COVID-19 UPDATE:  We ask that tutors and learners continue to meet virtually.

Thank you for your commitment to adult language learners.

Here are tools and resources to support your efforts as a Literacy DuPage tutor.

Video Lessons

Real Tutors, Real Learners

Real Tutors, Real Learners is a set of videos created by Literacy DuPage which illustrates practical techniques for basic and ESL literacy instruction.

The videos are available for viewing on the Literacy DuPage YouTube channel.

As you watch the videos, look for circled numbers that mark recommended practices. Pause the video and write down for each number what you think the practice is.

Although various techniques are shown for different types of learners, you’ll notice broad similarities across the lessons. In your tutoring, try to:

  1. Develop a lesson plan each week. Use the videos for activities to use with your learner.
  2. Ground your lessons in your learner’s real-life goals.
  3. Include speaking, listening, reading, and writing in each lesson.
  4. Design your lessons to build on those from previous sessions.
  5. Review key topics and lessons from the previous week.
  6. Address what the learner should do for the following week.
  7. Take notes on what worked well, what needs improvement, and what challenges came to light.
  8. Encourage your learner to generate useful materials, such as sight word lists, picture cards, post-its, and experience stories that can be used for study and review.
  9. Revisit the instructional videos frequently for direction and inspiration.
  10. Keep in touch with other tutors and trainers at Literacy DuPage to share ideas and ask questions.


Resource agencies

  • Adult Learning Resource Center (ALRC) offers excellent workshops for tutors on a variety of topics.
  • Community Career Center provides a variety of services for job seekers.
  • EL/Civics Online is an online professional development resource, created through the collaboration of the Adult Learning Resource Center (ALRC) and the U.S. government.
  • Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) provides information on immigrant and refugee issues, services, and programs.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a government web site with information on citizenship.
  • is the government’s official web portal for new immigrants. There is information on Social Security numbers, green cards, driver’s licenses, ESL courses, and much more.
  • workNet DuPage Career Center is DuPage County’s facility for training, developing, and connecting the local workforce. The Center shares information from several partner agencies, who share the common goal of providing job seekers with the tools necessary for successful employment, as well as assisting employers in strengthening their workforce.

Social service agencies

Many community agencies in our area provide a wide range of social services that may be of value to Literacy DuPage learners. If you would like to put your learner in touch with food pantries, shelter options, domestic abuse assistance, medical resources, and more, please refer to this list of social service agencies.


Literacy DuPage partners many libraries in DuPage County. They generously provide space for Literacy DuPage tutoring, English Conversation Groups, and in-service training workshops. Several have extensive collections of materials for adult learners of English, plus computer access for students. Contact your local library for more information.

Our Library Partners

* English conversation group schedule.

  • Addison Public Library*
  • Aurora Public Library – Eola Road Branch
  • Bartlett Public Library District
  • Bensenville Community Public Library
  • Bloomingdale Public Library
  • Carol Stream Public Library
  • Clarendon Hills Public Library
  • Downers Grove Public Library
  • Elmhurst Public Library
  • Glen Ellyn Public Library
  • Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights
  • Hinsdale Public Library
  • Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien*
  • Itasca Community Library*
  • Lisle Library District*
  • Naperville Public Library – Naper Boulevard Library*
  • Naperville Public Library – Nichols Library
  • Oak Brook Public Library
  • Plainfield Public Library District
  • Helen M Plum Memorial Library, Lombard
  • Roselle Public Library District
  • Villa Park Public Library
  • Warrenville Public Library District
  • West Chicago Public Library District*
  • Westmont Public Library*
  • Wheaton Public Library*
  • Winfield Public Library
  • Wood Dale Public Library
  • Woodridge Public Library

Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS):


  • Activities for ESL Students offers a wide variety of interactive quizzes, tests, exercises, and puzzles for ESL learners.
  • Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults offers First Steps for Teachers, which was developed by the National Institute for Literacy for Basic Literacy learners.
  • Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services offers a booklet titled, Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook. This resource can help foreign-born parents adjust to the different laws, norms, and practices related to raising children in the United States.
  • Center For Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) has a collection of articles based on research that are called digests on many diverse topics for ESL and BL tutors.
  • Dave’s ESL Cafe is one of the best sites for tutors and students. Includes many links, activities, teacher tips, and lesson plans. A great starting point for teachers.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Special Collection is the LINCS (Literacy Information and Communication System of the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)) site for ESL teachers and students with articles and links to numerous other useful ESL sites.
  • provides free English lessons and exercises and offers links to a variety of ESL reading and listening resources.
  • provides step-by-step instructions on a variety of math skills and computer topics. This site requires a good amount of reading, yet it is a good resource for higher-level students and their tutors.
  • Internet Essentials from Comcast offers low-cost Internet service, discounted computer equipment, and free digital literacy training to families with at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program.
  • The Internet Picture Dictionary offers a free, multi-lingual picture dictionary designed for students and beginning English, French German, Spanish, and Italian language learners of all ages.
  • LEARN – Libraries’ English and Reading Network comprises mainly library and non-profit organization staff members interested in providing materials and services to adults learning to read, speak, and understand English. The group shares ideas about providing and marketing services, maintains a database of organizations that offer those services, and investigates and publicizes joint funding opportunities.
  • Learning Vocabulary Fun has a variety of word games to develop vocabulary skills.
  • Logical Games and Puzzles offers a collection of free math puzzles and brainteasers to provide students practice in math and critical thinking skills. Download the three “logic” files at the bottom of the page, and then run them to unlock a multitude of games.
  • Project Money uses clear, simple language to explain money-related topics. It is a free resource, designed with input from adult learners to help other learners achieve their financial goals.
  • Safe Kids Worldwide offers easy-to-read materials about an assortment of safety topics.
  • allows one to enter spelling lists, play games to practice the words, and take online spelling tests.
  • Thinkfinity Literacy Network Course Catalog offers free online courses.
  • Understanding What Reading Is All About offers teaching materials and lessons for Adult Basic Education Learners from the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL).