ECL Tutoring Service

Everyone Can Learn


Reading and spelling

  • comprehensive sound-symbol instruction
  • emphasis on phonological/sound processing activities to develop reading sub-skills that are critical for development
  • strategy instruction to help students become flexible 'decoders' and tackle multi-syllable words in a structured manner
  • emphasis on careful monitoring of comprehension during reading
  • extensive opportunity provided for students to reinforce their newly acquired skills through reading high-interest materials that are at an appropriate level of difficulty
  • sound-symbol and strategy instruction to help students attempt to spell words in a more structured manner
  • instruction on the most consistent spelling rules

Reading comprehension and vocabulary
  • direct instruction on comprehending simple, compound, and complex sentences
  • students taught to search for key words that highlight the structure of 'cause & effect', 'compare & contrast', 'time-order', and 'definition' sentences and paragraphs
  • specific strategies are taught to help students scan for relevant information in text and to link their answer directly to the question
  • instruction to assist students in determining the main idea of a paragraph or passage and to locate details that support the main idea
  • students are exposed to narrative, expository, persuasive, and informational passages and given opportunity to answer questions of varying levels of complexity
  • strategies to help students enhance their ability to infer cause, effect, main idea, word meaning, and to draw reasonable conclusions
  • instruction to improve students' ability to understand figurative language – similes, metaphors, idioms, hyperboles, and personification
  • opportunity provided to students to improve oral vocabulary through word study activities and reading of text

Writing and grammar
  • taught the basic parts of speech and how to write grammatically correct simple, compound, and complex sentences
  • instruction in proper capitalization and punctuation
  • pre-writing activities to help students brainstorm and organize their ideas
  • students taught to create well-structured paragraphs and essays using words that signal the structure of their writing
  • opportunity to write narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive paragraphs
  • instruction on essay and report-writing
  • strategies for self-editing written work

Expressive and receptive language
  • taught basic grammatical elements of a complete thought
  • intensive practice at forming sentences and evaluating the clarity of expression
  • instruction on organizing thoughts using signal words to make verbal expression more structured and more easily understood
  • intensive feedback on the grammatical correctness of verbal expression and on the appropriate choice of words to express a specific idea
  • practice responding to questions in complete thoughts/sentences that link directly to the question being asked
  • instruction on inferring meaning


  • taught how to do basic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percents, decimals
  • instruction proceeds from concrete to abstract, and simple to complex
  • emphasis on understanding rather than memorizing – students are encouraged to search for patterns, visualize, create diagrams, think through the concepts in words before number crunching, and to reflect on the appropriateness of the final answer
  • strategies are taught to help students with word problems
  • instruction in all areas of the elementary curriculum: number sense and numeration, measurement, geometry and spatial sense, patterning and algebra, data management and probability

Decision-making and problem-solving

  • establishing criteria for decision-making
  • finding information relevant to making a decision
  • evaluating worth of information
  • organizing information to aid decision-making or problem-solving
  • generating possible solutions and determining the best solution
  • solving word and logic problems