The Framework is an open-source online tool, a 360° View of Communicative Competence at Work. Designed by the Ontario Government the framework is a resource for foreign trained professionals to provide strategies, approaches, and areas for language development that support intercultural workplace communication. The tool does not come with a teacher’s guide or classroom activities, but it can serve as a starting point for classroom conversations and independent study. The tool also includes a video and downloadable pdf.
This 250-page guide is referenced to CLBs (1–3) and has instructions for adapting units and lessons to PBLA. It contains teaching strategies and language goals for English learners. The teacher’s guide and student materials contain background information, lesson plans and learner activities. Skill building (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and language building (grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary) activities are provided. The objective is to assist learners with trauma to see themselves as belonging to the wider community.
Briding Two Worlds is a resource to address issues of trauma in learners. It was written for elementary and secondary educators but is insightful and informative for teachers of adult learners as well. Bridging Two Worlds offers curriculum development and instructional ideas that address educational gaps as well as cultural and experiential differences that may interfere with learner progress. Particularly interesting: Signs of distress and ways to respond (pages 218- 220).
The book contains 3 sections. The first deals with issues that relate to school-based learning and teaching to provide educators with an awareness of how trauma and interrupted schooling may affect human development and learning. The second section focuses on educator competency and includes 30 sample lessons for teacher training. The final section is devoted to student learning outcomes for life/work development for elementary and secondary grade levels, but teachers may find several lessons adaptable for adult settings.
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:
From the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, the topic of this sample CLB Literacy -2 module is weather. Scroll down to find and download Digital Literacy Lesson Plan Sample. It provides lesson planning for using a website to check weather, also includes 4 pages of handouts and suggestions for 9 activities.
This is a 284-page resource for literacy learners. Instructors are welcome to pull from the activities, worksheets, learning strategies and ideas included in the collection. Clear and easy to use. Numeracy is included.
The Keystone Concepts foundational document and Quartz online planning tool together comprise the “Curriculum Guidelines for Ontario Adult Non-Credit Language Training Program.” (Adult FSL can also be accessed through this website.)
Keystone Concepts is a 40-page document containing guiding principles and components of program delivery for ESL in Ontario Adult Non-Credit Language Training programs. It is the foundation for the course planning process that is facilitated by the Quartz interactive online suite of planning tools. The document details eight core principles and four key components of program planning.
Note: Only those with a schoolboard email can access this site.
This website is written by a British academic and author of books on teaching English using film. The website contains a large library of short films, cartoons and TV ads. The lessons can be browsed according to theme and language level. Topics cover issues such as bullying, love, the gold mining industry, and compassion, to name just a few. Lesson plans are interesting, clear and well presented. The levels are aligned with CFER (Common European Framework of Reference); A1=’beginner’ ; A2=CLB4, B1= CLB 5, B2 = CLB 6-7, C1=CLB 8-9.
This resource takes a considered approach to the topic of Blended Learning. It is organized in categories for the diverse needs of readers. For an organization moving to an e-learning model, it could inform planning, development and funding application rationales.
Note: Read the “Tips for Using This Bibliography“ before starting.
“CLB ESL for Adult Literacy Learners (ALL) addresses the needs and abilities of adult ESL Literacy learners. Most government-funded Adult ESL classes in Canada are referenced to the CLB and adult ESL learners are placed on the CLB scale using a CLB‐based assessment instrument. However, when adult ESL learners who lack literacy skills are placed on the scale, they require unique supports as they gain the ability to communicate in an additional language. The purpose of this document is to describe the needs and abilities of adult ESL Literacy learners and to support instructors in meeting their learning needs.” (www.language.ca)
This 235-page book describes CLB as follows: “The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) standard is a descriptive scale of language ability in English as a Second Language (ESL) written as 12 benchmarks or reference points along a continuum from basic to advanced. The CLB standard reflects the progression of the knowledge and skills that underlie basic, intermediate and advanced ability among adult ESL learners.
The Canadian Language Benchmarks are:
- a set of descriptive statements about successive levels on the continuum of language ability,
- a description of communicative competencies and performance tasks through which learners demonstrate application of language knowledge (i.e., competence) and skill (i.e., ability),
- a national standard for planning curricula for language instruction in a variety of contexts,
- a framework of reference for learning, teaching, programming and assessing adult ESL in Canada.”
The book takes learners through stages 1 to 3 in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
“This resource is intended to be used in conjunction with two key documents:
- the Canadian Language Benchmarks: ESL for Adult Literacy Learners (ALL), which supports instructors working with adult ESL learners who have literacy needs; and
- the Canadian Language Benchmarks: ESL for Adults, which is the national standard for English as a second language for adult immigrants (including those with literacy needs) living, working and studying in Canada.
The purpose of this Support Kit is to show instructors how the CLB and ALL documents are used for planning and assessing ESL learners with literacy needs in CLB-referenced classrooms.
