What Does a Reading Tutor Do?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2019
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A reading tutor helps others develop and improve reading skills. He may help a person develop basic pronunciation and word recognition skills as well as reading comprehension abilities. In some cases, a tutor might work to not only help his students improve the technical quality of their reading, but also to get more enjoyment out of their reading. Sometimes a person in this field may also help a student learn how to read faster, such as when he needs to boost reading speed for test-taking purposes. A person with this title could work with people of all ages who need reading help or he might focus on a particular type of student, such as elementary school students.

When a person becomes a reading tutor, he takes on the job of helping individuals to become better at reading. For example, he may help people who have trouble with learning the sounds various word combinations make or recognizing commonly used words. He might also help people who read too slowly or have a hard time making the words flow well. Sometimes his job includes helping individuals boost their reading comprehension skills. In some cases, a person with this career may even tutor people in speed reading, which can be a helpful skill for some types of tests.


Some reading tutors work with people of all ages. For example, a tutor may prove equally effective at helping young children develop reading skills and assisting adults who have difficulty reading. Others might focus on one particular group of students, such as elementary age students or individuals who need to improve speed and comprehension to prepare for standardized testing.

Reading tutors may also differ when it comes to where and for whom they perform their job duties. Some work for schools, tutoring companies, after-school programs, literacy programs and similar organizations; others provide tutoring services independently, helping clients in person and sometimes even online. In such a case, a reading tutor may provide a place for tutoring to take place; visit clients' homes; or agree to meet in a neutral location, such as a library.

A reading tutor might help people with a variety of reading difficulties, but sometimes he helps people with learning disabilities as well. For example, he may assist an individual who has a learning disability called dyslexia, which is marked by reading and spelling difficulties. A tutor might need special training to most effectively help people with learning disabilities, however.


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Post 3

@clintflint - Enthusiasm for the written word is extremely difficult to cultivate in children who have never experienced it in their home life, so anything a tutor can do to encourage it is a good thing. Even if it's a matter of giving them a magazine on the topic they like, which is far outside their reading comprehension level, and getting them to decode the captions on the pictures.

Post 2

@browncoat - The difficulty is that once a child gets over a certain age, they will want to read stories that are relatively sophisticated and will resent having to read simple books if that is where their ability happens to be. I remember my nephew started reading chapter books at the age of seven and insisted that he didn't want to read picture books anymore because they were for "younger kids".

Even if they don't have that kind of prejudice against certain types of books, children will quickly get bored if they are too old for the "see Spot run" style primers. It could be up to the tutor to design reading material for them that will match their interests but not be too difficult for them to read.

Post 1

One of the most important things you can do as a reading tutor is learn how to recognize what level a student is at. If you give them text to read that is too far above their level, they are going to be struggling so hard to understand individual words that they won't be able to understand the meaning as a whole and that's what you want them to learn to do.

I think it's something like, they need to be able to understand 90% of the words at first sight, rather than having to sound them out. Which sounds like a lot, but imagine having to pause every four words to work out what one is, let alone what it means and you can see how it would quickly become too frustrating.

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