This blog might seem like the long way round to some people, but the point is that I need something to work for me.

Although a bit of a perfectionista (or so I’m told), I am quite badly organised at times. I read. I forget where I’ve read something, or take an action forward, but never remember to write down my reflections. I plan to read the book cited in another book, but then forget what book I originally read. It is a tiring existence!

Here’s to the plan!



Looking back at my PGDE, I realised at how useful reflection is, and whilst we may do it in our heads, there is a benefit to writing it all down. Sometimes, I still fall into the trap. Mine is more showing consequences of not reflecting and the reasons why I didn’t at the time. Because I am nervous in my lessons, I have found that I have an unfortunate ability to talk too much and not give clear instructions sometimes.

I have opted for the plan, implement, reflect process as I understand it! As Scrivener (1994, p.25) points out when he first started teaching ‘I found it hard to worry about the ‘bigger’ questions until I had gained at least some initial confidence in the basic mechanics of running activities and working with students’, which I have also found sometimes, even after a few years of being out in the big bad world of teaching on your own.


I decided to use a warmer activity that we had done in one of our lessons with our tutor Karen right at the beginning of the course, mainly because I found it enjoyable. This activity was to take lots of pictures to elicit how the students feel about learning literacy. I had a quiet class of 3, with one ESOL E1 learner who had been unexpectedly rough sleeping for a few weeks (when he has previously come to class, he has been eager, although not accurate), a L1 learner who won’t write and a L1 learner who is arguably consolidating E3 but has recently passed an E3nFunctional Skills qualification. Then the learners were to move on to an activity where they complete sentence starters ‘Learning is…/I like to learn…/learn best when…’

One learner picked a picture of an eye test, reporting that learning literacy is ‘knowing your ABCs and then trying to make sense of the bigger picture. Impressed, I asked my ESOL learner why he chose a picture. He said he chose a picture of the docks because he likes Liverpool. The other learner refused to pick a picture or get involved.

This happens every now and again, and I usually set a productive writing task using their lives as a stimulus. Usually, these are the learners who have no intention of coming back to class and can be disruptive to the rest of the group.

Last week I had a list of questions, with the subject omitted, had the students fold the paper in 3 to hide the questions and write their name on the sheet before passing it to their left. They then continued to write their name in the next question. They then had to open it up, guess what the answer to the questions were, then go and ask other students what their answers would have been.


I noticed because of the lack of focus my learners had as a group, it was difficult to elicit discussion about their pictures and also after they’d finished writing their sentences. The learners were not interested in each other, or the activity at all.

I noticed that my instructions may not have been clear as they students seemed to be confused about what they had to do and also seemed bored of having to write their name ten times. This stage seemed to drag on a little too. The students asked each other questions to find out if they were right or not. The activity ended up successful in the class, but left me wondering the purpose. This, admittedly, sometimes I’ve not planned effectively enough.


In the first warmer:

  1. I could have changed the activity when I knew the learners I had. Saying that though, I don’t regret doing the activity as to encourage group dynamics in future, changing activities to non-discussion ones probably isn’t the best idea if I actually want them to develop their speaking and listening skills.


  1. Appropriateness: I knew before I undertook the activity that the learners aren’t familiar with working with each other. I knew the ESOL learner might find it difficult, but thought with explanation it would be ok. I didn’t anticipate a learner being completely disinterested and under the influence of alcohol.


  1. I need to discuss with the drop in service the tyoe of learner that is appropriate. It is difficult though as I do not want to exclude any learner from participating. Sometimes because they are not in the right frame of mind for a session, and lack their own motivation, it has a serious impact of the progress made in the session which is always difficult to manage.

With the second warmer, on reflection I could see a number of problems:

  1. Give students clearer instructions, INCLUDING PURPOSE: by setting up the activity better/simplifying it/writing instructions on the board ‘pass to your left’.
  2. Clarification/classroom management: Ensure that students know what they have to do next by asking a student to tell me before letting them get on with the activity, make sure everyone is listening to the explanation.
  3. Appropriateness: The students knew each other better than I thought, so choose activities carefully. Maybe a simpler warmer would be more appropriate. I can also see that what I found enjoyable when I’ve done the activity before, students may not!
  4. Time management: If clearer instructions are given, the activity would not have lasted so long. I could also introduce a time limit for the learners to complete the activity in.

