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This page focuses on sources of support for teachers and parents of children whose first language is not English and on Community Languages within a UK context. Some of the resources and links may also be of interest to teachers of English as a second or foreign language in UK and abroad.

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Additional needs - Introduction


Classroom equipment

Action research

Gaelic as an additional language


Unlike most of the pages on this website, there is no introduction here that is based on practitioners' experiences. This page was a late addition to the website, started in response to requests, but it has rapidly expanded to cover links on a wide range of related topics. In perusing them you may come across something or someone who can be of help to you.

Our reading and our conversations with teachers who support EAL learners have given rise to the following thoughts:

There's a danger in schools that children whose first language is not English may be treated as if they had 'special needs' – like all pupils, they do indeed have learning needs, but of a very different sort – and we know that they may be withdrawn from MFL in order to provide time for extra tuition in English. It's worth emphasising that students whose first language is not English are not SEN but EAL, that is: English is an additional language, not instead of another language. Many of these students will already be multilingual and therefore particularly well placed to benefit from further language learning. And vocabulary learning tasks will help their English too. In our view there should be a presumption in favour of inclusion in whatever MFL classes are offered to the rest of the cohort. (Not to mention equal opportunities and all that...)

However, that said, there are other considerations to bear in mind as well:

The students may not be literate in their first language (L1), in which case they will benefit from supplementary classes to raise level of literacy in L1, and this will also aid their literacy in English (their L2) and in their MFL (L3) . There may have to be a trade-off between L1 and L3, if time for both can't be found, but judgements have to be made here by all those involved, not solely a support teacher.

It is possible that a child may have learning difficulties of some sort, so questions arise about how to identify them when their English is deficient. We understand that the rate at which they learn to cope with 'social' English is a good indicator of ability. Most young people will pick up what they need for daily living very quickly if they are well integrated with their classmates. If they don't, it may be worth making enquiries about how they coped with learning their first language. Family and perhaps former teachers should be able to provide this information. Educational Psychologists have told us that it is more difficult to diagnose specific difficulties in such cases, but not impossible. A support teacher might need outside help.

Self esteem is important for all children, but quickly lost in those MFL classes where it is not nurtured. For children with EAL, the language skills they already have need to be recognised and valued and, if possible, treated as a resource and a stimulus for the rest of the class. After all, if we are encouraging pupils to become bilingual and interested in multiculturalism, we can't afford to ignore the living embodiments of such manifestations!

Some tips

Where linguistic support in the EAL pupil's L1 is available, prepare vocabulary lists for them with three columns: MFL / English / L1.  If a number of  L1 languages are present leave the third column blank to be completed in whatever way possible, perhaps even by the student as they work out what your flash card or other cue indicates. This is a good way to monitor how well they are following, too.

Parallel texts (in paired combinations of L1, L2 or L3) can be useful. In one school, Student Support staff worked with the EAL version of a text and related activities while the French version was being used in the MFL class. Examples of parallel resources can be found on some of the websites listed below, and you will find one on the Minimodules page.



Please see note on copyright

Teaching Modern Foreign Languages to EAL students
A collaborative research enquiry undertaken by a group of Languages trainees on the University of Sheffield PGCE course in 2010 in relation to schools’ policy on EAL pupils and Language learning. The students investigated the varying EAL policies in their placement schools to compare and contrast the
level and standards of support provided to EAL students. Thanks to Eileen Basford, Holly Price, Karin Raffa, María Usón and to the Modern Languages Department of the University of Sheffield for permission to publish this report.
Download report


An attempt has been made to categorise the links below, but of course some resources span sectors.
Please check all the categories that might be relevant for you.

English as an additional language (EAL)

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

Community languages

Bilingualism / Multilingualism

English as a foreign language (EFL)

Dyslexia in other languages



[Links in this section were last checked on 23.3.11 unless otherwise indicated]

English as an additional language (EAL)
- resources
Learning and Teaching Scotland's online support for EAL


Languages for Life is about language diversity. It provides guidelines for educational establishments that are seeking to promote the confidence of bilingual children in their own linguistic ability and language use. It also considers how language diversity provides a rich resource for all learners as they explore what language is, how it is used, and how it contributes to their understanding of the world. 'Languages for Life' is intended to be read in conjunction with Learning in 2 (+) Languages (see above).

