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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.

Free access:



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:

For CLB levels 5–6, designed to be used by an instructor.

This 366-page textbook is available as a downloadable PDF or as an e-text for use in the classroom (or with a tutor). The chapters integrate the four main language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), with some essential skills and intercultural skills.

Features of the text:

  • Key scenes are acted out by 9 individuals of varying ages, different genders and race/ethnicities, with different accents: should appeal to a wide range of learners
  • Audio and video activities
  • Interactive text: underlined vocabulary and idioms linked with definitions, interactive activities can be submitted for marking with immediate feedback
  • Themed grammar activities
  • Tasks and rubrics align with CLB document for instructor’s use or self-assessment
  • Extension activities provide practice in community settings
  • Navigation bar allows learners to download/print individual activities, link to social media, easily access the table of contents and answer keys, change settings and translate (linking to Google Translate)
  • Chapter vocabulary lists and glossary provided
  • Instructor guide available

Content is comprehensive. Chapters are clearly laid out for instructors and learners. Online availability means learners can access the text in their free time for review and reinforcement, or as homework. Recommended CLB 5–6.

Free access:

The link provides a printable PDF version.
$$$ Kindle e-reader available through

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):

CLB Bootcamp is a 10-hour self-study course divided into three modules:

  1. CLB Basics covers an introduction to the Canadian Language Benchmarks. It includes the theoretical framework, the revised CLB document and the CLB ESL for Adult Literacy Learners document.
  2. Planning and the CLB provides instruction in needs assessment, and how to use a task-based approach to planning modules and lessons.
  3. Assessment and the CLB covers on-going learner assessment and provides an introduction to Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA).

Free access (through the CCLB E-learning Portal):

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.

Free access:


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.

Free access:

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.

Free access:

This is an excellent step-by-step manual for delivering literacy classes. Topics include:

  • Program considerations
  • Classroom strategies
  • ESL Literacy levels (4)
  • Materials
  • 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.

Free access:

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.


These materials provide sample resources that can be incorporated into the “About Me” section of the PBLA binder for CLB 0-2 students. The resources are clear and easy to use. The document, developed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board, includes: Learning Goals, Pictorial Needs Assessment, Autobiography and Learning Reflection.

Free access:,%20CLB%200-2%20(22pp).pdf



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.

Free access:

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.

Restricted access:

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.

Free access:

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.

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

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.

Register at:

Produced by NorQuest College for small, multilevel settings with CLB 2-4 learners. This resource can be used in other settings. Detailed lesson plans for CLB 2 and 4. Financial literacy in two units, covering money, spending and banking.

Free access:

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.

There are two large collections on Tutela relating to employment. While not all have been reviewed, it is an excellent starting point for developing workplace/workforce curriculum.

  1. Employment Curriculum:
    1. Essential Skills
    2. General Employment Curriculum
    3. Sector Specific Curriculum
  1. Employment Teaching Resources:
    1. Assessment Tools
    2. Module Planning
    3. Teaching Resources
    4. CLEO Employment Rights Lesson Plans
    5. Lesson Plans for NOC Classifications
    6. Language for Work Series Lesson Plans

Free to join. Free access nationally. Must register then search Tutela Collections.

Register at:

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.

Register at: