Considering our organization’s name is Literacy Connexus, one might hazard a guess that we are extremely passionate about literacy. And, one would be right. In 2020 Literacy Connexus partnered with the Dollar General Literacy  Foundation and conducted a research project where we searched for the methods and resources available for ESL students who are not literate in their first language. Our goal was to share our findings with other ESL instructors who work with that demographic and provide support to both the teachers and the students. With that being said, we’d like to share some of the best resources that we discovered for ESL literacy along the way with all of you. Here is one of my favorites, The Pre-beginning ESL Story Bank from the Minnesota Literacy Council. 

“The story bank is a collection of short stories written specifically for adult ESL learners as part of the Minnesota Literacy Council’s Adult ESL Curriculum with Transitions Skills…As part of a larger curriculum, these stories were written to align with specific themes and objectives of the lessons in which they are embedded. Many of these themes are common across adult ESL classrooms, such as healthcare and work. Others draw directly from content on the CASAS Life and Work reading tests.” 

The Beginning ESL Story Bank by Minnesota Literacy Council

This is a wonderful resource for any instructors or tutors who are working with preliterate or nonliterate ESL students, or just ESL students who are at the low/beginning stages of literacy. The material is appropriate for adults, relevant to their lives, and immediately applicable for students. Below are two images from the ESL Story Bank. Pictured is an example of the suggested unit themes and a story.

The story bank is available for free on the Minnesota Literacy website in the educator resource section here. It includes possible unit themes, suggested use, and correlated worksheets and activities that align with each story. Download your own copy of the ESL Story Bank here. Also Check out their Beginning ESL Story Bank for level 2-3 ESL students here.

by Taynim Johnson