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Basic English Curriculum for Teaching ESL

Speaking, Listening and Vocabulary


Listening Skills

Listening skills should include the ability to understand and act on basic information in the following situations:

  • Personal Information: Name, Address, Telephone #., Nationality Etc.
  • Telling the Time
  • Numbers, Cardinal and Ordinal
  • Simple Directions and Prepositions of Place
  • Spelling
  • Simple Descriptions of People and Places


  • Descriptions of people: looks and character, the family
  • Food drink and restaurants
  • Likes and dislikes
  • The home, rooms, furniture
  • Town & country
  • Shops and shopping
  • The weather
  • Time, the seasons, months, weeks, days etc.
  • Films and television
  • Leisure and interests
  • Holidays - travel - hotels

Language Functions

Language functions concern "chunks of language" which provide essential phrases for everyday use.

  • Introductions and greetings: How do you do? / Pleased to meet you. / How are you? , etc.
  • Asking for information: How do you spell ____? / How do you pronounce? / Where is the nearest bank? / What does "X" mean?, etc.
  • Offering: Can I help you? / Would you like some ...? etc.
  • Requesting: May I have a coffee? / Could you help me? etc.
  • Inviting: Would you like to come with me?
  • Suggesting: Shall we go out this evening? / Let's have some lunch. / Why don't we play some tennis? etc.
  • Asking for descriptions: What is he like? / What does it look like? etc.
  • Buying and selling: Which size are you? / How much does it cost? etc.
  • Asking for directions: Excuse me, where is the train station? / Where is the nearest bank? etc.
  • The language of travel: Hotels, restaurants, trains and planes, etc.
  • Giving advice: You should see a doctor / I think he should work harder. etc.

Grammar objectives for basic English courses.

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