Recommendations for Virtual Tutoring



    • Most learners have smartphones but many do not have laptops or desktops, so ask the learner what might work best.  Be flexible!  
    • Consider using video conferencing (e.g., Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet). Many social media apps popular with learners (e.g., Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp) also offer free video conferencing. Learn more about how to use these platforms here.
    • Make appointments with learners for phone calls together (for tutoring or just to stay in touch and reduce isolation).
    • Email learners for practice and/or to link to resources, documents, homework, etc.
    • Text learners to let them know if/how you will be keeping in touch.
    • Set a virtual session routine with your learner, and prioritize their goals based on what will work with their device and tutoring platform (e.g., Zoom, WhatsApp, email, phone call).  
    • For more independent learners, ask them to watch a video, read something, etc., then discuss via email, call or video.
    • For less independent learners, be prepared to watch a video, read something, etc., together over call or video before moving into discussion or other activities.
    • Find ways for your learner(s) to demonstrate learning (e.g., complete a graphic organizer and send it to you, take a picture of and/or email you completed work, practice filling out forms).
    • Remember to focus on developing or practicing skills, not just learning information.
    • If you both use Gmail, consider using Google apps (e.g., Google Docs, Google Jamboard, Google Slides) so you can both read/work on the same document in real-time.
    • If you are looking for other digital tools to spice up your tutoring sessions, consider free websites and apps like Quizlet, Kahoot!, Baamboozle, Padlet, and Wheel of Names.
    • Try multi-player games like Words With Friends and Drawize.



    • Virtual Tutor Training - Join us for this free 4.5-hour training.
    • Virtual Tutoring Technical Resources - Find tutorials on virtual tutoring technology and information about our Slack Workspace.
    • Tech Support with Staff - Feel free to email anyone on program staff for a one-on-one appointment!



    • The Times in Plain EnglishCurrent news articles adjusted for lower levels
    • Exciting English - Snippets of animated stories with a focus on dialogue and vocabulary
    • Voice of America - English language lessons; not just for ESL learners!
    • Math Playground - Highly interactive games, up to 6th-grade math
    • GCFGlobal - Comprehensive curricula for many subjects
    • Readworks - Articles at a variety of levels on all different subjects
    • Newsela - Articles on a variety of subjects with adjustable reading levels
    • Breaking News English - Current news articles; not just for ESL learners!
    • ESL Fast - Short passages and dialogues, combining reading and listening; not just for ESL learners!
    • ESL Literacy Readers - Short stories on real-life situations for low level readers, combing reading with audiovisual
    • Unite for Literacy - Short books on a variety of subjects for low level readers, combing reading with audiovisual



    • Read this article about taking care of your mental health during uncertain times
    • Staff is working remotely. However, we are here for you! Email us. Make an appointment for a phone call. Keep in touch with us and each other.
    • Review our COVID-19 Update page to stay informed about Washtenaw Literacy programs and events.