Readying Arkansas for a lifetime of literacy

Sometimes, turning in monthly hours or forms can seem like a minor issue, but it is actually a critical piece of the work being done at your local council. Today’s blog post will share the primary uses for the data you submit to the councils. 


All literacy councils in Arkansas are registered 501 c 3 organizations. As such, they operate with a board of directors and submit accountability documentation to The Adult Learning Alliance of Arkansas. While not the most glamorous part of the work, it is an important legal and ethical obligation in the work we are doing. In order to regularly convey information to the public about the mission, impact, and finances of the organization, councils rely on data such as the information you turn in each month. 

The first part of accountability is transparency. In order to be transparent with supporters, councils must have accurate information about the services being provided. This ensures they can evaluate the effectiveness of their own programs, plan for future work, and disclose the impact they are making to the stakeholders.

The first part of accountability is transparency. In order to be transparent with supporters, councils must have accurate information about the services being provided. This ensures they can evaluate the effectiveness of their own programs, plan for future work, and disclose the impact they are making to the stakeholders.

Seeking Support

Literacy councils rely on grants, donors, and fundraisers to pursue their mission. In order to do so, they need information to share to those parties about the success they have had and plans for growth. This is why it is important that you share more than just instructional hours. 

One of the best measures of success in a literacy council is student goals. Every student comes to the council with different ability levels and seeking support for different skills. While we assess students using the appropriate curriculum or tool, there is no test that could convey the gains of all those students in a comparative way. Sharing that a student was able to pass a driver’s license test, read a book with a child, get a job, or any other accomplishment helps to tell the story of literacy councils.

Your Role

As a tutor, you do vital work for the adults in your community. In order to capture that work, we need your help. Check with your local council about data they need, and set up a routine for submitting that data. Your work is important, and your local council wants to know about it!

If you are working with an adult who has a diagnosed disability, they may qualify for an accommodation on an assessment. This list is not exhaustive, but includes some of the most common assessments adults take with a list of accommodations. To learn more about how to go about requesting an assessment, check out our video. The student will need to bring documentation to get these accommodations.

Arkansas State Driver's License Exam

  • Oral Testing – The computer reads aloud the questions and answers.
  • Examiner Help – Raise your hand and ask the examiner for help. The examiner can explain words or phrases, give an example scenario, or simplify the sentence.

GED Ready Exam

This website has more details about available accommodations – The most commonly used ones are below.

  • A separate testing room

  • Extra testing time

  • Extra breaks

US Citizenship and Naturalization Test

  • This test offers both accommodations and exemptions. A student may qualify for an exception depending on your age, length of permanent resident (LPR) status, and if you have a medical disability.  There are forms for each type at  It is advised that you get legal help if you are applying for accommodations or exemptions.

Get more time to take your test
Allow you to take breaks during the test
Be provided a sign language interpreter 
Be provided reading tests in large print or braille
Allow you to take the writing test orally
Allow a family member, legal guardian, or representative to attend your interview
Allow you to take the exam in your home or another residence 

  • Get more time to take your test
  • Allow you to take breaks during the test
  • Be provided a sign language interpreter 
  • Be provided reading tests in large print or braille
  • Allow you to take the writing test orally
  • Allow a family member, legal guardian, or representative to attend your interview
  • Allow you to take the exam in your home or another residence 


You may be exempt from the continuous residence requirement to apply for citizenship if you are working abroad for one of the following organizations: 

  • U.S. government or military
  • American institutions of research 
  • American firm 
  • Media organization 
  • American religious organization     

There are also exemptions based on age and length of residency.

ExceptionEnglish TestCivics Test
50+ years of age
20+ years of permanent residence
Exempt – do not have to takeStill required but can take the test in first language using an interpreter
55+ years of age
15+ years of permanent residence
Exempt – do not have to takeStill required but can take the test in first language using an interpreter
65+ years of age
20+ years of permanent residence
Exempt – do not have to takeStill required but can take the test in first language using an interpreter with only 20 possible questions
Medical disability or impairmentExempt – do not have to takeExempt – do not have to take

Test Of English As A Foreign Language (TOEFL)

This test is produced by ETS. Accommodation requests must be made through that company at . Accommodations for this test fall into specific categories.

