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Literacy Resources


Promising Practices

Literacy Training Design and Presentations

Many resources are available to help organizations plan and implement tutor training programs. Some of the most widely utilized and respected systems are outlined below. Please look through the Training Links to explore related resources, studies and supporting materials.

Laubach Literacy’s Training By Design, published by New Readers Press (NRP), provides in-depth information on planning literacy and ESL workshops and on developing workshop presentations. Videotapes and resource books are available.

Tutor Trainer
Directory of Tutor Trainers by Region
Detailed Tutor Trainers Directory 
Promising Practices
Training the Trainer
Meeting the Trainers
Sharing with Trainers
Training Links
Multiple Intelligences

NRP also offers free workshop presentations that you can download. Visit NRP, the publishing arm of ProLiteracy Worldwide, and click on Staff Development and Training.

Based on the principles of Literacy Volunteers of America, the LVA Guide for Training Trainers models a collaborative relationship between tutors and students. Training Trainers provides trainer notes, learning task instructions and materials for tutor trainer workshops. The LVA Guide is also available through NRP.

For information on creating online training or teaching resources for your trainers, tutors or learners, consult The Learning Resources Network ( Topics include designing online instruction, building learning communities in cyberspace and creating streaming audio lectures.

The Florida-based Volunteers and Literacy Committee Practitioner’s Task Force on Restructuring and Accountability published A Manual for Volunteer Literacy Programs, Volume II, which is available through the Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition. Pages 14 to 19 are dedicated to improving and enhancing tutor training workshops. Click here for the manual.

Impacts of a National Merger

With the merger of Laubach Literacy Action and Literacy Volunteers of America, many organizations are examining their training programs and questioning whether and/or how to best marry the training principles and practices of the two organizations. In the next section, ProLiteracy America’s training coordinator provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from the field. Following FAQs is a Comparison of LLA and LVA tutor and trainer workshops.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding LLA and LVA Training

What tutor training materials should we be using? And, when will new training materials be available?

“ProLiteracy America recommends high-quality and comprehensive tutor training. We value local decision-making and support local organizations in planning for, conducting, and evaluating their own training. As a result, the tutor training of many local ProLiteracy America affiliates combines the best of several tutor training resources. ProLiteracy America will continue to support and make available the tutor training and tutor resources from both predecessor organizations until ProLiteracy America has the opportunity to develop new materials. Affiliates are not required to use any materials-current or new-produced by ProLiteracy Worldwide.”

Our program is not able to access some kinds of training locally. What are ProLiteracy America’s plans for online training?

  1. “We currently provide online training in three ways:
    ProLiteracy America is now offering an online version of the Trainer Workshop: Basic Training Skills (LLA). It will be available on a regular basis next year.
  2. With the help of a grant from Verizon Communications, LVA developed an online course, Program Manager Orientation, for new directors of literacy programs. This is a self-paced education module that you can access by going to and clicking on the Literacy Volunteers of America site at the bottom of the screen. You also have access to Governance Online, another self-paced online course focused on governance and board issues. Go to the Affiliate’s Only section of the ProLiteracy America website, (
  3. Verizon Literacy University, developed by ProLiteracy and the National Center for Family Literacy with funding from Verizon Communications, has recently been launched. The free courses and information are designed to help recruit new volunteers for local programs and to help those programs offer a wider range of training and information to their volunteers. The courses will initially be self-paced, and learners will be able to take them any time it’s convenient for them. Go to

In the past, LLA-certified trainers and LLA members sent lists of their workshop participants to the national office. Each participant received a free individual Laubach membership. Will ProLiteracy still provide this service?

“Yes. ProLiteracy America will provide a free six-month affiliation to any individual who completes a tutor workshop that is led by a certified ProLiteracy America trainer or sponsored by a ProLiteracy America affiliate. This option is also available to former LVA trainers who want their new tutors to receive a free individual affiliation in ProLiteracy America. To register your new tutors go to the trainer certification section of the ProLiteracy America website.

Certification as a ProLiteracy America trainer requires attendance at a train-the-trainer workshop. Both the Training of Trainers (LVA) and the Trainer Workshop: Basic Training Skills (LLA) are acceptable. What are the similarities and differences?