Plan & implement

In different activities in the following lessons, I had planned to write down and give clearer instructions to students. I asked a learner to tell me what they had to do before letting them continue with an activity. I had alas decided that dependant on the activity, I would choose either to give, or not to give time limits, depending on the purpose. For warmers, I need to continue to introduce time limits.

I spoke to the drop in and discussed the referrals up to the class that they make. I am hopeful this will be taken forward, however I am still not comfortable where the whether a learner is allowed to participate line lies. We have our code of conduct (below) however we are also operating on an outreach basis and also have to comply with the venue’s rules. In this particular drop-in, it is for rough sleepers. Whilst it isn’t a wet drop-in, many clients may be under the influence, suffer from mental health problems, health problems and are waiting to see the nurse (the same night as my class) rough sleep, are hungry, disengaged, and have one or more than one of these challenges. It is easy to see why the environment and their situation in general may not be conducive to learning. This doesn’t make me want to try less, but be more assertive and confident in my teaching.


By writing down my instructions and staging them better, I have found this has helped the students understand what they have to do better and the lesson flowed better. By learners repeating what they had to do, it helped me to see whether I needed to step in or take a step back and let them get on with it. Time management was improved and I found it a useful tool to ask students how long they needed as it helped me to get to know the students and their capabilities a little better, improving my formative assessment too.

I have also found a quote that I like. It’s a little wordy but when I started writing this post, I was worried whether I have actually improved on anything but this showed me that it becomes easier to find and analyse practice.

This is taken from Scrivener (1994, p.19). It comes at the end of a chapter reviewing potential problems and reads, ‘These are the kind of problems we all have. You’ll find yourself doing these things – so notice yourself doing them and note the ways in which they do or don’t seem to ‘prevent’ learning. But also accept that this is part of the natural process of your own learning and development. As your awareness and confidence grow you’ll find that you not only become more able to recognise such problems in your own teaching, but that you can also start to find effective alternative options that can enable rather than hinder learning’.

I can completely relate to this quote as I feel swamped relatively often. I suppose it’s the same as when learners’ filters are up, they find it difficult to see the wood for the trees. I feel the same sometimes, but will try to reflect more and liaise with colleagues more regularly with peers.

Scrivener, J. (1994) Learning Teaching. Heninmann:Oxford

Weekly Action Plans


In a mixed group, I have always found it difficult to plan. Getting the session off to a good start is one of the challenges as I don’t like to keep people waiting, especially if they have complex needs such as attention difficulties and undiagnosed conditions as so many of my learners do. In situations such as this, a scheme of work can be challenging to write, and leaves me questioning how much of a productive use of my time it actually is. The thing is, who said a scheme of work all needs to be on one sheet of paper, complexly intertwined with other learner’s needs? I find it far more helpful to plan for the individual, then the group on the whole, giving me the opportunity to plan for group activities through a different pair of specs. I haven’t reinvented the wheel at all, just broke away from how I’d usually go about things. The ILP has changed slightly too. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m sure I’ll soon find out.

Taking inspiration from a spelling book I read, I made two sheets to help me plan. One is a termly action plan, including any skills/behaviours we are also working on, which may or may not relate to literacy. This can help me to plan RARPA if appropriate, and assess our work each week against a set of negotiated objectives.

The second is a Weekly Action Plan , serving a few purposes:

  • Ensuring the learners know what they’re working towards, with the ability to tick off activities once they’ve done them.
  • Encouraging learners to take ownership of their plan and encouraging the ethos that if any tasks aren’t done that day, we can carry them over to the following week, or discuss why something has changed.
  • It gives me a chance to plan more thoroughly. Each week I look at the work they’ve done, and develop a new weekly plan for the following session. This helps me to pinpoint specific CPD I need to do, or tasks the learners need to do. I can also think about assessment of their work in a bit more of a controlled and systematic way.
  • It gives the learners the opportunity to come in and start work. The ones that are more able to set themselves up, can, and it gives me time to set people up verbally.

