Frequently Asked Questions – Tutoring

Do I have to know another language to teach English as a Second Language?

NO! In fact, we prefer that you don’t! In our training, we teach you how to communicate with your student nonverbally to get started. If you know your students language and use it, your student will not learn as rapidly because in the back of their mind, they know you’ll always be able to “bail them out” with the correct answer.

I have no teaching experience. Do I need a teaching certificate to teach literacy?

We offer training to our tutors. You need no other teaching experience, education or background. All you need is willingness; we will help with the tools.

We have tutors from all different walks of life. Business people, homemakers, ministers, people working and people who are retired. Some of our tutors do teach, even at the college level, but they still take our training workshop before being assigned a student.

Are there courses I can take online?

Yes.  You can take a great variety of courses. ProLiteracy has some excellent courses you can take online. Check out their lesson plans and other helpful ideas, too.


How old are students in your program?

We work with adults, ages 17 and over, who are not enrolled in public school. That is why our training is so important. We train you to teach adults who learn differently from children.

Do I have to have the student in my home? Or go to their home? Will I have to enter a questionable neighborhood to meet my student?

We do not recommend meeting at the student’s or the tutor’s home for two reasons. First, safety and security are obvious concerns. Second, students simply learn better if you meet in a neutral, outside setting at a time specifically set aside for a lesson. There are many churches and libraries in our area where you can meet your student. We try to match you with a student who is located near your home or office so meeting is easy and convenient. The more difficult it is to meet, the greater the temptation to skip a lesson, especially in bad weather.

What if I don’t get along with my student? What if I decide this is not for me?

Back in the 1930’s, when the literacy leader, Dr. Frank Laubach, relayed the news that money was no longer available for teachers to come to the Philippines to teach literacy, the ancient Maranao tribe leader said, “Each one teach one or off with his head!” We are not that strict! If you have difficulty with your student, the staff of the C.C. Literacy Council will provide suggestions to improve your relationship. Otherwise, we can certainly assign the student to a different tutor…and you to a different student. The basic rule is this “it’s time to change students when it is no longer fun.”

How long does it take to get a student through the program?

This is the most difficult question to answer and yet, it is the most commonly asked. There is really no way to set a time clock on adult learning. Students come to us at different levels of knowledge. Students also work at different paces; some catch on quickly, while others struggle a while with what may seem simple. We like to ask that you consider at least one year’s commitment to our program, but we realize conditions may arise that require you to drop out. Perhaps your job becomes more demanding, or family needs arise such as a new baby, ailing parents or your own health. Call any time and we will work out alternatives for your student.

How much does it cost?

There used to be a $20 training fee, but it has been discontinued. The books and materials needed for the course are free too. (The books are actually very expensive, but we hold fundraisers and write grants and receive donations so that those who cannot afford books will have access to them. )  The Council, being a not-for-profit organization, is always on the lookout for grants and funding and you probably know how difficult it is to raise money in these days and times.