Is it easy to "tutor basic literacy skills"?

In conjunction with my intention here, I came across a volunteer opportunity with the local library to tutor adults in basic literacy skills. Now, I place a great deal of value in being able to read, so I figure that this might be a good fit for me. I’m thinking I’ll call tomorrow and find out more.

My question to you good folks, is it easy to tutor basic literacy skills? As in, do I need any special knowledge to be able to do so?

You seem to be basicly literate, so I’m thinking you would do fine. You’ll have some instruction as to how to proceed. I’m sure you won’t just be turned loose on the unsuspecting pubilc.

I did one of those training programs that teach you how to be an adult literacy tutor. It was all volunteer and everything was free, etc. The course was pretty basic and focused on a phonics-type technique. A lot of ideas about how to gear things toward adult readers were addressed and sensitivity to adults who hadn’t yet learned to read was covered extensively. I was very excited about the whole thing because, like you, the ability to read is very valuable to me and something I’m passionate about.

Everything went well until the program was over and it was time to set me up with an actual person to work with. They prepared us for disappointment at this stage because, apparently (understandably), many adults who sign up to be tutored don’t go through with it. They may be embarassed, frustrated by earlier attempts, scared of failing, or just have trouble finding time to do it.

After several assignments that didn’t work out (people never showed up), I gave up. If I had been a little older - I was a college student at the time - I may have pursued the issue. I continue to be interested in this line of volunteer work, though, and I’ll probably get back to it one day.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll do well. I hope you have good experiences.

One of the local literacy groups uses this slogan on their webpage: “If you think you don’t have the skills to teach someone to read, please consider you’ve already passed the test”. In other words, if YOU can read, you can teach someone else to read.
It really isn’t hard. They will tell you everything you need to know in the training sessions. I definitely recommend giving it a chance. They really need tutors, and it can be very rewarding when you have a student who wants to learn.