ESL Newcomer Curriculums

A Comprehensive List of ESL Curriculum Selection

The list below features an expanding collection of ESL newcomer curricula. Tab 1 contains newcomer online resources, tab 2 contains elementary ESL newcomer curricula, and tab 3 encompasses secondary ESL newcomer curricula. Please note that this list grows as we add more resources over time.

  1. BBC Learning English: Free online resources for English learners of all levels. Website
  2. Breaking News English: Free, regularly updated lessons based on current news stories, adaptable to different levels. Website
  3. Cambridge English: A range of English teaching resources for all levels, including beginners. Website
  4. Colorín Colorado: A bilingual site offering free resources for educators working with English language learners. Website
  5. ESL Library: Subscription-based service offering lesson plans, flashcards, and other teaching resources tailored to different proficiency levels. Website
  6. National Geographic Learning: Offers materials for English language learners, including the “Reach” series. Website
  7. New Readers Press: Educational materials tailored for adult education, including ESL resources for newcomers. Website
  8. Newcomer Toolkit from the U.S. Department of Education: A free resource to help educators support newly arrived immigrant students, including English language learners. Website
  9. Oxford University Press: Publishes the “Oxford Picture Dictionary” and other ESL materials suitable for newcomers. Website
  10. Pearson English: Provides materials for teaching English as a second language, including resources for beginners. Website
  11. Rosetta Stone: Language learning software suitable for newcomers to English. Website
  12. Saddleback Educational Publishing: Focuses on high-interest, low-readability texts suitable for newcomers to English. Website
  13. Scholastic Education: Includes resources designed for young English language learners. Website
  14. TESOL International Association: Professional development, books, and other resources for teachers of English language learners. Website
  15. WIDA: Resources related to the English language development standards. Website.
Elementary ESL Curriculum
NameGrade LevelVendorDescriptionLink to Curriculum
Benchmark HelloEarly EducationBenchmark Education CompanyEmphasizes literacy skills through structured reading, writing, and language activities for early learners.Access Benchmark Hello
Carousel of IdeasEnglish Language LearnersBallard & Tighedesigned to stimulate students’ creativity, critical thinking, and comprehensive understanding by taking them through a rotating series of topics or themes. Much like a carousel’s circular motion, the curriculum offers an engaging and dynamic approach to learning, where ideas are explored from various angles. This approach fosters a multidisciplinary perspective, encouraging students to make connections across subjects and allowing for a more holistic understanding. The flexibility of the carousel structure makes it adaptable to various age groups and subject areas, creating an exciting and ever-changing educational journey.Access Carousel of Ideas
Connect K for KindergartenKindergartenVHLA set of newcomer curricula that is constantly updated. Includes webinars and training for a monthly fee.
Equipping ELLsK-12Equipping ELLsA kindergarten program includes early literacy components like letter recognition, phonics, and reading activities.Access Equipping ELLs
K-5Teacher Created MaterialsExplicitly aimed at developing language arts skills; includes literacy-focused content.Access Language Power
Learning PacketsVarious (Educational Level)University of Nebraska-LincolnThe Ready, Set, Go! Newcomers Kits are designed as a progressive workbook series to assist students recently coming to the United States. These kits focus on cultivating vital language abilities, empowering them with confidence in communication and reading.Access Learning Packets
Our World by National Geographic (Nat Geo)Young Learners (English)National Geographic LearningFocuses on foundational English language skills, including reading and writing, suitable for literacy development.Access Our World
Oxford Picture Dictionary Content Area for KidsElementaryUniversity PressThis dictionary uses vibrant illustrations and clear definitions to introduce children to essential English vocabulary in various content areas. Organized by thematic topics such as family, school, nature, etc., it provides context to words, helping children understand their meanings and usage in daily life. It often includes activities and exercises that reinforce understanding and application of the vocabulary.Access Oxford Picture Dictionary Content Area for Kids
Ready, set, Go! Newcomers KitK-5Continental PressA set of newcomer curricula that is constantly updated. Includes webinars and training for a monthly fee.Access Ready, Set, Go!
Summit K12K-5Summit k12Summit k12 offers a flexible learning approach, adapting to individual needs through Individualized Language Learning Plans (ILLPs) and utilizing enhanced AI for autoscored assessments. It includes specific rubrics for speaking and writing and is designed to differentiate across six WIDA grade bands. The program is structured around four key language uses: Narrate, Inform, Explain, and Argue. “Connect to Literacy” offers interactive video lessons for all multilingual learners, covering five ELD standards at six grade levels. It aims to support growth in all four domains with only 30-60 minutes of weekly practice.Access Summitk12
Secondary Curriculum
NameGrade LevelDescriptionVendorLink to Curriculum
Hands on EnglishELL, VariousFocuses on engaging ELL with practical activities, emphasizing real-world communication skills, vocabulary, grammar, and cultural understanding.Ballard & TigheHands-on English
Language Tree Online 
Newcomers Program, ELD 1, and ELD 2
Middle to High SchoolOur standards-based Newcomers curriculum builds essential language skills and functional vocabulary. Unique to Language Tree Online is a module on American School Culture, which helps newcomers acculturate and feel more comfortable in a new school environment. Suitable for ELLs with varying degrees of English competency, from SIFE/SLIFE to more developed learners.    Language Tree OnlineAccess Language Tree Online
National Geographic ReachK-12The K-12 program offers cohesive language and literacy learning, incorporating reading, writing, speaking, listening, skills mastery, and assessment.National Geographic LearningAccess National Geographic
National Geographic Time ZonesMiddle to High SchoolLanguage learning integrating English instruction with cultural insights. Helps students understand English in different cultural contexts, develops linguistic proficiency alongside cultural awareness.National Geographic LearningAccess National Geographic
Read 1804-12Research-based program to raise reading achievement for struggling readers. Incorporates adaptive technology, whole- and small-group instruction, and student-centered learning.Houghton Mifflin HarcourtAccess Read180
Rigor from BenchmarkSecondaryOffers rigorous literacy instruction for diverse classrooms. Focuses on comprehensive literacy development, including reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language skills.Benchmark Education CompanyAccess Saddleback
SaddlebackVariousKnown for providing engaging materials for struggling learners, especially in literacy and ELL contexts. Emphasizes high-interest, low-readability texts, culturally responsive materials, and integrated skill development.Saddleback Educational PublishingAccess Saddleback

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2 thoughts on “ESL Newcomer Curriculums”

  1. Thank you for your list! I was curious, EL Achieve was not on either list. This is one that we are looking at for Secondary Newcomers/ ELD instruction, but I am finding no one really knows about them. We heard about them from a new hire who had used the proggram in AR with great results, but I am a bit leery of jumping in with both feet with so little data out there. Have you heard of them at all? Thoughts?

    1. Hello and welcome!
      No, I have not heard of EL achieve. I will look into it to become familiriaze. I only added the ones I have used or have seen people use for years.

      thanks for the heads up and the question!
      Sugely 🙂

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