Topic worksheets

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 Repairs around the home

Picture sequence story and activities about turning off the water and calling a plumber to repair a leak.  With ideas for a warm up, jumbled sentences, gapped text, a game, true/false, dialogues, and many extension activities. 

Taking a child to school

Picture sequence story and activities about taking children to and from school:  'walking buses', drop offs on wet days, parking signs near schools and pedestrian safety.  With ideas for gapped text, true/false, dialogues, jumbled sentences and many extension activities. 

How to get your NZ driver licence

With ideas for using the sequence: jumbled sentences, true/false, gap-fill activities and more.

Supermarket shopping
Picture scenario for asking for help and talking to the cashier in a supermarket. With teaching ideas for using the sequence story including jumbled sentences, gap-filling, listening activities, using supermarket flyers etc.

Giving feedback 
Picture scenarios for giving feedback in different situations: requests for personal opinions, for a phone survey, on a course form, online feedback (skype). With ideas for oral responses, jumbled sentences, true/false, gap-filled activities etc. 

Volunteering in a charity shop
Picture sequence story about applying and being interviewed for a job. With ideas for using the sequence: jumbled sentences, true/false, gap-fill activities and more. You can also download individual graphics.

Job search
Picture sequence story about applying and being interviewed for a job. With ideas for using the sequence: true/false, gap-fill activities, writing covering letters, interview questions and more. You can also download individual graphics.

Emergency - fire!
Picture sequence story about what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, i.e. smoke alarm, evacuating the house, calling 111. Includes ideas for use and vocab/text. You can also download individual graphics.

Parent teacher interview
Picture sequence story about parent teacher interview, i.e. receiving information from school, filling in a return slip, discussing progress with the teacher. Includes a sample interview form, ideas for use and vocab/text. You can also download individual graphics.

Returning faulty goods
Picture sequence story about returning faulty goods, i.e. talking to customer services. Includes ideas for use and vocab/text. You can also download individual graphics. 

Radio stars
Listening activities based on an ACCESS MANAWATU podcast made by learners in Palmerston North. Listen and complete table, comprehension questions, discussion activity, extension idea for learners to create own interview.  WORD version. Also read the related news article Learners on air.

Unexpected callers
Picture sequence story about the different kinds of people who may knock on your door or phone, i.e. electricity companies, religious people, telemarketers, halloween visitors and fundraisers. The worksheet has three versions; A: the full version (including ideas for use and vocab/text), B: which doesn't identify what kind of organisation the caller is from and C: with speech bubbles so learners can fill these in.  You can also download individual graphics.

The haircut (A bad hair day)!
Picture sequence about getting a haircut, i.e. making a phone appointment, visiting the salon, the normal hairdresser procedure and conversations involved. Includes ideas for use and vocab/text. You can also download individual graphics.  

Parent helps on school trip
Picture sequence about school trips, i.e. permission forms and getting involved. With ideas for using the story sequence and vocab and text activities. You can also download individual graphics.

Coping after a disaster
Detailed graphic of a neighbourhood coping post-earthquake. Promotes discussion about 'getting through'.  You can also download individual graphics.

A hospital stay 
Picture sequence with worksheet with detailed activites about admission forms and hospital notices. With ideas for using the story sequence and vocab and text activities. You can also download individual graphics.

A street collection
Sequence story about street collections. With ideas for using the story sequence and vocab and text activities. You can also download individual graphics.

Car accident 
Sequence story about a nose-to-tail accident. With ideas for using the story, reading comprehension about car insurance, vocab for directions and a crossword puzzle. You can also download individual graphics.

Visiting the dentist
Sequence story about a dentist visit. With ideas for using the story, school dental information and a conversation on making an appointment. You can also download individual graphics.

Welcoming in winter
Detailed graphic about winter activities. With activity worksheet: vocab to talk about the picture, sentence strips, listen and draw, reading comprehension on Matariki and two recipes. You can also download individual graphics.

Worksheet on Matariki (Maori New Year) with a reading comprehension activity and a true | false activity.  

Treaty of Waitangi
Worksheet on the Treaty of Waitangi. Includes reading comprehension with questions, a word find, an activity on pronouncing Maori and a reading activity on Te Papa. 