So far, the learners seem to like it. In the past, I have spent a lot of time getting people on task quickly, and I have inadvertently missed some key stages such as checking they understand what they’re doing, why and instructions, as well as bit of information I will not get elsewhere.

I’ve also made a template for recording problems/errors, but I’ve not completed this yet. I find looking at a list of criteria painful and unhelpful. Again, taking inspiration from another template I’ve seen (I think it was produced by the college I went to, but I’m not 100% sure, sorry), it gives me chance to in-class and out-of-class categorise their errors for ‘whole specs’ approach and then ‘individual specs approach’.


Abel, S. (1994) Helping Adults to Spell. Basic Skills Agency

Language Change – punctuation


Punctuation usage hasn’t changed. It’s evolved. To say something has changed, to me, is to infer that there was one set way in the first place. Some examples of punctuation developing are:

  • Prepositions shouldn’t end a sentence – possibly one of the more famous examples. Possibly one of the ones no-one really understands why as we do it all the time and it doesn’t sound ‘wrong’ in the slightest.
  • Subjunctive – If I were you – many also use ‘if I was you’. In my dialect, many people still use the subjunctive.
  • Tag questions – ‘Innit?’ now more of an acceptable way to ask a tag question, due to influences from different cultures in London and surrounding areas. It was also given a platform through Ali-G. It’s the first time I, and many people I know, heard it.
  • Apostrophes – many companies now omit apostrophes from their branding. Some big brands are still holding on. It’s stupid really but I like them. Well done Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s. Unfortunately I cringe every time I open my Barclays Bank statement. A possible reason why they’re going out of fashion a little could be because of its irregular and ‘incorrect’ usage in forming plurals. I’ve had learners who will spell one plural without and apostrophe, and another with one. People are unsure, and feel that most of the time it doesn’t impede meaning. Peter Viney has an interesting post on his blog that’s worth a read. I’ve been guilty of doing that activity where the apostrophes change the meaning of the text because I was trying to prove a point. I think it actually gave little to the learners though.
  • Hyphens – As words are accepted as common compound words, they seem to lose their hyphens. Again, silly maybe, but as a Functional Skills Coordinator, the lack of a hyphen makes me uncomfortable. Read this amusing Oxford Dictionaries blog post, highlighting when the hyphen is needed, and an Oxford Dictionaries fact page where you can refresh your knowledge.  Also, take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries usage guide for dashes which I use in a lot of my writing to separate my ideas for typographical reasons, and sometimes to make a point to someone!E.g. Yes, if you could that would be great – see instructions I sent last week – and let me know when it’s done. Thanks.
  • Hash (tag) –  I look like I’m working for Oxford Dictionaries, but their little usage guides, like this one on hash (tags), have been helpful! Twitter has changed our language forever. If only we could get apostrophes to catch on and multiply (correctly)!
  • @ – Again, take a look at Oxford Dictionaries’ info on the @ symbol, but computers have completely changed how we use punctuation, along with the underscore which was introduced (I’ve heard) for typewriting when you wanted something underlined, and in computer programming when you can’t put a space.
  • *insert any emotion, thought or instruction here* – E.g. I phoned IT and asked them how to turn my computer off *shame*.

Exclamation marks – In one of my assignments, I looked at the different uses of exclamation marks (to show shock, excitement, happiness, excitability, questions, anger, and possibly gender). They’re used especially online, but they have been leaked to paper-based writing too. I’ve seen it in my learners’ work and I’m assuming the acceptance in technology has reinforced their use overall. We’re all familiar with the fact that using more than one exclamation mark just means you’re really *insert adjective form of nouns in brackets above!* XYZ. Take a look at Stuart Jeffries’/Jeffries’s account in The Guardian. You can also put exclamation marks in brackets now to show you don’t value something, or you’re noting something about someone else’s character – unsaid, but an attribute known to both reader and writer, either positive or negative. For example:

He’ isn’t very pleased that I’ve spent a lot of time doing this(!)
Meaning: He should have done it himself/he’s lazy/what’s his problem?/I accept no blame.

Should the initial capital after a forward slash have a capital if it’s a complete sentence? Should you use the forward slash with complete sentences at all? I don’t consistently capitalise (!) after using a hyphen either.

