Helping ESL students visualize their progress


Many ESL children tend to forget about HOW MUCH they did learn already. Instead they tend to focus on the (often many) things they don’t yet master and feel discouraged.
Here’s a fun, easy and time-effective way of visualising their progress to turn around this thinking. And yes, it’s FREE.

In 5 years of teaching ESL there is one thing that has always stunned me – especially within the first 2 years of every course: The more students learn the more they seem to forget about their progress. It looks as if they get to realize how little (in comparison to the whole language system) they are able to understand and say. This is especially true for an activity based teaching style that doesn’t need worksheets – and therefore tends to leave to visual clue of the things students did learn already and the things they are able to say.

Especially for this problem I have developed a set of tracksheets that help students keep track of their own progress.


dividers_headClick HERE to download tracksheets 1 to 10.
Click HERE to download tracksheets 11 to 19.

What is included?

The complete set includes 19 FREE pintables that allow students to write down or draw (Yep – no writing skills required!) the subject covered by every single lesson.

To make things easier for teachers and parents – not every 3-year old draws recognisable pictures – the tracksheets are picture coded to cover all of the basic subjects usually taught in ESL:

  • body parts
  • family
  • fall
  • Halloween
  • Christmas
  • winter
  • spring
  • Easter
  • summer
  • costume party
  • farm life
  • furniture
  • numbers
  • weather
  • colors
  • emotions
  • verbs
  • music / songs
  • an empty sheet for you to add any topic you might need


tim_divider_body tim_divider_family tim_divider_fall tim_divider_halloween tim_divider_christmas tim_divider_wintertim_divider_spring tim_divider_easter tim_divider_summer tim_divider_costumes tim_divider_farmtim_divider_furnituretim_divider_numberstim_divider_weathertim_divider_colors tim_divider_emotions tim_divider_verbs tim_divider_music tim_divider_empty

How to work with these tracksheets

I’ve been working with these tracksheets for about 5 years now. Here is how I do it:


  • I choose the tracksheet closest to the subject I want to teach, make as many photocopies as I have children in my course and put one of them into every child’s folder. (Older children can hole punch and file the tracksheet themselves.)
  • At the end of every lesson I set 5 minutes aside to work with the tracksheets. I provide children with note paper, glue sticks and pens or pencils.
  • I encourage every child to draw a symbol that represents the lesson onto a sheet of note paper. Afterwards they may glue it onto one of the 4 squares provided. (One of my colleagues lets her students draw directly onto the tracking sheet – filling one square every lesson. This saves some time – and note paper.)

Additional benefits

Working with these tracksheets also has some other benefits you might want to benefit from:

  • Children are given a device that allows them to explain the things they have learned to others.
  • Students see their little note papers as ‘reward’ for attending lessons. They feel encouraged to attend lessons regularly.
  • Working with tracksheets provides a good method of developing color skills: Just ask your students which color note paper they’d like to work with and watch them shout out color names in English.
  • My ESL students love to compare the number of note papers they have in their folders – great for numeracy skills!
  • Children that are encouraged to draw every lesson usually develop good fine motor skills – a prerequisite for language development.
  • Students that are done witha  particular activity well before the rest of the class may color in line drawing that covers the top third of every tracksheet. This keeps them busy while focusing on vocabulary they have learned.


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