The Kit includes:
- Orientations to the CLB: ESL for ALL and the CLB: ESL for Adults documents;
- Information and examples for planning literacy instruction, including needs;
- Assessment and goal-setting, module/unit planning and lesson planning;
- Information and examples on assessing ESL Literacy learners’ progress in a way that is compatible with Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA);
- Suggestions for supporting ESL Literacy learners in multi-level literacy classes and mainstream ESL classes;
- Ideas for using the Continuum of Literacy Skills found in the CLB: ESL for ALL document; and
- Sample resources for literacy instruction and assessment.” (www.language.ca)
To download you need to “Add to Cart” and register. The PDF will be emailed to you.
The CLB Support Kit contains background information for ESL practitioners, with detailed discussions on incorporating grammar, pronunciation and pragmatics into CLB-based programs. There are sections that address using the CLBs in multilevel classes, with special needs learners, and in teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and workplace ESL.
It includes sample program planning tools such as needs assessment, sample rubrics, tracking forms, self-assessment and feedback forms.
References are listed at the end of each section, as well as additional resources developed by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, including SAM for CLB 1-4, and the CLB 5-10 Exit Assessment Tasks for community, employment and academic programs.
You need to “Add to Cart” in order to download, which means registering to order.
The English Language Learning (ELL) Training Network was developed by CEIIA, Bow Valley College’s Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement. Designed for ELL practitioners, the Network provides information, resources and tools for instructors, a resource finder, PD workshops and webinars, network for professional learning, blog posts and social media links.
Professional development made easy! This website contains short, digestible summaries of current research on language learning and teaching. These articles normally appear in academic journals and are often hidden behind paywalls, making them inaccessible to most classroom teachers. The website also provides a list of Open Access journals and welcomes contributions from educators.
The Network was developed by CEIIA, Bow Valley College’s Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement. Designed for ESL Literacy practitioners, the Network provides information, resources and tools for instructors, a resource finder, PD workshops and webinars, network for professional learning, blog posts and social media links.
For administrators, there are tools for program development, including a comprehensive program development guide, and a series on innovations in programming.
This resource was developed to help instructors/trainers with the language and strategies to help newcomers approach employment opportunities in Canada. You will need to “Add to Cart” in order to download. The PDF will be emailed to you.
This is an excellent step-by-step manual for delivering literacy classes. Topics include:
- Program considerations
- Classroom strategies
- ESL Literacy levels (4)
- Teaching ideas
- Literature review of ESL Literacy
- Annotated bibliography
- Webliography (30% links no longer available)
There is a strong need for program administrators and instructors to have professional development opportunities available to meet the needs of Literacy learners.
Making It Clear presents concise guidelines for teaching pronunciation to CLB levels. (No activities provided.) It contains a list of recommended resources.
Updated in 2019, this website has five sections explaining the theory behind PBLA and guidelines for implementation. PBLA Foundations provides a rationale, historical and theoretical contexts for PBLA. PBLA Portfolios explains key elements, components and expectations, plus teaching tips. PBLA Reporting discusses professional judgements, progress reports. PBLA Accountability includes administrator tips. The final section contains Resources, including multilevel modules and a list of training courses.
Quartz is an interactive online tool that offers a guided process for designing ESL courses based on learner needs and the Canadian Language Benchmarks. Quartz provides a set of tools and resources for course, unit, lesson plan and assessment creation. (Note: Instructors cannot upload existing units or lesson plans.)
Samples of Unit Names are found by clicking the blue Samples Tab on the right, providing three choices: Community, Work and Study and CLB Levels 1–8.
After selecting a Unit Name, choose a Unit Theme: three tabs are provided: Community, Work and Study. Sample themes can be viewed for each tab and CLB level.
Work has two themes: customer service (no themes offered for CLB1–4) and employment.
Note: Only those with a schoolboard email can access this site.
This resource explains the relationship between Essential Skills and the Canadian Language Benchmarks (caveat: CLB 2000 was used). This is an excellent resource for developing tasks based on real-world employment examples. You will need to “Add to Cart” in order to download. The PDF will be emailed to you.
TESL Ontario’s webinars are available to everyone through TESL Ontario’s You Tube Channel. Free access:
TESL members may also view webinars through Tutela (registration required). Current and archived webinars are available for viewing. Webinars count as TESL professional development.
Webinars can be accessed at:
Select TESL Ontario in “Groups” to access webinars past and present.
There are currently 100 webinars (some repeats) available for access on this site. The topics are varied and cover many aspects, including literacy, classroom management and PBLA.
Online, free for members. And membership is free. When completed, many posts are kept in the archives. Some webinars are located within a membership group and one needs to be a member to join or view. Most webinars can be used for TESL Ontario professional development requirements.
Free to join. Free access nationally. Must register then search Tutela Webinars.
This resource offers two sections that instructors might find useful: Mature Workers and Non-Regulated Skilled and Semi-Skilled Occupations.
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.
This website contains a range of resources to aid in delivering instruction to children and adults who have had their formal education interrupted. Includes teaching resources and essential learning indicators for language, literacy and numeracy.
Resources for more intensive intervention:
TESL Ontario’s You Tube channel allows users to catch up on webinars, watch videos and learn about new ideas for classroom activities. You can also share videos that have been helpful in your classroom.
There are eight collections on Tutela relating to PBLA. While not all have been reviewed, it is an excellent starting point for developing CLB levels 1-8 rubrics.
Free to join. Free access nationally. Must register then search Tutela Collections.
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.