ESOL Courses for Children, Teenagers & Adults


The ESOL Curriculum

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Speaking Entry Level 1 (A1 - Basic & Beginner)

At this level, students can:

• listen and respond to spoken language, including simple narratives, statements, questions and single step instructions;

• speak to communicate basic information, feelings and opinions on familiar topics;

• engage in discussion with another person in a familiar situation about familiar topics.

Students are expected to: 

• listen for the gist of short explanations;

• listen for detail using key words to extract some specific information;

• follow single step instructions in a familiar context, asking for instructions to be repeated if necessary;

• listen and respond to requests for personal information;

• speak clearly to be heard and understood in simple exchanges;

• make requests using appropriate terms;

• ask questions to obtain specific information;

• make statements of fact clearly;

• speak and listen in simple exchanges and everyday contexts.

Speaking 

Students are taught to: 

• give personal information: My name's... I live in... I don't smoke.

• introduce family and close friends: I've got 3 children. This is my wife. He comes from... They're brothers.

• tell the time/day etc.: It's 12 o'clock. It's quarter past...

• express ability: I can speak Spanish and French. She can't drive.

• say when you do not understand: Sorry I don't understand.

• describe places and things. There's a heater in this room. There's some tea here. There are 8 students in the class. There isn't any coffee;

• give single step directions and instructions: Go straight on. Put the tape in the tape recorder. Don't smoke in here.

• spell words aloud: My name is MARIA, that's M-A-R-I-A.
• ask for personal information: What's your name? Is she your wife? Do you speak English? Where do you work? Have you got a job?
• enquire about prices and quantities: How much is it? How many students are there?

• ask the time/day: What's the time? Have you got the time?

• enquire about skills: Can you type?

• make requests, ask for something: A cup of tea, please. Can I have a single to Manchester, please?

• request & ask someone to do something: ID, please. Can you help me? Please, can you repeat it?

• request directions: Where's the Post Office?

• express likes and dislikes: E.g. I like... I don't like I like... and... I like... but I hate...

• express feelings: I'm angry/happy verb be + adjectives.

• express wishes: I want a new job. I don't want an evening class.

• agree and disagree: Yes/No... I think so. I don't agree. You're right.

• apologise: Sorry! I’m sorry.

• express views: I think this is good.

• respond to requests for basic information: What's your name? Maria.

• confirm: Do you come from England? Yes./No. Yes, I do./No, I don't. Does/doesn't Have you got...? Yes, I have./No, I haven't,  Has/hasn't;

• respond to questions about ability: Can you drive? Yes, I can/No, I can't.

• respond to a request: Can I use your pen? Yes, you can.

• express a preference: Which do you want, tea or coffee? Tea, please.

• correct; You live in Luton. – No, I live in London. Mrs Kan, that's K-A-N ? No, K-H-A-N.

• check back: Can you come on Monday at 4pm? Monday? 4pm?

• express thanks: Thanks./Thank you.

• respond to a request for directions: It's on the left. prepositions and prepositional phrases of place e.g. opposite, near, on the left;

• request instructions: It's on the left. Come in. Don't move it.

• greet: Hi! How are you?

 • respond to greeting: Fine, thanks, and you?

• invite and offer: Would you like a sandwich? questions, using modal 'would' + like.

• interaction between speakers e.g. shrugging or saying 'aha...mmh' to show understanding;

• accept: Yes, please.

• decline: No, thanks. I'm sorry, I don't eat ham.

• take leave: Bye. See you! 

The Grammar includes:

• statements, negatives and short forms using simple present of be/have/do, and common regular verbs;

• have got, possession; possessive and demonstrative adjectives; subject pronouns;

• there is/are; prepositions of place; countable/uncountable nouns; determiners of quantity some/any; regular and common irregular plurals; indefinite article a/an with singular countable nouns;

• commands using imperatives and negative imperatives;

• questions using • simple present of be/have/do and of common verbs • have got to indicate possession • ''wh''- questions with ''who/what where/how much/many''.

