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Literacy Resources



Relevant Sites

American TESOL - Ways to Visualize Vocabulary
This TESOL webinar discusses how to support your students to do more than just memorize definitions, but to actually understand the meaning of words, and how they are used in context.

Citizenship Study Guide
Provides study pages, flashcards, questions and quizzes for US citizenship preparation, in both English and Spanish for free.

Computer Resources for ESL
This web site is a search-able, online database of over 300 items of reviewed software, web sites and other materials that are available to assist in the learning of ESL/ESOL.

Free financial literacy materials in Spanish

Dave's ESL Café
Offers 15 ESL teacher forums which include class activities, adult education, linguistics, bilingual education, computer-assisted learning, elementary education and employment. There are also 15 student forums on such topics as hobbies, holidays, current news, movies, computers, literature, music and learning English. There is a job offer area and a place to post resume links.

Dictation Exercises

Tutor Tips
Reading Instruction/Research
Family Literacy
Health Literacy
Learning Disabilities
Equipped for the Future - Classroom Activities
Multiple Intelligences
International Resources
Financial Literacy
Career Pathways

This new and growing site provides reading lessons for ELL students from beginner to advanced. Lessons are complete with written material, audio/video, quizzes, and vocabulary worksheets, and can be completed entirely online or printed out to be completed in a classroom setting. Lessons keep students’ interest by covering a variety of topics.

Easy Conversations for ESL Beginners

El Civics
Learn EL Civics and ESL with pictures and easy words.

ELL-U is an innovative and interactive free professional development network for ESOL practitioners.

The English Listening Library Online (ello, for short) offers free listening activities for students learning English. Activities vary and include recorded interviews, videos, animated news stories, games, and more, each with supporting material such as vocabulary lists, captions, and quizzes.

English for All
A free, interactive, web-based multimedia system for adults learning English as a second language.

English for Adult Beginners
200 short stories plus audio and exercises.

English for Adult Beginners 2
200 short stories plus audio and exercises.

English for Children
126 short stories plus audio and exercises

Free online English lessons & ESL/EFL Resources. Site offers several tutorials featuring interactive activities for students.

Free lesson plans focused on pronunciation and everyday language.

The English Literacy Civics Education Resource Center is made possible through an English Literacy Civics Education Grant funded by the US Department of Education and the Texas Education Agency. The Center is administered by Brenham Community Education (a partnership between Brenham Independent School District and Blinn College), in conjunction with the Texas Center for Adult Learning and Literacy at Texas A&M University.  You will find loads of resources including - English Language Civics Education-related resources, links to other EL Civics websites, and source materials for students, teachers, and program administrators.

ESL Plans and Resources
ESL Practitioners can find lesson plans and engaging activities.

ESL Literacy Network
An online community supporting the development of ESL literacy practitioners.

Framework for Quality Professional Development for Practitioners Working with Adult English Language Learners
This framework focuses on the knowledge and skills that practitioners working with adult ELL students need in order to work effectively with learners in their programs and on professional development systems that will help practitioners acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.

Google Translate
Type in your text, and google will translate it into one of 57 languages. This YouTube video explains how it works.

Grammar Exercises for Level I Students

Immigrant Learning Center
The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) Public Education Institute uses a research-based approach to inform Americans about the economic and social contributions of immigrants in our society.

The Internet Picture Dictionary is a completely free, online multilingual picture dictionary designed especially for ESL students and beginning English, French, German, Spanish and Italian language learners of all ages.

The Internet TESL Journal
Articles, Research Papers, Lesson Plans, Classroom Handouts, Teaching Ideas & Links

Jumbled Sentences Exercises

If you want to want a good free resource to help students learn English, check out this website sponsored by the British Council. They have hundreds of high-quality resources and activities to help improve one’s English.

Learning Computers, Speaking English: Cooperative Activities for Learning English and Basic Word Processing

Lighthearted Learning

Literacynet Learning Resources
Web-delivered instruction using CNN and CBS news stories.

