Frequently Asked Questions About Volunteer Tutoring

Is there a need for volunteer tutors?
Yes. There is a need for tutors to work with adult learners to help them improve their reading, writing, math and/or English language skills (ESOL). Tutors also help students prepare for the General Educational Development (GED) exam. Tutors are utilized most often on a one-to-one basis and sometimes in a small group (2 or 3 students).

How do I learn to tutor?
Volunteers attend tutor training workshops where they are introduced to a variety of techniques used in tutoring adults with a variety of goals. In general, tutors will learn about learning styles, goal setting, and the characteristics of adult learners. A sample of ESOL techniques would include understanding language acquisition, developing students' listening/speaking skills and developing a sensitivity for cultural factors. Skills for working with low literacy students include techniques for reading comprehension, developing writing skills and when needed teaching sight words, phonics and word patterns.
Developing reading comprehension, writing skills and reviewing basic math skills are the most needed areas of instruction for GED students.

What are the qualifications to be a tutor?
Tutors should be high school graduate or equivalent and have a compassionate, flexible and patient attitude.

Do I need to speak another language to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)?
No. The training workshops prepare you to work with a student with whom you do not share a common language.

How much time does it take to tutor?
Volunteers are asked to give at least one hour per week to student sessions for up to several months. Prep and travel time can add an hour or two per week.

How are the tutor/student matches set up?
The Volunteer Tutor Coordinator will make the match based on information the tutor has provided in the application and interview, the student's needs and goals, and mutual available times to meet. The coordinator will check in periodically with the tutor and student to see how things are going. A match can be terminated at any time by the coordinator, the tutor or student.

Where does the tutoring take place?
Any public place, such as the local library, is acceptable; however, it is strongly encouraged for all sessions to take place at Learning Partners, except if a "field trip" is being done.

How old are the students?
Students range from 16 on up. Most GED students fall in the younger age range and most ESOL students are older.

What if I need to travel or miss tutoring sessions?
Like our adult students, tutors have busy lives with scheduling conflicts. Tutors need to notify the coordinator and student in advance whenever possible. Students and tutors should exchange phone numbers so they can be in touch with each other about last minute changes.

How can I become a volunteer tutor?
Call or come by Learning Partners 112 W. Lewis Street 406 823-6356 or 823-6357
You will need to fill out an application, be interviewed and participate in a training.