Welcome to LVWCC's free online training. We appreciate your willingness to volunteer with us and we look forward to getting to know you through our training process. 

Training is essential because it will help you understand how adults learn, give you suggestions for how to prepare for your first meeting, and show you universal strategies to use with most any learner.

Eighteen hours of online training can seem a bit overwhelming before you get started. We would like to help you feel comfortable by letting you know what to expect.

How Our Training is Organized

The online portion of our training covers three topics: Adult Learning Theory, English as a Second Language, and Adult Basic Education. In addition to the online portion, we require three in-person workshops to help you get better acquainted with us, show you all of the resources available, and show you what to do with them.

What We Are Asking of You

Please try to set yourself at ease throughout the training; a lot of information will be presented. You might be asked to do some activities that challenge your level of digital literacy. You may also encounter some forms of technology that are new to you or that your preferred internet browser or your preferred device may not be compatible with. We encourage you to work through those challenges with us and lean on us or your local library for support. Depending on your future learner's goals and interests, you may not use every strategy or activity we discuss in training, and some activities are designed to help us know whether you are a good fit for adult literacy tutoring and our program. Being able to exercise patience and being able to keep the lines of communication open over time despite challenges is paramount.


Applying Your Training

The strategies we cover can be applied to personal tutoring and small group tutoring. In your application, you told us your preferred instructional format as well as your preference for instructional content. We keep this in mind for future matching and placement. By default, the first person you are matched with will have intermediate skills. You will not have to teach someone how to read from the beginning or teach them English from the beginning. If you stay involved in our program for the long haul, we will present you with greater challenges if you seek them out.

Becoming a Good Tutor

Previous teaching or tutoring experience may help you feel more comfortable as you get started, but it is not necessary. Becoming a good adult literacy tutor involves three things: knowing that there are many resources available to you, being able to access them and prepare them for your learner, and choosing the right ones to use with your learner. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Becoming a Literacy Volunteers Ambassador

If you support our vision and mission and you find that our training is helpful to you, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation to celebrate your training achievement. When we are adequately funded, we can continue to support your volunteer time--we don't rely on money from the state for that! Private funding is the livelihood of our grassroots organization. We are excited for you to be a part of LVWCC and we hope you will increase your commitment to our vision and mission as a donor.

**Please note: Our online training does not always display correctly on all internet browsers and all devices. If you are having difficulty with the display, please try switching to a different internet browser or to a different device.**

Before you get started with training, please watch the following video. After you have watched the video, scroll down a little and click on the next slider link for training instructions.


If you have questions about the format of our programs or what it will be like to interact with adult learners, these questions are usually answered during our three in-person orientation workshops after online training. However, we would be happy to answer your questions at any time. Please email Esther at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Online Tutor Application: If you have not yet applied to become a tutor, please do so now. Once your application has been submitted, we will automatically receive an email notification letting us know that you have applied. After that, you'll get an email from us including a username and password so you can access online training.

Self-paced Training: There is no specific start date or end date for online training, but we recommend that you set a plan to start and finish within a month (casually) or within a week (expedited). When you show us you can complete training in a reasonable amount of time, we'll know that you're ready to set goals with an adult learner and achieve them. That's what makes "Literally Changing Lives" possible.

Suggested Devices for Training: A desktop computer (PC or Mac) or a hand-held tablet may be used to complete our training, but we can't guarantee that it will work with all computers and devices. It might be necessary to use a computer at your local library for training. Any friendly librarian would be happy to help you navigate our training, especially when they find out that you will be helping people read better. If you prefer, you can schedule time with us one-to-one. Please email Esther at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Discussion Board: All new tutor trainees must have a free account on our discussion board to complete online training. All replies to training activities on the discussion board are moderated to prevent spam. Each of your posts must be approved before you will be able to see them with everyone else's responses. It is highly advised to create a Microsoft Word document or a Google Doc to draft your responses, then copy and paste each one into the corresponding activity. This will also keep your work safe even if your internet connection wavers.

