Using Learn My Way for ESOL

This guide will help you to support learners with English as a second language (ESOL) and to overcome potential potential barriers.

This guide will help you to:

  • Support learners with English as a second language (ESOL).
  • Explore potential barriers and get ready for digital.
  • Prepare to use Learn My Way.

Challenges ESOL learners face with digital 

Limited English language/literacy skills

  • One-to-one support using home language to demonstrate common features.
  • Be patient.
  • Adjust display & settings if required.
  • Accept that the learning journey will take longer than usual.
  • Break the tasks down to small bitesize sessions and repeat if required.
  • Using resources that are at the right level. For example, using content that uses pictures to demonstrate and learn.
  • Use Google/Bing Translate to translate words/phrases they don’t understand.
  • Use a text to speech on web browsers to make reading easier.
  • Provide one-one or small groups sessions.

Lack or limited digital skills 

  • Provide one-one support to build confidence.
  • Use visual analogies to explain processes and terminology. For example, use a paperclip to attach a photo to a sheet of paper (email attachments) or put a bookmark in a book (bookmarks, favourites) or use a picture of someone fishing (phishing, scams).

Opportunities to engage with ESOL Learners

Embed digital skills into ESOL lessons. This provides an opportunity to practise in a safe environment. For example, use of YouTube, Google Earth, online searching for English practice, music and reading.

Get them ready for digital. Use ESOL lessons to provide an opportunity to start conversations around getting online and what interests them. Use the opportunity to help design. sessions that will keep learners engaged and motivated.

Translate websites into learners preferred language. Consider using the translation function within Google Chrome to switch between languages. This can make it easier for learners to understand the content and improve their English language skills. You’ll find support on how to do this in our Translating Learn My Way using Google Chrome guide.

Making the most of Learn My Way

  • Start at the beginning - even if they know the basic skills it can build familiarity with the language.
  • Embed digital into ESOL classes.
  • Use blended approach and offer flexible learning opportunities.

Useful topics/subjects on Learn My Way

Using your device. An excellent starting point for absolute beginners. Builds confidence in using devices/equipment along with gaining new skills. 

Staying in touch. Many ESOL learners will have family and friends not living in the UK. This is a key subject to learn different ways to communicate with them.

Employment and work. A great starting point and introduction to working in the UK. Helps learners look and apply for work/volunteering, learn about employability skills, and what to expect from working in the UK. 

Managing money. A useful introduction to banking and budgeting to help with integration into UK life for example, applying for benefits/Universal Credit.

Safety & security. Spam emails and fraudulent websites are even harder to recognise with English as a second language. This topic deliveres an wareness of scams which may target vulnerable people.

Online entertainment. This topic supports people to improve their mental wellbeing, language skills and cultural knowledge.

Other resources

Duolingo can help with translation 

BBC Learning English provides help with language, employment and life in the UK 

Learn English Kids offers resources from the British Council for children and parents

This resource is only available to members

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