An optional subscription service, economically priced, for tutors and learning providers that can be used together with our free learner web app and printed learning resources or independently. It is a genuinely groundbreaking development in adult literacy support, designed to be simple to use but extremely powerful. It unlocks extra features in the learner app including the ability to send voice messages to learners, and author custom app activities and send them to learners, helping to overcome the isolation that many adult literacy learners can experience. The Hub also provides a range of tools to use in face to face teaching and tutor training materials. We are developing a learner record system that tracks registered users in the app that can be used for personal learning plans, administration and to provide proof of learning and progress for funding purposes. Below is a summary of our Hub services:
Tutor Hub Online Service – annual subscription
- Tutor Handbooks: / Bookmarks / Lesson Customisation
- Connected Learners: Tutor > Learner messaging and activities via app
- Custom Word and Activity Builder: Tutor authoring tool for the app
- Phonics Dictionary and Pronunciation Coach: 300,000 + words multimedia
More Information – Features
Here is an outline of the different Hub services, with links to more detailed descriptions, training guides and videos.
Digital versions of all the handbooks for the entire programme (9) are available via the Tutor Hub subscription service. This includes the very useful ability to bookmark and make notes about sections of the Handbooks for easy reference – it also enables tutors to create and save their own custom exercise sequences taken from different lessons.
Connected Learners PDF | Video
One of the many challenges facing adult literacy learners is the sense of isolation that they can feel. This unique feature of the Tutor Hub service enables tutors to easily connect to their learners via the web app on their smartphones. The system is simple to use – a tutor puts their tutor PIN number into their learner’s app and the name of the learner. After that the tutor can send text and voice messages to their learners as well as custom activities just for those learners. This can make a huge difference in learner engagement and retention by making learners feel part of a community – from welcome messages – to change of class times – to encouragement to stick with the course – to asking learners to try the next custom activity. Tutors can manage their connected learners and put them into different cohorts for messages and send them custom activities they have authored.
This toolkit enables tutors to author their own special collections of word decoding drills for their learners, with each phoneme / grapheme pair identified, and send these new activities to their learner’s apps. This can be particularly useful for tutors to easily personalise the content of the programme and the learner app to meet the interests and needs of their learners – from sporting terms to vocational vocabularies. Tutors can use the phonics dictionary look up the correct phoneme / grapheme breakdown for each word.
Tutors can create their own custom word collections to personalise the app content for their learners. To do this they have access to an easy to use authoring tool that lets them try out different phoneme / grapheme combinations and preview them using what we call a ‘phonics periodic table’. This tool is also useful for tutor training and development and features a choice of either standard phoneme symbols for literacy development or IPA symbols for ESL / ESOL tutors and their learners. Further authoring tools are being developed to support tutors in customising app activities for their learners.
An interactive multimedia resource, designed for use in class with learners (especially useful with a smart board / interactive screen or similar) it is a great aid to build phonemic awareness in learners and helping to decode written words into their component sounds. It is also a useful tutor development tool to learn about phonics. The searchable phonics dictionary contains over 300,000 thousand words. Each word is displayed as an interactive resource on screen and shows the relationship between the phonemes that make up the sounds of the word and the graphemes that represent their spelling in the word. Each phoneme / grapheme pair also features the relevant IPA symbol as an option. Each phoneme in the word can be heard by tapping on the associated grapheme. The whole word can also be heard by tapping on its ‘play’ button.
As our work has progressed we have become increasingly aware of the need to provide as much support to tutors as possible, especially those volunteers and mentors who wish to become adult literacy tutors themselves. To meet this need many of our instructional resources are also dual purpose and can fulfil a tutor training function. The tutor training aspects of our instructional resources, where applicable, are identified in detail in each resource description.
The handbook and the free learner app combined with the Tutor Hub provide a useful training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) resource for tutors who are new to adult literacy teaching and / or the use of structured phonics methods. Tutors who subscribe to the Tutor Hub get access to a range of powerful literacy tools and a growing range of training materials including an interactive phonics dictionary with over 300,000 words and app activity authoring tools. In addition to this, we are pleased to make available an in-depth and very clear guide to using phonics methods with adults. It is called ‘POST-16 PHONICS APPROACHES: A TOOLKIT’, and has been written by some of the leading literacy researchers and practitioners in the UK, it published by the Education and Training Foundation. It is freely available as a PDF file to download from this link. We strongly recommend using all these print and digital resources in parallel to develop individual and organisational expertise and capacity in delivering effective adult literacy development interventions. Please note our training materials are not intended to replace any literacy training schemes based on phonics that are available to existing or new tutors, but rather to fill the (many) gaps in existing support systems and help people prepare for further training if they desire it.
UN SDG 4
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 4 Quality Education
“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning
opportunities for all.”
The Citizen Literacy programme and its free learner web app is our contribution to meeting this goal and its target of achieving universal literacy.