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Adult Learner's Challenge:
Changing Your Tutor's Role

Ruth Logan,
Reading and Education for Adult Development Center (READ)

Ruth Logan looked at a paper copy of Exploring Adult Literacy and decided a column featuring an adult literacy student responding to adult learner questions was needed. Reviewers agreed. Ruth will write the first few columns. If you would like to write a column, let us know.

Hello. My name is Ruth Logan, and I came to the READ Center several years ago to work on my reading skills. During this time I heard many questions about improving reading. Do you have a question or comment you would like to share with me? If so, please write and "let's talk."I look forward to hearing from all of you readers out there.

Question: My tutor keeps giving me material that I don't want to read. What should I do?

Ruth: Thank you for you question. I would like you to think of your tutor as a reading partner. When you are partners with someone you are able to share in the decisions, such as choosing reading, materials and activities. There are three ways you can point out to your tutor that you want different materials:

  1. Ask your partner to set aside a few minutes each session when you can bring up things you want to talk about. Say something like: "I am ready to read something different. I would like to see if we can find some other books that might be more interesting to read. Why don't we go to the library and find something?"

  2. Write a short note to your partner. Give this to your partner either before you begin or after you have finished a session. Your note can read like this:

    Dear ( Partner's name):
    Let's visit the library together and find something new to read. Thanks.

  3. Bring in something you want to read. This can be a book, magazine or something you received in the mail. A few minutes before you end your session, show your reading material to your partner and say, "Next week I would like to spend time reading this materials. It looks interesting, and I want to know more about it." Try the way that feels most comfortable for you.