Minnesota Literacy Council Volunteer Curriculum
Curriculum for volunteer tutor-led classes consisting of individual 1- to 4-week units that each focus on one theme.

Multi-Cultural Brief
The Multi-Cultural Brief is an ESL newsletter created by students who want to improve their English and is produced as part of a newspaper class offered through the Charlottesville Adult Learning Center.

Multi-Cultural Educational Services
Online ESL activities with interactive multi-media quizzes and ESL materials in PDF for classroom teachers and tutors, including the LaRue Reading Skills assessment for pre-literate adults.

New American Horizons
This site hosts videos for ESOL students and educators.

Newsela is a leveled reading program which allows students to read news articles of interest at their appropriate reading level.  Articles are selected from sources such as the Seattle Times, Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press and rewritten at reading levels from grade 3 and up.  In addition to presenting complex material in a format that can be tailored to the student, each article is accompanied by a quiz that corresponds with the selected lexile reading level.

News in Levels
News in Levels provides daily news stories, including articles and videos, for English Language Learners at three different levels.

Picture Stories for Adult ESL Health Literacy

Our project, Phonetically Intuitive English (PIE), can solve the above problems effectively! PIE is a scheme and a Chrome browser extension to show diacritics on normal English words to make their pronunciations crystal clear.

A bilingual, phonetic site that is designed to help Spanish speakers learn English efficiently.

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
General listening quizzes based on every day conversations.

Resources to Unite Communities
Free monthly webinars and curriculum on Interactive English, an Immigrant Guide, and Pronunciation Fun.

Sentence Structure Writing Practice

USCIS - Study for the Citizenship Test
USCIS guide to the speaking, reading, writing and civics test for citizenship.

Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center
This site has many resources available for ESOL teachers including the multilevel curriculum Building Basics ESOL Toolkit for General Construction, Landscaping, Painting and Plumbing, information on lesson planning and a Health Literacy Toolkit.

We Speak NYC
We Speak NYC (formerly We Are New York) is the City’s English Language Learning program. They provide civic-focused instruction through videos, web and print materials, and free community classes in all five boroughs.

Web English Teacher
English as a New Language Lesson plans and teaching ideas. 


Teaching for Developmental Diversity: An Approach to Academic Language and Critical Thinking
Jennifer Ouellette-Schramm, Minnesota Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (2014)
This article explores some of the benefits and challenges of teaching academic English and critical thinking skills to ABE learners. The author discusses how, with changes brought by the 2014 GED and 2014 ABE College and Career Preparations standards, learners have greater need for these skills now in order to achieve success. This paper goes on to share observations and techniques for increasing the teaching of these skills in the ABE classroom.

Making It Real: Teaching Pre-literate Adult Refugee Students
Tacoma Community House Training Project
This book answers questions about how to deal with learners who are not literate in their native language. It describes techniques and activities that support these practices. It is divided into sections on teaching speaking and listening kills and reading and writing skills.

Teaching Grammar to Adult English Language Learners
Center for Applied Linguistics, April 2009
This brief is written for teachers, program administrators, education researchers, and policy makers to provide information on evidence-based strategies for teaching grammar to adult English language learners through focus on form.

Competence and Performance in Language Teaching
Jack C. Richards
In order to plan for the professional development of English language teachers, we need to have a comprehensive understanding of what competence and expertise in language teaching consists of. What essential skills, knowledge, values, attitudes and goals do language teachers need, and how can these be acquired? This paper seeks to explore these questions by examining ten core dimensions of skill and expertise in language teaching.

Professional Development for Experienced Teachers Working with Adult English Language Learners
Amber Gallup Rodriguez and Sharon McKay, Center for Applied Linguistics
This brief begins with an overview of the definitions and characteristics of experienced and expert teachers and of the ways that these teachers differ from novice, or beginning, teachers. It continues with a discussion of considerations involved in providing high-quality professional development for experienced teachers. Models of professional development that have been suggested for meeting the unique needs of experienced teachers are presented, and areas for future research are identified.

