Tutoring at SAIL is a challenge. This page is designed for current SAIL volunteers. It offers a range of resources that can help tutors help themselves to help their students! Please email requests, queries, suggestions and other feedback about this Resources section to the SAIL coordinators via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the form tutors must fill in and have signed by a coordinator and parent of the students you are contacting outside of SAIL hours.
Beginner Tutor Lesson Plans
Here are some suggested lesson plans for new SAIL tutors or old SAIL tutors working with new students. These provide a tailored guide as to where to start SAILing on your own.
Working with a student who is just beginning to learn English.
We all have different personalities and preferred ways of learning. At SAIL you will meet students who are incredibly confident and exuberant, withdrawn and shy, and everywhere in between! Use the first few weeks to get to know your student. It may take a while for both of you to feel comfortable. For a student at a beginners level it is really important that both of you talk as much as possible. Once your student’s oral language begins to build up, they will have a firmer basis on which to establish reading and writing skills.
Your first session with your SAIL student
A good introductory lesson can be to find out about the student, their family and where they live. Make sure that you remember to be sensitive to the students’ situation. For some students their family situation may be a painful area. Care needs to be taken that questions are open and the student is free to share as much or as little as they are comfortable with.
Depending on your student’s age and level of English in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening; you may need to adjust this plan to suit their needs. Lots of support may be necessary! (You can read and transcribe for them if needed.) Generally students are really interested in your family too. Having a conversation is just as valid as doing lots of reading and writing.
Every fifth week there is a Tutor Talk after SAIL which provides an ideal opportunity to learn some teaching strategies and share some of the issues that come up in your SAIL sessions. Below are some resources from past tutor talk presentations and workshops:
John Munro Tutor Talk 2010: on reading stories with SAIL students, getting students’ knowledge ready engaging with texts.
Tim Burch is a former SAIL tutor. Tim is currently teaching at Wesley College Prahran Campus as a Grade 6 teacher. Tim is a graduate of Melbourne and Monash Universities and is able to provide advice on behavioural issues and relationship building advice. Read Tim’s advice below:
How to structure a SAIL session
What makes a Super SAIL tutor
Literacy and spelling activities
Students and difficult behaviour
Boys will be boys
SAIL in general
Davina Lippmann is an ESL teacher and former coordinator of the federally funded Distance Learning program for AMES in Victoria. Previously, she taught in a primary school of predominantly newly-arrived ESL students. Davina is the co-author of the publication “English is Their Right” which has sections on pre-school to adult ESL learning as well as background for teaching pre-literate adults. Read Davina’s advice below:
ESL activities suggestions
Professor John Munro is from the Education Department at the University of Melbourne. John travels the world addressing educators on the importance of literacy and advising on strategies to foster its development .He has kindly made himself available to respond to SAILors request for information on this issue for many years. Read John’s advice below:
Literacy and how to teach it