Tutor Tips

Jack-o-lantern

The following tutor tip is very similar to the last one, but this time the text and questions are for beginning level ESL students.

Purpose:   To give learners a brief introduction to an often mystifying American holiday. The procedure listed below gives student practice with using reading strategies to increase comprehension.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Materials: copies of text (see link below), projector, candy for role play (optional)

jack-o'-lantern

Purpose:   To give learners a brief introduction to an often mystifying American holiday. The procedure listed below gives student practice with using reading strategies to increase comprehension.

job application

Sooner or later every adult ESL class will come around to a unit about filling out applications or forms. There are quite a few activities to give students practice with using them.

tool box with questions

Questions are a powerful teaching tool used to accomplish some heavy lifting. No matter the tutoring task, questions help accomplish it.

white board

Purpose: to practice describing and defining vocabulary

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Materials: a board with markers, an extra chair, and a list of vocabulary words to review and practice

Prep:

1.      prepare a list of vocabulary words to review and practice

2.      place a chair at the front of the classroom such that a person seated in the chair would have his or her back to the board

Procedure:

help button

If you are a classroom assistant you don’t often (if ever) need to come up with practice activities for students to try, but there are still many ways you can help out in a classroom. Here are five to consider.

1.     Modeling/Demonstrating

Dear Tutor Tips Blog Subscribers,

As many of you discovered, the links that went out in the most recent blog post unfortunately don't work when viewed via email. We apologize for any confusion and we are in the process of determining the cause.  In the mean time, all of the links are functioning on the website.

To best view the most recent blog post for one to one tutors, please visit /tools/tutor-tips to see the post. 

Thank you!
The Minnesota Literacy Council Training Team

Tutor and Student

If you work with one student, it is understandable if you get the impression that there aren’t many tutor tips on this blog written for you. While it is true that the majority of tips on this blog refer to “students,” there are actually quite a few tips that work well when working with one student at a time.  The lists below highlight these tips. 

If you find a tip that isn't on the list but should be, let us know in the comments and we'll add it. Thank you!

Teaching Strategies:

Language Jar

Minimizing teacher (or tutor) talk is a best practice, but why does it matter so much?
English learners have a limited capacity for listening comprehension. Think of it as a language jar. Once the jar is full, they can’t take in any new information. Even in an advanced class where students have deep jars, if students spend more time being passive, they are missing out on a learning opportunity.  The more students interact and use the language, the better they get at it.

conversation bubbles

Purpose: These techniques can be added to any discussion to help students express themselves more clearly with more robust language.

Prep Time: 10-20 minutes

Materials: A board and markers, a discussion topic

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