Notice of Annual General Meeting

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Please note that the Annual General Meeting of Literacy Network Manly Warringah Inc. for the six months January to June 2014 and for the financial year July 2013 to June 2014 will take place on:

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Friday, 25th July 2014 at 11 am

at: Terrey Hills Tavern

2 Aumuna Road, Terrey Hills.


The meeting will be followed by lunch and all members of Literacy Network are welcome. Members are also invited to nominate for positions on the Management Committee. If by any chance you haven’t received the AGM notice and nomination form via email, please let Robyn or Liz know.

All committee members welcome your support and look forward to seeing you at the meeting.







Australian Citizenship


The following link is for those tutors whose student has fulfilled all other requirements to apply for Australian Citizenship and wants to prepare for the Citizenship Test. This link will also be added to Online Resources.


This is the link to the only resources recommended by the Australian Government. The website offers downloadable booklets (English version is 84 pages in length), online tutorials (a Youtube video of the ‘Our Common Bond’ booklet,) and a practice test. The booklets are also available in 37 other community languages. All the romance languages are covered, as well as Arabic (but not Farsi), Khmer and Nepali. You and your student can decide whether studying the material in his/her own language first would be of benefit.


There’s a wealth of information available on all these pages,and tutors may well learn a few new things about their own country! Who knew that the Commonwealth of Australia is made up of six states and TEN territories!!! (Kudos to those who could already name all eight offshore territories!)

Breaking News English

 Breaking News English is one of the biggest resources available to tutors. Once you’ve clicked on the Breaking News English link, via Volunteer Tutors then Tutor Resources on the Literacy Network Homepage, you’ll find over 1,800 lessons and counting on anything and everything. From’Twitter in Turkey Court’ (April 5, 2014) to a ‘Toilet Theme Park in South Korea’ (November 11, 2012), politics, natural disasters, celebrities, forks which can apparently help people lose weight, Nobel prize winners to Academy Award recipients, sporting triumphs and debacles, royalty and romance, bullying in classrooms and cyberspace – the range of topics is enormous.

The most recent lessons are on the Breaking News English homepage: to scroll through the other 1,800 plus topics, click on the SEE ALL option to view more titles. If those don’t grab your attention as something that will interest your student, scroll down to the list of months and years (going all the way back to 2004) and keep clicking, month by month, for hours of enjoyable reading while you find something to inspire your student.

Lessons are graded ‘Easier’ and ‘Harder’, each comes with a two page MINI lesson download as well as a 26 page PDF, audio downloads (for MP3 players), and extra reading, grammar and spelling exercises (for which you’d ideally need the use of a computer/ipad during lessons, although you can print some of the extra grammar exercises straight from your computer screen). The 26 page PDF download includes the reading passage plus a variety of exercises: Phrase Match, Synonyms, Listening exercises (gap fills), Comprehension questions (with either multiple choice answers, full sentence answers, or both), Spelling, Punctuation and Guided Writing/Free Writing.

Breaking News English is a very handy resource, well worth the time you’ll take exploring it and all its topics.

Using BBC Learning English

You’ll find the link to BBC Learning English via the drop down menu on the Literacy Network homepage: click on Volunteer Tutor tutor resources, then scroll down to online resources and click on BBC Learning English.

The left hand column menu on the BBC Learning English homepage offers a variety of choices, from General and Business English to Downloads; however, not everything offered on the menu is actually available to download and quite a few options haven’t been updated for over a year. That said, there are still a few sections you may find very useful, as long as you have use of a computer/iPad during lessons. Note: Since this is a BBC service, all speakers on the podcasts have English accents.

If you click on the first option, General and Business English, you’ll find a number of subsets. The first of these, 6 Minute English, is regularly updated. Each ‘episode’ – and there is a huge number of them to choose from, as well as a wide variety of topics, so there’s every chance you’ll find something to interest/suit your student – has a script (text) and audio, both available to download. Level of difficulty is moderate. If you’re having difficulty downloading anything, you can click on the Downloads option on the BBC Learning English homepage for help.

The next option, English at Work, could also be very useful. There are currently 66 episodes listed to choose from, covering a wide range of workplace scenarios. Episode 1, which deals with interviewing for a job, is geared towards beginners, and the level of difficulty rises very gradually with each ensuing episode.

The fifth option under General and Business English, Talking Business, is similar to English at Work in that it deals with workplace scenarios, but at a slightly higher level of difficulty. For instance, Module 1Telephone – deals with everything related to telephone skills and extends Episodes 14-15 of English at Work. In all, there are 4 Modules, each with audio (podcast) to download, as well as text – ‘useful phrases and transcripts’ – to download/print out.

The rest of the left hand menu options are worth exploring if you have time (the How to… option under Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation could be very useful for students wanting to improve their speaking skills, and each How to… module has a script available to download.)


Anzac Day, April 25

This year marks the 99th anniversary of Anzac Day. There are so many stories about Anzac Day, it makes another great reading, writing and discussion topic. As with April Fools’ Day, you’ll find the link to a Holiday Lesson on it on the Breaking News English homepage. You’ll also find a wealth of stories and images of Anzac Day on the internet. Stories of courage, tragedy, stories which put the human face on what is often described as the most important day in the military histories of both Australia and New Zealand, the tradition of  the Ode as well as the history behind the events which led up to the attack on April 25, 1915.

