Overview | More Information – Features | Tutor Training | UN SDG 4


As our work has progressed we have become increasingly aware of the critical 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 on our website.

More Information – Features

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 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.

Our Resources web page has a section called ‘Tutor Training and Development Resources’, here we have collected a range of quality free training for tutors, including a suggested development sequence for new tutors.

Tutor Training

Tutor training and support is a critical element in any successful adult literacy scheme. It is especially important for the many organisations and individuals who do this work with little or no support from ‘official’ government funded bodies. We anticipate being involved in activities with others to increase the availability of training and development resources. One area that is very important but often overlooked in discussions about training is in developing the ‘soft skills’ to help gain adult learners trust and overcome past negative (sometimes traumatic) educational experiences. Another area that needs attention is helping tutors to identify, understand and possibly mitigate various forms of disability (e.g. impaired hearing) and neurodiversity (e.g. dyslexia) as these are sometimes connected with low literacy in adults.

It may come as a surprise to many that a systematic ‘nuts and bolts’ approach, based on research evidence, of how to teach reading in our school systems is not always the norm. Often it is left to tradition, local habits and the agendas of large commercial publishers. In an article called ‘Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science’ an American teachers union describes clearly and persuasively the need to adopt such modern systematic, evidence based approaches to the teaching of reading and writing and the considerable obstacles to doing so – these points apply equally to the UK. In our work, we use and advocate these kinds of systematic ‘nuts and bolts’ approaches to help adult literacy tutors be effective and confident.


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.