Frequently Asked Questions by Volunteers
Q: How do I sign up to be a tutor?
A: We have a simple 5-Step Process.
Step 1: Contact the Literacy Council.
Step 2: Attend orientation.
Step 3: Attend tutor training.
Step 4: Be matched with a student.
Step 5: Begin teaching.
Q: Do I need to speak another language to be a good ESOL tutor?
A: No. In fact, we’ve learned that students sometimes progress more rapidly if their tutor does not know their native language. However, if you need help communicating with your student, we have staff members at the Literacy Council who are fluent in Spanish, Russian, and German. Or we can call on other volunteers who speak a variety of languages.
Q: When is the tutor training?
A: Tutor training classes are scheduled every other month – or six times during the year. Prospective tutors attend their assigned training session one evening a week for four weeks. View the Tutor Orientation and Training Schedule>>
Q: What is the commitment?
A: We ask both students and tutors to make a nine-month commitment of two hours per week. We understand and encourage flexibility during that time frame to accommodate vacation schedules, short term illness, and other personal time-off needs.
Q: How often do tutors meet with their students?
A: A minimum of two hours per week for at least nine months. Students and tutors collaborate on the best time of day and day of week.
Q: Where will I meet with my student?
A: Most tutors meet their students at the Literacy Council office. Others choose to meet at pre-approved locations such as public libraries, churches, community centers, workplaces, and occasionally students’ or tutors’ homes. Tutors are never asked to go to students’ homes or host students in their homes if they are not comfortable with this. We will work with you and your student to find a convenient and comfortable place for you to meet.
Q: Is there a fee?
A: We request that tutors make a donation of $25 to offset the cost of their training materials. If this presents a hardship, the Literacy Council has scholarship funds available upon request and can waiver this fee.
Q: How soon can I start?
A: We are always looking for tutor volunteers and wish everyone could start tomorrow. Your start date is dependent upon two things. First, you need to attend Tutor Orientation and Tutor Training. Orientation and training classes often fill up a month in advance, so depending on when you first sign up, it could be two or three months before you can complete training. Second, you need to be matched with a student. We have a waiting list of ESOL students and you can usually be assigned a student immediately upon completing training. Although we make every attempt to match tutors and Adult Ed students within six weeks of training, these assignments can be more time consuming.
Q: Can I volunteer if I’m not a tutor?
A: Absolutely! We have numerous volunteer needs including: office administration, answering phones, computer support, public relations, writing, graphics, website administration, photography, internal event planning, and fundraising. Contact us today!! We want your skills, experience, and desire to serve.
…to the over 200 volunteers who donate more than 14,000 hours each year. Without you and the work you do, the Literacy Council could not exist.