• statements, positive and negative, using conjunctions – and/but;

• simple present, short answer form;

• prepositions and prepositional phrases of place e.g. opposite, near, on the left;

• imperative and negative imperative;

• modal 'can' + infinitive.

Strategies for Independent Learning 

Students are encouraged to do the following: 

• go over work done in class, read it aloud, check understanding;

• read practice dialogues to themselves, try learning them by heart;

• keep a new vocabulary book and try to learn five new words after each lesson;

• tape lessons or parts of lesson and play back at home;

• use self-access English learning materials (books, computer programmes and tapes) outside the classroom for extra practice or revision;

• rehearse what they are going to say before dialling, think about possible questions and answers;

• write down what they want to say, or main points, before dialling;

• watch TV/listen to the radio/read headlines and simple books in English every day, if only for a short time. Ask English-speaking friends or relatives to explain words, phrases they do not understand or look words up in a bilingual dictionary;

• play simple board games, cards or language games with English-speaking friends or relatives.


Speaking Entry Level 1 (A2 - Pre-intermediate)

At this level, students can:

• listen and respond to spoken language, including straightforward information, short narratives, explanations and instructions;
• speak to communicate information, feelings and opinions on familiar topics;
• engage in discussion with one or more people in a familiar situation, to establish shared understanding about familiar topics.

Students are expected to:

• listen for and follow the gist of explanations, instructions and narratives;
• listen for detail in short explanations, instructions and narratives;
• listen for and identify the main points of short explanations or presentations;
• listen to and follow short, straightforward explanations and instructions;
• listen and identify simply expressed feelings and opinions;
• speak clearly to be heard and understood in straightforward exchanges;
• make requests and ask questions to obtain information in everyday contexts;
• respond to straightforward questions;
• express clearly statements of fact and short accounts and descriptions;
• ask questions to clarify understanding;
• follow the gist of discussions;
• follow the main points and make appropriate contributions to the discussion.

Speaking

Students are taught to:

