an ESOL teacher speaking with a learner

The 2011 Census showed that 1.7% of people in England have either no or poor spoken English; people who may have been held back by a range of factors, such as classes in far off venues, formal, classroom-based learning or a lack of childcare facilities. 

The role of volunteers teaching one-to-one is an important one since traditional English language classes are not always suited to the people who need them the most – such as those who are often socially and economically isolated by their lack of English and who have not engaged with ESOL classes in the past. Teaching ESOL one-to-one can be a highly rewarding experience.

The module has been prepared with the aim of supporting the needs of volunteer teachers involved in teaching ESOL one-to-one. It will provide both an introduction for those working in this context that are new to teaching ESOL to beginner or elementary level learners, as well as support and reference to those with some experience of teaching groups but not individual learners. The module outlines the importance of knowing your learner, identifies ESOL teaching approaches and provides ideas for planning and delivering lessons.

  • While you can work through the module on your own and at your own pace, you will get greater benefits by working through it together with colleagues.
  • If you are looking at the pdf on your computer you can type your reflections into the boxes provided, and save your progress for the next time you return to the module.
  • There are links to videos embedded in the activities and suggested answers for activities at the end of the unit, as appropriate. There is also list with further reading related to the content.

ESOL Nexus professional development modules are intended to help teachers to develop in their role in a range of contexts. They have been written by expert practitioners and quality assured by a wider team. We hope that you will find this module useful.

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