It's Easy CD RomsAfter my last post on materials for preliminary (CPSWE) learners here in Australia, I had some more suggestions; big thanks to Judy, Manjit, Lesley, Jakki and Natalie. (If I’ve missed anyone’s suggestions, please let me know.) I’ll update that post too. (UPDATE: I’m now teaching Initial Course and Course in EAL, but of course the resources listed here are just as valuable.)

Some resources were new to me, while others weren’t; it’s interesting how I can ‘forget’ about materials that get moved to a cupboard, or aren’t in my line of sight.

Sometimes I’ve used them at one centre, but they’re not at another… It’s always good to have that reminder…

Australian materials

First, some resources from ELS in South Australia. (The graphic shows the It’s Easy titles.) ELS resources are now available through bookshops: I can’t find the catalogue online so will hunt for that!

“Here at ELS we have produced a number of resources for Pre CSWE learners. I recommend:

  • It’s Easy (slideshows on CD rom)
  • English for new learners, a series of readers,
  • Read to learn (topics like Cold Winter Days and Hot Summer Days)
  • Jobs from the The Work in Oz series is for very low levels who are aiming for work.”

Of course, after hearing from Judy, I realise that we’ve got the slideshows at work, and also Margo the Cleaner, the next title in the Work in Oz series – I love the simple layout. I can imagine that the Jobs book is going to be really popular in July, when AMEP changes to the Pre-Employment focus, because it is so simple and spacious in layout – not low Prelim, but certainly ‘beginner’.

Next,  from Manjit (who also provided a whole list of suggestions for my coming ‘Pre-Employment for beginners’ post) an oldie but a goodie:

  • Signposts (Jenny Ramm, AMES Vic, 1992): Access materials for beginning ESL Learners.

“Parts of the text can be used independently after initial introduction. Very simple and practical exercises. Topics include the alphabet, personal identification, dates and numbering.”

Again, this had disappeared from its place on the shelf – and I can’t find it in the AMES Vic catalogue – but it’s probably somewhere in your resource cupboard.

Not Australian, but highly recommended for Prelim

Live Action English Interactive software(Total Physical Response).  Lesley says: “I started each ‘episode’ sitting in a semicircle in front of an interactive whiteboard, where students had an opportunity to interact with the videos and activities and with each other. We then did further work together using the language from the videos, and finally moved on to some written work using the same language. From memory, the teacher guides were very useful and are available for download free from the website. There’s also a More Live Action English, but I haven’t seen that one. Some (maybe all?) of the videos are on YouTube I think, but it was the interactive parts that really engaged and helped the learners….The learning to drive one was lots of fun, as you had to turn the steering wheel or use the brake according to the instructions – we had lots of accidents and sirens!”

These videos looked fun and made me want to create my own – I just need a video team…

Jakki suggested an app for iPad that I’d heard about, investigated, but never pursued:

BitsBoard: “Although this app is not Australian, you can easily create boards with Oz objects and your own accent.”

Finally, Natalie commented on my blog post to say: “You are so right in regards to creating things from scratch as I often do this and have three filing cabinets filled with things that I have created. I am happy to share this with others.” (Thanks, Natalie!)

She provided a link to Digital Dialects, which has some very clear and simple vocabulary games.

Thanks, everyone! More suggestions welcomed – and happy teaching!