If you’re using web pages as the basis for your lessons, a reminder that Literacy Face to Face  has some helpful ideas on how to do that. The link to Literacy Face to Face is available via the drop down menu on the Literacy Network homepage: Volunteer tutors – Online Resources.

April Fools’ Day



April Fools’ Day (sometimes written as April Fool’s Day) is just around the corner and since this day is celebrated in a great many countries around the world, it makes a handy reading, writing and discussion topic. You’ll find the link to an ESL lesson on it under Holiday Lessons (in the right hand column, home page of  Breaking News English).  There are also numerous internet pages on April Fools’ Day, many of them devoted to some of the more famous hoaxes/pranks that have been played over the years on this day.

Using ‘Literacy Face to Face’

Using Literacy Face to Face


Literacy Face to Face is the first online resource listed under ‘Tutor Resources (accessed via the drop down tab under ‘Volunteer Tutors’, LN homepage.) After you’ve clicked on the link, scroll down to find the table with titles of the PDFs available for download. While some of these files are geared for a classroom with multiple students, most could be adapted for a one-to-one learning experience. For those with the time to download and read each file, you’ll find some really interesting lesson ideas.


For those who don’t have that time, here are a few suggestions/shortcuts to get started using Literacy Face to Face:

  • For new tutors, there’s a PDF on ‘First meeting’. In this file, you’ll find a summary of the things you’ve already learned in the tutor training course plus a few more tips that might help settle the nerves as well as prepare for that first one-to-one session. Another file worth a look is ‘Make it Meaningful’, for some useful tips on lesson planning and layout.
  • For tutors of all levels of experience, the aptly named, ‘Using Newspapers’ has a clear, detailed (and very helpful) guide on how to use newspapers as a reading resource.
  • ‘Using Internet Web pages as a basis for lessons’ is another good one to look at for (online) reading resources.
  • For writing resources, ‘Writing Reports’ is geared for beginner- intermediate students, with relatively easy to understand diagrams and explanations and some useful exercises. For advanced students, there’s ‘Report Writing’ (Parts 1 and 2). Students would need to have very good language skills to handle these exercises, as the level of difficulty is high.


Listening, reading and writing – with movies…

 As well as Lessons on Holidays, (all of which can be accessed from the LN Homepage: ‘Volunteer Tutors’ – ‘Tutor Resources’ – Breaking News English – ESL Holiday lessons in the far right column), Lessons on Movies can be a helpful resource. If your student likes movies, what better way to bond with him/her over a movie like Skyfall, for instance? (Apologies for the bad pun.)

Lessons on Movies are in the same column as ESL Holiday Lessons. There’s a good range of movie options, from classic to current,  but the reading level of difficulty isn’t specified with each title so the only way to find which movie lessons are easy and which ones are hard is to click on one and read the transcript. Skyfall is in the more difficult range. There’s a 14 page PDF file available to download and print out, with a reading passage, synonym and phrase match, gap fills, exercises on spelling and punctuation as well as guided writing exercises. There’s also a trailer of the movie if you have use of a computer/ iPad during your session.

Once you’ve clicked on the movie title, you’re on its ‘lesson homepage’. By scrolling down that homepage, you can see everything available in the lesson. If you decide to use it, click on the PDF icon to print whichever pages you want to use in your session. But there’s more than just the PDF file and its transcript on the ‘lesson homepage’: in the case of Skyfall, the options under Games (second column ) are also useful, particularly the Flash Cards, which involve the more difficult words in the reading passage. You will, however, need a computer/iPad to use the Games options in your session.

Featuring more reading material for March: International Women’s day

 International Women’s Day, (IWD) which began as a campaign for better working conditions for women, was first celebrated on February 28th, 1909, in New York. The official day of celebration was later moved to March 8. The first International Women’s Conference took place in 1910, in Denmark, and since then, IWD has spread all around the world.

While IWD celebrates many positive things, particularly  the economic, political and social contributions women have made to the world, it also reminds us that millions of women around the world still face inequality, above all in the area of education. To find out more about IWD, use the ‘Volunteer Tutors’ – ‘Tutor Resources’ – ‘Online Resources’ tabs on the homepage to access ‘Breaking News English’. You’ll find ESL Holiday in the far right hand column. Click on the link and scroll down to March 8. 

For more detailed reading material on IWD, you might like to try their official website at:






World Read Aloud Day!

 World Read Aloud Day was started by the website in 2010 to encourage the 800 million people worldwide who couldn’t read to appreciate and enjoy the benefits of a book. The celebration of this special day, which falls on the first Wednesday of March each year (March 5th in 2014), has now reached over 65 countries around the world.


For those wishing to learn more about World Read Aloud Day, or for tutors who might like to use it as the subject for a lesson, you can use the ‘Volunteer Tutor’ – ‘Tutor Resources’ – ‘Online Resources’  tabs on the homepage of this website to find ‘Breaking News English’. ESL Holiday are in the far right hand column. Click on the link and scroll down to March.