More about Te Tiriti



Maori pronounciation websites

 Spring in the park
 Detailed graphic about spring. You can download individual graphics.

 Summer at the beach
 Detailed graphic about a Kiwi beach. You can download individual graphics.

 Detailed graphic about autumn. You can download individual graphics.

Sequence story about ANZAC Day. With ideas for using the story, reading comprehension, word cloze, question prompts, jumbled sentences. You can download individual graphics.

Kiwi funeral
Sequence story about a Kiwi funeral. With ideas for using the story, question prompts, jumbled sentences. You can download individual graphics.

Kiwi wedding
Sequence story about a Kiwi wedding. With ideas for using the story, question prompts, jumbled sentences. You can download individual graphics.

Ideas for teaching texting in English, activities on text abbreviations and writing abbreviations out in full. 

Fishing in New Zealand
Reading comprehension tasks on NZ fishing limits, a Maori legend and a recipe. Also a word search puzzle.

 Reading the classifieds
Reading comprehension, match the meaing, cloze, scanning, sentence creation and word search  activities on reading newspaper classified advertisements.

Public holidays in New Zealand
Discussion and reading activites, matching activities. Major focus on Labour Day. A WORD document - update the public holiday dates as you need.

Reading and discussion, and reading comprehension activities. Focus on insurance and its pros and cons.  

Recycling begins at home
Reading and discussion, match the meaning, graph filling activities. Focus on recycling in New Zealand.

Give it a go

DIY topics and worksheets for ESOL home tutors and learners
Ideas for one-to-one teachers on developing sessions based around topics. With ideas for resources, suggestions for activities and how to extend the learning. Each topic has a ready-to-use worksheet.  
Cover and acknowledgements          Contents and introduction          Tutoring tips

1 Small talk with neighbours
A dialogue with a neighbour. The learner chooses the most appropriate response to the neighbour’s comment, from the three possible answers. The tutor can read Abdul’s words aloud and the learner listens, or the learner reads the words.

2 The weather
A weather map scanning activity. The tutor can provide the day’s weather forecast from the local paper, or from the Internet. The learner looks at the map to understand the weather information, then answers questions about tomorrow's weather. 

3 Your region
Discussion and Q & A about your NZ region. The webpage featured is the 'Wellington region' page from a government-funded tourism portal. To find the page about your learner’s region, go to the site and click on ‘Travel to New Zealand’. Select ‘Destinations & Maps’ from the top drop down menu.Then ‘Regions’.

4 Food
Activity for the learner to classify food according to how much they like it. The learner looks at the food items and writes the names under the most approporiate of five headings, ranging under from 'Love to eat it ' to 'Never eat it.  Good activity promoting discussion at the elementary level.

5 Home hospitality
Quiz on social customs about going out to dinner and to restaurants. The learner guesses what happens in NZ and answers questions about their country (Yes/No or Always/Often/Sometimes/Rarely/Never). Promotes discuss about cultural differences and similarities. 

6 Your life
Reading activity about personal details and routines. The learner answers five simple questions based on the reading and then answers four questions about themselves. 

7 Bicultural New Zealand 
Two activities. 1 The learner writes the English words for the Maori words, and/or the words in their language. 2 A gap-filling exercise. The learner fills in the Maori words to complete the story about the German family in Rotorua.

8 Junk mail
Activity scanning/interpreting junk mail. The learner reads a flyer from The Warehouse and 'spends' $50.00. They 'buy' storage containers for their child's bedroom. 

9 Bills
Scanning an electricity bill for key information. The learner finds the answers to five questions about the bill (amount due, due date, discounts, customer numbers etc).

10 Phone calls and visits from strangers
True/false activity. The learner reads a passage about dealing with an unwanted caller. Promotes discussion on dealing with strangers selling products, promoting religious views etc.

11 Getting the most from English Language Partners
Matching activity: two halves of sentences. Teaches about ELPNZ's logo and some of our values. Promotes discussion about logos. 

12 Making an appointment
Flexible phone call activity. The learner completes the caller's responses to a receptionist. Responses can be selected from the given options. These could be spoken or written. The tutor could also prepare as a listening activity in advance. Extend by using the learner's details. 