  • Question marks – Similar to the exclamation mark, typing multiple question marks now mean you’re really confused, or you’re saying someone’s a little bit stupid. It’s amazing how character is shown through punctuation now.E.g. You put the potatoes in the freezer???Meaning – You’re stupid and now I’m going to have to waste 20 minutes going to the Tesco Metro/Express for more potatoes. Obviously they’ll be out of spuds and I’ll be even more angry at you.
  • Question marks and exclamation marks – Of course if using multiple exclamation marks or question marks weren’t enough for you, cue the mixture. Adds even more emphasis.E.g. You put the cat in the freezer??!!?!?!Meaning – Our relationship might actually be over. ??!?!, or a different combination of the same symbols also gives the feeling of an expletive coming your way.
  • Ellipsis… Stuart Jeffries also comments on ellipsis. I ellipses too! Used when you don’t finish a sentence, again, it implies the reader can finish your sentence because what you’re speaking about is truth (often used when talking about people!)E.g. He isn’t very pleased…(because he’s a xyz/because he never is/because he…you get the idea)Personally, I use it to involve my reader. Conversations feel a lot more personal when you use ellipsis. Especially good for flirting…


We had a conversation in class about bullet points, and as far as anyone was aware, there were no definitive rules for bullet points. A lot of current usage points to modelling and imitation – much in the same way you learn particular writing and layout conventions.

I love the ways in which punctuation is used now. I spent much of my teenage years on MSN Messenger, where I learnt how to have personal, hormone-ridden conversations with friends about how proud I was of them for something completely insignificant, and how true friendships last forever, and how *insert crush name here* looked at me weird and what did it mean?! Ahhh. People have got really good at expression online, even with ‘poor’ literacy skills. Just because you have a problem spelling, doesn’t mean you haven’t picked up important nuances of punctuation usage.

This is especially important when working with learners in terms of not assuming anything. We’ve all seen the old DfES Initial Assessment, which asks learners to insert punctuation into a sentence on a memo or something equally bizarre like, ‘we are all aware of last months meeting’. Maybe if we changed the context to something our learners were likely encounter, we’d see a truer picture.

Off to think of ways I could get real examples of learner’s informal conversations…



As I’m on my journey, I thought I’d start a ‘where to go’ section for myself (and you) for resources and lesson ideas. Referenced where possible!


See English as a global language.


We teach many idioms in ESOL, but I have never even thought of covering idioms in literacy, and I have no idea why.

I think it depends on the purpose of the activity to be honest, and its validity in a learner’s development. You could do a similar activity to the one above (but maybe with more relevant examples to them). They could make a fun coded idiom letter to a friend.


Create a crossword where the answers start with some selected prefixes. You can obtain the necessary software from as suggested in SfLQI


Differences between formal and informal English in the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum, p. 99. as suggested in SfLQI


Source materials for work on synonyms, go to the online visual thesaurus at: as suggested in SfLQI

Why I’m blogging


Long story short (it’s Christmas Eve, after all). I’m blogging for a few reasons:

  • A reflective journal was part of the teaching course I was doing, so some of it is a bit icky in places. I aim to rectify this when I’m speaking more freely in future. I work in a very diverse environment, and truly want to develop.
    • Said course has lasted way longer than expected.
  • I wanted somewhere to share my thoughts. A lot of this is for myself. Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m not looking to be laid into. I’m looking for a discussion. I’m the kind of person who needs to ask a stupid question before I realise it’s a stupid question. Then I go, ‘Oh, yeah’. Then we’ll be on the same page.
    • Plus, it’s part of my course to reflect/ask daft questions if I need to.
  • I want other people’s thoughts. I’m no expert. But I want to be on my way to being one, one day. Don’t you hate it when two identical words are side by side? Just me? Yeah, thought so.
    • And, I can use other peoples’ comments, and my comments as my CPD.
  • I had a blog, but:
    • No-one read it (on another free blogging site that shall remain nameless, and doesn’t have many (any) similar people on it.
    • I’m trying to move it all over to here (and have been for a while now), posting with the dates I’d originally posted on* (for the purposes of my course so it doesn’t look like I’ve made all this up in the last 2 days before I submit my work to them).*This is doing NOTHING for my current stats/visibility etc
  • As I’m sure you’ll gather if you read any more of my posts, I got broken into about 18 months ago. Possibly the worst thing that could happen to a teacher happened. They. Took. My. Laptop. Mid-term. The annoying thing is that I’ve done all of this once. I typed my notes, thoughts and plans up in Word and saved nearly all of them locally. So to be perfectly honest, the past year and a half has been trying to get everything I had back again.