Learning in 2+ Languages This suite of documents aims to help staff in educational establishments to identify good practice in supporting learners who are accessing the curriculum through English as an additional language.

Count us in: A sense of belonging: Meeting the needs of children and young people newly arrived in Scotland (HMIE)

The Scottish Association for the Teaching of English as an Additional Language
An organisation interested in fostering and developing the teaching of English as an additional language. Membership is open to individuals and groups, and offers opportunities for professional development.

Rationale for planning for children learning English as an additional language (DfE)

National strategies EAL

Collaborative Learning Project
Provides interesting ways for children to learn in classes where many languages are spoken, and resources which provide scaffolding for learning English.

[8.2.12] REAL - Realising Equality and Achievement for Learner
Aims to improve the overall quality of gifted and talented education for students from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and those with English as an additional language. The REAL Directory provides information on education initiatives and BME/EAL organisations within the UK, from regional community groups to national programmes. These include DfE projects relating to gifted and talented provision, and BME/EAL learners; resources for teachers and students; organisations working in the areas of race, multiculturalism and education. An extensive assemblage of links to other sites

[14.9.12] Bilingualism Languages/Literacies Education Network (blen)
blen is a non-profit, forward looking, dedicated education forum with an interest in language education and literacy in the widest sense. There are six areas of specialism: primary modern languages; English as a second/additional language; science, language and literacy;primary-secodary transfer; cognition and thinking skills; multiple literacies.

Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
This US site has lots of interesting information on bilingual education, English as a second language, literacy, foreign language education, dialect studies, language policy, refugee orientation, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children.

Council of Europe
The Language Policy Division's medium term programme 2006-2009 includes the development of language policies for the education of minorities.
For more information:

National Association for language development in the curriculum (NALDIC) - Key documents

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) website has pages for disabled candidates
The pages provide information about assessment arrangements for candidates with additional support needs. Related links include Guidance for candidates, parents and centres, using sign in SQA exams, digital question papers, and EAL.

Simple English Wikipedia
for children and adults who are learning English as an additional language.

Some interesting items on EAL in a Scottish context on East Lothian's Support for All blog. Worth keeping an eye on perhaps?

A wordless method of learning English as additional language
The Herald reports that an international research project to teach children English as an additional language is being trialled in a Scottish school.

Issue 6 of Futurelab's newsletter includes a section on 'digital inclusion: How the use of digital technologies can promote educational equality'. Many of the ideas are adaptable to foreign language learning. There's also an interesting piece on the use of Avatar interpreters in an EAL context.

VocabGrabber allows you to input your own text, analyses it, then generates lists of the most useful vocabulary. VocabGrabber is available at

The Daily What
An online newspaper provided by Learning and Teaching Scotland to support literacy and language in Scottish Schools. Every article is available in a simple introductory version and also in a longer, more in-depth version, so it may prove useful in classes where EAL learners need a plain English story to sit alongside more challenging material for their classmates. Teachers who are members of the GLOW intranet can also access related teaching ideas and other support.

[4.4.11] Bilingual balancing act
An inspiring story from this week's Times Educational Supplement

[7.4.11] Profile of competence (EAL)
Guidelines for using Edinburgh EAL Service's Profile ofCompetence (Primary)

[11.4.11] English learners with special needs
National Clearing House for English language acquisition (US)

[8.2.12] Edinburgh EAL: Effective suport for bilingual learners
Help for teachers and parents

[6.2.14] NCELA
US National Clearinghouse for English Language Aquisition.

[11.7.11] AWAY Topics - English Language Learners with Disabilties
The fourth issue of the NCDE AWAY Topics focuses on English language learning and teaching for students with disabilities - what works, tips on inclusion in the classroom and much more. Free to download.

[11.8.11] Inclusion and equality teacher support - English as an Additional Language
This website, run by a practising teacher, provides a compendium of support, advice and information for teachers of pupils whose first language is ot English. The policy context is Scotland but much of the advice will be relevant elsewhere.

