Li’s story is a resource for all beginner ESOL learners, including those with basic literacy needs.  Learners will develop narrative ideas, read and follow a story about a mother whose child is taken ill at school.  They will be able to participate in a range of learning activities which develop early language and reading skills.

Level:  Entry 1 (National 2/Access 2 in Scotland) ESOL learners with basic literacy needs/A1 CEFR Framework.             

Learning hours and delivery context:

Across seven units, the town provides a minimum of twelve hours of learning in a classroom context, delivered via linked units.  These units may be used independently or as one linked topic over several sessions.  Timings are flexible and teachers can break down the units into smaller chunks of learning and build in revision as required.  The resource is suitable for community ESOL and ESOL delivered in adult learning or FE.  Additionally, the teacher notes provide suggestions on how practitioners can develop further linked learning.

Units 4 - 7 provide illustrations for four distinct narratives featuring characters who live in the town, and teachers’ notes which provide ideas and suggest frameworks for developing language skills.  Each narrative focuses on developing different skills. 

Li’s story focuses on reading skills.  Amir’s story focus takes a whole language approach but focuses on producing a text with low literacy learners.  Tom’s story focuses on speaking and listening and Leon’s story provides an opportunity for learners to discuss and share opinions and points of view.

Unit 4: Li’s Story

This unit is most suitable for learners with basic literacy needs but who are consolidating beginners in spoken English.

The focus is on developing learners’ skills and confidence in reading a story about Li and her child. Suggestions have been made on how to use the resource with a range of levels, with emergent to confident reading skills, as well as containing resources which allow for differentiation. Learners will have the opportunity to work at a level which challenges and promotes learning, whilst building upon existing skills. The materials have been designed to encourage collaborative learning in a fun, interactive but supportive way.  At a later stage, you may wish to edit the story with your learners and adjust significant or relevant errors. In the first stage, the focus is on learners developing Li’s story in their own words which will introduce the language they will be reading later on in this resource. The flexible nature of the resource will allow not only reading practise, but could also be used to improve areas of spoken English including, present simple, use of pronouns, phonic awareness.

The rationale behind this is that learners will find it easier to read and recognise familiar words which they will have produced through discussion about Li’s story. The story is one which learners should be familiar and identify with. 


to develop confidence and fluency when reading a story in a familiar context


You will need the following hand outs:

  • A picture of Li
  • Matching sentences to match with Li’s pictures
  • Matching words to pictures from Li’s story
  • Listening and recognising individual words in Li’s story
  • Storyboard of Li’s story (with words and with no words)
  • Powerpoint of Li’s story
  • Li’s Dominoes
  • Spellings from Li’s story
  • Questions about Li’s story
  • English dictionaries
  • SMART notebook file (for Interactive whiteboard)

The suggested procedure for the lesson can be found in the downloadable teachers' notes.

Copyright - please read

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