Tooltips: Instructions for some activities are contained in tooltips. Tooltips provide additional information about something on a website. Not all of our activities have tooltips--just the ones for websites external to ours. For mobile users, if you tap/hold an item with dashed lines underneath, instructions for completing that item will appear. For desktop users, use your mouse to hover over an item with dashed lines to get instructions. Tooltips are used for these activities: Digital Literacy, Role of Adult Literacy Volunteer Tutors, and Orientation Workshops. The first two of those utilize content on a website other than ours; there is no discussion board component for them. Submit your responses via email as directed in the tooltips. If your device is not compatible with tooltips, scroll to the end of this section for instructions.

Bookmark this Page: To make it easier to return to this page, bookmark it in your browser's Favorites or Bookmarks. If you have the use of a mouse, it can be helpful to open links from this page in another tab of your browser so you can toggle back and forth. To open links in another tab, right-click with your mouse on any link and choose to open in a new tab.

Instructions for Digital Literacy Module: Locate information on the Northstar Digital Literacy Project website indicating the Standards by which digital literacy is now measured. There is no need to register--you are simply navigating a website to find particular information and share that information with your trainer. Draft an email to Esther at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Digital Literacy” in the subject line. Go to the website and copy and paste the list of 10 standards into the body of the email, then go back to the Standards page and print that entire page to PDF file, attach the PDF file to the email, then send the email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Instructions for Role of Adult Literacy Tutors Module: Go to the Secretary of State's Adult Literacy Training website to complete only the three activities we are assigning to you. Use a word processing application to draft your responses, then copy and paste your responses into 3 separate email messages. Your trainer is Esther at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Give the email messages the following subjects:

  • Role of Adult Literacy Tutors Module - Reflective Activity 1
  • Role of Adult Literacy Tutors Module - Reflective Activity 2
  • Role of Adult Literacy Tutors Module - Learning Check

Instructions for Orientation Workshops (in-person): Workshops must be scheduled with our tutor support specialist, Mari Smith, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It is required to finish all of the Online Training before scheduling orientation workshops. If you are stuck on any of the online training and need in-person help, please email Esther at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


  • Digital Literacy (.5 hr) website [Not sure what to do? See Tooltips above.] 
  • Volunteering in Adult Literacy
  • Adult Learning Theory
    • Six Adult Learning Principles (.25 hrs) discussion board
    • Role of Adult Literacy Volunteer Tutors (1.75 hrs) website [Not sure what to do? See Tooltips above.]
    • Using Authentic Materials (.5 hr) discussion board
  • English as a Second Language 
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Orientation Workshops [Not sure what to do? See Tooltips above.]
    • Orientation to LVWCC (1 hr)
    • Using Public Library Literacy Resources (1 hr)
    • Lesson Planning Basics (1 hr)


    • If you did not receive a username and password in the welcome email, or if you did not yet receive a welcome email, please follow the steps below.
    • Before you begin, please understand that website security is very important to us.
    • This process guarantees that our website will not be compromised by spam or fraudulent users.
    • If needed, print this page so you can read the instructions while you register.
    • Open our discussion board. Click on the white lock icon in the horizontal black bar.
    • You will see "Sign into your account. If you are new here, register for an account."
    • Click on "register for an account."
    • Fill out the registration form.
    • You will see the following message after you click the Register button:
    • Screen Message: Your email address has been verified. Once an administrator approves your account you will be notified by email...
    • Go to your email and open the message. If you don't see the email message immediately, reload or refresh your messages, or reload the page.
    • Email Message Subject: "Account Details for ********* at Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County"  
    • Click the link in that email message that looks like ""
    • It will take you to our website, where you will see the following:
    • Screen Message: Your account has been created and a verification link has been sent to the email address you entered. Note that you must verify the account by clicking on the verification link when you get the email and then an administrator will activate your account before you can log in.
    • The website administrator will receive an email request to activate your account.
    • Esther Chase, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., will send you an email when your account has been activated.
    • Next, you may log in. See the image below. (Under the blue bar, there is a black bar. On the right side of the black bar is a lock icon. Click it.)
    • Now enter your username and password, then click the Sign In button.
    • To maintain website security, we recommend logging out when you know are finished for that sitting.