[31.8.11] Online dictionary assisted tool for English language learners
Your students can paste any passage into this free online application. Then they can double-click on any word and a small window will pop up with its definition.

[1.9.11] Scottish Association for Teaching English as an Additional Language (SATEAL)

[27.9.11] Anglomaniacy
Anglomaniacy is a site for kids who are learning English as a foreign or second language. Young ESL students will find here lots of online activities and hundreds of printable worksheets that can help them with their English. Browse the resources and online activities at:

[26.12.11] Which Language Should Parents of English Language Learners Use at Home?
Teachers of English language learners often wonder if it would improve students’ proficiency in English if parents spoke to students exclusively in English at home. However, encouraging parents of English language learners to speak exclusively to their children in English at home might not be the best advice.

[16.4.12] 5 Minute English
Learning English as a second language (ESL) is not always easy, but it should be fun. 5 Minute English has been designed to give you short and easy explanations and exercises.

[16.5.12] Population, language, ethnicity and socio-economic aspects of education
Polulation, ethnicity and language in London. Reports from the Economic and Research Council.

[29.6.12] Non-native speakers of English in the classroom: What are the effects on pupil performance?
A research report from the Nuffield Foundation.

[30.7.12] DotSUB adds interactive transcripts facility in 513 languages

[17.8.12] Portfolio of Integration
Portfolio of Integration provides a new approach to the educational integration of migrant children/children of migrants/new arrivals in Europe. It aims to help teachers to expand their cultural awareness and educational expertise in helping young people to integrate more effectively in the classroom, school and wider ‘host’ society. The first newsletter aims to raise teachers' and other interested linguists' awareness of the work that's being piloted across Europe.
Download the first newsletter here:

[3.12.12] At Home Abroad
This website provides information on research conducted with Eastern European migrant children in Scotland and their families and the events planned to promote better service delivery for migrants in Scotland and the UK.

[15.4.13] Exploiting Infographics for ELT
An infographic is a visual representation of, what is often, quite dense statistical information. This is the kind of information which can be very difficult to read as prose / text, but which, when transformed to a visual, can become accessible very quickly. A blog with lots of advice on using infographics for teaching.

[22..4.13] Why should parents talk to their children in their native language?
An article bysomeone who is both a speech-language pathologist and a multilingual mother of bilingual children

[6.5.13] World Stories: Collection of Stories Told in English and Another Language
A growing collection of stories from around the World. The collection includes retold traditional tales and new short stories in the 21 languages most spoken by UK children.

[6.8.13] IMPACT: Feature issue on educating English language learners with disabilities
From the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. Free to download at:

[7.3.14] How schools are breaking down the language barrier for EAL students




[Links in this section were last checked on 7.4.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Translating, Interpreting and Communication Support Services across the Public Sector in Scotland: A Literature Review. Joanna McPake & Richard Johnstone with Jo Lo Bianco, Hilary McColl, Gema Rodriguez Prieto & Elizabeth Speake. Scottish Central Research Unit 2002.

Learning and Teaching Scotland: English for speakers of other languages
Support includes access to resources, assessment and links to other sources of support.

Examining the Impact of EU Enlargement and the Introduction of the UK Citizenship Test on Provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages in Scotland
This research was commissioned to examine the impact of EU enlargement and the introduction of the UK citizenship test on provision of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in Scotland.

ESOL resources
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) offers free interactive ESOL learning and teaching materials to help teachers prepare and deliver SQA Units and Courses as well as provide support for independent or blended learning.

ESOL Initial Assessment Pack
A guide developed by Stevenson College and the Scottish Government to support practitioners undertaking initial asessment with their learners. Lots of other useful advice, too.

The Census 2011 Learning Pack has been produced by the General Register Office for Scotland in collaboration with Scottish Government. The pack is for tutors to use with groups of adults and young people who want to understand more about: the history of the census: how it works; how its results influence public services and how to fill in the form itself. The pack is designed primarily for use with people who might struggle with official forms, or feel excluded from official processes such as the census. It was written and quality-checked by experienced tutors of adult literacies and ESOL.

ESOL Scotland
Detail of national strategy, courses and CDP opportunities. Focuses mainly on adult learners. Long list of useful links.

