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The following are examples of materials used on an ESOL teacher training course, the Certificate in Further Education Teaching Stage 3 with the Certificate for ESOL Subject Specialists.

Lewisham College

Definitions is designed to reinforce/assess vocabulary learning. The definitions are placed around the walls of the room. Learners then go around and write down the word they think corresponds to the definition under each one. This approach caters for different learner styles, in this case, kinaesthetic. Learners may then go on to do further work relating to defining relative clauses. This material has been used with learners at Entry 2 (pre-intermediate) level.

Dictation – mixed abilities caters for learners at different levels in the same class (differentiation). The aim of the activity is to practise listening and writing skills. The teacher dictates the text at natural speed, not at slow dictation speed, while the learners listen and take notes. The learners then have to re-create the dictated text. The teacher chooses whether to give the learners the gap-fill passage (for learners who need some support) or not (for learners who need less support or need to be challenged). In this way, the teacher differentiates between the learners in the class. The activity has been used at E3/L1 (intermediate/upper-intermediate) level.

Battleships is a popular game played by children in the UK. The game has been adapted here to reinforce vocabulary. Learners work in pairs: one learner has Battleships A grid and the other learner Battleships B grid. Players have to try and choose squares which are ‘hits’ (that have a word in them), e.g. Player B: “C2”, Player A: “Hit – this is something you keep money, notes, in”. Player B then needs to guess the correct word (which, in this case, is ‘wallet’). If they guess correctly, they get another go. If they guess incorrectly, play passes to the other player. If the player asks for a square which is blank, the other player says “Miss”, and again, play continues. This activity has been used at E3 level, but could be adapted for use at any level, depending on the vocabulary chosen.

Three-in-a-row word formation is based on a popular game played in the UK, noughts and crosses. The game practises word formation and reinforces vocabulary. The teacher gives out one grid per group of learners. The aim is to get three in a row. To do this, learners must first choose a square and form a word with the given suffix. The rest of the group must decide if the word formed is correct. If they decide it is correct, the learner ‘takes’ that square and has another go. If they decide, collectively, that the answer is incorrect, then the learner does not ‘take’ that square and play passes to the next player. Decisions about whether words formed are correct or incorrect lies with the group: the teacher monitors and notes any issues which will then be dealt with during feedback at the end of the activity. This helps promote learner autonomy and collective learning, and the wider key skills of team building and problem solving. When a learner has taken or won three squares in a row, they win and the game finishes. The game is colour-coded to cater for different learner styles, in this case, visual. The activity has been used at L1 level, but could be adapted for use at any level. It could also be adapted to practise other language, e.g. prefixes or irregular past tense forms.

University of Rostock

The following are materials in German relating to pronunciation techniques, including breathing exercises. These have been used with both non-native and native speakers of German.


The documents below give examples of a lesson plan, the background information to a DVD of a lesson recorded for the project, case studies; two documents, readable in Acrobat, related to the teaching of Italian as a foreign language (CELI); and a presentation related to the Common European Framework for Languages.

Traning Basic Skills Teachers - A Comenius 2.1 Project