At Literacy Advance, we believe it's crucial that all students are treated as individuals, which is why we promote a learner-centered approach, rather than a ‘one size fits all' type program.
For this reason, while we do provide our tutors with curricula to provide a strong framework for lessons, and to help with steady progression, we constantly remind our tutors to supplement their lessons with other materials that may help address their students' goals, answer questions raised in class, or respond to particular interests or needs of class members. Instruction on goal setting forms a significant part of our New Tutor Training and we provide all volunteer tutors with ongoing support and assistance in working through this challenging but ultimately very satisfying process.
In order to provide lesson materials that match up with students' goals, we have an extensive collection of resources, arranged into topic areas, in our Tutor Resource Room. All Literacy Advance tutors are welcome to visit at any time during opening hours and browse the resources. Many can even be borrowed for a limited time!
Topic areas in which we have resources include:
- Workforce literacy and job-related issues
- Health literacy
- Life skills (budgeting, map-reading, filling out forms, etc.)
- Conversation skills
- Phonics and phonograms
- Math and financial literacy
- Much more!
However, we also know that it can be difficult to know where to start when you're planning lessons — and that's often because there are so many options, not too few! Please find below a selection of websites that we recommend. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we hope it may be helpful.
English Media Lab - Games, quizzes, MP3s, videos and more to help practice English online
Multilevel ESL activities - try these in While You're Waiting, or even in your regular class!
ELLLO - English Listening Lesson Library Online
Boggles World ESL - printable resources for language learning
ESL Cafe - for ESL tutors and students
Many Things - an interesting and popular resource for ESL
1 Language - free ESL resources and ideas
Wyzant - ideas for tutors, resources and lesson plans
Using English - resources, reference and ideas for ESL tutors
Literacy Connections - promoting literacy and a love of reading
OTAN (Outreach and Technical Assistance Network) - for educators of adults
English Express - a website for adult learners
English Zone - grammar, reading, paragraph writing and vocabulary activities
Grammar Bytes - definitions, exercises and handouts on all types of grammar
English for Everyone - free printable worksheets on many different topics
News for You Online - website companion to the very popular new readers' newspaper, published weekly and available at Literacy Advance Wilcrest. Login codes are available in every weekly issue; some content can be accessed without logging in.
This I Believe - essays and personal stories written by people from all walks of life. Many stories have an audio-file so you can listen as well.
Adult Learner Persistence Project - What's the difference between dropping out and stopping out? How can we help adult learners persist in their learning and make real progress towards their goals? This great site from the New England Literacy Resource Center presents findings and suggestions.
Managing Stress to Improve Learning - Another winner from the New England Literacy Resource Center, this site aims to equip learners in adult education programs with strategies for managing a high level of chronic stress that interferes with effective learning and the ability to reach life improvement goals for themselves and their families.
About Reading and Reading Difficulties - Reading and writing are fundamental skills that every individual needs to possess. They provide the foundations for almost every area of personal and economic development. Yet some people struggle more than others. Why?
Total Physical Response - A popular approach for teaching ESL, this site collects a lot of different resources and information about Total Physcial Response (TPR) in one place for ESL tutors to use as appropriate.
Reading Rockets - ideas for parents.
Family Literacy Bags - themed bags from Reading Rockets encouraging hands-on fun based on books.
Lil' Fingers Storybooks - an animated storybook site for toddlers to read with their parents.
Children's Storybooks Online - illustrated stories for older children.
Building Blocks to Reading - 26 activities to help children become readers.