So, it’s a bit of an apology really for it not being the World’s most egotistically exciting blog about teaching adults literacy/ESOL. It literally is an insight into my brain trying to do the best it can do. I feel quite alone most the time in teaching and I’m fully aware that people might read this and wonder what planet I’m on. Spare a thought for the teacher who is on their own. There’s no CPD activities as a whole department. No real guidance. No real support. Apart from a few part-time tutors I have, I am the department.

It’s now 1 minute past 12. Merry Christmas!

P x

Making sense of spelling


Today, we were directed towards Millar, R. & Klein, C. (2002) Making Sense of Spelling: A guide to teaching and learning how to spell. SENJIT: London. I love books like this that give you easy to follow checklists and methods to use in class. The following are ‘instructions’ slightly adapted so I can print them off easily (my memory is rubbish mid-class sometimes!), but all ideas are taken from pages 15-18.

Step 1

  • Looking at a piece of the learner’s own writing, group errors to find patterns such as rules, letter patterns, suffixes and prefixes (catalogue errors on the Spelling analysis learner self assessment for your file to help you select words to be learned). An example of the spelling assessment, and a piece of learner writing are below.
  •   2014-12-27 09.39.032014-12-27 09.39.15
  • Select a maximum of 10-12 words with the learner
    • choose words which learners spell nearly right/learner already knows similar word
    • choose words which the learner uses often
    • choose ones they want to learn
    • choose common words
    • choose words with common patterns (but don’t present confusing ones in the same week)

Step 2

  • Make a list of appropriate words for learners to spell. You could use the ‘spelling’ column on the Spelling and dictation record sheet I made, along with a few other documents in here that I find useful. I also find it useful to print all spelling stuff on coloured paper. Working anywhere, nevermind on outreach, colours help my organisation(slightly).

Step 3

Use Look say cover write check with the learners. They can keep this to practise at home (as I only see my group at the moment once per week) but I usually take a photo of it (just in case they lose it, and also for evidence of their progression).

Step 4

The following week,  using the dictation columns of the Spelling and dictation record sheet complete a dictation exercise with learners, ensuring that the learner:

  • repeats the word aloud
  • writes it
  • spells it orally
  • if a learner makes a mistake
    • ask them if they can find it, but don’t let them struggle. Show them the right spelling, compare and discuss. Make a note of any difficulties on the spelling record sheet.
    • get them to look at it again, and write it from memory – add the word to next week’s list (on the spelling record sheet)
  • add words learned to a personal dictionary (usually an exercise book that they can keep with them).

They suggest that dictations should also involve writing sentences using words that they already know to give practice.

  • dictate a sentence
  • get the learner to repeat it and write it from memory
  • get them to proof read immediately and correct errors
  • point out any errors and encourage them to correct them
  • if it’s not corrected, show the correct version and ask them to write it again from memory


Sometimes I’ve found it difficult to keep track of learner’s errors, so have at times not completed the spelling analysis. Also, even though class sizes are small, it can be hard to capture what is really happening, especially if you’re working with someone else. I’ve ‘caught’ learners throwing pieces of work away or changing their selections to synonyms they can spell, even with good levels of rapport and trust. This, of course, is a completely understandable coping mechanism for a skill which some have hidden away from others for years. Sometimes you have to encourage learners to take risks. Sometimes there’s just stuff you’ll miss, no matter how hard you try. People often come and go, depending on what is happening in the rest of their lives. I feel I need to get better at processes in an environment which doesn’t lend itself to processes sometimes.

Sometimes, I don’t get enough words per session from learners as the pace of work produced is slow, the words they find difficult are topic-specific, aren’t used frequently enough, or sometimes, they just don’t want to learn the words they’ve made mistakes with. I negotiate a lot with my learners. Sometimes possibly too much, but I’m always aware that they find it difficult, and there are often a lot of disputes in class, so sometimes it’s about making the best of what we’ve got on the day.