13 Getting your licence
Activity identifying the meaning of NZ road signs and rules.

14 Shopping
Two activities related to supermarket shopping. 1. Indentifying 'use by', 'expiry' and 'best before' dates. 2. The learner focuses on the names of products and classifies them into these categories: meat, cleaning, vegetable, cosmetic or bread and perishables.

15 Buying and selling
Activity based on 'For sale' notices. The learner reads notices, selects one and role plays a phone call to the seller. Focuses on the abbreviations used in newspapers. 

16 Emergencies
Two activities about fire safety. 1. From 20 items, the learner selects those suitable for a fire safety plan. 2 The learner then identifies the items that can cause a fire and makes safety suggestions.

17 Phone call to a business
Picture story activity about a plumbing problem. The learner looks at the nine pictures and tells the story. For lower levels, the tutor tells the story and the learner repeats in their own words. The pictures can also be cut up to make an ordering activity.

18 Following instructions
Reading a recipe activity. The learner reads the recipe, looks at the pitcures and guesses the dessert (pavlova). Focus on the language of instructions (beat, mix, separate etc). The learner and tutor could also cook together!

19 Birthday parties
Reading activity based on a birthday party invitation. The learner scans the invitation and answers the questions. Promotes discussion around NZ customs for children's parties. 

20 School camps
Sorting/classifying activity. The learner reads the packing list for a school camp and classifies the items into categories: Clothes, Sleep/night, Food/drink, Footwear, Bathroom and Other. Promotes discussion about school camps, why some items are needed, some of the rules etc.

21 A new baby
Reading activity. The learner reads a newspaper birth notice and answers questions about the baby's name, gender, weight and family details. The learner can also fill in a brief chart with the baby's details.

22 Talking to the teacher
Speaking activity based on a phone call to a school. The learner completes the parent's part of a conversation with their child's details. Then practises calling the school to report an absence. The learner could also practise leaving a recorded message.  

23 Pets
Read for information. The learner reads a 'missing pet' flyer and discusses how to make a call if you find a missing pet, what to say etc. The phone call can be role played with the tutor. 

24 Christmas and New Year
Answer questions and mark dates on a calendar. The learner answers questions about what days Xmas and New Year fall on. Then they circle the dates on a calendar. NB The tutor will need to use a current calendar.

25 Public holidays
Matching activity. The learners matches dates with their respective public holiday. NB The tutor will need to update the information for current public holidays. There is a web link to current dates at the bottom of the worksheet. 

26 Summer holidays
A board game. The learner and tutor throw a dice to advance around the board. Discuss how each picture landed on can be connected to the beach. Promotes discussion about what Kiwis do at the beach, what you may find at the beach. Compare with the learner's country. 

  27 Finding a job
Responding to a job ad. The learner reads an advertisement for a job in a cafe, discusses what the job involves and writes an enquiry email to apply. The tutor could use a current, relevant advertisement and prepare the learner's curriculum vitae.

28 Interviews
Preparing for a job interview. The learner reads 12 common job interview questions and prepares answers. Then role plays the interview with the tutor. The learner could prepare questions of their own. The interview could be recorded /filmed and reviewed.


Complaining about services

Resources supplied by the Office of the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner.

Is it OK to complain?
Reading and discussion activities, followed by a speaking (or writing) activity. 1. The learner ticks 'I agree' or 'I disagree' for five statements. 2. The learner discusses their opinion about the statements with the tutor. 3. The learner completes each second half of sentences for three 'complaint scenarios'.  

Complaining about goods or services
Speaking activities based on retelling a story. The learner looks at nine pictures and tells a story about a problem with a mobile phone. Phrases/words guide the learner. The pictures can also be cut up to make an ordering activity. For lower levels, the tutor can tell the story while the learner places the pictures in order. There are also seven questions to guide a discussion about the story. The learner and tutor can follow up with a role play activity.  

Writing to complain
Reading comprehension activity based on a complaint letter to a power company. The learner reads eight questions then scans the letter to find the answers. They put a question number (i.e. 1-8) in the box that leads to the correct answer in the text.  

Where to get more help
Two reading activities. 1. Interpreting a diagram about the processes for formally resolving a complaint in New Zealand. 2. Matching four words to their definitions.