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Resources for volunteer ESOL teachers

Volunteer ESOL teachersNATECLA recognises the significant contribution voluntary ESOL teachers make to support formal provision. There are many NATECLA members who are providing language support in the public or voluntary sectors. 

The resources below are designed to support practitioners who work on a voluntary basis to help migrants, refugees or others to learn or practise their English. If you have suggestions on other resources that may be helpful, please contact us at info@natecla.org.uk


A snapshot of English language teaching in seven voluntary sector organisations by Merton Home Tutoring (2017)

This report is a snapshot of what seven voluntary service organisations were offering to refugees and migrants needing to learn English, people who could not access standard college classes. The services enable them to move towards improved proficiency in English. The snapshot aims to describe the practices at the time of the visits. The core reason was to describe the range of activities within the sector, to disseminate informally some of the interesting aspects discovered during the visits, and to make a formal report which would benefit and inform other voluntary groups teaching ESOL.

>> Download the report


Free toolkit: Language support for adult refugees
Language support for adult refugeesThis on-line toolkit is designed to assist organisations that provide languages support for refugees, and especially the volunteers working for them. It offers practical resources in 3 main sections: 
  • Information on cultural and language awareness and language learning
  • Guidance on finding out about refugees’ language needs and planning language support
  • Learning activities that range from breaking the ice, learning vocabulary and thinking about language and learning, to a series of scenarios that focus on real-life communication and suggestions forinteracting with the local community.


Helping beginners learn: a guide for those volunteering with ESOL learners

Developed by the North East Migration Partnership, this guide is for volunteers who are helping to develop the language skills of people whose first language isn’t English. Its purpose is to develop a more in depth understanding of the learners that you may be helping, the difficulties they will face along the way, and some ways for you to help them use English and develop their confidence.

>> Download the guide


SQA Professional Development Award: (PDA) Introduction to Tutoring English to Speakers of Other Languages (ITESOL) at SCQF level 6
The PDA ITESOL is a new award aimed at volunteers and tutor assistants who tutor, or intend to tutor, ESOL learners, but who may have no prior recognised ESOL (EFL)1 teaching/tutoring qualifications. This PDA has been designed in Scotland with the active ESOL agenda in mind. It aligns itself to the development of a Professional Qualifications Framework for ESOL practitioners in Scotland, recognising the need for current and prospective ESOL practitioners to have access to accredited subject specific qualifications, to a consistent national standard. This award forms the first stage of this framework.



The Language experience approach

Helping with beginner literacy EnglishFind out more about this popular approach to literacy teaching which uses the learners' own words as a basis for lessons.

>> Watch a video on the ESOL Nexus website


Other ESOL teaching resources