Tutor Tips

A red pencil making editing corrections on a typed paper

Purpose:  To help learners practice using correct grammar, and to develop proof-reading skills so that learners can become more independent with self-corrections

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  A short passage with several errors, or sentences or a worksheet with errors

hand writing in notebook

Purpose:  To help learners improve their writing skills and practice grammar tenses

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  sets of comprehension questions (see example below)

Example 1:

  1. What was Ahmed’s job?
  2. What does he do at his job?
  3. Why does he like his job?
  4. When does he go to work?
  5. What does Ahmed do after work?

Example 2:

A girl holding a paper plate on her head and drawing on it with a black marker

Purpose:  This popular party game helps learners build familiarity with prepositions of place while having lots of laughs

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  pencils or markers, paper plates (preferably the ones without a coating), a list of instructions


two stick figures with overlapping speech bubbles

Purpose:  To practice using vocabulary words in a conversational setting

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  list of 5-10 vocabulary words, one copy per learner


Copies of guided reading prompts booklets

This blog post from Scholastic.com (http://www.scholastic.com/home/) contains excellent teacher practices and materials that can be adapted for improving reading comprehension at any level. The post includes printable PDFs of a teacher reading prompt booklet, bookmarks, for learners, and guided reading question cards that learners can use to interact with a reading text independently or in small groups. The reading prompts are written for a third grade reading level, which can easily be used with intermediate and advanced adult ESL learners.

clouds in the shape of question marks against a blue sky

Purpose:  To keep a conversation going, learners need to be able to ask follow-up questions in English. This activity provides some support and structure as they practice using follow-up questions.

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  whiteboard, markers


clipart image of red and white striped circus tent

This activity was adapted from ESL Teacher Alison Hoyer.

Purpose:  To give beginning level learners a concrete understanding of different tenses

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  a class set of cards with three different verbs written on them (one verb per card)


multi-colored speech bubbles

Purpose: To facilitate students speaking to each other, to get to know classmates and to use vocabulary related to the day’s lesson

Prep Time: 3-15 minutes

Materials: copies of the conversation grid (see link below)

Version 1: print the grid, write a title on it, and write four questions related to today’s lesson on it, and then make copies of it

Version 2: print the grid, write a title on it and make copies of it

Screen shot of I am a Refugee video

Learn about the global refugee experience through three short and engaging videos.

The Refugee Process | Wilmot Collins | TEDxHelena

What is the process that refugees have to go through in settling into the United States? Mr. Wilmot Collins is a refugee from Liberia who was forced to flee the Liberian civil war. Mr. Collins arrived in the United States in 1994, and he now resides in Helena, Montana with his wife, daughter, and son. To Wilmot, the U.S. means a second chance.

The word find in red letters with a magnifying glass leaning up against it

Purpose:  To help learners practice identifying and reviewing the main information from a reading

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  a reading text, highlighters




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