• give personal information: I was an engineer in Italy but I don't have a job now.
• describe self and others: I am/I'm busy. He is/He's tall and slim. She is/She's got long dark hair. They are/They're not helpful. He’s got a beard and a big smile.
• narrate - talk about past events (1st person narrative): I was born in ...... I got married and then I came to the UK. I moved to Birmingham two years ago. I worked in a school. The school was near my house. After that I... simple past of regular and common irregular verbs; ago;  
• narrate – talk about past events (3rd person narrative): Yesterday Dan went to London. Later he saw an Inspector and asked him...
• talk about future plans, arrangements and intentions: I'm taking my children to the park tomorrow. I'm going to visit my sister on Sunday. He's going to study computing in September.
• express need: I have to see my manager. I need to leave early today. I must hurry.
• ask for personal details: What's your address? What do you do?
• ask for descriptions of people: What does he look like? What's he like?
• ask for descriptions of places and things: What’s it like?
• make comparative questions: Is halal meat more expensive than non-halal meat?
• ask about regular or daily routines: What do you do at the weekends? When do you usually get up?
• ask about past events: What happened? Did you see the news last night? What did you do in your country?
• ask about future plans and intentions: What are you doing next weekend? Are you going to...?
• make requests – ask for something in formal and informal situations: Could I speak to the manager? I'd like to see Mrs Brown please. Can I have a biscuit, Dan?
• ask someone to do something in formal and informal situations: Could you shut the window? Could you give me...? Can I use your pen?
• ask for permission formally: Could I leave at 12.00 today please?
• ask for directions: Can/could you tell me the way to...?
• express likes and dislikes with reasons: I like Manchester because... I don't like Manchester, so we don't go there very often.
• express views, with reasons and cause and effect: I think Mrs Smith is a good teacher, so I don't miss her classes. I think she is a good teacher because she listens to us.
• express wishes and hopes: I'd like to get a job next year. I hope he gets better soon.
• apologise: I'm really sorry/so/extremely sorry.
• apologise and give reasons: I'm really sorry I’m late but...
• ask about people's feelings, opinions, interests, wishes, hopes: Do you think...? What do you think about...? How do you feel about...?
• respond to requests for personal detail: When do you start work? At 9.00.
• respond to questions about people: What's he like? He's friendly.
• respond to questions about places and things: Tell me about your country. It's in Europe. There are...
• respond to comparative questions: Is the weather the same here as in...? No, it isn't. No, it's colder than...
• respond to questions about regular or daily events: Can you tell me about your job? I work in... I have to...
• respond to questions about past events – confirming: Did you see the news last night? Yes, I did. No, I didn't.
• respond to questions about past events – narrating: What did you do last night? I went to... and I saw...
• responds to questions about future plans and intentions: What are you going to do next year? I'm going to study engineering. I'm going to get a job. I'm not staying at....
• respond to formal and informal requests for something: Could you tell me the time? What's the time? It's six o’clock.
• respond to formal and informal requests to do something: Could you shut the door? Please shut the door. OK. Yes, of course. No, I'm sorry, it's stuck.
• respond to formal requests for permission: Could I use your pen? I’ll return it later. Yes, that’s fine. / No, I’m sorry, I need it.
• respond to questions about preference: Which do you prefer, tea or coffee? I prefer coffee.
• respond to requests for clarification: How did you say you spell your name? K – H – A – N.
• check back: You go up the stairs, turn left and its at the end of the corridor. I go up the stairs, turn left and then...?
• express thanks gratefully: Thanks so/very much.
• respond to requests for directions: How do you get to X? How does this work? Go straight on, past the lights and turn right.
• respond to requests for instructions: How does this work? First you check the pressure, then you take the pump and... Don't take off the ...
• respond to requests for explanations: I'm sorry I didn't understand that. Could you explain it again? Yes, no problem.. O.K., well...
• insist politely: I'm sure. I really must go. It's very important.
• take leave: Have a good weekend!
• greet: Hi, hello, 'morning, nice to see you.
• respond to greetings: Did you have a good weekend? Yes thanks. We went swimming, and you?
• give warnings: Be careful! Stop! Don't run. It's dangerous.
• express possession: This is mine. That's Jane's bag.
• offer: Would you like tea or coffee? either/or;
• greet: Did you have a good holiday?
• ask about possession; Is this yours? Is this Ahmed's bag?
• persuade: Must you go? Are you sure...?
• ask for clarification and explanation: Are you coming on Monday or on Tuesday? What does X mean? How do you spell X?

The Grammar includes:

• statements, negatives and short forms using • simple present of be/have/do; • common verbs; • have got to equal possession;
• simple past of regular and common irregular verbs;
• common adjectives word order after be and with nouns; use of the indefinite article;

• adjectives, including regular and common irregulars’;

• prepositions of time e.g. at/in/on; adverbs of frequency e.g. usually, sometimes; word order;

• object pronouns; adverbs and adverbial phrases of time and place e.g. yesterday, in the morning; definite article 'the' (specifying); sequencing adverbs; conjunctions, e.g. and/but;

• present continuous (to express the future); going to + infinitive;

• modals – need, must, have to + infinitive;

• questions using • simple present of be/do/have;

• common regular verbs – question form;

• questions e.g. when, what time, how often?

• simple past of be/do/have; irregular verbs;

• modal could + infinitive; would like + infinitive; object pronouns.

• statements and negatives using • conjunctions and adverbs of reason, cause and effect;

• adverbials of time;

• questions and statements using • simple present;

• imperative and negative imperative; • sequencing adverbs and conjunctions;

• intensifiers, with correct word order;

• statement and negative forms using • possessives • possessive pronouns;

• questions using • possessives • possessive pronouns;

• modal ‘must’. 

