children at family literacy eventTutor Ready videos feature actual learners and tutors demonstrating effective research-based tutoring strategies. This extensive collection of training videos has been created to support adult literacy volunteer tutors’ and program staff’s expertise in teaching reading and writing.

They were made possible in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. 

Tutor Ready Writing videos focus on the writing process, pre-writing, getting ideas on the page, writing for everyday purposes, working on mechanics like grammar and spelling, responding to writing, editing, revising, assessing writing progress, and using learner-generated texts with English language learners.

Tutor Ready Reading videos demonstrate reading strategies in the areas of four components of reading: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Improve Comprehension and Reasoning Skills: Information about a program that uses visualizing and verbalizing exercises to stimulate concept imagery—the ability to take the “parts” of what is read and put them together into a complete picture. Strengthening concept imagery helps to improve not only comprehension, but reasoning and expressive language skills as well.

Inspired Learning Model Training Exercises and Tools: An introduction to the Inspired Learning Model, which was developed according to the principle that learning takes place when a student is open to learning, and for a student to be open to learning, the teacher must create a safe learning environment. The pilot project was conducted by California Library Literacy Services programs at Huntington Beach Public Library, Santa Clara County Library, and Watsonville Public Library.

Learning Disabilities Resource Guide: A guide to learning difficulties, disabilities, and differences. Written and compiled by Leslie Shelton, Ph.D., with the California Library Literacy Services Learning Disabilities Task Force.

MegPhonics: A selection of videos demonstrating tutoring techniques for basic literacy instruction. Developed by literacy specialist Meg Schofield.


Tutor Training Modules

The tutor training modules were developed by a working group comprised of CLLS program coordinators. This project was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. 

The series of tutor training modules expand on areas of tutor needs as identified by the working group. Each module includes a facilitation outline and accompanying presentation documents. These modules may be adopted and adapted for use in your CLLS tutor training program.

Learner-Driven Tutoring – Participants will learn the importance of learner-driven tutoring.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment – Participants will learn different techniques for creating a positive learning environment for learners.


Sample Resources from California Library Literacy Services programs

A sample tutor training assignment using Google Forms (pdf) (Sacramento Public Library and Placentia Library District)

A vocabulary training segment (pdf) (Monrovia Public Library)

Adult learner assessment directions (pdf) (word) (Corona Public Library)

A tutor training overview of the reading videos (word) (Sacramento Public Library)


Resources recommended by staff in California Library Literacy Services programs (2018)

General Resources

The Change Agent: An adult education magazine for social justice.

Easy English Times:  A monthly newspaper of current events and topics written for English language learners.

Goodwill Community Foundation Learn Free: Goodwill’s adult basic education site.

Learning Upgrade: A mobile app (that can also be used on the computer) that incorporates games and songs to deliver three-to-five-minute lessons in reading and math instruction.

LINCS: Communities of Practice, online courses, and searchable resources for adult education instruction and program management

Literacy Leader Text Structures Chart:  A handout with extensive information to help learners identify key text structures and vocabulary to guide and help comprehension

News ELA : Current event articles that can be leveled by Lexile score (available via an app and website). Tutors can set up teachers accounts to monitor learners’ progress in reading comprehension, writing, and vocabulary.

News for You (New Readers Press): A newspaper written at an accessible level for adult learners with an adult-oriented design.

ProLiteracy Education Network: A collection of online courses and resources for program staff, instructors, and learners. (Note: Check with your program staff to see if it has a ProLiteracy membership to give you wider access to materials.) A phonics site with clear explanations and practice.

TED Talk: The First Twenty Hours:  Josh Kaufman, author of The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything, shares how to learn practical knowledge and skills. Practice site for learning the keyboard.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Resources for students studying for the citizenship test.

Tutoring Resources from Literacy Network of Dane County: An extensive collection of tutoring resources and materials. An interactive online game you can customize to learn and reinforce new vocabulary.


BookFlix: Pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction e-books.

OG Card Deck – Orton Gillingham Cards (Mayerson Academy) Apple Store / OG Card Deck – Orton Gillingham Cards (Mayerson Academy) Google Store: English phonemes are introduced with audio pronunciation of name of letter, sound of letter, keyword, and close up video of model pronouncing the sound. A multi-sensory tool.

Phonics Genius (Alligator Apps): Over 200 word patters introduced (with dozens of word examples for most patterns) with clear audio pronunciation.

Reading Skills for Today’s Adults: Online curriculum from Marshall Adult Education (Minnesota) for adults to improve fluency and comprehension, using research-proven strategies.

Writing and Grammar

Azar Grammar: Free activities and worksheets to teach grammar,  at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.

Education First English Grammar Guide: A guide of English grammar rules and explanations, with examples.

Grammar Bytes:  Handouts and interactive exercises to address common grammar mistakes.

Guide to Grammar and Writing: Extensive collection of grammar lessons and activities.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): Writing resources and instructional material from The Purdue University Writing Lab and Online Writing Lab.

Six Word Memoirs: A collection of entertaining stories which each contain only six words.


Free Math Help: Free lessons focused on Algebra,  Geometry,  Calculus, Trigonometry,  and Statistics.

Khan Academy: Online lessons on numerous subject, including math, science, engineering, arts, humanities and test preparation.

Photomath (iOS and Android): Helpful in explaining match solutions. Using your phone’s camera, the Photomath app will scan the problem and provide a solution. Click on the arrows to get a written explanation.

Book Clubs Reviews of books that are 300 words or less as well as YA titles.

English as a Second Language Printable English grammar and vocabulary worksheets.

Intercambio: Offers a free interactive English curriculum that can be downloaded.

Lanternfish/Boggle’s World: Printable teaching resources for language arts and English as a Second Language.

Pronunciator: A personalized computer-based language learning course, available to organizations by subscription.

Small Talk Phonemes (Lingraphica): Audio-video pronunciation featuring close up video for a model pronouncing the sounds. Uses International Phonetic Alphabet so symbols will not be the same as what’s seen in a dictionary. Very helpful for second language learners.

USA Learns:  Online video and interactive lessons to learn beginning and intermediate English (listening, speaking, vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, writing and grammar. Also has a citizenship course.

Voice of America Learning English: News articles with audio support.