Caryn Haller

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January 16, 2013
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Tutors needed to teach English

In Douglas County, there is a waiting list of people eager to learn English. And Florence Phillips executive director for the ESL In-home Program of Northern Nevada is desperate for more tutors.“We're trying to recruit tutors that we need desperately. We have many people on a waiting list,” Phillips said. “In Douglas County alone we have 40 to 50 adults who are anxious to learn English. I get calls every day because it's a free program to the students.” To recruit and train new tutors, Phillips is holding a workshop 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Minden branch of the Douglas County Public Library.Phillips said she has 30 tutors in Douglas County, but needs at least 50 to meet the demand of students.Tutors are volunteers who work with a student twice a week for one hour. Sessions are ongoing depending on the students' progress.“We're teaching English, so the tutor does not have to know their student's language. We have people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Korea, China, Indonesia, Japan, but 90 percent I would say are Hispanic,” Phillips said. “The method I use is very basic. I have students waiting on all levels. Some don't know any English, and some know a little. This is the ESL In-home Program's ninth year in Northern Nevada, and has seen 1,000 students graduate.“The parents are now helping their children with homework. They are communicating with their children's teachers and doctors without an interpreter,” Phillips said. “They have found jobs. They are shopping in English-speaking stores. One hundred and fifteen have now become citizens.”At the workshop tutors will be shown how the program works, and introduced to the book they will use with their students.Following the initial training, tutors receive one-on-one training, as well as training with a student.“It's very simple. It teaches ABCs, numbers, days of the week, months of the year. We teach proper English, no slang. It's not ‘hi, whatcha doing.' It's ‘hello, how are you,'” Phillips said. “The only qualifications you need is to be able to read, speak and write English. The book teaches everything. You don't have to prepare a lesson. It's all right there for you.”Phillips said she likes to pair tutors with students who live close to each other in order to save on gas, or the pair can meet in a public place such as the library.“For tutors, it's very fulfilling. The rewards are fantastic, and the students are so appreciative,” she added. “It's so rewarding especially when your student is progressing. It's so emotionally positive.”After deciding to become a tutor, Phillips said she offers continual support whenever needed.For more information, call Phillips at 888-2021, or email English as a Second Language workshopWhen: 2-4 p.m., SaturdayWhere: Douglas County Public Library, MindenInfo: 888-2021 or

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The Record Courier Updated Jan 17, 2013 10:39AM Published Jan 16, 2013 12:23PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.