Useful Websites for LESLLA Educators


Andrea Echelberger teaching LESLLA learners in the "Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers" video.

Andrea Echelberger teaching LESLLA learners in the "Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers" video.

New American Horizons

The New American Horizons Foundation embarked on a video project that resulted in 12 amazing videos that provide models of classroom practice with adult LESLLA learners. The contributors to the project include many of the longtime LESLLA members. Among the videos, we particularly love the lesson with Andrea Echelberger and her learners in Minnesota - a classic example of a Language Experience Approach (LEA) lesson that takes a Whole-Part-Whole (balanced) approach to literacy instruction.  Don't miss "Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers."


ESL Literacy Network 

Bow Valley College in Calgary, Canada launched a ESL literacy network. The site has information on best practices, descriptions of learners, the Canadian benchmarks for literacy, guidance on how to develop curriculum, and ideas for teaching. It also contains videos of classroom ideas and printable readers.

MN Literacy Council.jpg
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Apple Picking - Language Experience Approach

Apple Picking - Language Experience Approach

LESLLA Conference 2018 Student Volunteers

LESLLA Conference 2018 Student Volunteers

Technology Training with LESLLA Learners

Technology Training with LESLLA Learners

Minnesota Literacy Council

The Minnesota Literacy Council has developed the Classroom Activities for Adult ESL Learners video series, which features professional teachers leading adult ESL classes through common classroom activities. The videos include both volunteer-led and teacher-led classrooms. Teachers and volunteers can watch these videos at a convenient time and location in order to develop their classroom skills and become more comfortable introducing new activities to their learners.

The videos were produced by MN Literacy Council Media Intern Timothy Johnson, and ESL Training Coordinator Andrea Echelberger.


The EU Speak Project

The EU SPEAK Project is a collaborative endeavor involving partners from several European countries aimed to provide teacher training and materials to support language acquisition and educational outcomes of immigrant and refugee-background populations with little or no formal education and emerging literacy skills. You can access modules, books and additional resources in English, Dutch, Spanish, Finish and Turkish.

  • EU-Speak is an eight-year project working to make a difference in the educational outcomes for immigrants with little or no education.

  • EU-Speak es un proyecto que lleva 8 años trabajando para cambiar la situación en los resultados educativos de los inmigrantes que cuentan con poca o nula educación formal. 

  • EU-Speak on kahdeksanvuotinen hanke, jonka tavoitteena on parantaa vähän koulutettujen ja kouluttamattomien maahanmuuttajien oppimistuloksia.

  • Okul eğitimi almamış yetişkin yaştaki göçmenlerin eğitim düzeyini geliştirici uluslararası ücretsiz ve online bir öğretmen eğitimi programı.

  • EU-Speak ist ein achtjähriges Projeck mit dem Ziel, sechs Module zu entwickeln, die den Praktizierenden viele Möglichkeiten bieten sollten, ihr Wissen anhand einer breiten Spanne von relevanten Themen für die Arbeit mit den Lernern zu erweitern.


Additional Sites

The following Web sites are listed in alphabetical order by country name. Additional links to helpful literacy websites may be added. Please submit your website ideas through our Contact page.


ACAL – The Australian Council for Adult Literacy promotes adult literacy and numeracy policy and practice. The Web site provides information and links to publications, state sites, other links, and interactive live webpages for information exchange. 

Indigenous Learners and Language - The mission of this website is "improving the educational outcomes of Indigenous students through a focus on the Aboriginal English/ESL interface." The site offers information, publications, studies and research, teaching resources and ideas, and other links. 

NCELTR - The National Centre for English Language Teaching & Research is the centre for English language at Macquarie University. The Resource Centre offers bibliographies and research guides including a bibliography of resources for teaching adult literacy. 

