boy pulling cart of books

This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources. It is simply a list of items that have been found useful support for learners who are struggling to succeed in foreign language learning. Most of them help teachers to add further sensory dimensions to current lesson plans, and/or to support pupils and students in ways which foster their independence as learners.

Some of the resources shown here were developed with 'special needs' in mind, and only in English, but they have proved useful with a wide range of learners and some of them are now available in versions to support the learning of other languages too. Visual and tactile materials can often be used to support any language.

Many of the resources are 'lo-tech' and therefore, perhaps, more affordable than 'hi-tech' solutions where funds are restricted. Lo-tech resources can be used in settings where there is little hi-technology available. Teachers have found some of them stored away in cupboards unused, or used only by learners attending sessions with support teachers. So ask around; you may be surprised at the resources you find that can be used – or adapted for use – with your learners. Some of them have even been found on e-Bay!

[Links were last checked on 2.10.11 unless otherwise indicated]

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Active learning


MLG PUBLISHING (aka Miniflashcard Language Games)

This company has has long produced thousands of photocopiable line drawings which entice students into structured learning in the disguise of familiar games. Games using the pictures provide the opportunties for repetition and consolidation which many learners need, without the risk of them becoming bored or losing interest. Some sample titles (all photocopiable):

Ici On Parle Franšais, Se Habla Espa˝ol, Wir Sprechen Deutsch
 Three volumes in French, Spanish and German that provide multi-sensory support for beginners at Key Stage 2 and 5-14. Each includes extensive support for teachers who are not MFL specialists, and a unique section for learners on 'my special support needs'.

Cartoons for Classroom CommunicationLots of cartoon-type photocopiable visuals for teaching and encouraging learners to use the target language for real communicative purposes in the classroom.

Football Fever
 Basic and extended language work exploiting a topic dear to the heart of many learners.

Verbmaster: French, Vital Verb Kit
 Fun ways to master essential skills.

Sample pages from these and other titles are now available to download from MLG's website:

MLG's dice for active learning and games can be viewed here:

NOTE: Many of MLG's publications are now downloadable as pdf files.



Clicker software is already used by pupils of all abilities, including struggling writers, learners with dyslexia, children learning English as an additional language and those with physical disabilities.

The company is now marketing software for French at Key Stage 2 (Primary):
Have a look at the success stories linked to this page, including one from a teacher in a special school.

Clicker French was reviewed in Teach primary Magazine:reviewed:

Spanish version was launched in June 2011:

For speech support for other languages, see this page:

Register to view free downloadable resources to support all curricular areas, including EAL, French, Spanish, Cultural awareness:

Cricksoft also publishes sets of symbols. If your learners are already using symbols you might consider using ones they are already familar with to support their foreign language learning too.

[5.10.11] Subscribe to Crick's software blog:

[2.11.11] Internet safety. Download free Clicker Learning Grids resources from Crick software, produced in conjunction with Childnet International, to reinforce rules about staying safe online (for ages 6-11)

[16.6.12] Getting started with Clicker 5
Some useful advice from John Bald's blog.

[2.8.13] 90 second training clips and videos to help people to get started with Clicker 6


[26.6.11] PENFRIEND XL

Penfriend XL is a screen reader, and word predictor that works with text in many languages (currently English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Scots Gaelic, Portuguese, Latin). It works with almost any other software on your computer such as word processors, spreadsheets or email programs (including Clicker). It has an onscreen keyboard and text magnification. There is also a portable version (USB stick). For details:



A unique device which can support pupils pictorially, orally, aurally and with text as well. Its products feature mainly phonics and reading schemes for English, so it would be useful for use with EAL/ESOL learners. Many publishers now offer ready-made Language Master cards to support their English and foreign language courses but you can also buy blank cards and make your own.



Channel 4's Hennings Haus and Chez Mimi have proved popular with young beginners in German and Frech. You can access them here:



A commercial site with a wealth of royalty free fonts with characters that support various languages; maps of the world, Flags, Country guides and more.



Multi-sensory materials for teaching English as a foreign language. Even if you don't buy, there's lots to interest on the site.


CHILD DRIVEN EDUCATION (or how many computers do you need?)

Sugata Mitra's inspiring talk and video about children's use of computer teachnology suggests that children don't need a terminal each in order to be able to learn. On the contrary, the children he observes seem to learn as much from each other as from the computer. This has implications for resourcing and for inclusion.



Multimedia software for learners of modern foreign languages, including English as a foreign or additional language. Written by a former teacher who worked both in Modern Languages and in Learning Support. "Our aim is to put fun into learning languages, and we do this by using sound, pictures and games, which entertain as well as instruct. Our software is developed by, and in consultaion with, practising teachers. All voices are native speakers."



Teach pupils to text in a foreign language with txt spk resource packs and associated website. Packs available in English, French, German, Spanish and Welsh.


Here you can view, upload, transcribe and translate any video into any language, and add your own subtitles.

PORTABLE SOFTWARE: Supporting the accessibility needs of print-disabled pupils

Includes link to MyStudyBar



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