Technical accommodations

  • Screen magnification

  • Selectable background and foreground colors

  • Kensington® Trackball mouse

  • IntelliKeys® keyboard

  • Ergonomic keyboard

  • Keyboard with touch pad

Specialized assistance

  • Sign language interpreter for spoken directions only

  • Oral interpreter for spoken directions only

  • Oral interpreter for Listening section only

  • Writer/recorder of answers

  • Test reader

Adaptive accommodations


  • Audio version of the test

  • Reader’s script version of the test

  • Braille test (in contracted or uncontracted braille)

  • Braille test with reader’s script

  • Large-print version of the test

  • Regular print version of the test

  • Listening section omitted

  • Speaking section omitted

  • Extended testing time

  • Additional rest breaks

  • Transcripts of audio elements in Speaking and Writing sections

Today’s post is about fidelity. For the purposes of administering assessments, the definition of fidelity is, “the degree of exactness with which something is copied or reproduced.”  It is  not difficult to see why this level of precision is important in giving formal assessments.

The first step to ensuring fidelity in giving an assessment is  being sure you have fully reviewed the directions and scoring guidelines. If you are not sure that you understand, ask for help or practice giving the assessment to a friend.

If you are using a curriculum based assessment, such as one in your teacher’s manual or the student’s workbook, you will also want to be sure you don’t use those questions for practice immediately before. You will want to be able to see if the student is able to do the work independently.

It can also be tempting to help the student. If you do help the student, your test results are not valid. While there are cases this may be necessary, such as a student struggling with confidence or you realizing the test is too advanced, this should only happen on informal assessments used in workbooks or that you created. Be sure to note on the assessment or in your notes for lesson planning that the student was not able to do the test independently. Any formal assessments used for tracking student progress should be done entirely independently.

Cheating is also a concern with assessments. However, it is important to rethink cheating and put it into context. Often, we are happy to help each other with tasks or an adult who struggles with reading or learning has become reliant on those around him. Many times, it is just second nature to look around for help. Rather than wait until the situation occurs, prepare ahead of time for students to have plenty of space to work without nearby distractions. This avoids the entire sticky situation of “cheating”. 

A great way to increase fidelity is to teach students the purpose of the assessments. Helping students understand why assessments are necessary for lesson planning can ease some of the tension over “the score” or feelings of failure. It can also help students hold up their end of the process with fidelity since they understand how the assessment aids their learning.

One part of the process that can cause a breakdown in accuracy is the scoring and data entry of an assessment. Even if you are an expert at the content being assessed, it is always wise to use an answer key and double check your results. If the assessment needs to be input into a data management system, double check that the correct score was entered.

Most tutors use a curriculum provided by their local agency, but some planning may still be required. Even if you work almost entirely off the lessons in the curriculum or not, sometimes you may need extra activities or ideas to support a lesson.

This list of resources is to help you meet the needs of your student. Some are designed for K-12 education, and may need adjustments. Please do not feel obligated to use all of these resources. As we find new resources we will add them. If you need something, please let us know! This list was last updated January 25, 2023.


Khan Academy – fantastic website with great videos that students can watch over and over till they get the concepts. The math section includes practice and an extensive tracking program for the teachers.

BBC English and Math for Adults – lots of good stuff in here including videos, training, quizzes, and games.

TV411 – Get practical practice – reading, writing, vocabulary, math, learning.

Mathantics – The instructional videos are free and a few of the worksheets and answer keys are free. If a teacher wants to use all of the worksheets and answer keys (for all lessons) the fee is $20.00 per year. Before I bought the extras on this, I used the website and backed up each video lesson with lesson worksheets that matched from (Review and recommendation by Gayla Fiest)


Goodwill Community Foundation – includes Reading, Computers, and Math. Nice layout with lots of activities.

Starfall – starts at the beginning and works its way up. The site is designed for children but is effective for anyone.

U.S.A. Learns – Learn English and improve basic reading, writing, speaking and life skills. Slick website with videos and audio.

Learning English – free printable materials.

BBC English and Math for Adults – lots of good stuff in here including videos, training, quizzes, and games.

Pearsonlongman – Online practice reading tests.

TV411 – Get practical practice reading, writing, vocabulary, math, learning.

RHL School – Reading comprehension worksheets

Read Write Think – Lesson plans, guides, materials, and more.

Natural Reader – your computer will read aloud any text to you.

PaperRater – Free online Grammar Check, Plagiarism Detection, and Writing Suggestions – Grammar terms, exercises, handouts and more

Free Reading – Provides a library of activities and other curricular resources for literacy development.

