Primary Materials

New resource book for Primary Language Support Teachers.

IILT has developed a publication designed for language support teachers in the primary sector. The book is currently being distributed to primary schools nationwide. To order additional copies click here.


Material available free for download

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 The following publications are available free for download in Adobe PDF format. Pop up to new Window Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader free of charge.

Useful materials for Primary Language Support Teachers can be downloaded below. Just double click on the document name and it will open in Adobe Acrobat Reader. To order hard copies of portfolios and My First English Book, please scroll down to the order form at the bottom of the page.


English language proficiency benchmarks for non-English-speaking pupils at primary level(87 KB)

The English language proficiency benchmarks set out in this document are intended to
facilitate the design and delivery of English language support for non-English speaking
children at primary level in Ireland.


European Language Portfolio - Primary(503 KB)

Using the European Language Portfolio in English language support - Teacher’s guide(417 KB) 

The purpose of this European Language Portfolio is to support children whose mother tongue is not English as they meet the challenge of learning English in order to participate fully in mainstream education. The ELP demonstrates and highlights individual achievement and success and, as a result, helps promote self-confident and self-directed learners.


Integrating non-English speaking students - A Handbook for Primary Schools (145 KB)

Prepared by Integrate Ireland Language and Training in collaboration with language support teachers working in primary schools throughout Ireland


Learning English as a Second Language - Acquisition and Instruction (83 KB)

This paper provides a background to language support by comparing second language learning to the acquisition of a mother tongue and highlighting the natural stages of progress in learning a second language.


Initial Interview Assessment (65 KB)

Assessing the English language proficiency of a pupil on arrival in a school is extremely difficult. A detailed view of the pupil’s competence in the different skills of English will emerge over the first month or two of language support. However, this interview assessment can, in some cases, provide broad initial information which will allow the teacher to categorize the pupil’s overall proficiency as A1, A2 or B1 (see Language Proficiency Benchmarks).


Two sets of points for gaining information on pupils' reactions and progress in the mainstream classroom (76 Kb)

1. Initial needs analysis for language support pupil in the mainstream by observation of early classroom behaviour

2. On-going needs analysis for language support pupil by observation of progress and development in classroom behaviour and formal learning.

This information may be collected from class teachers either by the use of the forms or, if this is not appropriate, through informal discussion.


Mainstream Class Observation of Language Support Pupil (141 KB)

This observation checklist allows the language support teacher, as appropriate, to observe pupils in their mainstream classrooms as a means of identifying areas which would benefit from additional attention during language support classes.


Checklist for observing progress in ESL learners during the non-verbal (silent) period (54 KB)

Children, when immersed in an unfamiliar language, may become silent. This behaviour does not signal a psychological problem but is a well-recognised phenomenon associated with language learning. The checklist allows the teacher to observe and note a pupil’s engagement with the classroom in the absence of oral communication. If the pupil is demonstrating any of the behaviours listed on the checklist, then it is reasonable to assume that he/she will eventually begin to speak. When speaking begins it is generally evident that, despite silence, the pupil has been learning throughout the non-verbal period. It should be noted that this period can last for varying lengths of time, even to the extent of an entire school year.


English Language Proficiency Profile (934 KB)

These three pages provide a means for the teacher to maintain accurate records of an individual pupil’s progress across all the skills of English language learning. The profile should be used in conjunction with the Language Proficiency Benchmarks on the basis of both observational assessment in the classroom and formal assessment tests (currently under development by IILT).


Activities for Very Young Learners (369 KB)

This booklet presents a range of typical or model classroom activities designed to support the development of the necessary language, learning and socialisation skills in very young learners. Many of the activities can be repeated for different themes.


 Teaching the Productive Skills - Writing and Speaking (537 KB)

The primary focus in this booklet of classroom suggestions and activities is on the productive skills of language – Speaking and Writing. Clearly, it is impossible to carry out learning activities that exclude the receptive skills – Listening and Reading. Many of the activities, therefore, include all four skills.


Creating an intercultural environment - Experiences and ideas provided by teachers working in schools throughout Ireland (101 KB)

This is an extensive list of activities and events which have been implemented in schools all over Ireland. The suggestions were generously supplied by teachers working in large and small schools, and they provide ideas for addressing the question of creating an inclusive environment that acknowledges and celebrates the richness of diversity at a number of different levels. It is important to note that Ireland, the Irish language, Irish cultural objects, festivals etc. are given equal place in the suggestions that follow. The objective is intercultural awareness and understanding.


Parent – Teacher Meeting Report Form (164 KB)

Two forms of a visual report form were developed in response to the difficulties teachers have reported in communicating with non-English speaking parents. One form is based on icons to allow for non-specific feedback while the second is based on a scale which allows the teacher to provide more detailed information about a pupil’s level in a particular subject area.

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