Cathy Glover

ESOL teaching and training - City of Glasgow College
Cathy photo

Cathy Glover

ESOL teaching and training - City of Glasgow College


Cathy Glover has been involved in ESOL teaching and training for many years and has experience in course design and development, particularly in the areas of ESOL literacies and non-script learners.

Prior to taking up her role of Head of ESOL1 at City of Glasgow College she worked for many years overseas with the British Council in Asia and Africa. She has much experience in professional training and has worked in consultation with Ministries of Education overseas to provide training and development for English teachers in Sri Lanka, Mauritius and also for the French government in their overseas schools.

More recently she has been involved in projects with refugees and asylum seekers developing and delivering courses for a range of levels from Literacies and Beginner to Pre-Intermediate. Cathy’s interest lies in developing engaging materials that are contextually relevant to learners and also integrated with core skills.

Cathy has been involved in the design and development of English language assessments and has been an English examiner for IELTS, Edexcel and Cambridge English for more than 15 years.

Cathy has regularly presented at international conferences, such as IATEFL, SLELTA and TESOL Arabia, where she delivered workshops on developing vocational training courses for ESOL and contextualising ESOL programmes for professional learners.

Speaker: Ann Attridge

A ground- breaking new course for pre-beginners which addresses the challenge of teaching adults to read and write using their mobile phones. Learners will grasp English phonemes, the alphabet, numbers, handwriting skills and basic digital literacy. Visual creativity, imaginative pedagogy, iconography, combine with games and adaptive learning to enable learners to enter the workplace and progress their learning.

‘Journey 2 Basic Skills’ has been developed in response to market demand for a product to fill the gap in the English Language Market for adults who have no prior knowledge of English. The only method of reaching this cohort globally and at scale is through mobile phones. It was essential that the learner experience should be as intuitive as possible with little reliance on familiarity with digital formats. The demographic includes not only non-native speakers but adult native speakers whose low literacy levels present a barrier to job opportunities and social integration.
The first challenge was to present learning initially without text and audio. Decisions had to be made at an early stage about the sequencing of audio and written formats and the connections between phonemes, letters and spelling. The selection of appropriate topics for learning in this context was relatively straightforward compared to the need to balance the consolidation of learning with motivation.
To address this challenge, we based the overall design concept on a world journey where the learner earns coins to buy essential items for their suitcase before earning a ticket to the first destination. Within that concept, we developed highly interactive activities and regular games with adaptive learning to encourage progress at different levels.
A crucial component of our motivation strategy was the creation of a fictional family whose lives mirror the adult learners we are reaching. Hence the appearance of Stan and Pam. We created a range of characters and animals who play their part in the learning journey but who also make it fun. They provide a rich source of light-hearted additional reading and listening material in graphic format. Learners are rewarded with further episodes based on their progress through the course and can access the content separately from the top menu bar.