RESIG - The Refugee Education Special Interest Group has compiled and shared an open access annotated bibliography curated by a collective of scholars in Australia who share an interest in the impacts of forced migration on people from refugee, asylum seeking and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) migrant backgrounds. This bibliography offers a snapshot of some of the available literature that relates to the many areas of scholarly and practitioner interest. Click here for a pdf of the annotated bibliography.


Bruxelles FLE - This is a site for Belgian teachers of French as an additional language. This site offers access to resources shared by and for teachers, interactive maps to locate training centers, and a participatory platform for you to share your resources!

Lire et Écrire  - Lire et Écrire a été créée pour que tout adulte qui le souhaite puisse trouver près de chez lui une formation en alpha­bétisation de qualité adaptée à sa demande. [Read and Write has been created so that any adult who wishes to do so can find quality literacy training close to home that suits their needs.]

Objectives: 1) to draw the attention of public opinion and public authorities to the persistence of illiteracy and the urgent need to combat the causes and to find solutions; 2) promote the effective right to quality literacy for any adult who wishes to; and, 3) to develop literacy in a perspective of emancipation, participation and social change towards greater equality.

Proforal Asbl - Proforal asbl is a non-profit organization based in Brussels, Belgium. This training center is dedicated to LESLLA learners. The organization also promotes ongoing teacher development. Its proposal is to provides links with professionals working on integration pathways in Europe and participate in the dissemination of existing studies in English for French as a foreign language teachers .


Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks - The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks is the centre of expertise in support of the national standards in English and French for describing, measuring and recognizing second language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada. 

Teaching Refugees with Limited Formal Schooling - This site is a collection of resources with links to web-based documents that explain the instructional design in detail, and links to teacher and student resources. There are also downloadable PDF documents which provide more detail about the foundational ideas of the instructional design. A literature review provides a summary of the “best practice” research that was conducted in preparation for the creation of this website.

Youth Literacy Canada - Promising practices and research results for teaching literacy skills to youth at risk, based on a project funded by Literacy BC.


Digitaalisia Taitoja Maahanmuuttajille - Auttaa maahanmuuttajia kaikissa verkkoasiointiin, verkko-opiskeluun, arjen digitaitohin ja tietoteknisiin perustaitoihin liittyvissä asioissa. Auttaa maahanmuuttajien opettajia ja ohjaajia integroimaan digitaalisia välineitä ja verkossa olevia materiaaleja omaan opetukseensa. [Support for immigrants building digital literacy skills and resources for their teachers.]


Language Integration for Immigrants and Migrants provides access to Open Hellenic University's postgraduate program on Language education for Immigrants and Migrants.


LIAM (Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants) provides useful resources from EU countries on policies and practices for linguistic integration throughout Europe.

UNESCO - Founded in 1945, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is today composed of 191 Member States. UNESCO deploys its action in the fields of Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, Communication and Information. Goal 4 of UNESCO is to Improve Adult Literacy by 50 Per Cent-this goal calls for a certain level of improvement in adult literacy by 2015 - it says that it should be 50 per cent better than it was in 2000. The needs of women should receive particular attention. In addition, all adults should have opportunities to go on learning throughout their lives. (

Spotlight English - This site has easy to understand audio and video programs for English language learners. Each file comes with a transcript. The subjects are authentic, spanning a wide range of topics including: entertainment, healthy living, relationships, science and technology, and more. They utilize a 'Specialized English' method for broadcasting that uses fewer words (list of 1500), a slower speed (90 words per minute), and shorter sentences (one idea per sentence).


The Intercultural Storytelling Project - Intercultural storytelling promotes intercommunity cohesion and social inclusion as a literacy practice for New-Irish with more settled 'locals'. Story-partners share and co-write their biographical experiences and cultural knowledge  which are then published and disseminated to foster greater two-way integration.

National Adult Literacy Agency - These materials range in level from beginner ESOL learners, through to exercises for higher-level learners, so that tutors may teach the same theme in a mixed-level class. The emphasis is on task-based learning and speaking, and each unit provides the opportunity for using listening, speaking, reading and writing and building vocabulary.


