T  U  T  O  R  S
Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

A Publication of the Literacy Council of Jackson County
PO Box 615, Medford, OR 97501

Board Members:

              Bob Burger      - Chair
              Robbin Henson   - Library/Bookstore
              Ellie Scholz    - Secretary
              Fram Nichols    - Placement
              Robbin Henson   - Records
              Liz Koester     - RCC/CASAS Coordinator
              Bob Burger      - Treasurer

Notes from the Chair
Literacy Report
Tutor's Corner

Sudoku Challenge
Help Wanted
Helpful Websites
Abbreviations Dictionary

Notes From The Chair

Dear Volunteers and Friends,

   Here we are in 2008!  Already, my Microsoft Office 2007 is obsolete!  And I still don't have a car built in this century!  But enough about me.  We need to make the most of this year to advance the cause of Literacy.

   Applications are coming in from people who are taking that first step toward fulfilling their potiential - learning to read in English.  We need to encourage more people to join our ranks as Volunteer Tutors to help those new applicants before they stray from a path which could lead to a brighter future.  Please ask your friends or family members if they would consider signing up with the Literacy Council.

   Last year had a few success stories.  A couple of our students passed their U.S. Citizenship exams and another passed the GED exam.  I congratulate them on their accomplishments.

   I wish to say thank you to Robbin Henson for donating over a year of service to the Literacy Council as our Records person.  She just wanted to get a few months of volunteer service under her belt, but time did fly.  Robbin managed to keep this newsletter going when our Editor resigned and also assisted in our library.  As a Board Member, she served with professionalism and good humor.  Alas, her college studies, demanding job, and family obligations stole her away.  Good luck, Robbin.

   And a Happy New Year to all of our volunteers and friends.

Bob Burger, Chair


Literacy - A Potential Life Saver

Literacy is an under-recognized problem in health care delivery in the U.S.  As many as one in five Americans are functionally illiterate, and an additional 27% have marginal literacy skills.  Health literacy is a term that signifies the skills individuals need to understand and carry out medical instructions and preventive care advice.  Individuals with low health literacy have difficulty reading and understanding routine
health information such as dosage instructions on medication bottles, appointment slips, pre-procedure instructions, and consent forms.*

   Our volunteer tutors should keep this in mind when working with their students.  Reading serves to entertain, educate, and - in some cases - save lives.

* Center for Health Research - March 1, 2006



Board Meetings

January 30
February 20
March 19

All meetings - 1 PM to 3 PM
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699


Tutor's Corner

   When I met my first student in February 2002 I had no idea how being a Literacy volunteer would change my life.  My students have been from Thailand, Taiwan, and China.  Each one seems to have been chosen "just for me."  We bonded immediately.  The graciousness of my Thai students stirred an interest in me about their homeland and I now sponsor twin girls there.  In February I will make a second visit to Thailand to see them.  On the first visit I carried lots of gifts to the 9 year old son of one of my students.

   When a job, marriage or other circumstances ended our formal lessons, the students enjoyed just getting together occasionally.  They often become life-long friends.

Do I have any secrets for teaching foreign students how to function in a strange land and master the English language?

   I first concentrate on getting to know who they really are and what they want to learn.  Sometimes this involves very practical tips, like filling out forms, communicating with government institutions, and applying for various programs.

   They like to watch TV and go to movies and will write down for me words they did not understand (spelled often in an interesting manner).  My students enjoy simple games.  It makes it seem less like school and more fun.  Conversation for all of them is a main focus, so I make sure they do lots of talking, like telling me what they have been doing since we last met.

   I try to learn some words in their language and they are delighted to instruct me.  When this happens we laugh a lot at my pronunciation.

   I am so proud of the progress of my students.  Three have attained citizenship, one has opened her own business and one family recently bought their first home.

   With their real families in faraway lands I am often the "adopted family" who applauds their accomplishments.  What a privilege that is!

Walda Reeder
Volunteer tutor



For those of you who are new to this form of crossword puzzle, the object is to use all the game letters to fill every row and column, and also each 9-square section.  If one of the rows or columns is the word that completes the sentence, then you know you've solved the puzzle correctly.  Just the same, I'll provide the solution in the next issue.

Solution to last quarter's issue.

The alphabet is used to symbolize parts of speech.

Try to solve this puzzle using these letters:


Find the word that fills in the blank:

The illiterate often use _____________ in their speech.

If you would like to create and submit a puzzle for
TUTORS, just send it to the editor by mail or e-mail.


The Literacy Council of Jackson County offers many volunteer opportunities. Here are just a few of them:
* * * * *
ESL Tutor: Assist students one-on-one to master the written English language sufficiently enough to fill out employment and health forms, follow directions on medicines, read maps, use public transportation effectively, enjoy computer applications, and open the doors of knowledge at libraries and the Internet. No experience necessary, we will train you.

GED Tutor: Help individuals study for the General Education Development exam. If you think you can teach math, science, history, reading comprehension and writing, then we want you to share your knowledge as a tutor. No experience necessary, we will train you.

General Office: If you have a couple of hours a week to spare and know how or want to learn to use a computer for keeping our records up to date, we want to hear from you. No experience necessary, we will train you.

Newsletter Editor: Here's a job you can do in the comfort of your own home. You will need experience using a word processor or desktop publisher program. The editor gathers stories for each quarterly issue, arranges them on the pages, adds graphics or photos as desired, and prints out a master copy for publication. Is this for you?

* * * * *
If any of these volunteer opportunities suits you, please give us a call at
(541) 245-8699
or send us an e-mail message at


Helpful Websites

Tips for teaching word families, steps in language experience stories, find quizzes


You can print out these exercises or student can do them on line

Variety of activities for the more advanced student

If you have internet access at your tutoring site this is a great address for more advanced student activities

Help with developing writing skills

Variety of activities: grammar, conversation topics, cultural awareness, games, etc.


Pizzaz: Creative writing lessons

Self Study Quizzes

Crossword Puzzles

Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom


Opportunities in ESL: Creative writing/ discussion topics

Free Services for Students


ESL Curriculum, Beginning Level

Diversity Calendar: Holidays around the world



Contact us if any of these succeeded for you!


Abbreviations Dictionary

ABE Adult Basic Education: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as reading, writing and math to native speakers of English.

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder

CASAS Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System: A battery of tests that we use for tracking student progress.

ESL English as a Second Language: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and math to non-native speakers of English.

GED General Education Development test: test which gives students a diploma equivalent to a high school diploma.

LCJC: Literacy Council of Jackson County

LD: Learning Disabled

RCC: Rogue Community College

TELT Training Effective Literacy Tutors: The training program for new volunteers.

TOPS Tracking of Programs and Students: form used to collect student demographics and test results reported to RCC.


Newsletter Editor - Robert Burger