New English Language Support Website

clip_image001The English Language Support Programme has recently launched its website at  This website has been designed for post-primary and mainstream subject teachers and their students.  On this site you will find a comprehensive range of activities which will help you to access all subject areas of the Junior Certificate curriculum.  These activities can be downloaded and printed and are suitable for both classroom activity and self-study.

Though primarily designed for newcomer learners of English, the Language Support Activity Units and other activities on this site are equally suited to the needs of all students as they encourage both subject and language learning.
The post-primary Language Support Activity Units presented here for download or printing are firmly embedded in the school context and accurately reflect the linguistic requirements of accessing the Junior Certificate curriculum and are designed to support teaching and learning at each of the CEFR A1-B1 Benchmarks.
These units are further supplemented with a wide range of appropriate language learning and self-study activities suitable for post-primary students to do individually, in pairs or in small groups.

The concept of successfully integrating ESL learners into the mainstream post-primary curriculum is multi-dimensional, involving the successful integration of linguistic, educational and social practices. Within the post-primary context, the successful teaching of curricular lexis derived from subject textbooks and examination papers plays an important role in this integration as it informs the language of instruction and language of communication within the classroom.

The English Language Support Programme (part of the Trinity Immigration Initiative, Trinity College Dublin) is midway through a three-year corpus linguistics analysis of the subject textbooks and examination papers used in Irish post-primary schools. This analysis has been further extended by investigating official teacher guidelines and subject syllabi in addition to extensive consultation both with English Language Support teachers and mainstream subject teachers.

This linguistic analysis of the linguistic demands of the mainstream curriculum and this focus on subject-specific language has informed the development of a large array of teaching/learning materials designed to support teaching and learning at each of the CEFR A1-B1 Benchmarks.

The goal of a successful post-primary ESL approach is to provide newcomer students with equitable opportunities to achieve designated learning outcomes across the curriculum. We believe that our corpus and materials will play a fundamental role in the facilitation of this provision and in the development of skills in which the learner can manage their own lexical learning (Harwood 2005, Sanaoui 1995).

Harwood, N. (2005) What do we want EAP teaching materials for? Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4: 149-161.
Sanaoui, R. (1995) Adult learners’ approaches to learning vocabulary in second languages. The Modern Language Journal 79.1: 15–28.

For further information visit or contact Zach Lyons at

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