English Language Classroom and Students with Disabilities
This tipsheet from Mobility International covers the types of disabilities ESL teachers might encounter in their classroom and offers guidance on accommodations and additional resources for further research.

Free languages stuff
More than 400 language worksheets and activities in more than 20 areas

Course rationale for ESOL
Draft Course Rationales and Summaries for National 4 and National 5 are available to view on SQA website. (National 4) (National 5)

Knowledge of Language
Find out about parts of speech, punctuation, grammar and syntax, tricky spellings and common confusions. An introductory module from Learning and Teaching Scotland

Helping You Meet the Cost of Learning: Asylum Seekers, Refugees, Migrant Workers and Non-UK EU Nationals: A Guide to Funding
The leaflet gives an overview of the funding available for: asylum seekers refugees and those with leave to remain migrant workers non UK EU nationals who wish to study aa course of further or higher education in Scotland. The information in this leaflet is intended to help practitioners giving advice to these students. (This is the latest available on line at this date. Check for updates.)

[13.4.11] Adult ESOL strategy for Scotland
Part of Learning and Teaching Scotland's updated Community Learning and Development website.

[1.8.11] How ESL and EFL classes differ

[7.8.11] Educating language minority students
A website created by an expert in bilingual cross-cultural education about educating language minority students.

[1.9.11] ESOL Scotland Network for Practitioners

[12.9.11] Teaching in the multilevel classroom

[19.12.11] English is soup!
A phonics resource for ESL adults. The sounds of American English.

[30.7.12] DotSUB adds interactive transcripts facility in 513 languages

[8.7.12] ESL Learning for Travelling Students
Advice for students planning to travel to an English speaking country. Essential information about English Grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation etc. and general advice about how to improve language skills and understanding of other cultures. (Thanks to the Girl Scouts in Seattle for pointing out this useful link!)

[6.2.14] Purdue Online Writing Lab

[6.2.14] The Guide to becoming an ESL Teacher

[6.2.14] Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

(With thanks to Olivia for bringing the last three sites to our attention.)

[20.6.14] English for speakers of other languages in Scotland's colleges
A subjects-based aspect report on provision in Scotland's colleges by Education Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council

[17.7.14] Language isssues in migration and integration: perspectives from teachers and learners
A British Council resource



[Links in this section were last checked on 9.4.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Provision for Community Language Learning in Scotland
Report of a study by Joanna McPake. Includes a comprehensive account of languages in use among Scottish schoolchildren. Sponsored by SEED and published September 2006. Available to download at:

Valuing all languages in Europe (VALEUR)
A survey sponsored by ECML:

Four research reports on community languages in Scotland can be found here:

National Qualifications - Urdu

Statistical Bulletin for Scottish education 2009
Contains information on pupils in publicly funded schools in Scotland, mainly derived from the latest annual pupil census. Amongst other details, tables show figures relating to inclusion, ethnicity, home language.

Our Languages project website
Promoting community languages in complementary and mainstream schools

CILT - The National Centre for Languages: Community Languages

Curriculum Guides for a range of community languages

Community Languages Bulletins are available via a free mailing list or online.

Positively Plurilingual finds that bilingual children are far more likely to get top-grade passes in exams in all subjects.

Partnerships in Language and Culture: A toolkit for mainstream and complementary schools working in collaboration (priced).

CONTINYOU Resource Centre for Supplementary Education
An independent voice for supplementary schools in UK.

Community languages

University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
The Language Centre portion of the website offers support and resources for teachers of Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, Japanese and Thai.

Community languages ICT resources
CILT's review of web-based resources, mainly for primary age groups.

Pakistan facing language 'crisis' in schools
A Guardian Weekly report.

Multilingual London
A summary of research findings from CILT.

Scottish Census 2011 Learning Pack

The Birmingham Grid for Learning
A high-quality learning resources across the curriculum, from Foundation Stage through to adult learners, aimed at supporting speakers of English as a second language. Some of the resources are translated into community languages, such as Panjabi, Mirpuri and Urdu.,index

Your Exams 2011
SQA has published a new booklet for this year’s exam candidates. The booklet can be downloaded from the SQA website and is available in English, Cantonese, Gaelic, Polish, Punjabi, and Urdu.

