Overview of Instructional Materials used in Literacy

Overview of the Instructional Materials

Used in the FLC, Inc. Program

Manager, Family Literacy Centers, inc.

The training materials available in the FLC Instructional Program are divided into four main groups: materials for (1) Students, (2) Volunteer Tutors, (3) Parents, and (4) Center Directors.  They are designed to be used in group or individual instructional situations and most of the materials are available free as on-line downloads from our website at www.flcinc.org.  Our website also contains many more free downloads touching a variety of subjects and instructional purposes.


The Family Literacy Beginning Program is designed to be an enjoyable reading/writing program for beginning or struggling students or for anyone who wishes to improve his or her reading, writing, and spelling skills.  Materials are available for both adults and young children.  The books for the adult learner are divided into chapter books that are based on the assumption that the adult needs to start at the beginning.  The same considerations for both the adult and children's books are given in their design.  The appeal for the student is enhanced by interesting stories containing characters who appear and re-appear throughout most of the series.  Learners relate these storybook friends to their own language experiences and to their everyday activities.  An easy way for students to learn phonics is through meaningful, connected text.  Our approach in the materials is:

• Multi-sensory:
Students use multiple senses in learning letter sounds.  Students learn both spelling and reading simultaneously. • Phonics-based: Students learn the individual sounds of consonants and the variety of vowel sounds within words and sentences. • Sequential: Concepts are taught in a specifically designed order. • Systematic: Organized instruction leads the student to successful mastery without frustration.  We use proven methods to build on student success throughout the learning process. • Cumulative: Review throughout the context of a new lesson enables students to practice, perfect, and retain previously learned material. • Structured: Lessons are organized with specific patterns and activities. Students find that routine eases their learning of the material. • Research-based:
Family Literacy Materials are consistent with National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) longitudinal studies on reading skills as well as National Reading Panel recommendations.  It is used effectively for learners in all grades (and adults) in general education, special education, resource, tutoring and home-school programs by educators, tutors, and parents who are extensively trained in the approach.

All FLC, Inc. reading materials include the critical literacy components of: phonemic awareness, decoding and spelling, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.


These materials are also intended for use with other literacy and tutor training programs used in schools, private tutoring centers, and in many government programs.  They were originally developed to supplement one-to-one tutoring efforts by volunteer tutors in Family Literacy Centers, Inc.

There are three versions of the materials:  One version consists of four video tapes, another on four interactive DVDs, and a third on-line at our website at www.flcinc.org.  They contain identical information.  The DVD version offers more flexibility and access to specific video segments by allowing viewers to more easily and quickly find them with the click of a mouse button.  In addition to easier selection of a desired video, viewers can access individual segments through a "video index" which allows them to view only the segments they need to review, but in a more simple format.  The approach of these videos and discs is to supply a very brief, simple explanation and model of the most important strategies and procedures for helping students learn how to read.  A printed Tutor Guide can be downloaded from our website as well.

There are two groups of presentations: Videos 1-3 in the "Initial Tutor Training Videos" present a brief orientation to the responsibilities of a tutor.  The second set entitled, "Tutor Reference Training," contains instruction on the individual segments most often requested by tutors.  Tutors may access them on an "as needed" basis or view them in their entirety before beginning the tutoring experience.  


The four videotapes, DVDs, or online videos offer suggestions to parents that will help them provide literacy enrichment at home to supplement more formal instruction in the schools and in private tutoring services.  These tapes are designed to supplement a sound reading instruction program.  They provide suggestions for parents to implement at home, during outings, or in the local community that will help children practice specific reading skills.

To use the DVD or videotape versions, the viewer first views the introductory videos contained in Tape 1 (Video 1A or CD 1A).  If parents want to help their own children, we consider age, reading level, and select the video that corresponds with those ages and ability levels.  If the child is a pre-schooler, Video 2 or DVD 2 is selected.  If a child is in K-2 (approximately ages 5-7), then Tape 3 or DVD 3 is selected.  If a child is older (8 or above,) then Tape 4 or DVD 4 is recommended.  The approach of these videos/DVDs is to supply very brief, simple explanations and models of the most important strategies and procedures for helping parents reinforce good reading habits at home, even if parents have little experience in doing so.  A printed Parent Guide is also available as a download on our website.


There are four segments to this video/print-based instruction.  The first video introduces several directors and their programs.  The second provides details in setting up the program, including raising funds, finding space, and organizing and training tutors.  The third explains how to run a literacy program on a day- to-day basis.  The fourth introduces some of the helpful computer management tools found in Microsoft Office™.  A printed Director’s Guide is also available at our website.




The materials are designed to be used in a modular approach where the viewer chooses those topics that are most useful and views them in whatever sequence they choose.  There are example of proposals, various forms that can ne copied and distributed in the centers, and summaries of important steps to complete various tasks.  If a person were to experience all of the available training in a self-study mode, then they would have the necessary tools to begin and operate a successful family literacy center.