GRETB ESOL resources

GRETB have developed a youtube playlist and books series for ESOL learners

Visit the playlists here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuCex-1C8uek1_lkoKZ3i5Q

Books in the series include:

  • A song I like
  • Coming to Ireland levels A1/ A2 and B1/B2
  • Recipes from around the World
  • English Idioms
  • Where I’m from
  • Fifty Word stories
  • Tips for Learning English

Learn Online with TETB


Learn Online is a resource to support reading, writing, listening, comprehension and vocabulary development.


Literacy on the Loose

LCETB were involved in the recent Literacy on the Loose seminar with Trinity College Dublin. Check out their contribution ‘Literacy on the Television’ here:

Keeping in Touch with Learners – CDETB Ballyfermot

Like many Adult Literacy Organisers around the country Siobhan and the tutoring team in Ballyfermot in Dublin City are getting creative to keep in touch with learners during the Covid19 closures.  This magazine has been distributed to all learners to help keep in touch and work on skills during this time.

Click below to read the magazine

CDETB AES Ballyfermot Magazine March 2020 (1)

ALOs have been busy!

These extraordinary times have called for extraordinary responses and ALOs and tutors around the country have stepped up to meet the challenge. Here is a snapshot of all the ways in which we have been engaging with our learners, and some observations and challenges experienced by all of us during this time. This has been a solution driven, positive response with a huge array of methods of communication and delivery on show. A big thank you to all of you involved in this. We will post some links to resources shortly.

Here’s a summary of the main engagement:

Clare Family Learning – Home School Ideas

Thank you to Mary Flanagan of Clare Family Learning for sharing their ideas for help with home schooling. The website has links to a range of resources for primary and secondary school children, as well as for parents themselves. Have a look at the website here : https://clarefamilylearning.org/parents/home-schooling-ideas/

ALOA/CEFA Collaborative Conference Galway Bay Hotel



The ALOA/CEFA Collaborative Conference took place in the Galway Bay Hotel in November 2019. Supported by Solas and ETBI, the theme of the event was ‘Valuing and Evaluating Non-formal and Informal Learning‘. We had in the region of 100 delegates in attendance, with representation from Adult Literacy Organisers, Community Education Facilitators as well as Solas and ETBI.

The conference covered key aspects of non-formal and informal learning from policy to practice, highlighting the value of learning and showcasing current tools and methodologies which measure the value of such learning on people’s lives.

Experts from Ireland and Europe spoke at the event including Roisin Doherty, SOLAS, Micheal Kenny, Maynooth University and Mai Timmi, Department of Education, Estonia. The Learner Voice was represented by Community Education and Adult Literacy learners from GRETB, and the positive experience returning to education with ETBs was showcased.

ALOA AGM 2019 Celebrating 20 years

The ALOA had their annual AGM in Piper’s Hill on 9th May, 2019. At the AGM, following the Secretary and Treasurer’s reports, we thanked Tara Kelly and Margot Walsh for their outstanding work on the Executive and welcomed new members, Aidan McCloskey and Kevin Kelly. Alison Jones, as Chair, thanked all members of the Executive for their hard work over the year and briefed all ALOs present on the activities of the ALOA Executive and the national position regarding associations. The exemplary work of Marian Lynch, Adult Literacy National Co-ordinator, was also acknowledged and a presentation made to Ciarán Lynch on her behalf. There were no resolutions this year. For the first time Mentimeter was used to ask ALOS to best describe their role. Here is the result:

The event marked our 20 year anniversary as an association so was followed by a celebration of our success with presentations from ALOs past and present. Frances Ward and Pat Ayton presented their short history of Adult Literacy Provision and the foundation of the ALOA from the early days, explaining step by step all the events that have led up to the present day Literacy Service. A copy of their short book was distributed and is available to download.

Four other presentations detailed areas of success across the country and included:

  • Family Learning, Mary Flanagan LCETB
  • ESOL, Michael Donohoe, CMETB
  • Integrating Literacy and TEL for Apprentice Support, Alison Jones, GRETB,
  • Finally, A History of Adult Literacy in Donegal, presented by Adele McElhinney, captivated the audience with this short video:
Student Learning Journey

Student Profile (Male aged between 50 & 60)

Richard suffered from depression for many years he was attending a psychologist who encouraged him to go to the local literacy service to address his literacy difficulties this was 2012. He was extremely nervous at the first initial meeting and he started in one to one tuition. Richard really enjoyed working with his tutor one to one but it was obvious he had better literacy skills than he thought and so he was encouraged to progress into group tuition.


This was another big step for Richard – going into a group class. He attended a Basic English class with a number of other men and they all just clicked as a group. In fact Richard got very friendly with some of his class mates and progressed a weekly game of golf outside of the centre. He then attended an ITABE group where he was introduced to maths for the first time. Richard found he had an aptitude for maths he didn’t even know he had. In fact Richard was working out maths problems on a daily basis in his work as a building contractor so he was familiar with angles, fractions, measurement etc. Up to this point all the courses were unaccredited.


The next step was achieving accreditation. So in September 2013 Richard started Junior Certificate Foundation Level English class and Level 3 Maths class in which he was very successful obtaining a B in Junior Cert English and getting his QQI Level 3 certificate in Maths.


September 2014 saw more challenges for Richard he started a QQI Level 4 Maths and a two year Leaving Cert English programme. The plan was for Richard to sit his Junior Cert Ordinary English exam in year 1 and to sit the Leaving cert English exam in year 2. He also agreed to partake in the TV3 documentary series ‘Getting the Numbers Write’ During the first half of the year Richard appeared on breakfast time TV, national radio with Pat Kenny and in the local papers.


By June 2015 Richard had achieved and a C grade in Junior Cert ordinary level English and a QQI Level 4 certificate in Maths. At this stage this was as far as the Adult learning service could bring Richard in terms of his Maths and although Richard wanted to sit the leaving Cert in Maths all the BTEI programmes were during the day and this didn’t suit Richard as he worked full time.


Finally in June 2016 Richard achieved his goal of obtaining his dream of passing his Leaving Cert English exam – achieving a C1. He was over the moon he was the first member of his family to sit the leaving cert.


In November 2016 Richard achieved his long term goal to train as a One to One tutor. Richard successfully attended the initial tutor training programme and was looking forward to starting with a student in 2017. Unfortunately Richard hasn’t managed to start tutoring yet as he has ongoing health problems which prevented him from getting started.