Refreshed resources now live on English My Way

By Julie Day, ESOL Consultant

Over the years of English My Way, the team at Good Things Foundation have listened to what you've said and tried to take suggestions on board – feedback from what you've told us face-to-face, in quarterly surveys, emails and calls.

In Autumn 2016, Good Things Foundation decided to get some centres together to evaluate and feedback on what worked, what didn't and how to improve the English My Way website and resources. That's why the English My Way website, teacher notes and paper-based resources have been updated and (hopefully) improved.

Here are some of the changes made.

Slightly less printing

The comment we've heard most is 'too much photocopying'. When we created the resources we knew this could be an issue, but it's hard to minimise paper when you're teaching low-level learners: there's only so much you can put on a page before it starts to overwhelm learners with too much text. In the refresh, we've tried, where possible, to reduce the need for printing, for example, by putting text on one page instead of two, suggesting not to print certain resources eg. large images to show to the whole class (show them on screen if you can) and when resources can be kept and reused.

Audio and video scripts are now in the teacher notes rather than a separate resource, but if you want to use the scripts with the class, you can copy and paste them from the teacher notes onto a projector or Word document.

Improvements to teacher notes

We've added 'Advice for planning this session' to most sessions. These give an overview of the session, tips about what to prepare and things to think about when planning. The 'Advice for planning this session' in the first session in a new topic usually includes advice about the whole topic, for example, 'images used in session A, will be used in future sessions' or 'find out what your learners know about Jobcentres'.

Teacher notes now include a wider range of differentiation and extensions for teachers to support learners who finish activities early or who have different levels of English. For learners who find tasks challenging, use the differentiation options. At the same time, we've tried to make differentiation no extra work for teachers. For example, the differentiation suggestion may be about effective classroom management, such as the most effective seating arrangements when doing differentiated activities (eg. extension activities for quicker finishers usually work best if learners of a similar ability are seated near each other). Of course, the most important thing for effective differentiation is knowing your learners' strengths, weaknesses, interests and ambitions so you can plan to meet their needs.

We've reduced the amount of text in the teacher notes and used a 'bullet point' style to make the text more accessible.

Other changes we've made

  • Available offline: paper-based, audio and video were always available to download so you could use them in offline settings, but now the teacher notes and online activities are also downloadable. You can find the link to download all the resources from topics midway down the page on your left.
  • Streamlined: images are now more projector-friendly and resources used in several topics are referred to in the preparation section to show what you don't have to print again. We've added a list of all the reused resources in the index in the transition guide so you know in advance.
  • Wider cultural representations: images in the resources now include wider cultural representations to allow you to find images which represent your learners and communities. It's impossible to include every community so if you want something specific find alternatives with a free stock library such as Wikimedia Commons.
  • More assessment tips: there are more varied and detailed learning checks to help you assess learners' progress.
  • Resource references: the resource reference in the teacher notes corresponds to the footer on each resource. When a resource is mentioned in the teacher notes it is highlighted in bold in the following format: [topic]_[resource number]_[resource title]. For instance, the first resource in 'Daily life' with the title 'Diary page' is now dailylife_01_diary_page. Previously, the reference numbering could be confusing so resources are now numbered continuously throughout the topic with resource numbers in session B following on from session A.

We hope you're happy with the changes we've made, but if you want to keep using the original resources, don't worry because they're still there in our archive and the index will show which updated resource matches the previous version to help you find them.

As ever, we really want your feedback so get in touch about anything that's not clear or you're not happy with at Of course, we'd love to hear any good feedback too! We're particularly interested in gathering case studies about how you are using the English My Way resources, so please get in touch if you have a story you'd like to tell.

Lastly, we'd like to say a big thank you to all the Online Centres who have contributed to the development of the refreshed resources - we couldn't have done it without you!