Reflective Practice in the Professional Development of Teachers of Adult English Language Learners
Thomas S. C. Farrell, CAELA
This brief describes the theoretical basis for and research on reflective practice and suggests ways that teachers of adult English language learners can incorporate reflective practice into their teaching.

Problem Based Learning and Adult English Language Learners
Julie Mathews-Aydinli, Center for Adult  English Language Acquisition
This brief is written for adult ESL teachers and program administrators, as well as educational researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders who work with adult English language students in ESL classes or in mixed ABE classes (with native English speakers and English language students).

Evidence-based Student-Centered Instructional Practices
Joy Kreeft Peyton, Sara Catherine K. Moore, and Sara Young, Center for Applied Linguistics
This brief is written for teachers and program administrators seeking to implement evedeince-based, student-centered instruction in programs and classes that include adults learning English as a second language. It will also be of use to professional developers who support teachers in this work.

Unauthorized Immigrant Parents and Their Children's Development
Migration Policy Institute (March 2013)
Emerging research suggests that having an unauthroized immigrant parent (as opposed to a leagal resident or citizen parent) is associated with lower cognitive skills in eary childhood, lower levels of general positive development in middle childhood, higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms during adolescence.

Thinking Beyond “Increased Participation”: Integrating Civics and Adult ESOL
Andy Nash, World Education, 2012
Whether to prepare adults to be informed voters or to help them develop the knowledge and skills needed to participate in community efforts, small groups of educators have come together to explore the possibilities of integrating civic participation and adult education. This paper will outline the NELRC’s efforts to develop a guiding process for civic participation projects that reflects the lessons learned from dozens of past projects. The model is informed by current discussions in civic education, developments in adult learning theory and research, and our own work with a diverse set of adult programs, including citizenship, ABE, ESOL, and bilingual ESOL classes.

The Role of Language and Literacy in College and Career Ready Standards: Rethinking Policy and Practice in Support of English Language Learners
States should ensure appropriate alignment between the English language proficiency standards and the new common core and college- and career-ready standards. Most importantly, leadership and vision are needed to act collectively to provide supportive policies, build educator capacity, and develop effective approaches to English learners’ language and literacy instruction.

Separate and Not Equal: The Implementation of Structured English Immersion in Arizona’s Classrooms
Karen E.Lillie, Amy Markos, M. Beatriz Arias and Terrance G. Wiley (2012)
Arizona’s current four-hour model, as implemented in K-12 SEI classrooms, hinders policy intentions: ELLs do not have access to quality instruction, or a curriculum that is comparable in amount, scope, and quality to that of non-ELLs. Furthermore, deficiencies in funding abound, limiting ELLs' opportunities for the compensatory education needed to help them catch up academically. The authors contend that a re-examination of the SEI policy is warranted if the state is to fully realize the intentions of the Flores Consent Order and equal educational opportunity for ELLs..

Pedagogies of Change: From Theory to Practice
This paper describes the pedagogical approach used by an adult education program in El Paso, Texas that offers Spanish literacy and GED to Mexican immigrants.

The Great Debate: Conscious vs. Unconscious Language Learning
From the ESL MiniConference Archives
In the late spring of 2002, the ESL MiniConference hosted an impromtu exchange of several articles between Robert O'Neill and Stephen Krashen regarding the role of conscious learning in second language acquisition. Bill VanPatten also joined the debate, and a number of ESL MiniConference readers joined the fray, too. In addition, later in the year, the Sendai chapter of the Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT) made the O'Neill-Krashen exchanges the center of their monthly meeting.

How Should Adult ESL Reading Instruction Differ from ABE Reading Instruction?
Miriam Burt, Joy Kreeft Peyton, and Carol Van Duzer
This brief offers insight on how non native English speakers differ in learning styles from native English speakers and offers suggestions on effective instruction.