Read Central – A veritable goldmine of free online books by the most widely read and best known authors from across the world. No Downloads. No subscription. Just read books online for free. Use the Smart Reader switch to change font size and colors.

English As Second Language

DuoLingo -Top notch, full featured language learning program.

New American Horizons – great ESL instructional videos that help with lesson planning and teaching ESL instructional techniques.

PUMAROSA – this site is bilingual phonetic and is designed to help you learn English as quickly and easily as possible.

Rong-Chang – conversations with audio and exercises. Large selection of lessons for beginners and intermediates.

English Speak – text and audio that allows the user to point at any text in the story and it will instantly read it out loud at your chosen speed.

ESL Cyber Listening Lab – stories are read out loud to the listener with quick quizes afterwards.

Color In Colorado – is a free web-based service that provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs).


Typing Club – this site comes highly recommend by computer teacher Linda Holland:

Sense-Lang – Great typing website. Tutorials and games that are well thought out and informative. Even includes a school section that allows you to register as a teacher and make assignments for your students.

Typing Web – Another good typing website. Tells you your problem keys, has “Tools for Teachers” that allows you to track your students progress and time.

Speed Typing Online – – quick and easy touch typing!game


Learn Excel with Excel Easy- well laid out site with downloadable examples that will help you quickly learn various Excel topics.

Microsoft Digital Literacy – Whether you are new to computing or have some experience, this curriculum will help you develop a fundamental understanding of computers. The courses help you learn the essential skills to begin computing with confidence, be more productive at home and at work, stay safe online, use technology to complement your lifestyle, and consider careers where you can put your skills to work.

GCF – Goodwill Community Foundation – Computers, reading, and Math. Computer section includes Computer Basics, Microsoft Excel, Facebook 101, Microsoft Office, Internet Basics, Google, and more. Most sections have lessons, interactives, quizzes and videos.

For a full list of topics see

Microsoft Office Training – courses for specific parts of Office. Courses include practice and tests.

Jan’s Computer Literacy – not the best of the bunch, but some useful components including quizzes.


Free Rice – Great for vocabulary. It will automatically adjust to your vocabulary level, or hit the change level button to access all levels of vocabulary. It also has several other subjects to choose from. – Puts words into context and asks multiple choice questions. Works well and you can sign up so it can track your progress. – Vocabulary games and resources.

History and Geography

Khan Academy – history videos.

Hippo Campus – In depth website with interactive topics and courses.

Geoguessr – this is a fun and entertaining site that uses Google Maps to locate you somewhere in the world and you have to guess where. Great for getting people interested in Geography.

Sheppard Software – Great map games that have different levels of play. If you want to learn geography and memorize locations and capitals quickly, this site will help you achieve it in a fun and challenging way.. – wide range of fun geography games.

GED Practice Tests

Khan Academy – history videos.

Hippo Campus – In depth website with interactive topics and courses.

Geoguessr – this is a fun and entertaining site that uses Google Maps to locate you somewhere in the world and you have to guess where. Great for getting people interested in Geography.

Sheppard Software – Great map games that have different levels of play. If you want to learn geography and memorize locations and capitals quickly, this site will help you achieve it in a fun and challenging way.. – wide range of fun geography games.

Free Online Courses

Coursera – “Take the world’s best courses, online, for free.” – browse free online courses and quickly find the course you are looking for. Watch out for the “Sponsored” search link, instead use “Browse by Category”.

Makeuseof – 8 Websites to Take Free College Courses Online



Books Should Be Free – audio books that can be downloaded or streamed.

Watch Know Learn – large list of learning videos for many subjects.

Free Rice – Great vocabulary site that also includes several other subjects. Works like a multiple choice game.

Hippo Campus – In depth website with interactive topics and courses.

Spelling – very good site that allows you to type in your own words and then it will test you by reading the words out loud, also has flash cards and more

Spelling – you can use this site to get lists of words for a certain grade level, then copy and paste them into (above) to learn and test

Spelling – list of most common misspelled words on the GED test. Copy and paste parts of the list into to learn and test

Interactive Online Activities for ESL and ABE / GED – great list of websites. If you can’t find it on our page look here.

Jefferson Lab – balance chemical equations

Mometrix Academy – extensive test preparations

We’ve all been there. Whether it was at school, for a job, for your driver’s license, or sometimes even at a checkout when the card scanner just keeps asking questions! Test anxiety creeps in for just about everybody.

