A Recipe for Reading

Rochelle Galeski, Medicine Hat College

2 4 7 May 2020


Tutor and learner – A home phone or cell phone

Coordinator – Access to a printer and ESL Bow Valley Readers

As we navigate this new world of delivering programs and tutoring to adults in our communities, I wanted to share what A.B.L.E MHC Brooks Campus has been doing.

As I am sure many of you are experiencing, not all learners have the digital skills, data plans or the required devices to learn online through Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.

In order to meet learners where they are at, I decided to implement the Read by Site and Sound methodology but with Bow Valley College ESL Literacy Readers. The Bow Valley ESL readers are leveled books available online for free and can be digitally read to learners. (For more information on Read by Site and Sound contact Karen Plourde, ph: 780-829-2749) 

  1. Learners receive the books on their doorstep or via mail. The series of books is chosen by the tutor. The ESL Literacy Readers website explains the levels of the books, and has additional resources for tutors https://globalaccess.bowvalleycollege.ca/esl-literacy-readers
  2. There is an instruction sheet that goes out with the books, which has also been explained to the learner over the phone.
  3. If the learner has a cell phone with internet access: They go on to the ESL Literacy Readers learner website (https://globalaccess.bowvalleycollege.ca/learners/readers.php) with their phone and have the book read to them through the website. The learner reads the book every day for 15 minutes for 5 days.
  4. If the learner does not have access to the internet nor a cell phone: The learner can call the tutor once a day and for 10 minutes the tutor can read the book to the learner until they feel comfortable enough to practice each day on their own.
  5. Once a week the learner and the tutor meet for a phone call. The learner reads the book to the tutor and asks questions about comprehension. Over time the conversation may lead to learner-led goals and more relevant reading materials.
  6. Once the tutor can hear that the learner can read the book without help, they move on to the next book.

Like the learner, the tutor also has a copy of the ESL Readers in front of them. They access the readers through the website or can have the books delivered to their doorstep or via Canada post if they cannot access the internet.

I hope this process helps to support some of your learners. https://globalaccess.bowvalleycollege.ca/tools/esl-literacy-readers

Is anyone else taking an approach like this that does not require digital skills or devices to learn? I truly hope you are all staying healthy and hopeful. 

SAMPLE Instruction Sheet:

These books can be read to you online. Go to: https://globalaccess.bowvalleycollege.ca/learners/readers.php

Click on the first book on the list below.

 Lien Buys Food

Every day for 10 minutes, you will read one of these books for 5 days. 

Every week you will call your tutor and read the book to her over the phone.

You can ask questions to your tutor and she will answer them.

Book # 1: (WEEK 1) Lien Buys Food (Read this book every day for 10 minutes for 5 days).

 Lien Buys Food 2

Book #2: (WEEK 2) Mo Stays Warm (Read this book every day for 10 minutes for 5 days).



Book #3: (WEEK 3) Food from Home (Read this book every day for 10 minutes for 5 days).

Food from Home


Rochelle Galeski 
Coordinator, Medicine Hat College A.B.L.E 


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