Learner Orientation

Purpose: To encourage meaningful dialogue between learners, volunteers and teachers about cultural and educational differences.  This activity is appropriate for high beginning to advanced levels.  Asking learners to help make an orientation video is helpful, especially for languages that are less recognized in written form (Amharic, Oromo, Russian/Eastern European languages). This video could be made on behalf of the program and in several different languages. This can be done with individual tutors and used for orientation for new students (assuming a larger program).

Prep Time: variable

Materials: video camera (optional), paper and pens

Preparation: Tutor and learner can each make a “top 10” list of things students need to know about the program and compare their lists. Answer questions such as, “What orientation information would be useful for students new to this ABE program? What will be most surprising or confusing to learners who come from educational systems outside the U.S.? What matters most to learners? What can tutors and/or the program do better?”


1. Decide together if you will do a video or booklet. 

2. Tutor and learner work together to write script for video or text for booklet.

3. Assess needs and assign tasks.  Who will put booklet into the computer?  What will it look like – graphics? Cover design? Who will run the video equipment?  Who will participate in the videotaping?  Do the learner and tutor have the necessary skills or do they need some training?  Who can help and how?

4. Create a time line and complete the project as time allows.

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