Teaching ESL requires a lot of creativity. Students can range from tiny tots to adults, and their skill level can be very experienced or at the basic level. With all these variables, teaching ESL can be challenging, so this list offers 100 of the best resources and guides to help you be the best teacher you can be. Whether you are teaching ESL in a public school in Peoria or a classroom in Kyoto, you will find tons of useful information in the list below.
Lesson Plans and Handouts
Every teacher has sat down to write up a lesson plan and been struck with the teacher’s version of writer’s block. These lesson plans and handouts will help ensure you always have something fun for your class to do.
- Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities. Sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, this resource lists links to several ideas that ESL teachers can incorporate in their class.
- everythingESL Lesson Plans. Get 40 lesson plans with ESL content. Topics range from holidays to weather to personal essays.
- About.com English Lesson Plans for ESL EFL Classes. Find over 500 lesson plans with this incredible resource. You won’t lack for ideas with this tool.
- ESL Lesson Plans. These plans are actually more just beefed-up activities rather than entire plans, but with the ideas and hand-out provided, you should have no problem filling in the rest.
- eslflow.com. This site offers several categories, which when clicked, open up teaching techniques, suggested activities, and more for each topic.
- ESL Worksheets. Download these worksheets that are starred for appropriate skill level.
- Talking Point Worksheets. Use these worksheets as a start for discussion. Each worksheet also comes with teaching suggestions.
- ESL Teacher Lesson Plans & Worksheets. Broken down by beginner, intermediate, advanced, and all, over 130 lesson plans and handouts are available here.
- EFL/ESL Lessons and Lesson Plans. This lengthy list of topics provides links to great lesson plans that indicate appropriate levels, props needed, and provide worksheets if necessary.
- esl-galaxy.com. From word searches to movie worksheets to business English, you can find free worksheets and teaching materials here.
- ESL Cottage Lesson Plan Room. Scroll through the multiple links to lesson plans, create your own lesson plan with an online tool, or post your own lesson plans at this site.
One of the wonderful aspects about teaching is that you are also always learning. These tips offer opportunities for you to learn a bit more in order to better teach your students.
- Liz Regan’s 20 Teaching Tips. Click on these tips for an in-depth explanation of how to accomplish each one.
- Teaching Tips. Find 54 different tips that range from preschool teaching to communicating with gestures.
- 75 ESL Teaching Ideas. This list of ideas offers plenty of creative ways to get your lesson off the ground.
- Hands-on English. This article is a list of 40 hints and tips meant to enhance your teaching experience and all are submitted by real teachers.
- Discipline in the Classroom. This Q & A format touches on several discipline issues within the classroom and offers tips on how to maintain order while still having fun in the classroom.
- Teaching Vocabulary in Context. Learn some helpful tips on how to teach vocabulary in a fun and interactive way with this article.
- What is the best way to learn English? Strategy for learning English, Part 1: Listening. Learn about how listening helps learning English, and get tips on ways to facilitate learning through listening.
- Teaching Tips. These 12 tips are geared toward teaching children and offer suggestions such as teaching the shy child and motivating students.
- Ways to repeat/drill. Find several suggestions for drilling students to ensure that they don’t get bored and they get the most out of repeating vocabulary.
- Teaching Spelling Strategies to ESL Students. Learn how to make spelling easier for your students with these five tips.
Specifically for Teachers
All of these resources below offer information, activities, job openings, support, ideas, and more to enhance your teaching.
- ESL Cafe. From news and job openings to resources in the classroom, this website offers lots of information for ESL teachers.
- ESL Teachers Board. Find lessons, printables, stories, and more on this site. You can also look for a job or post a resume for employment in America or internationally.
- Karin’s ESL Partyland. Both teachers and students can get tons of help from this great site. Teachers can find lesson plans, downloadables, a job board, and links. Students have access to quizzes, discussion forums, and interactive lessons.
- ESLGold. This site offers lesson plans, handouts, and more for the teacher as well as lots of activities for the student–and they are all organized by skill level.
