Resources for Citizenship Tutors

  • The Jones Library offers ten citizenship lesson guides (based on the textbookCitizenship: Passing the Test). There is also a plain language step-by-step guide to becoming a citizen, suggested online learning resources for students, and information on requesting a fee waiver.
  • The USCIS Citizenship Resource Center offers official information on naturalization requirements, the application, and the test, and provides some free study tools for the English test and the civics test, including audio of the 100 questions/answers and a multiple choice practice test. On its teacher resource page, there are lesson plans, tip sheets, podcasts, and an online course for citizenship educators.
  • Lynne Weintraub, ESL Center Coordinator and the author of the “Citizenship: Passing the Test” series, maintains a citizenship educator blog called Citizenship News. You can sign up to receive updates by email, if you like.
  • Tutors who are working with beginning-level students may find the full range of content for the citizenship test overwhelming. Here is a shorter Foundations of Citizenship (PDF) test (based on the real citizenship test) that is geared toward beginning-level students. These students are often strongly motived to prepare for the test, but still need to work on basic oral proficiency in English. Mastering this “pre-citizenship” content makes for a realistic first step.
  • The ProLiteracy Education Network offers a variety of resources for citizenship instructors, including 3 online courses, podcasts, and fact sheets on naturalization. (You must create a free account in order to access the site).
  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has translations of the citizenship application form (N-400). Although USCIS only accepts the English version, it is vital that applicants understand the questions so they can fill out the form truthfully. Applicants also must be familiar with the questions for the interview because the examiner will review the same information with them (orally) a few months later. Many of the questions use legal/technical terms that limited English speakers may be unfamiliar with. Translations are available in Spanish, Korean, Khmer, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian, and Portuguese.
  • USAHello offers explanations of tricky vocabulary words on the citizenship application. An examiner might ask a student to explain some of these words (in English) at the interview.
  • Literacy Minnesota has produced a citizenship tutor “support kit” for one-to-one tutors. These are supplemental activities that are intended to be used in conjunction with a citizenship textbook or class.
  • Most applicants will take the civics test in English, so they must practice for the test in English. But they will probably understand the questions and answers better if they read them first in their home language. USCIS's translations of the 100 civics questions are available in six languages. USAHello and CLINIC have translations of the 100 civics questions in several additional languages. (To access the CLINIC translations, scroll down to “translations by community organizations” and then “click to download resource.”)
  • Also, see the ESL Center’s recommended online independent study links for citizenship students.