I’m going to try to use the above documents more, and print this page off as my ‘checklist’. I also have a volunteer, but with learners needing a lot of individual attention, it’s sometimes a bit thin on the ground with a tutor, a volunteer, and 5 learners.

I think I need to implement this more next term, and I’ll then be in a better place to reflect on my findings, as at the moment it kind of works, but the system doesn’t get followed. You might see this as my inability to control my classroom, or as adequate reflection in action. If a learner tells me they haven’t practised their spellings and can’t be bothered with them that day because their medication has changed too, then I don’t think I’m in a position to insist, but encourage.

Further reading


Here is a list of things I would like to read in future. Once I’ve read something, it will move to its own post. Hope you find some of these links/suggestions useful also! This list is for me primarily and to show my tutor what I’m intending on doing. I will fully reference once I’ve read/reviewed etc…

Recommended for the course:
Brooks G et al (2001) Progress in Adult Literacy – Do Learners Learn? London, Basic Skills Agency
Crystal D (2003) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press
Crowther, Hamilton and Tett (2001) Powerful Literacies Leicester, NIACE
Cruse A (2004) Meaning in Language: an Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics Oxford, Oxford
University Press
Doff A and Jones C (2001) Language in Use – Pre-intermediate Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Harmer J (2003) The Practice of English Language Teaching London, Longman
Lillis T and McKinney C (2003) (Eds) Analysing Language in Context: a Student Work Book Stoke on Trent,
Trenton Books
* NIACE (2004) A Framework for Understanding Dyslexia Leicester, Neworth Print Ltd
Papen U (2005) Adult Literacy as Social Practice London, Routledge
Reid G, Wearmouth J (2002) Dyslexia and Literacy – Theory and Practice London, Wiley
Schellekens P (2001) English Language as a Barrier to Employment, Training and Education London,
Tummons J (2005) Assessing Learning in Further Education Exeter, Learning Matters
Wallace S (2005) Teaching and Supporting Learners in Further Education 2nd ed Exeter, Learning Matters
Wren W (2001) Grammar and Punctuation Gosport, Ashford Colour Press
Access for All (2002) DfES
Adult Literacy Core Curriculum (2001) DfES
Adults Learning, NIACE (Monthly journal)
A Fresh Start – Improving Literacy and Numeracy DfEE Moser report –
Education Guardian (Tuesday) or
Equality and Diversity in Adult and Community Learning: A Guide for Managers. Reisenberger, A. & Dadzie,
S. (2002). Available: (Learning and Skills Development Agency
web site).
Inclusive Learning (Tomlinson 1996)
The Department for Education and Skills
Journal of Literacy Research
Learning Works – Widening Participation in FE (Kennedy 1997)
The Department for Education and Skills
Leitch Review of Skills – Final report (2006) HMSO
The Lifelong Learning UK
Literacy Trust
National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy
RaPAL journal
Skills for Life Learner materials for Literacy DfES
Times Education Supplement (Friday) or