The adults who come to learn at our local literacy councils are no exception. Depending on their experiences, personality, confidence, and practice, test anxiety may be a serious obstacle to reaching their goals. As a tutor, you can help. 

The first step is one you are probably already taking – practice! As a learner studies, does practice activities, and makes gains, tests will become easier and confidence will grow. Both of these are a great start to conquering those jitters.

Practice can also include practicing for a specific type of test. If you know your student needs a specific licensing test or style of test, use some lesson time to take those practice tests. Becoming familiar with the format of the test, practicing with some coaching on strategies for that type of test, and taking the time to discuss what to expect will help prevent fear of the unknown. If at all possible try one in a similar environment as the real test will take place.

According to Cecelia Downs with Brown University, it also helps to break down test taking fears into categories of “founded fears” and “unfounded fears.” Not only does this help the learner lay some fears to rest about things that won’t or can’t happen, it also helps find specific concerns you can address together. For example, a founded fear might be that they won’t be prepared. You can tackle that! An unfounded fear about others opinions being tied up in the test results can be laid to rest. 

Spend some time reassuring the student the perfection isn’t expected. In fact, a perfect score on some tests is very rare. Rather, focus on the underlying goal for the test. Is the test in order to get a job promotion that requires an 80%? Discuss how those who get the promotion do so whether the score is 80% or 100%. Helping set reasonable expectations can alleviate some pressure and gain some perspective.

Right before the test, don’t focus on cramming. Instead, focus on good calming techniques and affirmations. It is pretty unlikely you will shove the best information in an hour before the test, but eating a snack and taking deep breaths will keep your thoughts collected. That time can also be used to arrive early and settle in.

If your student has anxiety during assessments that are part of the curriculum or program you are teaching, it is useful to help them understand why you give the assessment and how it can help you support them in test taking skills. Further, you can reassure them that your opinions of them are in no way based on these assessments. For more tips from experienced professionals, check out this video!

About Scarboroughs Rope

Before we begin, I would suggest you take a moment to truly study the image above and watch our video on Scarborough’s Rope.

The above is a beautiful metaphor for the skills necessary for proficient reading with comprehension created by Hollis Scarborough. This metaphor is commonly used in considering reading development in children, but regardless of age, the science of reading applies. Today, we will dig into this metaphor as it relates to adults.

Ask a group of tutors or teachers who work with adults on reading, and you would likely get a kaleidoscope of answers about what skills their students need and why. Understanding the components of reading can help each tutor or teacher identify the gaps in their student’s skills to better plan for lessons and assessments.

The elements of Scarborough’s Rope can be assessed formally and informally. The most commonly given assessments in adult literacy curriculum focus largely on word recognition skills, along with some language structure and vocabulary. While those are important, it is also key to assess the other skills that may not be so specifically measured. Below are some informal ways to assess each skill in adult students.

SkillInformal Assessment
Background KnowledgeInformal questions before reading a text
Creating concept maps of topic
Student self rating their knowledge of a topic
VocabularyVocabulary assessment should be text specific
Fill in the blank sentences
Word Match
Student rating word knowledge before, during, and after
Language StructureGrammar Assessments on specific skills
Written sentences or paragraphs
Student editing
Verbal ReasoningCreating metaphors and similes
Making predictions based on evidence
Comparing and Contrasting
Literacy Knowledge Label the parts of a book or text (ie Title, headings, glossary, spine)
Identifying the genre of the text being read
Student identifies the purpose of reading a text
Phonological AwarenessBreaking a word into syllables
List rhyming words
DecodingSounding out words that follow “the rules”
Recognizing the sound of each letter
Identifying blends and digraphs
Sight Recognition

Quickly identify common words in a text by highlighting
Speed drills

Formal assessments do exist for most of these skills. The curriculum you are using may have assessments built in. Be sure you understand the exact skill the assessment is measuring. Below is a list of other assessments available for free. Please always remember for an assessment to give you a clear picture of the student’s ability, you must administer it carefully and correctly. Read the directions and practice on a friend before giving any of these .

Assessment NameSkills Measured
San Diego Quick AssessmentSome sight words, Decoding
Quick Phonics ScreenerPhonological Awareness, Decoding
Dolch and Fry Sight Word AssessmentsSight Recognition

Teaching Strategies for Each Skill

Regardless of which skill you are teaching, it is absolutely imperative that the strategy used is relevant and appropriate for adults. Avoid childish materials or items with a grade level listed anywhere the student may see. Most adult literacy curriculum does this, but a tutor often needs additional materials or support for a skill. Be prepared to make adjustments.