Hands On English
Hands-on English provides tips and hints for teaching English in easier and fun ways.

How to Create an ESL Class Curriculum
This site illustrates the basic principles behind planning the curriculum of a new ESL/EFL class.

Thirteen/Ed Online
WNET Educational Initiative
This site helps students to learn how to utilize real-life materials that they have to use in their every day lives.

Earth Renewal
This is useful list of terms and definitions used by ESOL/ESL teachers, teacher trainers and researchers.

Adult Literacy Resource Institute (ALRI)
This site provides answers to problems with integrating technology into the ESL classroom and curriculum.

Adult English Language Learners with Limited Literacy

Promoting Success of Multilevel ESL Classes: What Teachers and Administrators Can Do


A Literacy-level Curriculum for Adult Spanish-speaking English Language Learners with Limited Formal Education by Kirsten L. Keihl
This project provides a communicative curriculum for teaching English and Spanish literacy, English speaking and listening skills, and basic classroom skills utilizing native language instruction when helpful using learning strategies and authentic materials that are appropriate for adults. Curriculum begins on page 42.

Know Your Rights: Resources for People Working with Immigrant Families
This website contains community-facing materials on public charge to better equip immigrants with what they need to know to make the best decision for themselves and for their families.

WEBINAR: Using ESL Literacy Readers

43 Fantastic ESL Resources for Students
An ESL resource guide to help students, from teens to adults, get the help they need to achieve their goals with learning English.

ESL Voices
ESL Voices is an English as a Second Language site that offers Free weekly Integrated-skills Lesson Plans (with Answer Keys) to teachers. The material is intended for advanced to intermediate speakers, however, lessons can be modified to accommodate most levels, including non-ESL students. The lesson plans are based on current articles from a variety of major newspapers, magazines, and from college campuses.

Low Educated Second Language and Literacy Acquisition for Adults
Low Educated Second Language and Literacy Acquisition (LESLLA) for Adults is an international forum of researchers who share an interest in research on the development of second language skills by adult immigrants with little or no schooling prior to entering the country of entry.

LiteracyWork International- VIDEOS
These videos were created by Literacywork International to document promising practices or explain a specific strategy.

Learning for LIFE: An ESL Literacy Handbook
The content in Essentials is based on Learning for LIFE: An ESL Literacy Handbook, published by Bow Valley College, and comes from years of experience in the classroom combined with research and feedback from ESL literacy practitioners both locally and internationally.

Service Spotlight: Communicative Strategies for Working with Adult English Language Learners
This workshop focuses on helping participants develop ways to enhance student communicative practices in and out of the classroom. CAL can provide training on this and other key topics in adult English language and literacy education, from half-day workshops to sustained professional development services. Let us know how we can work with you to customize services to meet your needs and budget.

Learning and Violence
Violence shapes us. It can make us stronger as learners, teachers, and simply as people in the world. It can also make it hard to trust ourselves and others, and difficult to learn. Its impact on learning is not well recognized, but the resources and allies found here can help all of us – whatever our role or experience – to address this issue creatively.

Promoting Learner Engagement When Working With Adult English Language Learners

ESL Civics Curriculum
The curriculum focuses on developing oral English communication skills and providing opportunities for learners to use these skills inside the classroom and outside in the community. 

ESL for Elders
Two of the videos are designed to be used in the classroom. The third is a teacher training video. Each offers teachers, policy makers and program administrators insights into the needs and abilities of older immigrants and refugees.

Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches Action - A Series of 8 Training Videos
A series of eight videos, which can be viewed online on this page or purchased as three DVD volumes.

Literacy Now Network of the Tacoma Community House Training Program
The richly illustrated text includes:

  • A list of survival competencies for speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • A plethora of activities for introducing, practicing, and applying these new skills to the students’ lives
  • Strategies for teaching pre-literate refugees in a multi-level ESL class

CALPRO Online Courses
CALPRO has converted nine of its face-to-face workshops into online courses and plans to make additional courses available in the future. In addition to facilitated online courses, CALPRO offers self-directed online courses. No previous experience with Moodle or online learning is necessary to take a self-directed course.

