ).  Of course, the easiest way to know how to say a new learner’s name is simply to ask him or her!  Make it part of a first lesson on “introductions,” and let everyone try to say each other’s names as part of a group activity.  But, even so, it is very interesting to know how each culture decides how to name children, and to have a discussion on how important our names are to us.

What do you think?  lder

Spring Issue of “Notebook” Online!

Hi, tutors

Along with showers and flowers, Spring also brings a new issue of ProLiteracy’s Notebook.  See the link below.  In it you will find some interesting articles on teaching both reading and ESL, but also a LOT of new links to some very helpful sites and apps.  I liked the article by Susan Finn Miller on a jigsaw game for reinforcing learning new vocabulary.  This works for both Basic Literacy and ESOL classes.


Check it out!


“Phonics on the Web”

Hello, all,

I ran across this very helpful site while working on a tutor training lesson.  It is a very handy place for the many rules and exceptions we run across when trying to help someone learn to read or speak English.


This website covers everything from the “alphabet” to the /z/sound of s…and a whole lot more.  Check it out!  Any feedback for your fellow tutors is appreciated.

Have a good weekend!  lder

Awesome Mini-Videos for Basic Literacy Tutors!

Hi, Tutors!

We are back in our “new” old home at 2301 1st Avenue North!  The boxes are unpacked—mostly—and our offices are settled—mostly—and things are getting back to normal.  Just as I was thinking of a good post to get me back on track with this blog, ProLiteracy shared some new things going on in the adult literacy world.  Among those is a link to a wonderful site at the San Jose Public Library.  Their Partners in Reading program has produced a series of short videos—some no more than 2+ minutes, the longest just over 12 minutes long—that cover a whole range of ideas for reading tutors.  They are great “reboot” videos for those of us who feel we need to brush up a bit.

Check them out here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKEZxGu-wMvQ-pYXbB7qGTw

When you watch the one on phonemic awareness—phoneme categorization, see what they do with two Styrofoam cups!  Very clever!!

Happy New Year…and Happy Hump Day!


Tech Tips for Tutors

Hi, Tutors:

I have learned of a great new website that came via the LINCS Community (You need to register for LINCS!  Check out the TLC Blog for July 15, 2013.)  LINCS contributor, Steve Quann–https://community.lincs.ed.gov/bulletin/job-scout — sends readers to this website to learn about Job Scout, but the Tech Tips for Teachers site is a treasure trove unto itself!:


Not only do basic literacy learners and ESL learners gain critical computer skills, all the content is relevant to the lives of most adult learners as well.

Check it out…and Happy Friday!  lder

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, tutors!

I received today from TESOL International an article entitled, Connecting Cultures Through Celebrations of Thankfulness.  The story contains multiple links to how other countries and cultures celebrate this season of giving thanks.  While it is a little late for planning lessons connected to Thanksgiving in the U.S., it is full of ideas for sharing many, many world-wide festivities in the next weeks and months.  Many of these stories are appropriate for both basic literacy and ESOL learners.


We at TLC will be counting all of you all when we give thanks tomorrow…we couldn’t do what we do without your giving of your time and talent to your students.  Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Mixed Proficiency Classrooms: From Challenge to Opportunity

Hi, tutors,

Here is the second installment of offerings from the 6th Annual ESOL Educators Conference. In this presentation, Dr. Brittany Polat, adjunct professor of ESL at UAB, looked at strategies for teaching classes with students of differing proficiency levels.  She offered suggestions for turning this challenging situation into a positive learning experience for all students.

3 Teaching mixed proficiency classes (2)

Enjoy!  lder

Happy Halloween!

Hi, tutors,

Can you believe it is the last day of October already!? In honor of the day, I am offering a “monster” of a website for you!  It has information, facts and fun activities for Halloween…and a whole lot more.  Check out the Halloween page and then go poking around the site for more information than you can imagine.


Have a spook-tacular Friday!  lder