The resources below begin with the alphabet but progress to CVC words.
Click to open the files or use Right click > Save Target As > to download.
Alphabet song video
Alphabet song audio
Photocopiable books (from ABC to handwriting to CVC to clusters)
Week 30 > end of year party, tests, progression
The materials in this Beginners section were produced by Jennifer Wright and Stephen Woulds to meet the language/literacy needs of English language beginners.
Please read below for a suggestion of the activities that might be used in presenting the weekly worksheets, which you can find from Week 3.
Weeks 1 and 2 are reduced activity worksheets to allow for diagnostic work with each learner, induction activities and introduction to the phonic alphabet. The weekly activities were delivered over 2.5 hours per session for two sessions per week. The approach is partly phonic, developing CVC reading/writing skills, alongside a basic Dolch list. We grouped learners based on shared first language/literacy to support each other and aid with translation.
Learners will need a basic graphophonic awareness of the alphabet to work with the weekly resources and worksheets. Please watch this video and use with this alphabet resource and alphabet handbook. See alphabet activities above.
A phonic approach to teaching literacy to second language learners is not without contention. A number of factors can problematise a phonics approach. We advocate phonics within a wider whole language approach. See the following documents for a discussion of these issues:
Weekly checking (Use the following week of each lesson to check how much vocabulary the learner has retained from the previous week. Read the sentences aloud and learners write down.)
The suggested activities below correspond to the worksheets from week 3 onwards.Section 1 and Section 10 - Words – possible activities/delivery.
• Stage 1 – print PowerPoint slides and cut up individual words (laminated/card/paper) and hand out to small groups of learners. If possilble group learners by first language/literacy. Ask learners in groups to sort into piles of 3, matching upper case, lowercase. (If learners are not able to work at this stage go straight to Stage 2.) It is not important at this stage that learners know the words they are seeing (through visual aids for example) as the focus is on graphophonic recognition, simply being able to sound out the letters phonetically to pronounce the CVC word and when they can’t use phonetic decoding to recognise the visual shape of word, such as from the Dolch list.
• Stage 2 – Display PowerPoint on screen (or use large laminated A4 pages) and model pronunciation and ask learners to repeat, drill, using named questioning, etc. Present each slide slowly and then repeat, getting quicker and calling learners by name to repeat what they see.
• Stage 3 – Provide hand out/booklet and ask learners to complete page 1 individually and peer check. Tutor to then present page 1 on screen and fill in blanks. Use translation in groups if possible.
Section 2 and Section 11 - Handwriting – possible activities/delivery.
• Stage 1 – Tutor chooses six words from the examples previously presented. Tutor reads each word aloud, repeating as necessary. Students to write the word on the handwriting sheet, under the corresponding number. After this activity, small groups check the spelling and letter formation of each student’s work.
Section 3 and Section 12 – Sentences 1 – possible activities / delivery.
• Stage 1 – Tutor opens relevant power point. Guide students through presentation modelling words and sentences as each slide is shown. Invite students to repeat as necessary. Tutor to repeat and build on presented words as appropriate in an ‘ad-lib’ sense (for example, if the sentence is ‘find the pen’, tutor may also ask ‘find the door’ or ‘find the chair’, despite the fact that the nouns on the end of these sentences are not the target language of the class, a familiarity may be assumed.
• Stage 2 – The sentences from the PowerPoint have been laminated and cut up into 2 sections, matching pictures with sentences. Students are given copies of the laminates to try match picture with sentence in small groups. Students must do this WITHOUT looking at their booklets, from memory of the presentation.
• Stage 3 – Students now have copies of the sentences in the handout, so can check alongside their laminated matched sentences. Now the students may be placed into smaller groups of two or three with the task of reading these sentences to each other. Tutor to model again first as required. Collect laminates back.
Section 4 and Section 13 - Find and correct the errors – possible activities / delivery.
• Stage 1 – Tutor opens electronic copy of this activity on board and models what to do (‘choose one word, write it in the space etc'.) Demonstrates with one example.
• Stage 2 – Individually, students to work on this page of the hand out methodically, filling in the missing words as appropriate. Peer check.
Section 5 and Section 14 – Vocabulary / word association: possible activities and delivery.
• Stage 1 – Tutor models the first example (there is one in the guide which uses associations/collocations of ‘week’, but tutor may want to try another one such as ‘tree’ or ‘family’, perhaps by writing/typing the word on the board and taking suggested associations from students.
• Stage 2 – Tutor may have prepared a list of possible associations for the individual words in this section. One suggestion is that (where possible) single nationalities/language speakers are placed together with the option of bilingual dictionaries where they can translate the original word (for example ‘blue’) then the relevant associations (‘sky’, ‘ink’, ‘jeans’) into their own language or English. This activity should be timed and controlled with opportunity for feedback as appropriate.
Section 6 and Section 15 – Word Shapes: possible activities and delivery.
• Stage 1 – Tutor to model one or two of the word shapes and how to complete them on board, probably best with handwriting as this is about forming the letters.
• Stage 2 – Individually, students to try and match the word to its shape and write it in the boxes on the page. This can be tutor-led. Peer check.
Section 7 and Section 16 – Word search: possible activities and delivery • NB – It may be that, according to time or level, this stage is skipped entirely. Tutor to use own discretion. If used:
• Stage 1 – Tutor demonstrates how to complete a word search on board. Make sure that answer key has been removed from student booklet before photocopying.
• Stage 2 – If given, this activity should be timed and it could be that groups are created with stronger/weaker pairings to complete. Answers presented on board when appropriate and opportunity for tutor to go over pronunciation again of target language.
Section 8 and Section 17 – Order the sentences: possible activities and delivery.
• Stage 1 – This section could benefit from the tutor laminating these sentences and inviting students in small groups to assemble the jumbled words into sentences. Tutor to model. Students placed into small groups to assemble.
• Stage 2 – Individually, students return to their handbooks to complete section 8. The sentences should be re-ordered on paper and written out correctly. Time this section. Suggestion of pair-work to peer check the written sentences and point out any mistakes and error correct between each other.
Section 9 and Section 18 – Extension activity: possible activities and delivery.
• Stage 1 – Here, a tutor can choose to duplicate a language structure that has already been presented (for example: ‘find the pen’) and to read out 10 or so similar sentences which duplicate the structure (‘find the car’ / ‘find the teacher’/ ‘find the book’) some of these alternative nouns may be unfamiliar, but with the alphabet at the bottom, the students are given opportunity to write these sentences from sound and try out the new spellings. This should be peer-checked.
• Stage 2 – When extension activity has been completed, student handbooks are collected in and tutor will focus closely on any spelling/handwriting specific errors which are unique to each student.
Section 19 – LSCRW - spellings.
• Choose ten words from this week for learners to practise spelling.
Use bingo game and Pelmanism game as seen fit.
End of sections 1 to 9. Collect student’s handouts/booklets to check work and return the following session to complete sections 10 to 19.