Volume 62 | November 19, 2022

Greetings, Tutors! 

Literacy DuPage is most GRATEFUL for YOU!


The month of November is the time to be thankful, a time to remember, and a time to embrace those who enrich our lives. As we engage in our annual observances and traditions this year, we hope that you will be inspired to count your many blessings and reflect and remember with joy those who are no longer with us.


This edition of "Keeping In Touch" addresses information about the value of repetition, recycling and extended exposure, and practice with content; Communicative Language Approach; and a conversation activity related to holidays. 


Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need help with tutoring strategies.

With gratitude and hope,

Carol Garcia

Your Tutor Support Specialist

Important Reminder:

After every 35 hours of instruction, the learner is to be post-tested to assess progress. When a Literacy DuPage staff member reaches out to you by phone, e-mail, or text to schedule an assessment with you and your student, please respond in a timely manner.

Lately, it has been taking as many as 4 attempts to reach some tutors. At that point, we have to turn directly to the student to set up the post-test.

The assessment measures the student's advancement. This is an opportunity to celebrate strides. Or If more support is needed, Carol can step in to help.

Also, it is important that we complete as many post-tests as possible by mid-December,

in order to report the results to our largest funder at year-end. Thank you for your participation.

Self-paced Tutor Training

Although you completed new tutor training recently or long ago, we want to share with you that a new format is being rolled out next month. Sadly, at the end of December, we're losing Lauren Nadolski, our wonderful Tutor Trainer. The new process will include

3 one-hour Zoom sessions with Laurie Hoffman and Carol Garcia, plus a 12-hour self-paced, on-line program.

Every week, new potential students turn to Literacy DuPage for English language help. The waiting pool is growing, which means that our need for tutors is growing, as well. Please invite people in your network, who might be interested in becoming a LIteracy DuPage tutor and ask them to attend a Meet & Greet.

Tutor Engagement

Building Up a Lesson

Tutors may feel that revisiting previous lessons and activities or lesson extensions on

the same topic may become boring for the student and wonder if it wouldn’t be more interesting to offer a variety of lesson topics.


Brick by Brick

Language acquisition research indicates that the best learning takes place when students are building on something they already know, and more learning takes place when they build on something they have just learned.


To create a really effective lesson, first select a topic that is relevant to the student and has some edge to it, such as a concern, a problem, a conflict, or a need. For example, moving is something all students have experienced and probably will again. And moving presents even more challenges to a new immigrant than to an established resident. So, it is a topic that contains a lot of life experiences, interest, family stories, and opportunities for problem solving.


Once you have a topic that “grabs” the student in multiple ways, she/he will not lose interest in it because there has been a previous lesson on that theme. Often tutors change subjects because they are concerned that the lesson is tedious, when in fact it

is only to a native speaker that one lesson may be enough. To a new language learner grappling with a topic, each lesson and its related activities bring new learning.


When you start a new activity a little below or at the student’s current level and the student has learned the new concepts and words, presenting the same activity at a slightly higher level might be a bit of a challenge. But the student will recognize the outline of the activity and the key vocabulary, which provide some handholds in tackling more ambitious material.


Learning Skills

An important aspect of language that is not always obvious to native speakers is that different skills need to be worked on separately. If you read a story in English, naturally you will be able to write a summary of it, write your reactions about it, answer questions, and talk about it. This, of course, is not true for the new language learner. That is why even when a student reads and understands a story well, they must still carefully practice writing activities, such as a tutor-led diction with an excerpt from the text, and work on the associated vocabulary and grammar.


Recycling the same topic is a good language teaching practice. When you come up with new ways for your student to work with the same material, you will see growth in their language learning.  

Communicative Approach to Language Learning

(Communicative Language Teaching: CLT)

During New Tutor Training, tutors are introduced to the method known as Communicative Approach to Language Learning. There are many theories to teaching language. Literacy DuPage embraces the Communicative Approach. Communicative language teaching can be understood as a set of principles regarding the goals of language teaching, how people learn a language, the kinds of classroom activities that best facilitate learning, and the roles of teachers and learners in the instructional setting. 

