Literacy Volunteers-HBPL, part of Huntington Beach Public Library, has a rich history of providing adult literacy services for the community. At our two sites, Central Library and Oak View Branch, we help adults improve literacy skills to reach their goals. We believe that the ability to read, write and communicate is essential and that each learner comes with unique learning goals, strengths, interests and needs.

The tutor and learner relationship is central to the learning process and the ability to trust and work together toward goals can make a lasting impact on learners, their families and our community. We remind volunteers that literacy services are confidential. Some learners have not told family, friends, or their employer that they struggle with reading and writing. Learners may have many ways they have kept people around them from knowing they struggle with every day activities involving reading and writing yet these every day activities are what bring people to seek literacy services.

Learner needs and goals are the motivation and inspiration for what tutors and learners focus on in sessions together. Whether goals seem modest, like being able to read a menu and order at a restaurant, or more grand like earning a high school diploma, or something in-between like reading and responding to emails at work – these goals are what bring learners to literacy and working towards them will keep learners motivated even during challenging moments.

Often, the most interesting aspect of tutoring is figuring out the smaller steps that lead to achieving the goal that first brought a learner to Literacy Volunteers-HBPL. There are many smaller successes along the way – help your learners see those successes! Literacy tutors ask, listen, observe, reflect, communicate, encourage and plan but don’t forget that literacy staff is here to support you and your learner at every step.

Tutoring is:

student centered – meaning that lessons are planned around the goals of learners and relate to their individual needs and interests.

goal oriented – meaning that the learner’s goals inform the content, techniques, and materials used in tutoring sessions.

context based – meaning that real life materials are used in sessions and could include restaurant menus, children’s homework, school flyers, job applications, newspapers, magazines, job manuals, bills, and more.

The Communicative Approach