Tutor FAQs

1)  When do we meet? Where do I go?
You will tutor either during the day (“Habla El Dia”) or at night (“Habla La Noche”). El Dia meets T/Th from 12-1pm in El Centro Chicano. La Noche meets M/W from 10-11pm in El Centro Chicano. Besides the bi-weekly one hour sessions, there is virtually no other time commitment, except for the occasional tutor-tutee event or fiesta!

2)  What should I talk about?
A curriculum and tutor training sessions are provided to assist the teaching process, but tutors and tutees still enjoy a great deal of flexibility in the way they learn and what topics and skills they focus on. You are encouraged to talk about whatever gets you and your tutee talking. Music, sports, family, favorites, politics, the news, the weather, or anything else can be used as a tool to teach English. Everyone has particular goals that are important to them, so start from there. Does your tutee want to learn English for work, to get a better job, to take the citizenship test? To communicate with their children, their children’s teachers, or the doctor? Or would they rather learn how to use a computer? (which can also be a great English learning opportunity)

3)  Can we be friends?
Tutors and tutees often develop meaningful friendships through the teaching process, as you will learn a great deal about one another’s interests, families, backgrounds, and other stories. Habla is just as much about teaching English as it is about developing the relationship between Stanford students and the Stanford workers who maintain our campus. By all means, make friends!

4)  Who leads instruction?
Sara Tevis, a teacher with the Palo Alto Adult School, prepares lessons, activities, and other materials. Tutees split into 3 groups by level (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) to work through level-appropriate activities with their tutor and sometimes the rest of the group.

5)  How can I be a better tutor?
Spanish skills are a plus but not required. More advanced tutees will be able to get by with minimal use of Spanish, while beginners may need a tutor with more knowledge of Spanish. Most importantly, we hope that members show a commitment to the service they are doing. We encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, to come with a fun attitude, and to be ready to teach and learn. As long as you’re communicating well with your tutee, you’ll be able to find out their needs, address what they want to learn, and have a great time in general!

6)  Anything else?
Food is provided for both tutees (some of whom give up their lunch break to attend Habla) and tutors at all of our sessions.