Alfabetizzazione Italiano Lingua Seconda (AL2 Online) è un sito per lettori principianti dell'italiano come lingua aggiuntiva. I moduli coinvolgono gli studenti attraverso pagine interattive che collegano immagini e alfabetizzazione alla stampa con supporto audio. [AL2 Online is a site for beginning readers of Italian as an additional language. The modules involve learners through interactive pages that connect images and print literacy with audio support.]

PONTIdiPAROLE è un modello didattico all’avanguardia per l'apprendimento della lingua italiana rivolto a un target di utenti a bassa scolarità (migranti giovani e adulti) e studiato ad uso di insegnanti, scuole e strutture d’accoglienza. I percorsi formativi proposti da PONTIdiPAROLE seguono la filosofia step-by-step, accompagnando insegnanti e studenti nella costruzione del corso stesso e nel conseguimento degli obiettivi di apprendimento. I percorsi di PONTIdiPAROLE sono costituiti da due componenti, i VOLUMI e il SUPPORTO DIGITALE, frutto della competenza ed esperienza decennale di ItaStra  in collaborazione con PLURALIA, studiati in modo da interagire tra loro in maniera semplice e modulare.


Libros Para Neolectores - Esta es una colección de historias creadas por estudiantes de español. La audiencia prevista son los lectores emergentes de español como idioma adicional. [This is a collection of stories created by Spanish language learners. The target audience is emergent readers of Spanish as an additional language.]


Der Verein AlphaDaZ wurde im Jahr 2018 mit dem Ziel gegründet, die Vernetzung und den Austausch zwischen Lehrpersonen, wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeitenden, Institutionen und interessierten Personen zu stärken. Der Verein AlphaDaZ ist der einzige Verein in der Schweiz, der sich dem Thema Alphabetisierung und Grundbildung in Deutsch als Zweitsprache widmet. [The AlphaDaZ association was founded in 2018 with the aim of strengthening networking and exchange between teachers, academic staff, institutions and interested persons. The association AlphaDaZ is the only association in Switzerland dedicated to literacy and basic education in German as a second language.]

United Kingdom

Learning Unlimited - Learning Unlimited has a long track record of working with adults to help improve their literacy skills in English.  This work includes direct delivery of training for adults who wish to improve their reading and writing skills as well as working with parents to help them to support their children’s literacy skills.   Learning Unlimited also publishes a series of readers for adults with low levels of literacy.  Learning Unlimited offers continuing professional development to literacy teachers in subjects and have a number of publications available covering literacy-related topics such as dyslexia support and teaching spelling and writing.

National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) - NATECLA is the national forum and professional organization for ESOL practitioners in the United Kingdom. Individual members work in colleges, adult education centers, and in the community as teachers, managers, examiners and assessors, inspectors, and teacher trainers. For over 26 years NATECLA has shared expertise and participated in new developments in this specialized field. NATECLA holds an annual conference, which has been an established event in the ESOL calendar for many years. 

NIACE – The National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education is a non-governmental organisation in the UK working for more and different adult learners. NIACE both represents and advances the interests of all adult learners and potential learners – especially those who have benefited least from education and training. 

NRDC – The National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy is a national centre dedicated to conducting research and development projects in the fields of adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL. The UK-based NRDC is a consortium of partners, who are specialists in the fields of literacy, numeracy and ESOL.

TLANG (Translation and Translanguaging) is an interdisciplinary research program to develop new understandings of multilingual interaction in cities in the UK, and communicate these to policy-makers and communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

United States

abcEnglish - abc English is a curriculum for adult English learners that teaches basic English communication and reading skills, starting from the abc sounds.  abc English was created especially for adult refugees and immigrants who are not literate in their native languages. The site provides many free materials to accompany the curriculum, including full color flashcards and spelling practice handouts. Click here to buy the books.

