Frequently Asked Questions for Potential Tutor Volunteers

Q: What is the process to become a literacy tutor?

A: In nearly all cases, we recommend taking the training that certifies you to become an adult literacy tutor. After the training, staff will match you with a student.

Q: How long is the training?

A: The first step is attending a two-hour Introduction to Literacy orientation. This will help you decide which route is best for you. Twelve hours over five weeks completes the training.

Q: How often are the trainings offered?

A: Typically, we offer training in the spring and fall.

Q: Can I get started as a tutor without the training?

A: Contact us and we can discuss how this might happen.

Q: Are there different types of tutor trainings?

A: Yes. We offer two types of Tutor Certifications.

  1. Basic Literacy Tutor Training: Prepares tutors to help adults improve their reading, writing, and spelling skills.
  2. English Language Learner Training: Prepares tutors to help adults for whom English is a second language. The tutor also helps them with understanding U.S. customs, culture, and systems.

Q: Which Tutor Certification is in greater demand?

A: Both Basic Literacy and English Language Learner certifications are in relatively equal demand. We recommend following your intuition when making your choice.

Q: Can I be certified as both a Basic Literacy and English Language Tutor?

A: Absolutely.

Q: How many students will I get?

A: Usually, a tutor works individually with one student at a time.

Q: Can I have more than one student?

A: Yes. It's very likely that you'll meet each student at different times.

Q: After the training, how much time can I expect to spend?

A: We ask that you spend at least 1-2 hours a week with your student. The additional time it takes to plan lessons depends on the individual.

Q: Do tutors and students meet weekly?

A: This is ideal. However, we understand that life events will occasionally prevent this from happening.

Q: How long do a tutor and student work together?

A: That depends on several factors. There is no set time when the pairing will end. Some matches end because the student's goals are met. Other times, the tutor or student's situation changes.

Q: Where do tutors meet with their students?

A: Public places are usually recommended for the safety and comfort of both parties. Sometimes there are reasons to consider meeting in a home.

Q: How are tutors and students matched?

A: Many things are considered, including geography, time availability, gender/age preferences, mutual interests, and a perceived likelihood that the pair can learn from the other.

Q: Why do students ask for help?

A: Students' goals are as varied as the individual. Some goals include getting a high school diploma or HiSet (formerly GED), obtaining a driver's license, reading to their children, understanding their mail, living more independently, reading the paper, keeping their job, receiving their U.S. citizenship, communicating with others, increasing self-confidence, etc.

Q: What levels of skills do the adults students have?

A: It varies. Students range from those whose literacy skills are very basic to those who are fine-tuning their abilities. Most fall in between.

Q: If I no longer am interested in being a tutor, are there other volunteer roles that I can pursue at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor?

A: Most definitely. Please have a conversation with staff about your interests and skills-set and together we'll assess your next opportunity.