Participation, engagement etc

Barton, D. (2006). The significance of a social practice view of language, literacy and
numeracy in L Tett, M Hamilton & Y Hillier (eds) Adult literacy, numeracy and language:
policy, practice and research. Open University Press.
Barton, D., Hamilton, M and Ivanicv, R. (eds) (2000). Situated literacies: reading and writing in
context. Routledge (2000).
Bird, V. and Akerman, R. (2005). Every which way we can: a literacy and social inclusion
position paper. London: National Literacy Trust.
Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (1997). It doesn’t get any better: the impact of poor basic skills on
the lives of 37 year olds. London: The Basic Skills Agency.
Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (2001). “Qualifications, basic skills and accelerating social
exclusion.” Journal of Education and Work, 14:2001.
Calder, A. and Cope, R. (2003). Breaking barriers? Reaching the hardest to reach. The
Prince’s Trust.
Cieslik, M. and Simpson, D. (2004). Basic skills and transitions to adulthood. Unpublished
Eldred, J., Ward, J., Dutton, Y. and Snowdon, K. (2004). Catching confidence. Leicester: NIACE.
Hannon, P., Pahl, K., Bird, V., Taylor, C. and Birgh, C. (2003). Community-focused provision in
adult literacy, numeracy and language: an exploratory study. London: NRDC
Horsman, J. (2000). Too scared to learn: women, violence and education. Mahwah, New
Jersey and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ivanicv, R., Appleby, A., Hodge, R., Tusting, K. and Barton, D. (2005). Relating language,
literacy and numeracy teaching to adult learners’ lives: a social perspective. London:
McGivney, V. (1999). Informal learning in the community: a trigger for change and
development. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.
McMeeking, S., Taylor, M., Powell, R. and Sims, D. (2002). ‘I Think I Can Do That Now’ – An
evaluation of round 5 of the Adult and Community Learning Fund. National Foundation for
Educational Research.
McNeil, B. and Smith, L. (2004). Success factors in informal learning: young adults’
experiences of literacy, language and numeracy. London: NRDC
Rickinson, M. ‘Practitioners’ use of research: a research review for the National Evidence for
Education Portal (NEEP) development group.’ National Educational Research Forum Working
Paper 7.5.
40 Research Report
Reder, S. (2004). Keynote address, NRDC International Conference.
Sampson, M.,Somani, B. Zwart, R. and Siddiq, S. (2004). Adult and community learning fund,
1998 – 2004: final report – Basic Skills Agency strand. Basic Skills Agency.
Tusting, K. (2003). ‘A review of theories of informal learning.’ Lancaster Literacy Research
Centre Working Paper no. 2.
Tusting, K. and Barton, D. (2003). Models of adult learning. London: NRD


RaW – BBCs website

World Book Night, National Reading Campaign

ESOL and Functional Skills


Things to read –

Burton et al – 2007-8 Uni Sheffield NRDC project

Torgerson et al (2006) – phonics research / Ehri et al (2001)


Burton, M. , Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L. and Brooks, G. (2008) Improving Reading; Phonics and Fluency. Practitioner Guide. London: NRDC – p.8-31 downloadable from

Burton, M. , Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L. and Brooks, G. (2010) Progress for adult literacy learners. Lndon: NRDC downloadable from:

Kingston, P. (2009) Education Guardian Can you teach an old dog with young tricks? Available at:

Bloomer, A., Griffiths, P. and Merrison, A. J. (2005) Introducing Language in Use: A Coursebook. London: Routledge.

Crystal, D. (2005) How Language Works. London: Penguin. (ch.9)

Roach, P. (2006) English Phonetics and Phonology. A Practical course (3rd ed). Cambridge: CUP

Hughes, A., Trudgill, P. and Watt, D. (2005) English Accents and Dialects. An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of British English. London: Hodder.

Cruttenden, A. (2001) Gimson’s Pronunciation of English. London: Arnold – changes within RP

Crystal, D. (1995) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge: CUP

Crystal, D. (2008) Txtng: The gr8 db8. Oxford: OUP


Big Idea, Small Steps: The Making of Credit-Based Qualifications

email this person: raphael from here:

Formative Assessment in Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy

‘Improving Speaking and Listening Skills: A practical guide of Skills for Life teachers (2007, p.84) accessed via

Crowther, Hamilton and Tett (2001) Powerful Literacies
Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History suggestions:
Subscribe to adult literacy blogs/journals – keep coming back to this and reviewing

  • Moser report
  • Yvonne Hillier
  • NIACE – buy books, keep more up to date
  • NRDC – especially evidence-based practice
  • Right to Read manifesto
  • Second Chance to Learn (Liverpool) Yanit in Thompson 1980
  • Scottish Adult Literacy Agency (SCALA)
  • Pamphlet 43 – English for Immigration
  • Look at Shelter Literacy research
  • The Home Tutor kit commission for racial equality
  • ALBSU – resources
  • New Literacy Studies
  • Lewin (2005)
  • Rittell & webber (1973)
  • Barton et al (2000)
  • Hodge 2003
  • Hull & Schultz (2002)
  • Street (1993, 2004)
  • Martin & Jones (2000) ESOL
  • Coben 2003 (Numeracy)
  • Lancaster University – collection of resources, books etc –


Hamilton, M & Hillier, Y. (2006). Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History. Trentham Books Ltd