English Language Support Programme (Trinity Immigration Initiative)
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Language Support Activity Units

The post-primary Activity Units presented here for download or printing are firmly embedded in the school context and accurately reflect the language and learning requirements  for access to the Junior and Leaving Certificate curricula.

The ELSP (part of the Trinity Immigration Initiative, Trinity College Dublin) is based on 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 support teachers and mainstream subject teachers.

The analysis of the linguistic demands of a large number of subjects in the  post-primary curriculum has provided much valuable information about the terminology, keywords and language structures necessary to pursue effective study of different subjects.  The information has been used to create a collection of subject-specific teaching/learning materials. These materials are designed to support teaching and learning at a developing level of proficiency in the language of different subjects, culminating in the Leaving Certificate examination.  As students become increasingly able to penetrate and access textbooks and classroom activities, so their control grows in relation to their own learning. The Activity Units of the ELSP are designed to help students achieve that penetration and access so that the learning challenge changes and they are empowered to build new knowledge on that which is already clear, comprehensible, and familiar to them in

Learning support
Language support
Subject classroom

Language support
The concept of successfully integrating ESL (English as a Second Language) 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 Activity Units are supplemented with a wide range of appropriate language learning and self-study activities which are suitable for post-primary students to do individually, in pairs or in small groups.
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).

For more information click on Background to the Units

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.

   What's new?

We are delighted to host the Toolkit for Diversity in Post Primary Schools which aims to help schools create and sustain a welcoming and inclusive environment for students and parents from all backgrounds and ensure equal success for all.

Please click on the link below

whole school approaches


english language award The ELSP won the 2009 European Award for Languages - click here for details

Jury's comments "Feedback from involved teachers very positive about motivation of students and this is motivating for teachers...Very impressed with project...Valuable idea transferable to e.g. Gaelscoileanna."

Remember, 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.
We again acknowledge Gill & Macmillan for their permission to reproduce certain short texts in some of these Units.


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English Language Support Programme, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland

The English Language Support Programme is part of the Trinity Immigration Initiative (funded by AIB)