Raising the profice of community languages and cultures
A web-based teachers pack. This project aims to raise the profile of community languages by engaging pupils in a new learning experience where they become central to the teaching and learning of the language(s).

[28.5.11] Multilingual leaflets for refugees and asylum seekers
From the Refugee Council online.

[6.6.11] Lingu@net World Wide
Lingu@net World Wide is a multilingual, online resource center for foreign language learning. You can now access the whole site in: Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.

[4.7.11] Teaching and Learning in the Community Language Classroom
This project aimed to raise the standards of teaching and learning in Bangla, Gujarati, and Urdu Community Language schools in Crawley. A course was developed, delivered and accredited by the Open College Network (OCN) at Levels 2 and 3 for volunteer teachers currently teaching in these language schools.

[21.9.11] Arabic online
An EU-funded project to provide comprehensive language learning resources for Modern Standard Arabic. 
This free online course, hayya bina, has been specially developed for complete beginners.

[28.11.11] Special Interest Group on World Languages
The Association for Language Learning has recently established a new Special Interest Group intending to take forward issues relating to the wider group of languages learnt in the UK (those which might be termed Community Languages or World Languages). For more information about the SIG and its associated discussion list:

[27.1.12] 1 + 2 = free?
An article reflecting on the ‘1+2’ languages initiative recently announced by the Scottish Government and the opportunity it offers to strengthen provision for the wide range of 'home' languages used in Scotland. 1 + 2 = free? (Scottish Languages Review, Issue 24, Winter 2011-12.)

[30.7.12] DotSUB adds interactive transcripts facility in 513 languages

[8.4.13] Teaching Heritage Languages
A free online workshop

[5.10.14] Learning support to grade 4 learners who experience barriers to English as language of learning and teaching
Blanche Denise Mackay. Research paper submitted to the University of South Africa in accordance with the requirements for the degree if Master of Education (215 pages).




[Links in this section were last checked on 29.4.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Working together to develop cultural awareness and multilingualism
A case study

Inclusion and Equality part 4: Evaluating educational provision for bilingual learners (HMIE)
A guide to evaluating the quality of educational provision for bilingual learners, principally those who are learning English as an additional language. The guide is designed for use by headteachers, senior managers, teachers, specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) staff and education authority officers. It highlights effective ways in which schools can fully support bilingual learners. This document is one of a series of guides to self-evaluation which builds on the advice given in the publication, 'How Good is our School?' (2002 edition).

A website for multilingual families in the UK
Families can find out about other families in their local area who speak the same language, so that they can form playgroups, etc. There is also a resources section about languages and parenting bilingually.

Ivan Moody's comprehensive list of links to bilingual resources on the net

Afasic, the charity that supports people with speech and communication difficulties, has a downloadable pdf file on bilingualism. They point out that that bilingualism is not a disorder and that it never causes or contributes to a communication disorder. The do say, however, that a bilingual child is just as likely to be affected by a speech and/or language impairment as a monolingual child and needs to be treated accordingly. Look for the list of Glossary items on this page:

The Waltham Forest Bilingual Group: supporting families, speaking languages
Offers help and support to anyone interested in bilingual issues

Here are some news stories about the advantages of bilingualism:
Being bilingual protects brain
Bilingual classes raise results
Bébé, you're bilingual

Bilingualism and second language acquisition

A study by researchers in Edinburgh could give teachers valuable insights into how bilingual children think

Bilingualism Matters: Scotland as a multicultural society
Website that aims to bridge the gap between researchers and communities to help more children benefit from bilingualism. Its primary aim is to disseminate accurate information about bilingualism among bilingual families and educators. Carries a list of resources and links.

See, in particular, from this site, Two are better than one

Multilingualism brings communities closer together
Article in Science Daily 10.2.09

Raising bilingual children: Common parental concerns and current research
Guidance for professionals who work with bilingual children and their parents. Download here:

Mantra Lingua is a UK based publishing house that supplies dual-language resources in 52 languages

Bilingual Therapies
A US site on speech therapy with children who are bilingual.