- Wikigogy. This wiki is designed specifically for ESL and EFL teachers. Find useful information on teaching English in these pages.
- Lanternfish. Find lesson plans, activities, worksheets, songs, and much more on this ESL site.
- Sites for Teachers. This website offers hundreds of links to educational websites. Each site is ranked by popularity.
- esl-lounge. Get lesson plans, games, quizzes, embarrassing teacher stories and more at this resource for ESL teachers.
- EnglishBanana.com. Find downloadable books, games, drama activities, a picture dictionary, and other fun features on this site.
- ESL Mania. "Bright ideas for teaching ESL" are available here. Find idioms, grammar, accent reduction, and classroom materials among other items.
From songs to idioms to vocabulary words, all of these activities offer help and fun for your students. You can share some of these resources directly for your students to use or you can take ideas and incorporate them into your lessons.
- About.com English as 2nd Language. This blog is updated regularly with various ESL tips and tools such as pronunciation guides and helpful phrases.
- Readings for ESL students. This site offers a list of stories for ESL students. Each story is followed by a short quiz to test reading comprehension that offers immediate feedback.
- TEFLGames.com. Both teachers and students can access this site for tons of fun games and quizzes. Included are lots of downloadables as well as links to other game resources.
- Songs for Teaching. This list offers song lyrics as well as downloadable versions of the songs that feature teaching vocabulary.
- Musical English Lessons International. The songs on this site are organized by categories such as grammar rules, adjectives, nouns, and spelling. It is based out of the U.K., so American teachers may want to use it with the differences in grammar and spelling in mind.
- English Daily. This site provides links to activities for ESL learners such as conversation, idioms, grammar, slang, and even has movie lines and a joke of the day.
- Professor Meloni’s Study Hall. This fun site allows the student to select specific topics such as vocabulary, U.S. culture, or listening and provides links to many sites offering activities on that specific topic.
- English Learner Website. Find news stories, idioms, jokes, and recipes at this site. You can also sign up for a free newsletter.
- Learning Vocabulary Fun. Students can play lots of interactive games on this site to learn and strengthen their vocabulary.
- Real English. Watch videos of real people speaking English all around the world. These videos are free, but for more services such as live chat and lesson material, you will need a paid subscription.
- A.Word.A.Day. Learn a new vocabulary word every day. This site even provides an audio file so you can hear the pronunciation.
- English Grammar. Click through this list of basic English grammar terms to learn about the specific parts of the English language. Visit the "misteakz" page to learn what not to do.
- Englishjet. Find links to the top English newspapers, dictionaries, e-books, examinations and more at this site.
- Conversation Questions for the ESL/EFL Classroom. This comprehensive list offers a wealth of topics to springboard classroom conversation. Browse by category or supply your own ideas.
Specifically for Teaching Children
The high energy and short attention spans of children require a distinct method of teaching. All of these resources understand the unique needs of teaching ESL to children.
- ESL KidStuff. This site, available for ESL teachers and parents offers "over 1,500 flashcard images, hundreds of worksheets, crafts, games, jobs and lots more," and it’s all geared to teaching children.
- Teach ESL to Kids. Written by an ESL teacher in Japan who teaches 2 year-olds, this site offers lesson plans, activities, games, tips, and more.
- TeachChildrenESL.com. Get free worksheets, flashcards, games, songs, and posters on this site.
- Six Group Activities for Teaching ESL Children. Use these fun activities to incorporate in your ESL classroom.
- Teaching ESL to Children. This article offers seven tips for teaching children. Be sure to check out the links to additional resources at the bottom of the article.
- ESL Kids Lab. This site is chock full of great resources for the ESL teacher who works with children.
- ESL-Kids.com. One of the top 100 kids sites on the Internet, this site offers plenty of information and activities for teaching ESL to children.
- Children’s Writing in ESL. This article explains why it’s important not to overlook writing in ESL and offers tips on how to incorporate writing in your lessons.
