CNLC The Resource Hub 9Resources for EAL Learners

The Low-Literacy Adult ESL Study Circle Guide is written for teachers, however it contains links to a wide range of interesting articles for tutors who want to develop an advanced understanding of Low-Literacy Adult ESL learners. (Look for the PDF resources under “Related Resources” at the side.)

In “Building Literacy with Emergent Learners” a teacher demonstrates her use of the “Language Experience Approach”; part of a series of accessible training videos developed by the New American Horizons Foundation.

Readers for adult learners

These 40 readers at Bow Valley College Canada ESL Literacy Readers are an outstanding resource for beginning and emerging EAL literacy learners. The texts are arranged around everyday topics of interest to EAL literacy learners across 3 levels with 3 stages in each level. Topics range from going shopping, visiting the dentist to spending too much money. The early stage readers only have 30 words. The readers can be printed out here for students to take home and practice. Make sure you read the print setting instructions in italics when you print them.

Best of The Reader is a Canadian series of 14 e-books and structured activities developed from past issues of the Westcoast Reader, a newspaper for adult literacy and ESL Literacy learners. The teacher’s guide has suggestions for pre-reading, listening, vocabulary development and reading comprehension tasks.

PRACE PageTurners are light-hearted stories written by a group of adult literacy teachers from Melbourne.

Carringbush has a set of readers for adults as well.


Adele’s ESL Corner is an Australian site, arranged under easy, medium and difficult levels. Good for students to navigate on their own, or with some support.

Study Zone- University of Victoria Canada has been around for years. The site is arranged from post beginner to advanced exercises under grammar, reading, and vocab. No read-aloud function, however you’ll find some picture support with exercises at lower levels.

English with Jennifer has videos of ESOL lessons on pronunciation, vocabulary, and conversation skills.

Now You’re Talking- Community Language Cards has 25 different language cards that contain cultural information, simple phrases in the community language and hints on pronunciation difficulties learners may face.

English Tenses presents animation to help explain how we use the different verb tenses in English.


Introduction to the Sounds of English is a BBC site useful for tutors working with EAL learners who are having specific pronunciation issues. You’ll find some videos on specific individual sounds.

How to Make Specific Sounds in English” is a site set up by Sharon Widmayer and Holly Gray (last edited in 2017). You’ll find presentations, activities and lessons (including free PDF download materials).

Learning by Theme

A Health Literacy Curriculum for ESOL Learners is the curriculum of the Queens Library Adult Learner Program suitable for intermediate level EAL learners.

The Smith Family Home Tutor Resources is an excellent local site of downloadable lesson plans and worksheets arranged under themes of culture, everyday life, literacy, politics and current affairs, children, teaching tools and work. Designed for EAL learners but some may be suitable for adult literacy learners.

Understanding Good Health is an AMES site where the topics include depression, anxiety, and heart disease. There are other free resources from AMES (now owned by TafeNSW), including:

  • Fire Safety, Calling an Ambulance, Beach Safety and some other health-related resources.

CALD Com Storyboards covers around 50 topics from aged care to eating well, staying healthy, living sustainably, and using water wisely.

Cielito’s ESL Literacy Website has links to a wide range of sites for EAL Literacy learners arranged in topic areas.  Click on Pre-Literacy for activities for beginning learners.

ESOL Teaching and Learning Materials has generic learning materials developed in the UK, organised around themes and levels (aka the Excellence Gateway, UK).

Apps & Other Tools

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