Bilingual babies get an early edge
This study shows that bilingual babies quickly adapt to different learning cues at seven months old.

Bilingual babies
This article in the Economist reports on a study that suggest how being bilingual at an early age may affect the way a child thinks.

Case studies from Wales' Triple Literacy Project

Read about Wales' Triple Literacy Project and how lower ability learners benefited. The school reports highlight the significant contribution MFL and Welsh can make in addressing literacy weaknesses in English.

Bilingualism brings host of mental benefits'. Link to TES article:

Bilingual Families Web Page
A page maintained by a volunteer

Potential learning benefits for students who speak more than one language
An article about recent studies on how language learning occurs

Gaelic-medium pupils have the edge in English
Children taught in Gaelic are better at reading English than pupils taught in English-medium education, according to new research reported in the Times Educational Supplement.

Life as a bilingual: the reality of living with two (or more) languages
A blog by Francois Grosjean, Ph.D

[2.6.11] Do children with autism acquire the phonology of their peers?
An examination of group identification through the window of bilingualism. (Abstract.)

[2.6.11] Severe developmental disorders and bilingualism

[6.6.11] The bilingual advantage
An article from the new York Times.

[28.6.11] Multilingual living
"Because global communication begins at home."
12 common myths and misconceptions about bilingual children
Posters/handouts to download, and website that may be of interest:

[29.8.11] Supporting multilingual approaches with children and families
A case study describing work by Lamlash Primary School.

[14.11.11] Advocacy Kit for promoting Multilingual Education: Including the Excluded
UNESCO is developing a number of initiatives for the promotion of mother tongue instruction and bilingual or multilingual education to enhance quality education. This kit is meant to raise awareness on the importance of mother-tongue-based multilingual education. It presents the value and benefits of mother tongue instruction and is targeting policy makers, education practitioners and specialists. The kit focuses on policyand practice in Asia and the Pacific, but contains points that should be of interest worldwide.

[17.12.11] Access to French immersion programmes and inclusive teaching practices in the classroom
Although this Masters theseis was written in the context of French immersion classes in Canada, the author as much of interest to say about the challenges facing minority language users learning their third language that will be of interest in other linguistic contexts too.

[18.12.11] Valuing bilingualism: a challenge to the monolingual framework
A PowerPoint file from the open university following a research study.

[16.12.11] Helping your child to become bilingual
Advice leaflet for parents issued by the City of Edinburgh EAL Service

[20.2.12] Biligual kids gain benefits in literacy skills
A report on research carried out in Canada.

[9.4.12] Multitasking comes easier to bilingual kids
Report of a Canadian research study.

[7.5.12] Bilingualism fine-tunes hearing and enhances attention
Dual language speakers are better able to encode basic language sounds and patterns. Read the full article here:

[11.5.12] Language rich Europe
A new website which will to advocate multilingualism for stable and prosperous societies. Read about developments on this British Council blog.

[16.5.12] A collection of links to articles on the advantages of bilingualism
With thanks to the Association for Language Learning

[29.6.12] The world through 3054 lenses
An online collaborative effort to protect global linguistic diversity.

[23.11.12] Two are better than one
This article by Professor Antonella Sorace explains how bilingualism might affect children and answers some questions about living and speaking with two languages.

[24.3.16] Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition



[Links in this section were last checked on 29.4.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Teaching English
This website is a co-production between the British Broadcasting Corporation and the British Council. The materials on the site are designed for non-native speaker teachers of English working predominantly in secondary education.

This article is about teaching English to children with additional educational needs. It deals with the rationale behind teaching English to such children and provides teaching strategies for the institution and the classroom.

Pronunciation – the poor relation?
Entries from the BBC's Teaching English blog.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Site contains teaching materials, forums, lesson plans, a Bingo card generator, game ideas, and more.

English without Frontiers
This EU-funded project offers a curriculum (method, syllabus and materials) for teaching English as a Foreign Language to adult learners with intellectual disabilities or learning difficulties. The curriculum was developed by an international consortium as part of the Barrier-Free Language Learning project to demonstrate that adult learners with intellectual disabilities can and want to learn foreign languages.

ESL Partyland
'A fun way to learn English as a second language!'

