donate online literacy

contact us literacy council



Adult Education Tutor Training

Instruction Method

Adult Education training is learner-centered and life skills-based.   It equips volunteer tutors to work with adult students, understand language learning disabilities, and use phonics-based, multi-sensory instruction techniques.

The Literacy Council uses the Wilson Reading System, a research-based reading and writing program designed specifically for the at-risk adult and dyslexic student population.

The basic purpose of the Wilson Reading System is to teach the structure of words in the English language so that students can master the “coding system” for reading and spelling.   This includes sight word instruction, fluency, vocabulary, oral expressive language development, and comprehension.

The quality and effectiveness of Wilson Reading System is further recognized by the State of North Carolina, which endorses it as one of four reading programs to be used to improve the performance and success of students with learning disabilities.

Learning to read is hard work – especially for the adult non-reader.   During Adult Education tutor training, we encourage tutors to customize their lessons to fit the student’s needs and learning style, create exercises that are personal and relevant to the student’s life, and always be flexible, patient, and encouraging.

Course Outline:   Adult Education Tutor Training

Session 1

  • Get to know the group.
  • List 3 characteristics of an Adult Ed student.
  • Describe dyslexia, dysgraphia, and auditory processing disorder.
  • Identify and discuss challenges adult learners face.
  • Review community resources available for students and tutors.
  • Complete Tutor Preference Form.


Session 2

  • Identify the four components of the reading process.
  • Discuss the Wilson Reading System and multi-sensory approach to teaching language.
  • Take multi-sensory language instruction vocabulary quiz.
  • Describe phonemic awareness skills.
  • Practice phonemic awareness activities in small groups.


Session 3

  • Identify the structure of a lesson plan.
  • Describe teaching techniques using auditory, visual, and kinesthetic channels.
  • Learn tips for teaching vowel sounds.
  • Practice in pairs teaching new sounds for reading and spelling using auditory, visual, and kinesthetic channels.
  • Watch video of tutor-student pair working through a lesson together.


Session 4

  • Review the Wilson Reading System teaching sequence, lesson plan structure, and teaching procedures.
  • Identify the six syllable types in English.
  • Demonstrate how to teach spelling patterns and sight words.
  • Brainstorm ways to supplement standard lesson plans.
  • Demonstrate creative and helpful instructional activities.
  • Complete evaluation of training sessions.