Six Principles of the Communicative Approach:

1.    Learning takes place through real communication.

2.    Language learning is contextualized in the real-life experiences of the student.

3.   The focus of language learning is on usage, not how language works.

4.   There is substantial interaction between student and tutor.

5.   Trial and error are part of the learning process.

6.   The tutor serves as a facilitator of learning.

To review or learn more about this methodology:



Conversation Activity: Talk about Holidays

What is Your Favorite Holiday?

This activity provides an opportunity for cross-culture sharing. 


  • Determine which questions you will use with your student to elicit conversation.
  • Give a copy of the questions to your student. If your student is higher level, allow the student to read through the questions before you begin conversation, so that they have a chance to consider the questions before answering them. 
  • Introduce words or phrases to be used during the activity. Write the words on the board or index cards, so that your student can see the words and associate the spoken word with the written word.


  • As a written follow-up, ask the student to write something about their favorite holiday, using the questions as a guide.  
  • Lower students may benefit from having sentence frames to complete.(Example: My favorite holiday is _____________; My favorite food for the holiday is __________.)    

Suggested Questions:

1.   What is the name of your favorite holiday?

2.   When is this holiday?

3.   Is it on the same day every year?

4.   It is a religious holiday or a civic holiday?

5.   It is new or traditional?

6.   Who celebrates this holiday? In what countries do they celebrate it?

7.   What do they do to celebrate it?

8.   Is there a special food for this holiday?

9.   Is there special music, dance, or dress for this holiday?

10. Why do you like it? 

Refer to your copy of Teaching Adults: An ESL Resource Book, page 66, for conversation methodology instructional tips.

DuPage County Launches 211

On November 15th, DuPage County launched 211 – a free, confidential information and referral service that provides a central access point to local health and human services 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.


The 211 line enables DuPage County residents to use an easy three-digit number to access help by phone or via the new 211 web address: 211dupage.gov. Anyone can obtain immediate referrals to mental health services, crisis counseling, healthcare, dental, clothing, addiction support and rehabilitation, supplemental food programs, shelter and affordable housing options, older adult and disability services, employment and education support, financial assistance, legal aid, veteran support, transportation, and utility assistance.


The expanded service hours are made possible by an intergovernmental agreement between DuPage County and the Village of Addison, whose dispatch center will handle the evening, overnight, weekend, and holiday calls.


Over the past two decades, DuPage County has compiled a database of roughly 640 service providers to assist county residents. DuPage County joins a network that includes Will, Kane, McHenry, and Lake Counties’ 211 helplines, providing thousands of community resources. Last year, DuPage County Community Services staff responded to 38,500 inquiries for resources.


The DuPage County Board allocated $1.6 million from federal funds distributed to the County from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to create County 211 service.

Community Resources

DuPage Children's Museum -- Free event on Tuesday, December 6th from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

English flyer or Spanish flyer

Early Head Start for birth to 3-year-olds in low-income families in Addison.

Metropolitan Family Services has early learning centers in 33 DuPage County towns.

People's Resource Center offers free services, including food pantry, emergency rent and mortgage assistance, help in finding employment, and refurbished computers and training.

DACA Scholarship covers the entire $495 USCIS fee for DACA renewal.

For many more resources to benefit your student, visit the Literacy DuPage website:


When you shop on Amazon, please select Literacy DuPage as your charity of choice through AmazonSmile.

At no additional cost to you, we will receive 0.5% of the amount of your eligible Amazon purchases.

You can support Literacy DuPage on your computer or through the Amazon app. Once you have selected Literacy DuPage as your charity, update or download the most recent Amazon app to your phone.

Open the app and find “Settings” in the main menu. Tap on “AmazonSmile” and follow the on-screen instructions to add AmazonSmile to your phone.

Need help? Reach out to Carol Garcia, your Tutor Support Specialist.

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