Literacy in Lockdown: Supporting Students Remotely

There are many challenges to remote learning, and despite the fact that we are in our third National Lockdown in the UK, and that teachers, students and parents are far more au fait with the process now, families and educators are still keen to know what resources and websites are most helpful to support their students.

My greatest concern is definitely with regards to literacy, as access to school libraries and a lot of the more targeted interventions used for literacy development are not possible at the moment. While the below lists are not exhaustive, I hope they provide a great starting point in finding online tools that could be useful in supporting your student’s/child’s literacy during this time.

Resources for Primary:

Oxford Owl: Oxford Owl is a website with a wealth of resources, but one of the best is the free eBook library. After creating a free account, you can browse their extensive range of titles. Best of all, there is an audio feature so that books can be both read and listened to.

Story Nory: A website full of audio books for primary aged students.

EAL Hub Video Stories: A delightful collection of narrated bedtime stories accompanied by videos.

LearnEnglish Kids: A wonderful website from the British Council with lots of activities and games to support literacy development.

Games to Learn English: An excellent website with games to practice spelling, vocabulary, and grammar.

Top Marks: A series of games to develop letters and sounds, spelling, punctuation, and learning to read. 

Resources for Secondary:

Learn English Teens: A series of fun videos to help teens improve their reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and vocabulary skills. 

Top Marks: A series of games for KS3 students to develop spelling and grammar, writing, reading, and poetry skills. 

Zone In – Words for Life: This fantastic website was created by the National Literacy Trust for students aged 13 and over. It includes workshops for reading writing, speaking and listening, and even a functional skills section for people aged over 16.

Kids Read 2 Kids: This site features videos of students reading to their peers. Often, it is abridged (shorter) versions of classic novels.  

Lit2Go: This website features the text of many classic novels and poems with accompanying audiobooks, which are free to listen to.

Audible Audiobooks: This website features thousands of amazing audio books which can be narrowed down by age group or genre. Just click and start listening to a free 30 day trial.

TED Education: TED Talks are known around the world as opportunities for experts to discuss their knowledge in an engaging talk that is then available on their website. TED Education is their website specifically for students, educators, and parents. Students can search or browse for content on any subject. It’s excellent for developing listening and comprehension skills and transcripts are often available in a wide range of languages.

Project Gutenberg: It’s a modest proposal: create an online eBook library of every ‘out of copyright’ text in the world. Seems overwhelming, right? Well, the folks at Project Gutenberg have set about creating just that, and have over 60,000 titles already available on their site. This also includes novels in foreign languages.

Resources for Primary and Secondary:

BBC Bitesize KS2 Grammar: While the site may say it is for KS2, anyone can use these fun interactive games and quizzes to improve their spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 

The Oak National Academy: The Oak National Academy features several lessons in a range of subjects, which cover all key stages. For example, in the KS2 English section there are lessons devoted to Spelling and Grammar. Whereas, in English KS3, there are several lessons in a section called ‘Recapping the Basics’ which focus on spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and grammar. 

Got any other great online resources I’ve missed? Please add them in the comments below.

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