Triangle South Literacy Works

600 S Magnolia Ave Dunn, NC 28334


Thank you to our volunteers and tutors, they have provided 890 hours of service!


Tutor Quick Notes

Reading Skills

One reason that our students may struggle to read (or get bored) is that we give them readings that are too hard (or too easy) for their reading level.  With the explosion of Internet resources, it is now much easier to find texts that fit a student's reading level exactly. One resource to check out is: Reading Skills for Today's Adults at

           This resource was designed to create leveled reading selections that are appropriate for and valued by adult learners.  The materials correspond to CASAS 200 - 235.  This project helps adults become better readers and more informed consumers, parents, employees, citizens and community members.  The focus of these reading selections will be on topics such as:  Civics, Employment, Housing, Health, School, Money, and Government.


Making Connections in Your Tutoring

How is your tutoring going? You all have the appropriate adult literacy series to use for reading, writing, English language and Math, but supplemental texts for our students are a valuable tool to keep the tutoring sessions meaningful. The list below is a helpful tool to encourage the use of every day items in your tutoring. Your student(s) have goals and some of these items can support their progress in attaining these goals. When students can connect their learning to their everyday lives and dreams, we all win!

MAKING CONNECTIONS:  What possible functions could the following texts serve outside of learning

to read and write?  What lessons could be taught from this list?

1. a business card

2. a shopping list

3. a written down phone message

4. graffiti

5. a street name plate

6. a warranty

7. a lease

8. a movie poster

9. a tattoo

10. a speeding ticket

From Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults



The Function of Language

Ever wonder how what you are tutoring is used in our daily lives? We found this in some research and thought it might be interesting to you. To briefly summarize, literacy tutoring is teaching language, English language or Math language, which is a basic form of communication that we all use. When you are tutoring you are enhancing your student’s ability to use language to communicate and interact with those around them. This is indeed improving quality of life.

Functions of Language (Halliday, 1978)

1. Instrumental: Language used to satisfy a material need, enabling one to obtain goods and services that one wants or needs.

·         Ordering something via a form

·         Requesting service in a memo

2. Regulatory: Language used to control behavior. This is related to the instrumental function, but is distinct. The difference between this and the instrumental is that in the instrumental the focus is on the goods or services required and it does not matter who provides them, whereas the regulatory function is directed towards a particular individual and it is the behavior of that individual that is to be influenced.

·         Written rules and regulations (e.g., driver’s manual)

·         The ‘don’t walk’ sign or a stop sign

3. Interactional: Language used to make or maintain interpersonal contact

·         Personal letters, greeting cards, notes like, “I love you,” etc.

4. Personal: Language used to express awareness of oneself, in contradistinction to one’s environment. Includes expressions of personal feelings, of participation and withdrawal, of interest, pleasure, disgust, etc.

·         Memo of personal reaction to a new policy

·         Writing in a journal of personal reactions and feelings, etc.

5. Heuristic: Language used to learn and to explore the environment.

·         To read for information

·         To write down questions to ask of text or of a speaker, etc.

6. Imaginative: Language used to create, including stories and make-believe/pretend.

·         Reading/writing poetry, fiction

7. Informative: Language used to communicate information to someone who does not already possess that information.

·         Writing information texts

·         Writing research reports

·         Writing personal letters to inform someone of what has happened to a relative, etc.


Tutor Resources 

Managing Challenging Tutoring Situation

Strategic Tutoring Checklist (Please copy, paste and complete)


Tutor:  _______________________                                        Location: __________________________





_____1) Greet the student?

_____2) Have a connection conversation?  (common interests, personal)

_____3) Share a plan for the tutoring session?

_____4) Begin within 3-5 minutes?






MODEL strategy for the student?

____1) Ask the student to watch and listen

____2) Model (Think out loud) while using strategy correctly?


GUIDE the student’s practice with the strategy (WE DO)?


____1) Ask the student to briefly review the steps of the strategy

____2) Watch and support the student as he or she uses each part of the new strategy.

____3) Provide positive feedback and corrective feedback as needed?


SUPPORT the student’s independent practice with the strategy. (You DO)


____1) Cue the student to use the strategy independently on an assignment

____2) Periodically check on the student’s progress

____3) Provide positive and corrective feedback as needed





____1) Celebrate progress toward becoming an independent learner

____2) Develop a plan for using strategies in other places?

                 ____ a. Identify a place

                 ____b. Identify an assignment and when to independently use the skill or strategy.


____3) Provide positive and corrective feedback as necessary?



Life Prints
Challenger Series 
Laubach Way to Reading
Laubach Way to Writing
Step Forward
Step Up to Math