For Tutors

Thank you for your interest in the SASS tutoring program, an initiative in which we match community volunteers with SASS recipients who request help in their classes.

Below are resources that will help you learn more about the program and be a more effective tutor.

General Information

You can find an overview of our tutoring program, including student and tutor expectations, here.

As a tutor, you will want to be aware of important dates for the current semester, such as when classes start and end. You also may want to know about the resources that are available to your student. For this and other information go to the For Students section of the SASS Web site.

SASS Tutoring Application

To sign up to be a SASS tutor, please complete this application.

SASS Substitutes

If you need to miss more than one tutoring session, please contact the SASS coordinator, Tania Ventura. She will try to find a tutor to sub for you. Please email

Presentations for Tutors

Effective Tutoring Techniques for Working With Cañada College ESL Students

You can watch the video here. The password is SASStraining. Alternatively, you can view the powerpoint presentation. Both provide effective tutoring strategies from the perspective of two Cañada College ESL professors

SASS Tutoring Orientation Presentation

This PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the SASS tutoring program along with tips for working effectively with your student.

SASS Teaching Grammar Presentation

This PowerPoint presentation provides tips for teaching grammar to ESL students. It is geared for ProjectRead tutors, but may be useful to SASS tutors as well.

Resources for Tutors

A summary of Cañada ESL classes

A summer of all ESL classes taught at Cañada College is here. It may be useful to review this document to get an overview of the classes your student is taking.

Textbooks and handouts used in Cañada ESL classes

A description of the writing series used in Cañada ESL Writing and Grammar classes is here. You also can purchase individual books in this series on Amazon.

A description of the reading series used in Cañada ESL Reading, Listening and Speaking classes is here. You also can purchase individual books in this series on Amazon.

Online References for Tutors

Online reference sites for reading about grammar and writing (recommended by Cañada College ESL faculty):

Online grammar activities (recommended by Cañada College ESL faculty)::

Online grammar sites (recommended by SASS tutors)

Online Resources for helping students with writing and editing:

Online Resources for helping students improve their reading comprehension:

Recommended grammar and writing books

The books below have been recommended by several ESL teachers. They can be expensive, so you may want to purchase them used. Also, SASS can reimburse you for any book purchases you make in connection with tutoring.

  • Azar, Betty Schrampfer: Basic English GrammarThis is the first book in the series, and covers most but not all of what’s covered in the first Cañada writing class for SASS recipients, Grammar and Writing 2. You can purchase either the 3rd or 4th edition. Make sure you get the textbook and not the workbook.
  • Azar, Betty Schrampfer: Fundamentals of English Grammar, 3rd or 4th EditionThis is the second book in the Azar series, so it’s more advanced than Basic English Grammar. Make sure you get the textbook and not the workbook.
  • Raimes, Ann: Grammar Trouble Spots: A Guide for Student WritersThis book helps students identify and correct grammatical errors they are likely to make in their writing.
  • Weal, Elizabeth: Writing in English: Step by StepThis is a good review of basic English grammar. Students should be familiar with this material before they enroll in Grammar and Writing 2, the first Cañada writing class that SASS recipients take. (This book is available free for all tutors. Let Elizabeth know if you’d like copies for you and your student.)

Grammar summary cards

Grammar summary cards provide concise summaries of key grammar points. Two that we recommend are English Grammar Fundamentals 1 and English Grammar Fundamentals 2. Purchase these from Amazon if you think they would be helpful and SASS can reimburse you.

Encouraging your student to read

Reading is obviously an excellent way for ESL students to increase their knowledge of English. If you and your student meet at a library, make sure your student has a library card. Then, help them find appropriate books. If you’re looking for non-fiction, go to the children’s section. For a list of fiction appropriate for most SASS recipients, check out the list from the ESL Department at City College of San Francisco

Current events ESL sites

These sites may be useful if you want to encourage your student to take advantage of on-line current events sites for ESL students.

Voice of America News: Good content! You might start or end your tutoring session by reading a few captions from The Day in Photos.

Breaking News English: Leveled reading passages as well as exercises that you can print and give to your student.

Simple English News: Very short news articles, and vocabulary, with video clips.

SASS Tutoring Facebook Group

You can meet other tutors and share tutoring issues or questions on the SASS Tutoring Facebook Group page.

Cañada Web Sites for Students


WebSMART is Cañada’s student information system. Students can use it to find out their grades, add and drop classes, order a transcript, etc. Students should be familiar with how to use WebSMART. If they’re not, basic instructions are here. here.

Websmart link is


WebAccess provides students information about their classes such as upcoming assignments, supplemental materials, etc. Most but not all professors provide information to students via WebAccess. Students should be familiar with how to use WebAccess. If they’re not, basic instructions are here.

WebAccess link is

Internet for Low Income Families

If your student has children who participate in the free or reduced school lunch program, the family can receive the Internet in their home for about $10 a month. For more information, go to To see the site in Spanish, go to

Sequoia Adult School Scholars, 3481 Janice Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303  |  (650) 395-8350