Strategies for Independent Learning 

Students are encouraged to do the following: 

• go over work done in class, read it aloud, check understanding;

• read practice dialogues to themselves, try learning them by heart;

• keep a new vocabulary book and try to learn five new words after each lesson;

• tape lessons or parts of lesson and play back at home;

• use self-access English learning materials (books, computer programmes and tapes) at home for extra practice or revision, and consult their teacher about appropriate materials;

• rehearse what they are going to say before dialling, think about possible questions and answers;

• write down what they want to say, or main points, before dialling;

• try to watch TV/listen to the radio/read headlines and simple books in English every day, if only for a short time;

• use a bilingual or English students dictionary to look words up they do not know;

• play board games, cards or language games with English-speaking friends or relatives;

• think of ways in which they can meet English-speaking people and use English as the medium of communication.


Speaking Entry Level 3 (B1 - Intermediate)

Speaking

At this level, students can:

• listen and respond to spoken language, including straightforward information and narratives, and follow straightforward explanations and instructions, both face to face and on the telephone;

• speak to communicate information feelings and opinions on familiar topics, using appropriate formality, both face to face and on the telephone;

• engage in discussion with one or more people in a familiar situation, making relevant points and responding to what others say and to reach a shared understanding about familiar topics.

Students are expected to:

• listen for and follow the gist of explanations, instructions and narratives in different contexts;

• listen for detail in short explanations, instructions and narratives in different contexts;

• listen for and identify relevant information from discussions, explanations or presentations;

• use strategies to clarify and confirm understanding (such as facial expressions or gesture);

• listen to and respond appropriately to other points of view;

• speak clearly to be heard and understood using appropriate clarity, speed and phrasing;

• use formal language and register when appropriate;

• respond to a range of questions about familiar topics;

• express clearly statements of fact and give short explanations, accounts and descriptions;

• make requests and ask questions to obtain information in familiar and unfamiliar contexts;

• follow and understand the main points of discussions on different topics;

• make contributions to discussions that are relevant to the subject;

• respect the turn-taking rights of others during discussion.

Speaking

Students are taught to:

• identify purpose of a variety of straightforward texts such as to inform, to sell something, to request action, to tell a story, to instruct, to persuade, to make contact; be aware of the concept of purpose; Newspaper article, biography, folk tale, short report, e-mail, simple instructions, descriptive writing, review, form, formal and informal letter, memo;

• identify the audience, register and outcome of straightforward texts; be aware of the concept of audience and outcome; be aware of changes in register depending on the degree of formality;

• look at examples of formal and informal letters. Ask who is it written to? Is it a formal or informal letter? What does the writer hope will happen?

• recognise some common text types from key generic features; be aware that different texts which share a common purpose will share common features, for instance that a description is often written in the present tense, that memos have a particular layout;

• look at two or more texts of the same type and analyse key features;

• use these key features to predict meaning and aid understanding;

• use of headline or illustrations in a newspaper article, common structure of a folk-tale (e.g. usually has a happy ending), use of past tense in straightforward narrative, use of linguistic markers first, next, then, finally to indicate sequence, use of times and dates in chronological narrative, use of numbering in a set of instructions;

• look at illustrations and discuss what the text will be about;

• look at form and predict what information is likely to be needed and where it should be put;

• look at letter and decide the relationship (formal or informal) between writer and reader;

• read title and first paragraph of narrative and discuss what may follow;

• recognise and use features of IT texts; understand IT concepts underlying the texts, e.g. concept of a series of menus; Menus, icons, teletext pages;

• exercises to find specific information, using IT textual features;

• match icon with description;

• use a range of strategies to get meaning from text, e.g. skim to get the gist, scan for specific information, read thoroughly where necessary; be aware that it is not always necessary to read every word to get meaning from text; Get the gist of letter, report, autobiographical narrative, folk tale, simple newspaper article;

• scan for information from a time-table, places to visit from a brochure. Read thoroughly to understand details of procedure or have in-depth appreciation of narrative;

• match instructions against illustrations or diagrams;

• comprehension activities: true/false, questions, circle correct answer, gap fill, discussion, re-tell;

• use knowledge of links between sentences and paragraphs to aid meaning; be aware of the concept of a paragraph, common structure of paragraphs and how paragraphs link together;

• identify words which show links between sentences and between paragraphs;

• label paragraphs in a text and discuss structure of text;

• fill in gaps in texts with suitable linking words and phrases. Cohesive ties, discourse markers Later on we will go on to show.... At the moment outside my classroom window it is raining. This makes me think of the weather in my own country. The winter weather is like summer in England, but the summers are very hot ... During the hot weather ... Another feature of the weather.