CAELA – The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition was created to help states within the US to build their capacity to promote English language learning and academic achievement of adults learning English. This federally funded website provides an ESL resource database, which categorizes and annotates over fifty documents of interest to teachers, administrators, students, and researchers interested in adult ESL. When available, the database links directly to documents online. In addition, the site provides a web page on statistics and data related to adult English language learners and is currently developing a set of annotated links that deal specifically with research in adult ESL and adult education. 

The Change Agent - The Change Agent is a biannual magazine for adult educators and learners published by the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC) at World Education. This publication provides socially relevant content, powerful student writing that inspires discussion, and ready-to-use, CCR-aligned lesson plans – all oriented toward a multi-level audience.

Code Crackers - The content on this site stemmed from a study circle of four adult English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers whose learners range from pre-literacy to advanced levels of ESL instruction.  The educational backgrounds of these learners vary widely, but a significant number have had limited formal education and many never acquired literacy in their native language. 

ESL Literacy for Beginners – (For Teachers) This US site was created for teachers of beginning ESL literacy students. 40+ teaching activities and resources are arranged by topic. (For Students) The preliteracy page is designed for students who are preliterate and low-literate learners in their first language. The high beginner page provides exercises for advanced beginning literacy learners and students who learn at a faster pace. 

Literacy Work InternationalThis site is intended to be of use to policy makers, administrators, and, most of all, teachers. Our policy is to make all of our materials available to be used freely by teachers for non-commercial purposes. 

Literacy A-B-C - This site supports teachers of adult literacy level students by providing links to lesson plans, texts, assessment tools, professional development materials, and other useful resources.

Lesson Pick - Lesson pick is a resource sharing platform designed by English language teachers for all educators working with English learners (ELs). The contributors of the site aim to support the efforts and professional learning of educators. This site offers a wide range of resources for teaching and professional development for teachers of young learners, SLIFE and adults. 

The Minnesota TESOL Journal – is an online journal with relevant articles for LESLLA teachers and researchers. The 25th anniversary volume includes articles that concentrate on an overview of research-based methods for teaching ESL students with low levels of literacy, a report on a year-long research study on teaching learning strategies to students with low levels of literacy, and several reviews of materials for low-literacy students. 

Multilingual Minnesota
Click on "For Teachers of Pre-literate Adult ESL" to access a compilation of readings for teachers, recommended books, publishers, information about balanced literacy instruction, etc. NOTE: This site is still up, but it is no longer being maintained.

MPI – Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide. The organization's website houses the Migration Information Source, an online database that offers current and authoritative data on international migration, as well as analysis from migration experts around the world. 

NCSALL - The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy is a US-based, federally funded research and development center focused solely on adult learning. NCSALL's efforts are dedicated to improving practice in educational programs that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills, and those without a high school diploma. (*Note: The research dissemination efforts of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) ended on March 31, 2007, with the end of the federal funding. The research publications, Focus on Basics, training and teaching resources, and other materials continue to be available for download from this Web site.)

SLIFE (Students with Limited or interrupted Formal Education) and the MALP (Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm)
by Helaine Marshall and Andrea DeCapua. This wiki outlines the MALP, provides access to numerous publications, powerpoint presentations, and a teacher wiki related to teaching students with limited or interrupted formal schooling (SLIFE).

Story Corps - Story Corps presents a collection of stories about the human experience. The story topics are wide-reaching and the audio is accompanied by a transcript. Some stories are animated. You can search stories by location, collection type/topic, and year. 

 The Most Costly Journey (in Spanish, El viaje más caro) is an ethnographic cartooning project that employs collaborative storytelling as a tool to mitigate loneliness, isolation, and despair among Latin American migrant farm workers on Vermont dairy farms. The graphic stories can be used in literacy classes or serve as inspiration for launching storytelling projects with other communities.

Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center (VALRC) – The VALRC provides adult education and literacy resources, publications, and training for teachers of adults in Virginia.