Loyola University Chicago

English Tutoring at the Literacy Center

Course Credit Tutoring

By taking English 393 or Honors 290, students will engage with Jesuit values as well as meet our adult neighbors who come from many cultures. These courses offer an excellent opportunity for service learning and practical experience in tutoring adults in written and spoken English with the Loyola Community Literacy Center. Most of our learners are immigrants, refugees, or international visitors whose skills in their native language range from their being highly educated professionals to being perhaps illiterate, even in their own language. They may know some English or no English at all. We also tutor some native English speakers preparing for the GED or improving their literacy skills.


English 393 and Honors 290 are restricted to second-semester freshmen and all sophomores, juniors, and seniors. First-semester freshmen are welcome to volunteer and take the course at a later date.  No previous tutoring experience is necessary.  The only pre-requisite is successful completion of UCWR 110 or its equivalent.  English 393 is offered for 1, 2, or 3 credit hours; Honors 290 is offered for 3 credit hours.

The Center is open for tutoring M-Th evenings during the fall and spring semesters from 7-9:30 pm when the university is in session. 1 credit hour students tutor one evening per week; 2 and 3 credit hour students tutor two evenings a week.  Students choose the evening(s) they wish to tutor.

In addition to tutoring, students attend one evening of orientation and five class meetings (an additional sixth session is held for 3 credit-hour students). When taken for 3 credit hours, the courses fulfill the Core Engaged Learning-Service Learning Internship requirement. 

The meetings are an opportunity for student-tutors to compare their tutoring experiences, to review the assigned readings and research articles, and to discuss materials presented to them on reading skills and grammar, linguistics, and adult second language acquisition.  The students are responsible for submitting journals and several writing assignments, all of which are designed to assist their tutoring experience.  


These courses are self–managed; a student has some flexibility in deciding which class meeting to attend because each meeting takes place twice.  Other arrangements can be made if a student has a conflict with the scheduled dates.

Our office is located in Loyola Hall, 1110 W. Loyola Avenue, open only on tutoring evenings when we are tutoring in person.  Since the pandemic, we have been tutoring online.  

While the Literacy Center offers community adults an opportunity to improve their skills, it also gives student-tutors the chance to serve their community and to engage with their Jesuit education. One student tutor said, “The Literacy Center has taught me the true value of giving, and this is perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learned at Loyola.”  Another student wrote,  "Tutoring at the Loyola University Community Literacy Center was easily one of the best experiences I have ever been granted at Loyola University. That is coming from a student who has studied abroad three times, has volunteered elsewhere, and has had a number of internships. Never have I felt so connected t my own values. Tutoring at the center reminded me of my passions and allowed me to help others and make friends in the process… I am truly privileged to have learned about my learners’ cultures and personal experiences. They’ve taught me to not judge cultures from an American standpoint and to instead take every culture at face value."