Volunteer as a tutor

volunteer as a tutor

Currently in Ireland there are almost 50,000 adults attending literacy courses nationwide. This service is mainly provided by the Education and Training Boards' (ETBs) Adult Literacy Services. The services are very dependent on volunteers giving up 2 – 3 hours a week to tutor. It’s a great thing to do and most volunteers say they get more out of the experience than they have to put in.

Adult education and literacy tuition is very different to learning in school. It primarily centres on the needs and interests of the learner. Very often adults with literacy difficulties had a negative experience of school and it is a very brave decision for them to return to education. If you can read, are a good communicator and can empathise with and understand adults with literacy difficulties then maybe you can help. Through some initial training you can support others in improving their reading and writing skills.

This initial tutor training usually involves attending a class with other volunteers for one evening a week for about 6 weeks. Please note that all tutors are required to engage in Garda vetting without exception. Tutors may start work once they have signed the declaration and the vetting application has been submitted to the appropriate Authority. You can use this map of Ireland to find a list of all the ETB Adult Literacy Services nationwide.

So, the first step to volunteering would be to contact the ETB Adult Literacy Service (or Adult Education Centre) and let them know that you would like to train as an adult literacy tutor. Local Adult Education Centres often run training, depending on the need for volunteer tutors in the area. The Adult Literacy Organiser in this Centre will explain what is involved in being a volunteer adult literacy tutor in their centre, and will give you information on the locally-organised initial training course.  The Adult Education Centres are run by the Education and Training Boards (formerly the VECs) and as they are independent of NALA, they are the best source of information is your local centre. NALA does not recruit tutors.

Please note that not every centre always needs volunteer tutors or run training. If you contact the ETB Adult Literacy Service closest or most convenient to you, the Adult Literacy Organiser there will be able to tell you if they need tutors at the moment or if they have training planned. When you finish initial training, the Adult Literacy Organiser will then try to match you with an adult learner.

We wish you every success in becoming a literacy tutor.