“Both workshops cover similar content:

Lewin's Model - The LLA workshop covers the model explicitly with background on Lewin and the model itself. Trainers practice the model. LVA training breaks the cycle down and examines the individual concepts, e.g., praxis (practice/reflection), drawing on trainee experience, sequence and reinforcement, and so on.
How Adults Learn - The LLA workshop approaches this with a learning styles inventory. The LVA training focuses on Maslow's theory (20% see, 40% hear and see, 80% hear, see and do). Both trainings encourage participants to incorporate a variety of activities in their trainings to meet all learning styles.
Questioning Techniques
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Practice Presentations - The LVA training requires participants to make 10-minute, individual presentations, based on the trainer’s guide their local program uses. The LLA workshop uses a team approach, where the team develops and presents a tutor training segment.

The differences include the following:
Training styles inventory and analysis is unique to the LLA workshop.
The LVA training also addresses the following topics: achievement-based objectives, evaluation/reflection, three aspects of learning, and workshop planning steps.

Some general impressions from trainers who have participated in both workshops follow:
The LLA workshop is very practical, giving trainers tips with time to practice them. There are more reading and lecture activities.
The LVA training is more theory - introducing the theory, then trying out that theory. The activities are very participatory.
ProLiteracy America will not be blending these two workshops. It will develop a new workshop(s) that will align with the new trainer credentialing system it is developing.”

For information on how the merger impacts trainer certification, please visit Training the Trainer. For further information, please contact Kaye Beall, ProLiteracy America’s Training Coordinator.

Comparison of LLA and LVA Tutor Training

Laubach Literacy Action
Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc.
Tutor workshop is locally developed according to national guidelines of the workshop-tutor learning objectives, design, schedule and format, presentation, and evaluation. The local organization develops its own tutor training. It must be consistent with LVA mission and values as well as the principles for effective training of accountability, relevance and inclusiveness, safety, action with reflection (praxis), and promising practices.
The national organization develops and disseminates tutor training resources and instructional and training alternatives. The national organization publishes core training materials.
The adult learner is at the center of tutoring and, therefore, at the center of tutor training.
Tutor training is centered on the volunteer as the facilitator of learning.
Tutor learning objectives describe the information, skills, and attitudes tutors need to acquire during the workshop. Written goals and achievement-based objectives are communicated to training participants.
Information gathered from learners about their needs and concerns and an assessment of learner progress is used to revise/develop tutor learning objectives. The tutor training meets the needs of the local organization and/or reflects recent research.
Tutor workshop content addresses:
- Background of literacy (and ESL)
- Roles and responsibilities of tutors, learners, and the local and national organizations
- Adult learner ways of knowing, differences, problems, and second language acquisition
- Planning/assessment
- Instruction
Training content addresses the basic skills and knowledge needed by tutors to teach the targeted population of students. Typically this content includes:
- Integration of language components
- Adult learning theory
- Student-centered instruction
- Instructional techniques - BL, ESOL, family, workplace, and so on
- Goal-setting/assessment
- Lesson planning
The local organization gathers information on the experiences and expertise of the tutors and shares it with the trainers. A needs assessment is done prior to the training.
The workshop topics to be addressed are arranged in a logical order The training progresses from the simple to the complex with review and reinforcement of previously learner skills and knowledge.
The workshop includes activities that serve to build community and increase tutor interest and attention. Individualized activities and a variety of training techniques are used. Training includes diverse methods and materials in order to address a wide range of participant needs and learning styles. There are opportunities for praxis (action with reflection).
Workshop evaluation includes:
- Meetings of trainers
- Tutor evaluations of the workshop
- Tutor feedback after tutoring for a while
- Involvement of staff and students
The organization obtains formal and informal feedback from tutors; no specific method is mandated. Participants reflect on learning throughout the training and/or at the end. The organization also assesses changes in participant skills, knowledge and attitudes in relation to the training objectives.

ESL Training Design and Presentations

The training systems mentioned above also provide ESL components, and numerous organizations – many of them listed under Training Links – offer additional resources.

The University of Tennessee Center for Literacy Studies offers a 26-minute video presentation ESOL Teacher Training.”

The Florida-based Volunteers and Literacy Committee Practitioner’s Task Force on Restructuring and Accountability published A Manual for Volunteer Literacy Programs, Volume II, which is available through the Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition. Pages 17 to 19 are dedicated to improving and enhancing tutor training workshops. Click here for the manual.





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..Phone: (407)-246-7110
..Fax: (407)-246 - 7104

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