Tutor Tips

two stick figures with overlapping speech bubbles

Purpose:  To practice using vocabulary words in a conversational setting

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  list of 5-10 vocabulary words, one copy per learner


Copies of guided reading prompts booklets

This blog post from Scholastic.com (http://www.scholastic.com/home/) contains excellent teacher practices and materials that can be adapted for improving reading comprehension at any level. The post includes printable PDFs of a teacher reading prompt booklet, bookmarks, for learners, and guided reading question cards that learners can use to interact with a reading text independently or in small groups. The reading prompts are written for a third grade reading level, which can easily be used with intermediate and advanced adult ESL learners.

clouds in the shape of question marks against a blue sky

Purpose:  To keep a conversation going, learners need to be able to ask follow-up questions in English. This activity provides some support and structure as they practice using follow-up questions.

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  whiteboard, markers


clipart image of red and white striped circus tent

This activity was adapted from ESL Teacher Alison Hoyer.

Purpose:  To give beginning level learners a concrete understanding of different tenses

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  a class set of cards with three different verbs written on them (one verb per card)


multi-colored speech bubbles

Purpose: To facilitate students speaking to each other, to get to know classmates and to use vocabulary related to the day’s lesson

Prep Time: 3-15 minutes

Materials: copies of the conversation grid (see link below)

Version 1: print the grid, write a title on it, and write four questions related to today’s lesson on it, and then make copies of it

Version 2: print the grid, write a title on it and make copies of it

Screen shot of I am a Refugee video

Learn about the global refugee experience through three short and engaging videos.

The Refugee Process | Wilmot Collins | TEDxHelena

What is the process that refugees have to go through in settling into the United States? Mr. Wilmot Collins is a refugee from Liberia who was forced to flee the Liberian civil war. Mr. Collins arrived in the United States in 1994, and he now resides in Helena, Montana with his wife, daughter, and son. To Wilmot, the U.S. means a second chance.

The word find in red letters with a magnifying glass leaning up against it

Purpose:  To help learners practice identifying and reviewing the main information from a reading

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  a reading text, highlighters


Teacher and adult ESL learner looking into a handheld mirror

The Minnesota Literacy Council has produced four new videos demonstrating how to teach pronunciation in the adult ESL classroom. Watch the videos to gain teaching techniques and discover activity ideas that can be integrated into regular ESL classes.

Adult learner wearing headphones looking at a computer with a volunteer looking on

This online reading text repository was designed to create leveled reading selections that are appropriate for and valued by adult learners.  These materials, combined with the research-proven strategies of repeated reading and guided oral reading, aid in building learners' fluency and comprehension skills. This project helps adults become better readers and more informed consumers, parents, employees, citizens and community members.  The focus of these reading selections includes topics such as:  Civics, Employment, Housing, Health, School, Money, and Government. 

Paper titled New Year's Resolutions

3 Writing Activities Using New Year Resolutions for ELLs

New Year resolutions can be a great teaching tool in your writing class. Whether you are teaching a beginning writing class or an advanced composition course in college, you can create lots of engaging activities incorporating the concept of New Year resolutions to help your students develop their writing skills.




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