If you are teaching English as a foreign language to children whose dyslexia requires a stronger focus on phonics, this BBC site may be of interest:

A website to help Mandarin speakers to learn and improve their English. With links to other useful sites.

The English Department
A selection of pages for students of English and their teachers, with useful links and resources. Information on the English languageand links to all continents where English is spoken.

From the British Council: Stirrers and Settlers for the Primary Classroom
Intended for teachers of English as a foreign language, but the principles are common to all language teaching

Karaoke for learners of English, and other tips for teachers

The British Council
The British Council has websites for learners as well as teachers. See, for example:

Vital Verbs, etc.
MLG Publishing has recently launched new downloadable versions of its multilingual resources to support language learning, including the Vital Verbs set of 108 visuals of common verbs.

The Daily What
An online newspaper provided by Learning and Teaching Scotland to support literacy and language in Scottish Schools. Every article is available in a simple introductory version and also in a longer, more in-depth version, so it may prove useful in mixed ability classes.

Interesting things for ESL Students
Including vocabulary games galore. You can add your own lists.

Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language
Electronic Journal

Resources for learners
A possible source of teaching ideas and resources for those using Content and Language Integrated Learning to teach English as a foreign language (climate change, etc.)

[1.8.11] How ESL and EFL classes differ

[24.12.11] English for deaf sign language users: Still a challenge
A paper by Austrian expert Franz Dotter about teaching English as a foreign language, or lingua franca, to deaf students. Likely also to be of general interest to those concerned with teaching English or foreign languages to deaf students generally.

[29.11.12] DysTEFL
Dyslexia for teachers of English as a Foreign Language. A 10- Unit course funded with support from the European Commission.




[Links in this section were last checked on 29.4.11 unless otherwise indicated]

An article by Ian Smythe
English and Language: Comprehension difficulties

Dyslexia in the foreign language classroom: A practical guide for teachers, by Ania Krzyzak

Dyslexia and Non-English Language Learning
A commercial site specialising in resources for students of foreign languages, including English as a second language.

Multilingualism and Dyslexia

Dyslexia in the Foreign Language Classroom
Link to an article by a teacher of English in Poland:

A paper on hidden dyslexia in bilingual and multilingual students.

Dyslexia varies across languages
Chinese-speaking children with dyslexia have a disorder that is distinctly different from that of English speakers. (Science Daily 13.10.09)

Dyslexia and literacy
Nichola Brown's webpage provides links to resources to help with literacy in English, with a specific focus on dyslexic students. Although intended to assist native English speakers, some of the information may be of interest to teachers of English as a second or foreign language.

Dyslexics excel at Japanese
When it comes to learning Japanese, the highest achievers could be dyslexic children. Research at a school in Somerset shows dyslexics find the language easier to learn than French, Spanish or German.

This is an EU project: Information and Communications Technologies integrated in a Business English Language Learning environment. They are developing a Business English learning programme for adult dyslexics. Work is incomplete, but there's some interesting material.

[17.6.12] Literacy acquisition in European orthographies
An account of the work done by the Department of Pschology at Dundee Universityand partners throughout Europe.

[17.6.12] Why is reading in English so difficult?
Recent research into learning to decipher words, dyslexia in English compared to dyslexia in other languages.

[14.9.12] Wanted! MFL teachers to take part in pilot study
Dyslang (Dyslexia and Additional Academic Language Learning) is a European-funded project which aims to develop a course for teachers and parents to support the multilingual dyslexic individual in learning an additional curriculum language. The course materials will be available by the end of October. The developers are looking for MFL teachers to pilot the course, starting in November. The only criteria to take part are that you are a qualified teacher currently teaching a language at primary or secondary level and have at least one multilingual child in your class. If you are interested or want more information, contact Jill Fernando at

[7.10.12] Dyslang - Helping multilingual dyslexic students learn another language
This free online course is officially launched on 1st November 2012. It is facilitated through e-learning, with downloadable pdf's, webinars as well as face to face workshops. If you are interested, sign up here:
or contact:

[29.11.12] DysTEFL
Dyslexia for teachers of English as a Foreign Language. A 10- Unit course funded with support from the European Commission.


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