This resource is a validated assessment tool for exit tests that assess learning outcomes of adult ESL learners in intermediate to advanced levels, CLB 5-10.  The tests cover three areas: employment, community and academic. It is available on order for $70 (plus HST).

For more information:

This is a resource developed by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks. SAM is a validated tool for assessing CLB 1–4. Assessment areas include employment and settlement. There is a $45 cost to order (plus HST).

For further information and information on ordering the document:

ESL Library is a commercial website based in Winnipeg, offering high-quality lesson plans for Canadian, American and international educators. The lessons are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, with a large variety of activities, including flashcards, discussion starters on political, social and environmental issues, mini-debates, holidays, grammar, writing, podcasts and a reading series (which includes detective serials). Themes include English at work, the environment, healthcare, everyday English and idioms. New lessons are added monthly. Sample lessons are available but are watermarked.

Subscription is required. Lessons are downloadable PDFs (copyrighted).

Available in 3-month, 6-month and 12-month memberships, from $25 to $55.

Groups of teachers can share memberships; for example 1–5 teachers can share the 1-year $55 membership.

Subscription required:


This Canadian website sells classroom materials for a variety of purposes. The texts are written for ESL learners from Literacy to CLB 6. The books range in cost from about $30 to $80, for teacher or school. CDs are provided. Texts are skill and theme based (health, food, family), also includes  Canadian holidays, vocabulary activities and games. New texts contain PBLA resources.

Subscription required:

Additional Resources:

Lessons are task-based for PBLA:

Outcomes: Assessment 4-book series for CLB 1–4, based on CLB 2000, can be adapted for PBLA tasks:

Photocopy-ready lesson plans with illustrations, target vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking exercises. The audio CD is included.

Free access:

A Beginning Look at Canada: Now in its third edition, this text is for post-literacy to high-beginner ESL students who wish to learn about Canada while improving their reading skills

 Canadian Concepts: This six-level communicative course integrates real-life skills with essential language, vocabulary and Canadian cultural information:

Canadian Language Basics: These three volumes correspond to former LINC 2–4 levels:

English Vocabulary in Use: Vocabulary is clearly presented and contextualized on left-hand pages with practice activities on facing right-hand pages:

Focus on Grammar: Fifth Edition: This text continues to leverage its successful four-step approach that lets learners move from comprehension to communication within a clear and consistent structure:

Interchange: A four-level American English course that delivers a communicative approach, flexible unit structure and easy-to-use digital support: Cambridge.

Oxford Picture Dictionary – Canadian Edition: The Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second Canadian Edition is an illustrated, theme-based dictionary for second-language learners.

The Round: Independent online publisher. Resources tend to be very inexpensive. Recommended:

  • Richer Speaking by Sandy Millin
  • Moral Dilemmas by Lindsay Clandfiled
  • Brainstorming by Gerhard Erasmus and Hall Houston
  • 52: A Year of Subversive Activities for the ELT Classroom by Lindsay Clandfield

These books are now out of print but may be available through used booksellers:

  • Being Canadian
  • Canadian Crossroads
  • ELSA Survival Guide
  • Take Part
  • TESL Talk series
  • Whaddaya Say: Guided Practice in Relaxed Speech

The Language and Skills Training Resource Catalogue of ISANS includes books that cover a wide range of topics for ESL Literacy and SLT classes. For example:

  • Through the Lens helps learners navigate and understand living in a diverse community
  • Workplace Curricula focuses on healthcare, engineers, communication for work and business, pronunciation and communication for work
  • Soft skills focus on professional communication, working with others, workplace writing for levels 1, 2 and 3
  • Language learning strategies
  • EAL computer training

Order form included; prices range from $20 to $300 (plus HST).

Free access:

A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants. Book: 200 pages.

Contents include career assessment, marketing yourself, Canadian workplace culture, values, and expectations.

Published 2011, 2nd edition  by WCS Publisher.

Available through bookstores. ISBN: 9780981310404




by Barbara Law and Mary L. Eckes

The 2010 edition of this Canadian ESL classic has updated research, plus teaching methods for developing language skills, with learner samples and illustrations. Chapters cover first days, placement and assessment and teaching content areas. Also contains anecdotes, case studies and lots of practical advice.

ISBN-10: 1553792521

ISBN-13: 978-1553792529

Publisher: Portage and Main Press

The Step Forward Canada textbook series is aligned with the Canadian Language Benchmarks; the first text is CLB 1–2, and the second is CLB 3–5. The books do not specifically reference PBLA (there are no assessments or rubrics), however the texts can serve as a foundation for a PBLA program. A comprehensive chart at the beginning of each book breaks down the activities in each unit according to CLB level and competency areas, a feature that facilitates the planning of PBLA modules.

There are 12 themed units in each text, which build on the four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), and integrate language instruction into real-life contexts. Each unit contains five lessons and a review section. The lessons cover vocabulary, life stories, grammar, everyday conversation and real-life reading. In addition, employability skills, critical thinking and math concepts are covered. Audio CDs contain authentic listening activities integrated with CLB listening benchmarks. The texts are designed for use in single-level or multilevel classrooms. The higher-level text focuses mainly on CLBs 3–4 with a limited number of CLB 5 activities; some instructors may find it suitable for a CLB 2–3 classroom.

ISBN -13  9780195426311

Publisher: Oxford University Press

This online resource (based on Hong Kong) offers activities, worksheets, games and teaching advice for all levels. Many of the resources are free but there is also a $39 membership subscription to access to all materials. Some engaging (free) games include: Balderdash, Personal Information Dominoes, and Silent Dictation.

Developed by Cambridge University Press, this textbook series is correlated to CEF (Common European Framework) rather than CLBs, however it is adaptable to PBLA settings. The Venture series comes highly recommended; it contains six-levels and is standards based, designed for adult and young-adult English learners. The series integrates language skills, with six clearly developed lessons for each unit.  It is suitable for continuous intake programs. (A free sample lesson can be ordered.)  The series includes a teacher’s guide, student workbook and audio CD.

When learners have employment goals, these resources fill in the gap between the skills and activities needed to write a resume, to have a  successful interview and the competencies and to acquire the skills needed to keep a job in Canada. Topics include a broad range of areas that instructors may need some support in teaching:

  • Workplace culture
  • Business talk
  • Telephone tips
  • Getting along with others
  • Business etiquette
  • Office politics
  • Networking
  • Meetings

The text communicates core information and the workbook supports that learning. Each unit is organized in the same pattern and there is an answer key in the back.

Available to purchase:

Book $45.50
Workbook $23.50
ISBN-13: 9780195432183
Publisher: Oxford University Press