 Also, be sure to assess your own understanding of each skill and concept. Adult learners are going to great lengths to improve their reading. Accurate and clear instruction honors their time and goals.

SkillTeaching Strategy
Background KnowledgeUse images or short videos to build background knowledge
Discuss each new topic at the end to add detail and nuance
Use KWL Charts when reading on a new topic
VocabularyAfter a first reading, go back and identify new or unfamiliar words to the reader. This ensures lessons are not only on expected vocabulary, but also the needs of the reader.
Practice using context clues and dictionaries (paper or online) in real time
In a notebook have students build a journal of words they have learned that are relevant to their daily lives.
Language StructureExplicitly teach grammar skills in isolation, and then identify them in a written passage.
Include appropriate length written responses to text frequently. As skill develops, lengthen responses.
Have students bring in forms or other writing necessary to their daily lives to practice
Verbal ReasoningFind similes and metaphors in texts and discuss them.
Do crossword puzzles
Use graphic organizers to sort information from a text
Discuss real life examples of the student making predictions.
Give evidence for answers
Literacy Knowledge Before beginning any text, point out the features of the text and explain the purpose of those features.
Phonological AwarenessPoint out where in the mouth each sound is made.
Manipulate words from the text – delete sounds, add sounds
Using relevant words, practice orally breaking the words into syllables
DecodingUse highlighters or colored pencils to identify new sounds or spelling patterns.
Sight Recognition

Flash cards for quick practice.
Build an ongoing list of automatic words.

We hope this post helps you get started addressing all the components of reading with your learners. Please subscribe to our network for future posts about each element, specific assessments, teaching strategies, and more! Also, go join the discussion about the elements of reading on our Arkansas Tutor Network Facebook Page.


“Building relationships with students is by far the most important thing a teacher can do. Without a solid foundation and relationships built on trust and respect, no quality learning will happen. While I believe the importance of relationships cannot be overstated, many teachers have no idea where to start. This is especially true when attempting to build relationships with students who come from a different background than you do.”

– Timothy Hilton

Getting started with an adult learner takes more than just curriculum.

It is easy to see why building relationships with students is so important. A learner needs to trust the teacher and believe the teacher is capable, but the learner also needs to feel as though the teacher is working for his or her best interest. All of that is dependent on relationships.

However, it can be difficult to make connections and build trust when the teacher and student do not speak the same language. Naturally, we all know that being friendly and approachable is a starting point, but we often need more tools to really create connections until language skills develop.

Before you begin, examine your own thoughts and biases about the student and their native culture. It is important that you ensure you aren’t unintentionally sending signals of disrespect. It can help to learn about the student’s native culture before meeting. Many tutors share that working with an English learner has really broadened their horizons. If you happen to make a misstep, apologize. It can be intimidating, but most adults have experienced these types of mistakes. By apologizing, you are further building trust. 

As you begin working with students, be sure to set aside time for conversation. It may require a translator app, or a little help from a translation dictionary, but even learning one new thing about each other can help you both understand each other. This can also help you find ways to keep the content relevant to the student.

Whether it is a love of coffee, shared books, or just general conversation, finding common interests can help you get to know each other.

Adults learning English have many reasons for wanting to do so. Be sure you understand the person’s motivations. For example, to some adults, pronunciation is very important to them.  However, to other adults, their goal is expanded vocabulary. By focusing your instruction on the English elements that are most important to them, you honor their goals and needs.

In many cases, tutors and students have a common interest. If you can find even a small common interest, it can help increase your student’s engagement and connection with you. One example is that a tutor and student discovered they love reading fiction. They began reading simplified novels written for adults (available through New Readers Press) while sharing a cup of tea. They would take turns reading and discussing for about half of their lesson time. Another tutor and her student enjoy cooking. They take turns bringing in a dish, sharing how they made it, and learning more about each other’s culture. 

Taking trips to the store or other places your student uses in daily life can help you get to know each other and accomplish goals!

As you get to know your student, you may find that there are specific areas of daily life that are particularly a challenge for them. Use this opportunity to help them overcome a very frustrating barrier. Take a break from the curriculum and meet at a grocery store or post office to help the student learn the language for that part of life. If that is not possible, using images and short videos can help. One student really struggled at his construction job, so the tutor took a few lessons to focus specifically on those words and phrases. The boost in confidence he gained from being more engaged at work, along with being treated better by fellow employees, ensured he kept coming back to learn more!

