Tutor story (with teacher resources included)

Image of volunteer tutor and student learning English skills

Image of volunteer tutor and student learning English skillsJ and I have managed 7 lessons since the end of July so we are at 14 lessons thus far. I have taken to bringing my iPad and we do most of our work online. There are 3 sites I like to use:

www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish : this site provides mini lessons with follow up quizzes. However it is often a bit of a search to find what you want because the lessons aren’t organised around themes.

www.englishforeveryone.org : this is a very large site and not necessarily made to work online. We use the worksheets online and then I either know the answer or we look up the answer key. I’ve liked the program corrections worksheets.

www.usingenglish.com : I go to the section ‘for teachers’ and then to ‘handouts’. This is a very well organised section and has all sorts of grammar worksheets that you can either print or do online. The only negative for me is that is not any mini lesson connected to the particular worksheet. So I often find I have to look up the ‘rules’/

J continues to read out loud to me because she is very keen on me correcting her pronunciation. It is also a good time to work on vocabulary. When she has written work for school we always go over that as well.”

(from Cheryl)


Report from our tutor Sarah

Report from our tutor Sarah

“All is going well with E., she is so much fun to have sessions with. I am tracking what I am doing with her and I have been trialling a few different things out – I hope you don’t mind. It is related to a unit I am doing in my Masters program at the moment based on student motivation.

I hope it will lead to a positive impact on her response to tasks in the sessions and her progression with the language. I want to see whether it will influence her ability to be self-confident and to complete more things on her won outside the sessions.

So far I think it is mainly a positive improvement from some of the initial sessions I started with her in the library – although it always takes time to get to know someone and to make the sessions focused around her interests and needs…”

Looking forward to more updates from Sarah

Tutor Training October 2013


Tutor training
Train as a volunteer tutor


The educational coordinators are currently working with 6 new members who will take on a new student after their training. They came to us by word of mouth, by referral from the Manly Community Centre and a recent article in the Manly Daily.

The training is running for 8 weeks on a Tuesday morning through October and November. We are grateful to Warringah Council for allowing us to use the delightful venue at Oxford Falls Peace Park.

Thank you to Jola

Thank you to Jola!

Dear Jola,

…It seems that I found the new job! It’s two days this week and should become full time from Monday. I feel very giddy after the first day on the new job, finishing everything for the Asthma Foundation and the farewell lunch!

The new job looks excellent – it’s a small marketing and advertising agency just five minutes from the station. Everyone is nice and friendly. Hope they will be happy with me, too.

I should say thank you for all that, I would never have done this without you. There is a really big difference between me five months ago and my current “me”. Not just language – you restored my self-confidence as well.

Once again, thank you very much. I greatly appreciate all you have done for me.

 Best wishes,


Thank you to Chris

Hi Chris 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being my right hand man on my journey. The literacy program has been good for me. I haven’t met all of the volunteers but I would like to thank them for all the hard work that they do. Chris has been very patient with me, trying to teach an old dog new tricks .We have had some success, now it is all up to me to keep working hard on my reading. I can stumble though a book, I have read a few now. At the end of last year I completed a ten-week course for dyslexia. It was an eye opener.  What a difference it made when my eyes work together. The first time I knew something was wrong was in year three when I was about eight. All of the schoolwork was moving all over the page. I didn’t know what was going on. So I started to be sent out of class every day for the next 7 years until I finished school. I started many programs over the years; it seemed to be more about money than learning. I went to the Irwin program, where I went for a series of tests, then got a pair of tinted glasses, which seemed to help. That is where I was first introduced to the literacy program. The rest is history……… 

Once again, thank you Chris, the world would be a better place if we had more people like you. The friendship we have has been really important to me. Keep on pedalling Chris !!

Thank you for all your time and support.


June 2013


A student recommends TED

Thank you to one of our student’s, Zsolt, for his insight into using TED as a tool for learning English.

I came to Australia 3 years ago and I believe that learning English is one of the most important activities every day.  Without speaking proper English, it is very difficult to get by and also it is very challenging to make new friends if you cannot express yourself. I have to use English every day and sometimes just trying to speak properly makes me very tired by the end of the day. When I talk to my friends, I can see that using the language properly greatly influences how you feel in this country.  Unfortunately I have seen many examples that someone has been living here for 10-15 years and despite this long time, he or she cannot speak properly. What can we do if we do not want lose our enthusiasm for learning English? We have to find new ways every day, new methods, new topics to keep ourselves motivated.

One of the new ways of learning I have come across recently is TED. (Technology, Entertainment, Design – www.ted.com). TED was founded in 1984, it is a non-profit organization and it spreads new ideas through short lectures and presentations, topics cover technology, entertainment and design. You can find a lot of inspiring and also entertaining presentations there, and they are not longer than 15-20 minutes. But what does it have to do with learning English? Since 2009 the presentations have had subtitles, currently in about 100 languages translated by volunteers. The video lectures can be watched both in English and your own language, at the same time! There is an app for iPhones or Android, a media player where you can switch on any of the subtitles, English only, your own language or both language subtitles simultaneously. You can set the player to play a section multiple times, or you can set it to ‘repeat’ mode when one sentence is repeated 2-3 times. You can move forward or back by touching the screen on the left or right, sentence-by-sentence if you want to, or also you can stop the lecture at any time.  I have found an app called Ted Me (Android) the most useful; however, it does cost some money, $ 1. It is well worth it!

I use TED regularly every week and I think that I have learnt a lot just by listening to the presentations and reading English and Hungarian subtitles together. My listening skills have definitely improved; I keep repeating a sentence until I fully understand it. I can recognize more words in everyday language as well. Try and experiment with it!

Thank you Pearson Australia

Thank you to Pearson Australia for donating a large number of resources to the Literacy Network library.  These English language books will be invaluable in helping our tutors improve the reading and writing skills of many individuals on the Northern Beaches area.  We appreciate the generosity of the company, particularly their ELT Education Consultant, Robert Puffett.

Doug Hamilton retires

We were sorry to lose to retirement one of our very long-standing committee members, Doug. He has generously given his time to Literacy Network, not only as a tutor, but as one of the drivers of fundraising, so important in an organisation of volunteers. His humour and steadfast dependability will be missed.