Most students learn to read in a classroom with a teacher leading instruction, but some students will require additional guidance outside of the classroom in order to learn how to read effectively and efficiently. An online reading tutor is a professional who offers such extra guidance, and he or she will offer services exclusively over the Internet in various learning platforms. The online reading tutor will generally be a qualified professional with a college degree and, in many cases, teaching credentials, who will be able to assess a student's strengths and weaknesses and design a tutoring plan to address them both.
An online reading tutor will offer services through some sort of online learning platform, such as a website or video chat, or through forums, written communications, and so on. The types of platforms will vary according to the tutor's preferences and proven methods, but it is likely that some sort of interactive platform will be used; interactive websites and video conferencing are both commonly used methods for tutoring online. The topics covered by the tutor will vary from student to student, as well as by the language being learned and the grade level and ability level of the student.
While some tutors may be able to work with students of any age or ability level, it is likely that the online reading tutor will work with only one age group or ability level, and he or she will usually only offer services in one language. A primary school tutor, for example, will work with younger children, while a secondary school reading tutor will work with high school-aged children. An adult tutor will work exclusively with a population of people who are 18 years of age and older; the reason an online reading tutor may focus exclusively on one age group or ability level is because the techniques used in each circumstance can vary quite significantly.
Tutors can be employed by a particular school or educational institution, though in online settings, it is likely the online reading tutor will work for a private tutoring company or even independently as a freelance tutor. It is important to research that tutor's qualifications carefully to ensure the student is getting the highest quality of education possible, but it is also important to have reasonable expectations for a tutoring session. A tutor generally will not write lesson plans and deliver those plans like a teacher will; instead, a tutor will help build on existing skills and offer additional guidance outside of what is being taught in the classroom.