Tutor Training for ESL Conversation Groups

Program Overview shutterstock_114475123

As the literacy needs of New Jersey’s foreign born and immigrant populations grow, the number of people seeking help at their public library also grows. People come to the library to use computers, access print and digital resources, search and apply for jobs and increase their knowledge of a subject. Basic functional literacy is an essential skill for an individual’s personal and professional growth. For decades, public libraries have been welcoming places for immigrant integration for decades.

Meet the growing demands for ESL programs, especially in times of tight library budget has been always a challenge for many NJ public libraries. It has become essential for them to recruit and work with volunteer tutors within the community to offer various adult literacy classes. Volunteer tutors are crucial to students’ success, and are the backbone of many library literacy programs.

The NJSL Tutor Training for ESL Conversation Groups is created in partnership with Literacy New Jersey for those who wish to teach/lead/facilitate ESL conversation sessions at a local library. The training is a great option for libraries that don’t have formal ESL programs, as students can be successful even if they don’t make a long-term commitment to the program. It is also a good supplement to an existing program, as they give students additional instructional time and are more informal than traditional classroom based instructions.

The training is open to librarians, library staff and volunteers who wish to lead ESL conversation groups at their local library locations. Registration is a first come, first serve basis, limited to up 2 participants per library, a total of 20 participants per training. There will be five sessions offered monthly from January 2017 to May 2017. There is no cost for participants.

Each training session consists of three-hour training with topics on:

  • Effective group tutoring/facilitation/management
  • How to encourage students to speak
  • How and when to correct student mistakes
  • Tutoring tips and techniques for working with ESL students

Additionally, each participant in the training will receive a set of eight lessons designed to encourage conversation and to help students improve their vocabulary and grammar in a real-life context. Conversation topics include health, food, shopping, customs and culture, body language, recreation, and holidays.

Schedule & Location

Time: 9:00 am – 1 :00 pm

9:00-9:30  Sign-in/Breakfast

9:30-1:00   Training (3 hours, break, Q&A as needed)

1:00           Adjourn

January 11, 2017
Ocean County Library – Brick Branch
301 Chambers Bridge Rd
Brick, NJ 08723

February 2, 2017
Monroe Township Library (Middlesex County)
4 Municipal Plaza
Monroe Township, NJ 08831

March 2, 2017
Livingston Public Library
10 Robert Harp Drive
Livingston, NJ 07039

April 6, 2017
Hasbrouck Heights Library
320 Boulevard
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

May 4, 2017
Gloucester County Library – Mullica Hill Branch
389 Wolfert Station Road
Mullica Hill, NJ 08062


Applications will be accepted via the online form.


For any questions or more information, please contact Mimi Lee, Consultant for Diversity and Literacy Services at mlee@njstatelib.org

NJ State Library

The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, provides services for NJ libraries, the state legislature and government employees, Those Edison State University staff and students, and registered borrowers. Since the State Library’s inception in 1796, quality programs and services have been offered to all. The State Library of New Jersey envisions a future in which all New Jerseyans have access to exceptional library services and to the information resources they need to achieve their potential, educational and professional goals.

Literacy New Jersey

Literacy New Jersey has developed and supported volunteer-based adult literacy programs in New Jersey since 1979. Literacy NJ provides direct literacy services to adults throughout nine counties and professional development, technical assistance, training and other support services to 14 adult literacy organizations that are affiliate members. For over 25 years, Literacy NJ has conducted a statewide conference for adult literacy teachers, tutors, program leaders, board members and students. Literacy NJ has a strong history of working with both its member program and other adult literacy agencies to foster collaboration including libraries.