Reading is Fundamental

Reading is the basis for learning and school success. While reading is learned primarily in the classroom, many students need extra time and help.

That’s where organizations like the Palmetto Literacy Council come in. Research shows that tutoring is a great way for individuals and groups outside school to support learning. This guide presents some basic tips for reading tutors.

How Tutoring Helps

For the learner
Creates a more favorable atmosphere for learning (particularly through the use of one-on-one instruction).

Provides more time on task, increased opportunities to read and immediate feedback.

Allows for immediate, positive and corrective feedback to help the learner stay on track and not repeat errors.

Can increase reading performance.

Can improve motivation and decrease frustration.

Enhances interpersonal skills as a bond is established with the tutor.

Allows for individual monitoring of progress to ensure that learning is taking place.

For the tutor
Establishes important skills such as patience, trustworthiness, and responsibility
Provides an opportunity for community service.

Enhances interpersonal skills.

Increases the tutor’s own reading performance as a result of tutoring.

Tips For Reading Tutors

Be positive
Praise goes a long way with learners who struggle in reading. Provide positive feedback when correct responses are made.

Be attentive

Stop learners immediately after an error. Show them what to do and provide them an opportunity to do it correctly. (“That word is ‘trouble.’ What word is this?”). Try not to use the word “no.”

Be precise

Provide clear and direct instructions (“Say this word” rather than “Would you say it?”).

Be mindful of mistakes made during the session
Record learner performance. Review anything that learners miss. Remember, learners “should say it like they know it.”

Be diligent
Work from the beginning to the end of the tutoring session.

Be innovative

Keep tutoring sessions lively and dynamic.

Be focused
Try to ignore minor misbehavior. Only recognize good behavior.

Be patient

Show learners that you care about them through your commitment and encouragement.

Be on time

Arrive at least 15 minutes before the tutoring session begins. Make sure plans for the session and materials are ready so the session may begin as soon as the student arrives.

Be committed

Once you have begun to tutor a student, remain with that student throughout the year.

Be results-oriented

Gather learner performance data on a daily basis, and chart the data (using graphs, stars, etc.) to allow a visual display of improvements made in the program.

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