ESOL Literacies

Training in teaching literacies to ESOL learners is in ever-increasing demand across all sectors in Scotland. The following list of qualifications and training websites offers an insight into what is currently available for practitioners who are seeking to develop their literacies teaching practice.

If you are a course provider planning to deliver a course in teaching ESOL Literacies, please get in touch we would love to include you in this section.

ESOL Literacies Tutor Support Packs

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is esolsqa-1.pngSQA ESOL Literacies Materials
The ESOL Literacies National 2 Learning Support Materials provide a wide range of activities across a number of topics relevant to learners in personal, social and transactional contexts.
 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is thebellfoundation-medium.jpgThe Bell Foundation
The resources were designed to support ESOL learning in prisons. The materials address language learning needs in social context, with embedded outcomes in numeracy, digital skills, health and financial literacy. at WI. The ESOL literacy resource pack by Lisa Karlsen -  home pageLiteracy Pack by Lisa Karlsen
A downloadable pack comprising of 13 units designed to work with complete beginners of English to develop their writing and reading skills. Complete with teaching notes, learning resources and records of student achievements. The pack is suitable for learners from a variety of backgrounds. This costs approx £70.
 Excellence Gateway - The Education and Training FoundationExcellence Gateway – Learners New to ESOL
A great range of relevant resources for teaching ESOL literacies developed by the Education and Training Foundation. The pack provides support to practitioners who teach learners with limited literacy in any language and have no knowledge of the Roman alphabet.

 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rtmpakbm_400x400.jpgEnglish My Way
A complete blended learning programme developed to cover ten topics with 8 hours of study allocated for each topic. Videos, support materials, guides and worksheets provided. 
**this is being taken down by 31st August 2022 – we will update where it will be located thereafter**
 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1a1a7231-f9ebb.jpgThe Elder Literacy Initiative
Adaptable resources designed to be used in a one-to-one setting as part of the Elder Literacy Initiative. 12 units with themes of particular interest to older adults with low level literacy skills. You have to request the materials.
 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is language_support_for_adult_refugees_en.pngLanguage Support for Adult Refugees Council of Europe Toolkit
The toolkit has been developed to support the language learning needs of refugees in a variety of settings with a specific focus on literacies skills.
The English Hub for Refugee – University of Kent
A great set of resources by Kent University aimed to help teachers of asylum seekers and refugees. Freely downloadable worksheets, lesson plans for tutors and online self-study resources for learners.
Leeds Asylum Network Support
A large collection of LASSN tutor-designed worksheets, flashcards and pictures with a focus on ESOL literacies, as well as useful links to other online ESOL literacies materials. Use the search word “pre-entry” to help you focus on literacies materials. A handy one-stop shop for volunteer tutors of ESOL literacies and beginner ESOL.
Minnesota Literacy English Unlocked Phonics workbooks
There are no American English differences in the resources. 
You have to buy these.

ESOL Literacies Training/CPD

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is esolsqa-1.pngTeaching ESOL Literacies to Adults (SCQF level 9)
An SQA unit is offered as part of the SQA Professional Development Framework for ESOL Practitioners in Scotland.
Further information about the qualification can be found HERE

Dundee & Angus College run this module as an online course, find out more HERE
 Teaching basic literacy to ESOL learners – a four-day course developed by Learning Unlimited exploring the theory and practice of working with learners with basic literacy needs.
More information can be found HERE.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is esol-nexus.jpgA number of professional development modules with a focus on Teaching ESOL Literacies can be found on the ESOL Nexus website.
More information can be found HERE.
 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is literacywork-int.pngA small literacy focused research and development company with a variety of videos and resources for practitioners who would like to develop their understanding and practice of teaching ESOL literacy. Apart from teaching resources the website offers videos demonstrating effective teaching strategies used in classrooms and explores research-based practical solutions to the complex dilemmas that ESOL practitioners face in a variety of educational settings.
More information can be found HERE.
 An online training programme for beginner ESOL literacies tutors developed by the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Centre (VALRC).
More information can be found HERE.
 Our Courses | ETF Booking A training course developed for ESOL practitioners working with low-level New to ESOL literacy learners.
More information can be found HERE.
 This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is making-it-real.pngMaking It Real – Teaching Pre-Literate Adult Refugee Students
 A guide (with resources) aimed at teachers supporting pre-literate adults learning English. Specific sections dedicated to speaking and listening and reading and writing. 
More information can be found HERE.