Your learner also has many life experiences that may be different from your own. For example, holidays are likely different or they did not have the same schooling experience. As you approach conversations or lesson planning, be sure to learn more about their life experiences first. This can open doors for discussing differences and similarities that improve English, but also improve your understanding of each other.

In the end, get creative with connecting with your student. Whether it is through experiences or conversations, odds are you will both gain a lot from knowing each other!

If you would like to hear from tutors in Arkansas about how they build connections with their students, check out our YouTube video LINK.



There is no shortage of research supporting the value of goal setting. Whether it is related to your health, your job, or learning, goal setting is an important part of the process. 

Literacy Councils in Arkansas also value goal setting because all of our students are different. They come to us with different backgrounds, abilities, and plans in life. When a student enrolls, they may say they want to learn to read or improve English or prepare for the GED, but there is almost always a more powerful motivator – the student’s true goals. Those are things like to get a better job, read a book with their child, or pass the driver’s license test. Sometimes, as students learn and their confidence improves, they develop new goals.

Helping students identify those goals, and measure their progress towards them is a powerful tool in helping them learn. These goals can help a tutor develop relevant lessons and encourage the learner when they are frustrated. 

You may be familiar with these, but before we jump into tips for using goal setting with adults here is a reminder, here is one memory device for goal setting.

Tips For Goal Setting With Adults

Monitor Progress Regularly

Setting the goal is only the first step. Make discussing the goal and checking in on progress part of your regular routine with students. If it is a huge goal, break it down into smaller goals, and monitor those rather than the larger goal. As much as possible, make this visible. Checklists, charts, or even just keeping a list of accomplishments in the front of a notebook can help a student truly see progress. Keep in mind that many adults have faced obstacles and discouragement often. Finding ways to celebrate even small gains can help overcome the mental barriers learners face.

Evaluate Needed Changes

We all live in a fast paced world. Goals may change. If the student’s original goal was to get a job, and a few months in, you learn they need to pass the driving test, it may be wise to pause one goal in favor of another. You may also realize the goal the student set isn’t as important to them as it used to be. A student also may have an unreasonable timeline or encounter a set back, such as illness. Being flexible and helping students be reasonable with themselves is important.


Depending on the ambitions or needs of the student, they may come with a lot of goals. By helping students prioritize and focus on goals in a meaningful order. Goals are a critical part of motivation, but too many goals can become overwhelming for students AND tutors. Discussing how the student wan0ts to prioritize goals also helps you connect with each other and understand the best ways to keep learning relevant.

Encourage Self Reflection

In the beginning, the tutor may need to model reflecting on the goal and progress. If so, use positive phrasing and focus on the student’s thoughts. Over time, the student should be reflecting on their progress and the value of their own goals.

Connect Student Work To Student Progress

Point out to the student how their lesson or study habits are building towards their goal. An example might be, “I know it feels like you aren’t getting to your goal, but you haven’t missed a lesson in 6 weeks. That commitment will pay off.” Another example is, “This lesson is on verbs. Using verbs correctly will be an important part of written assignments in your later coursework on your GED.”

Identify Obstacles

Early on in the process, discuss some obstacles that may arise. Talking this through beforehand not only helps you both prepare, it also opens the door for honest conversation as the obstacles arise. Many learners do not realize that everyone comes up against obstacles or makes mistakes and this conversation normalizes facing barriers and dealing with them head on. Talking this through early shows them that you are there to help and okay with them sharing these struggles with you.

What Do I Do If My Students Says They Don't Have Any Goals?

Goal setting can be new for some students or can feel overwhelming. Depending on the traumas or negative learning experiences of the student, they may be hesitant or embarrassed about their goals and needs. First, work on building trust and connection with the student. Then, here are some questions that can help your student identify their goals. 

  1. What job or jobs sound interesting to you?
  2. In 1 year, how would you like your life to be the same and different? 5 years?
  3. What is one reason you signed up for this class?
  4. What is one part of your daily life that frustrates you?
  5. What types of things would you like to be able to read? Or What situations would you like to be able to use English in?
  6. What is one thing you think I could help you with? 

Don't Forget!

As a tutor, you are likely the representative of your literacy organization who sees the student most. Be sure to communicate with the staff of your council when students set a new goal or accomplish even a small part of the goal!