This is a super-spell-checker that is ideal for very beginning English Language Learners and ELL’s with learning disabilities (as well as native speakers with challenges). It has the ability to help “sleuth-out” words that people are trying to spell - in a much more in depth way than most regular spell-checkers.

The Spoken Sounds of Language
This site contains animated libraries of the phonetic sounds of English, German and Spanish.

Special Podcast for Spanish Speakers of English
This podcast outlines issues that native Spanish speakers often have with pronunciation of English.

Latin American Spanish Pronunciation
AskOxford.com's pronunciation guides.

CAELA Network ESL Resource Database
Start your search by entering the keyword(s) into the Search field and clicking on the Search button. You can view additional detail about a particular entry by clicking on the entry title.

Civics and Citizenship Toolkit
Contains a range of useful materials and is the perfect resource to help your organization begin or enhance a collection for immigrants. Comprises immigration and civics publications, handbooks, guidance on product usage, and multimedia tools.

Education for Adult English Language Learners in the United States: Trends, Research, and Promising Practices
This paper, written by staff of the Center for Applied Linguistics, describes the adult education system in the United States — learner populations, programs serving them, assessment, professional development for practitioners, and research.

Adult ESL Training Videos
The Adult ESL Training Video Project shows classes and teachers in action, demonstrating a variety of teaching approaches. The videos can be used for training by individuals, organizations that offer adult ESL programs, and educational institutions. Filming of the first two videos took place in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Alexandria, Virginia, during October 2009. Six more videos will follow later in 2010. The project team includes ESL consultants Betsy Parrish and MaryAnn Florez, with video production by Federico Muchnik.

Significance of the 2010 Census
Say It Visually has created a new video that explains the significance and possible implications of the 2010 US Census.

Serving Non-English Speakers in U.S. Public Libraries
This report is the first national study of library services developed for non-English speakers.

Adult ESL Teacher Credentialing and Certification from CAELA

This brief helps explain the qualifications needed to become an adult ESL educator in the United States and talks about current efforts being made in the area of certification and credentialing.

Pathways and Outcomes: Tracking ESL Student Performance (ESL5)

This brief explains why in adult education especially for those teaching English, the need for professional development is justified. It also analyzes the writings and research available on various types of professional development and how those writings and research impact professional development design.

Professional Development
for Adult ESL Practitioners: Building Capacity

This brief explains why in adult education especially for those teaching English, the need for professional development is justified. It also analyzes the writings and research available on various types of professional development and how those writings and research impact professional development design.

The CAELA Guide for Adult ESL Trainers

This is a guide created by the Center For Adult English Language Acquisition to assist in teacher trainings, specifically for those teaching in adult English language classes.

Conversation Topic: Work
By Jack Bradshaw
This lesson plan for ESL students includes conversation questions about work and employment.

Adult Education ESL Teachers’ Guide
C. Ray Graham and Mark M. Walsh
Adult Education Center, Texas A & I University
Designed as an introduction to new ESL/ESOL teachers, this site includes an orientation, beginning and intermediate lessons and accompanying teacher training modules, and a section on teaching non-literate adults.

Dave’s ESL Café
This is a searchable list of American slang words and phrases with short definitions.

Many Things
This is a fun study site for students of English as a Second Language.

Instructions for Administering Native Language Literacy Screening Device
This instrument is used to determine literacy levels in native languages of students being considered for “Literacy for Adult ESOL Learners” course.

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.Florida Literacy Coalition
..235 Maitland Ave. S #102

Maitland, FL 32751
..Phone: (407)-246-7110
..Fax: (407)-246 - 7104

Florida Literacy Hotline
(800) - 237 - 5113