ESOL Literacies Resources Websites

British Council-  ESOL Nexus
A fantastic range of online and printable resources from ESOL literacies to higher levels.
The activities cover a multitude of topics including living and working in the UK. 
Teaching materials developed for English as a Second Language learners with literacies needs and limited or interrupted formal education experience. The website has great links to wordless books and literacy readers.
Handwriting Practice
This site allows tutors to create their own handwriting practice worksheets in a matter of minutes.
Bow Valley College ESL Literacy Readers
 An impressive collection of contextualised literacy readers at a range of levels.
Skills Workshop
A wealth of ESOL literacies and numeracy (pre-entry) resources in a variety of formats.
Language Guide
An interactive low-level vocabulary page with sound files and additional challenges. A great opportunity for online self-study and practice.
ESOL Materials Ireland
A resource sharing website for ESOL and ESOL literacy practitioners in Ireland.
ITS Glasgow Fire Safety ESOL Pack
ESOL beginners and literacies teaching pack focusing on fire safety. Excellent targeted ESOL literacies worksheets. 
EPALE’s adult learning resources sharing platform with some ESOL literacies focused resources.
An easy to navigate website for copyright free images for teaching purposes.
CEC’s English Snacks Videos
A selection of ESOL Literacies videos to use with ESOL Learners
Cathy McIntosh – ESOL Videos
A large selection of ESOL Literacies and Low-level videos to use with ESOL Learners
English for Beginners
Topic-based online vocabulary lessons for adult beginners and young learners, with audio and built-in feedback. 
WordWall’s Community section
Has some ready-made resources
Best Practices for Making Worksheets for Low Level ESL Learners

Paper Based ESOL Literacies Resources 

ESOL activities Pre-Entry with CD: Practical Language Activities for Living in the UK and Ireland (Cambridge for ESOL)
A much loved ESOL book series starting at literacies (pre-Entry) level to elementary (Entry 2) level with detailed lesson plans and teaching notes.
First Resort and First Resort Extra
by R Picking and M Prudden

Also available in easily photocopiable PDF format. A range of everyday topics covered from literacies (Pre-entry) to elementary Entry 2 levels. 
Literacy Pack
by Lisa Kahlsen (Gatehouse Books)

A CD Rom comprising of 13 units designed to work with complete beginners of English to develop their writing and reading skills. Complete with teaching notes, learning resources and records of student achievements. The pack is suitable for learners from a variety of backgrounds.
Photo Dictionary (Longman)
A handy resource with 1000 colour photographs providing learners with visual aids when learning new words. The three audio CDs aim to aid pronunciation. There are a number of conversation-based activities exploring a wide range of everyday topics.
Teaching Basic Literacy to ESOL Learners
by Marina Spiegel and Helen Sunderland

A go-to handbook for any practitioner new to ESOL literacies. It explores theory along with practical suggestions for working with ESOL literacies learners in a variety of contexts. A very useful resource providing guidance on planning, assessment, dyslexia, the language experience approach etc.
Literacy Plus
by Joan Saslow (Pearson)

An American ESOL literacy book designed for preliterate adults offering survival English and literacy instruction at the same time. 
Teaching Literacy in ESOL Classes
by Joanna Williams (Gatehouse Books)

Photocopiable materials, ideas and activities for teaching reading and writing in Entry level ESOL Classes. Cross-referenced to the ESOL Curriculum. This is a wirebound book of teaching materials for students in Entry level ESOL classes (83 pages, format A4). The aim of the materials is to help students to develop the skills to read stories, and tell and write their own stories. The pack includes teacher’s notes, ideas for teaching activities and teaching materials.
Very Easy True Stories
by Sandra Heyer (Pearson)

Very Easy True Stories is an ideal first text for students with little experience with English. It is a companion book to All New Very Easy True Stories, which is at the same level but features all new stories and exercises. These two parallel picture readers give students the option of consolidating their reading skills at sentence and short text level.
Phonics Stories for Older Learners
This is a book of decodable stories and accompanying worksheets suitable for older children, adults and ESOL learners. All the resources are photocopiable. The stories follow the phonic progression presented in the Sounds-Write programme. The books are useful for any teacher who is introducing phonics in a structured sequence.
abc English
abc English is a curriculum for adult English learners that teaches basic English communication and reading skills, starting from the abc sounds.  abc English was created especially for adult refugees and immigrants who are not literate in their native languages.
Phonics Reading Programme for Adults
by Alison Rose
Books 1a, 1b and 2
A programme of Phonics Reading for Adults designed to take three years. All resources are photocopiable.
Reading Skills Stories
by Jennifer Christenson
Easy to grasp stories with a multitude of activities to go alongside, supported by resources on the abc English website. Designed for adults. USA context.

2020-2021 Lockdown Wonders

Ever wondered how other ESOL practitioners have been coping with the challenges of social distancing during lockdown? We have a collection of blog entries, articles and resources for you to start the conversation…

How has lockdown affected your practice? Have you developed materials or jotted down musings that you would like to share with a wider (and at times potentially desperate) audience? We would love to hear from y

Emily Bryson’s thoughts on teaching ESOL literacies online:

Calum Paul from the North Ayrshire ESOL team has created a number of how to videos on using YouTube and WhatsApp with low level ESOL learners:

Michele Benson’s NALA Ireland webinar gives you a step-by step guide on how to set up and run Zoom for teaching purposes:

Handy lockdown inspired videos from Edinburgh:

We hope you find this page useful, please feel free to share with colleagues.

If you have something to add to our collection, we would love to hear from you!