Professional Development

for ESOL Literacy A, B, C

Explore instructional strategies that are effective in the ESOL Literacy classroom.

Understanding Literacy

Opening Routines

Watch this video from the Minnesota Literacy Council on delivering effective routines to begin your class and review core skills on a daily basis.

TPR in Literacy

Total Physical Response helps learners get active, verbal and participating in class with new or any unmastered vocabulary. These strategies are particularly useful in mixed level classes.

In the first part of the video, Whole Body Movements, an instructor uses Total Physical Response (TPR) to teach beginning-level ESOL learners the meaning of the English verbal commands related to standing, sitting, walking, stopping, and turning around.

In the second part, Expanding Vocabulary, the teacher uses different verbal commands to teach the names of common tools.

How to Implement Line Dialogues

Use Line Dialogues to help students master simple conversational phrases and responses. This video demonstrates how to implement this strategy.

How Much Are the Peppers? A Comprehensive Guide to a Successful Literacy Class Environment

This is a 4-part video illustrating effective teaching strategies in an adult ESL classroom. The teacher uses pictures and text, and real fruits and vegetables to teach basic vocabulary and language structures. She connects classroom and community by having students go on a site visit to a local farm to practice the language they are learning. Students later visit a grocery store where they ask questions. Back in the classroom they compare prices and do further language work. Heide Spruck Wrigley narrates and highlights effective instructional strategies and promising practices, including "bringing the outside in."

The final video in the series is an overview of the 10 steps used by the Literacy Instructor in the "How Much Are The Peppers" series that can strengthen any themed literacy lesson. Following these steps is a great way to create a healthy learning environment for students.

Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers

"Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers" is from the video series "Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action" created by New American Horizons Foundation (2010) and shared here under the Creative Commons license.

Using Books/Readers in the Literacy Classroom

Learners can feel more confident when using a source text and mastering the reading of that book. If can be shared with family at home as evidence if their learning progress.

Developing Vocabulary

Find out more about developing vocabulary and background concepts:

Singing in the ESL Classroom

Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of singing and using songs in the ESL literacy classroom. For more information on ESL literacy, go to


  • jpowrie. “How Much Are The Peppers? (1, 2, 3, 4).” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Sept. 2008,
  • jpowrie. “ESL Literacy (01 of 10): Help Cards.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Sept. 2008,
  • jpowrie. “How Much Are The Peppers? (1, 2, 3, 4).” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Sept. 2008,
  • jpowrie. “ESL Literacy (01 of 10): Help Cards.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Sept. 2008,
  • ESLiteracy. “Singing in the ESL Literacy Classroom.” YouTube, YouTube, 21 May 2014,