Curriculum and Lesson Planning

This document contains a template or blueprint for designing a CLB 7 exit test for reading and writing.  It provides guidance for drawing up a test, performance indicators and suggested activities.  Some of the content is Alberta-based, but will be helpful to instructors as a starting point for test design.  The source of the document is the ATESL Resource Library and Alberta Initiatives Gallery.

Free access.

This is an American site offering a wide variety of activities. There are weekly lessons,  grammar tutorials vocabulary and listening activities, as well as games.

ESL Library is a commercial site containing  well developed lesson plans and resources for EAL teachers. Materials have been developed to meet the needs of LINC/ESL teachers. The Citizenship module contains a teacher guidelines and learner activities.  Your organization may obtain a subscription for unlimited instructor use, or subscriptions may be shared among 5 members.

Access by subscription:


This British-based website is intended for student self-study but it also lends itself to classroom and lab use. The site is clear and easy to navigate. Courses with multiple units and lessons are offered for several levels ranging from beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate and advanced/IELTS.   There are also games and activities targeted for the workplace, college preparation, UK and US culture. See also the “Learn English with songs”, with music videos and a gap-fill.

Free access:


This webpage on the website contains information for newcomers on a variety of health issues including: finding a doctor, OHIP and health card information, reproductive health and mental health, and what do to in a medical emergency.

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This is a curriculum for CLB 4-6  to prepare newcomer learners to find jobs or retrain to work in the food services industry.  The lessons focus on developing  speaking and listening skills for for busy   environments, such as working in a kitchen, cafeteria, or restaurant.

The Learner Workbook includes:

  • 4 Modules, 16 Units
  • Audio and video resources
  • Comprehension exercises
  • A variety of speaking and listening activities and games
  • Learner self-assessment materials
  • Reflection and goal setting activities

The Instructor Guide contains industry information, guidelines for workplace culture discussions, instructional notes, suggestions for activity adaptations and assessment rubrics. Permission to use granted by ATESL Resource Database and Alberta Initiatives Gallery.

Free access.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) instructors and learners will find valuable resources to build academic skills, covering the 4 main skills, and also including fluency, grammar and pronunciation practice. The reading section has several offerings, such as understanding academic texts and reading strategies for academic settings. The vocabulary section includes an academic phrase bank.

This health curriculum guide was developed by Toronto  Public Health for English teachers. The curriculum includes lesson plans and background information. The lessons contain interactive activities for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) levels 1-6.  Topics include:

  • Cancer Prevention and Screening
  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Healthy Eating
  • Mental Health
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Physical Activity
  • Sun Safety
  • Tobacco Use

A popular platform among instructors, Quizlet can be used to create classroom games, learning interactions and content reviews. It can also be used individually as a study aid by students.

Free access:

This bank of “real world” assessments was developed by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s ESL program for use by ESL and LINC instructors.  A user friendly website houses  more  than 300 ready-to-use assessment tasks. Search by CLB level   (Literacy Foundation to CLB 7), skill (Listening, Speaking, Reading or Writing) and theme.  The site is password protected; passwords are available through program administrators.

Password required:  available through  ESL and LINC Administrators and   can be retrieved from tutela. For additional  information email

Free access (with password):

The Complex English Language Learners (CELLS) tool was produced by the Calgary Board of Education for ELLs who may have special needs. While intended for use elementary and secondary students, the document will be helpful for teachers and administrators in adult settings as well.  The model helps educators to identify concerns and provide ELLs with effective supports.

The document provides descriptions of learning challenges in the following areas: behavioural, communication (listening and speaking), reading, writing, and mathematics. The authors offer linguistic, cultural and other considerations, and provide sample intervention strategies and additional resources.

There are few resources for adult ELLs with learning challenges; this is a helpful guide for all educators.

Free access:

Contact, the official newsletter of the Teachers of English as a Second Language of Ontario, is published online three times a year to meet the needs of various ESL/ELD constituencies. Information related to elementary, secondary, university and college, credit, non-credit, adult and LINC programs is conveyed through articles, language profiles, conference proceedings, letters and book reviews in a theme-based format. Settlement and community agencies are profiled on a regular basis, increasing awareness of available services and common issues. The current and most recent editions are now available here. Feel free to submit an article.

see TESL Ontario CONTACT Magazine

This is an accessible resource for beginning teachers. Developed in 2006 by the California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project, some resources are dated and it has an American standards focus however, the guide provides good information on lesson planning and managing a multi-level classroom.


This is a comprehensive resource developed by Bow Valley College, Alberta. It provides support to instructors teaching contained literacy classes and mixed level classes. There is an instructional framework, plus effective strategies, materials and resources for literacy instruction.

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.