• pick out main points or events in a text; be aware that texts of the same type share common structural features and how this aids understanding; Chronology from an autobiographical account, action to be taken from a letter;

• highlight main points in a text, compare with another student’s main points;

• transfer key information from text to other format: e.g. table, flow chart, mind-map;

• use context to monitor meaning and interact with text; recognise that it is possible to react to texts in different ways and that texts may be wrong or inconsistent; check what is being read makes sense; express opinion about text;

• put sentences from a narrative in order to re-tell the story;

• stop at regular intervals and ask students to say what the text is about and to say if it makes sense;

• re-tell narrative or explain content of text to another person;

• discussion in pairs, groups, whole group;

• debate;

• use own knowledge of the world to help get meaning from text; be aware of the importance of shared background knowledge and knowledge of the world in obtaining meaning from texts; previous knowledge about subject matter (for instance reading a child-care text, having brought up children), cultural understanding (for instance knowing how the education system works before reading a college prospectus);

• discussion;

• self-questioning: What do I know already about this subject?

• identifying key phrases and vocabulary (e.g. for a prospectus: assessment, portfolio)

• use images to help understanding;

• read and, interpret information in a graphical form, be able to use and interpret information in graphical form, be aware of the conventions of simple tabular formats;

• take various simple leaflets and discuss how images and graphical information help in understanding the texts;

• using local train or bus timetables, discuss the layout, use of columns and rows; set some true/false questions, such as: The last train is at 23.48. The trains on Sundays run every 45 minutes. Map to accompany address on a leaflet. Timetables, simple graphs, bar charts.

• use a range of reference tools and sources to get information from texts;

• use alphabetical ordering skills to access information; develop awareness of sources of information; develop understanding of alphabetical order;

• questionnaire, quiz, games to find information;

• jigsaw reading activities (where one student has some information and another has the rest);

• put words in alphabetical order;
•use knowledge of syntax and grammar to work out meaning and to confirm understanding; recognise simple and complex sentence patterns and grammatical features;
• identify sentences with similar structures;
• predict what the next word will be from the sentence structure;
• gap-fill;
• recognise how punctuation helps understanding; recognise what the different marks mean.

The Grammar includes:

• read aloud to a partner, showing how pauses and information correspond to punctuation;
• discuss use of punctuation in a text: capital letters, full stops, commas, question and exclamation marks, bullet points, numbering;
• identify the function of common suffixes and prefixes; recognise the form and function of common prefixes;
• underline words with common suffixes and prefixes in a narrative, discuss what they mean;
• compare with word structure in students' own languages: (help)less, (reception)ist, every(body), re(turned);
• extend sight vocabulary and work out meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary from context and knowledge of word families; have an awareness of the structure of words: e.g. verb, noun, gerund, e.g. teach/teacher/teaching; farm/farmer/farming;
• word association games;
• look at word families (sign/signature, photograph,/ photographer/photography);
• classify vocabulary;
• vary text types to get a range of vocabulary, a range of text types and topics;
• read and understand words commonly used on forms, be aware of form filling conventions and language commonly used on forms;
• bring in examples of forms and discuss words and phrases commonly found;
• discuss the way in which the same information is asked for in different ways, such as first name, forename, other names and the way instructions are given, stated and unstated.

Strategies for independent learning

• look at newspapers and magazines, join the library, read as much as possible outside the classroom;
• keep a vocabulary notebook and learn new words, organise them in word families or subject categories;
• use a dictionary to check meaning of unfamiliar words;
• start to use a dictionary to check pronunciation.