Working with passports

The passport section of portfolios summarizes the owner’s linguistic identity, language-learning experiences and language qualifications in an internationally transparent manner.

Malisa Iturain

Obviously for young learners this means opening their eyes to the possibilities for learning and practising English in their own world. It also means becoming aware of children in their own class who have had different language-learning experiences.

The type of things which learners can include in their passport are:

  • School reports
  • Certificates of any English exams they have taken
  • Tickets to theatres, museums, cinemas or any event they have been to in English
  • My English passport worksheet
  • My English world worksheet

This activity raises awareness for learning and practising English in their own world.


  • I start the class by putting a world map on the board and asking learners to come up to the board to do any of the following things:
    • Show where they are now
    • Indicate any countries where they speak English
    • Tell the class any places where they have got family or friends in English-speaking countries
    • Show any English-speaking countries they have visited
  • In this ‘show and tell’ activity I sit next to the board to write up the names of the countries and support the ‘volunteer’. It’s also a good time to check pronunciation.
  • I then tell the class that they are going to do some work to include in their portfolio and hand out the worksheets.
  • We read through them together and brainstorm ideas and vocabulary on the board.
  • Learners are then ready to work on their own at their own pace. At this stage I move round the class giving support, praising good work and putting vocabulary on the board.


  • Learners can make a small book from the visual aids on the My English world worksheet, instead of completing it as a worksheet.
  • Each picture represents a way learners can come into contact with English.
  • Learners select the pictures that are representative of their own language-learning experiences and cut out the icons and glue them to one of the pages of a six-page booklet.
  • They can also draw their own if they have more ideas.
  • Learners can then write sentences under the pictures on each page. 
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