1. What are the qualifications or most important quality to become a Literacy Volunteer Tutor?  
    You need a high school diploma or equivalency. Enthusiasm, patience and an understanding of others are the best qualities to have when tutoring.

  2. Do I need to speak the language of the student?  Not required as our program teaches students to speak and read in English. If student struggles with English the tutor is trained to use different methods of communication. We encourage the student to use dual-language dictionaries or electronic translators.
  3. How often and where do we meet?
    Tutor and student typically meet for two hours weekly in a public place such as a local library. Tutor and student are free to decide if additional sessions are needed. 

  4. Will I receive training and is there a cost associated with this training? 
    Training is provided by the Literacy Volunteers office and facilitated by professionally trained instructors.  There is no cost and each person is given the training manuals and handouts used when working with students.
  5. Are there lesson plans to follow or can I create my own curriculum?
    Tutor will work with student to create a goal plan.  Then the tutor, with the help of the Literacy Volunteer Director, can evaluate and discuss a starting plan (i.e. identifying letters/sounds/vowels, reading skills, etc).  We offer sample lesson plans for tutors to follow and suggested methods to help the students’ goal setting and achieving.

  6. Are there assessment tests in place to measure progress?
    We evaluate each student when they are matched and another evaluation is given at the end of at least 30 hours of instruction or at the end of the fiscal year (June 30).
  7. How does the tutor know when the student is ready to end the sessions?
    Tutor and student will review the goals set forth in the beginning and determine how far they’ve come.  If the student is satisfied with his/her progress, it's time to end the sessions.  If the student sets new goals, the tutoring continues.  We do not set timelines for anyone.

  8. How long is my commitment to Literacy Volunteers? 
    We ask each tutor for a 12-month commitment.  Many tutors develop a good working relationship with their student, and they usually stay for as long as the student needs them.
  9. Can I tutor more than one student?
    Yes, for English language learners, as long as it has been mutually agreed upon among the students. We do not recommend this for our basic education students as they need the privacy and they want their involvement to be confidential.

  10. Is there a support system in place for the tutor if they encounter challenges?
    The Program Coordinator is there to support and assist tutors when they have questions, or need suggestions on dealing with issues that may arise in their sessions.  Meetings with the Program Coordinator are usually by appointment but many times problems or questions can be addressed via phone or email.

Literacy Volunteers of the Montachusett Area 
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To be an effective ESOL tutor, you'll need to be able to explain concepts clearly with a passion to help others learn English and our culture. Tutor Training Workshops are held during each calendar year: Adult Basic Education (ABE) workshops and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) workshops. Following is the information about the upcoming workshops:

For more information, please contact Gennifer Dorgan, Program Coordinator and Tutor Trainer, via phone (978-343-8184) or e-mail.


Literacy Links

Use the following links to learn more about Literacy Volunteers and literacy issues:

Literacy Volunteers of the
Montachusett Area


To tutor with us, you don’t need to speak another language. You just need to be able to read, write and speak clear and fluent English, and have a high school diploma or GED. You'll also need to attend our 18-hour training and commit to tutoring an adult for 2 hours weekly over a period of at least nine months. Giving your time as a volunteer tutor is a great way to give something back and to make a difference.

FAQs for Tutors