- One World, One Song, Many Dreams. This blog offers lots of resources for teaching ESL to children.
- Teaching ESL Students in the Mainstreamed Classroom. For those of you teaching a combination of ESL and native speakers, this article will be especially helpful.
Specifically for Teaching Adults
Adults coming into ESL classes may know only a few words of English or be able to carry on a conversation–and they may be in the same class. Whatever your challenges with teaching adults, you are sure to find some help with these resources.
- CAELA. For ESL teachers who instruct adults, this site offers resources ranging from fact sheets to bibliographies to activities for students.
- Adult Education ESL Teacher’s Guide. Get lots of information here for teaching adults. Lessons are broken down between beginning and intermediate.
- Teaching ESL to Adults. This blog is mostly geared to the freelancer who works with adults, but offers lots of good information for anyone teaching ESL to adults.
- Teaching ESL to Adults. Find links and resources for teaching ESL to adult learners.
- ESL Lesson Plans for Adult Classes. Find games, crossword puzzles, power point presentations and more on this site.
- Top 5 Teaching Adults English Material. These books may cost a little money, but they are well worth the investment to have some extra teaching resources.
- Teaching Low-Level Adult ESL Learners. This article offers a basic overview for how to approach teaching adults who are starting at the beginning.
- Teaching Adult ESL Learners. Whether you are an experienced ESL teacher or just starting out, this article provides some helpful information on teaching adults.
- Mark’s ESL Cottage ESL for Adults. Click through the links for resources helpful for those teaching ESL to adults and for students alike.
- Breaking News English. This website provides lessons based on current news events. This is a great tool to incorporate with your adult lessons.
Videos and Podcasts
Bringing videos and podcasts into the classroom can really change the way you teach. Use these tools for a new way to lead a lesson.
- ESLvideo.com. Use these free videos and the accompanying lesson plans to bring a new tool into your classroom.
- ESL Podcast. Browse through the many podcasts available here. Once you find a podcast, be sure to get the learning guide that accompanies each podcast for a complete transcript, comprehension questions, and tips for improving English.
- Teaching Bingo. Watch as this teacher plays bingo with very young Japanese students. You might pick up some tips while watching.
- ESL Podcast–First Day of School. This podcast presents a typical first day of high school in an interview style.
- Better @ English. These podcasts touch on topics such as the importance of proper spelling and real conversations in English. All the transcripts are available on the website.
Newsletters and Blogs
You may not always have the time to search the Internet for the latest news and new tips for teaching ESL. Subscribe to these newsletters and blogs to get the latest information delivered right to your computer.
- ConnectEng. This newsletter comes once or twice a month with information for the ESL teacher.
- ESL News. Sign up for this monthly newsletter and get a free Bingo game to use in your classroom.
- ESL Progress. Get talking points, lesson plans, and more every month with this newsletter that is designed for both the teacher and the students.
- TEFL Inspire. Site of the month, ESL jobs, and book reviews are just some of the information you’ll get with this monthly subscription.
- ESL Globe. This newsletter doesn’t appear to have a subscription option, but it is worth bookmarking and checking back each six months for updates. Each issue offers teaching tips, news, and more that you won’t want to miss.
- An ELT Notebook. Take advantage of the experience of this thirty-year teacher who offers tips and ideas to enhance your teaching, no matter your experience level.
- English 360. This blog provides links to articles in order to promote "community language learning." Both teachers and students can benefit from these more cerebral blog posts.
- Grammar Guy. Enjoy this fun approach to grammar as the Grammar Guy looks at the strange and interesting nuances of the English language.
- EFL Geek 3.0. This high tech, yet very informative blog offers tips, links, and more to help any teacher–EFL or ESL.
High Tech Teaching
Teaching is more than just chalk and photocopies today. Find out how these high tech tools can help you.
- VoiceThread. Offering a great way for students to hear native speakers, this high-tech teaching tool is a great resource for teachers.
- Electronic Field Trips. Take your students on a field trip without ever leaving the classroom. Take the suggestions and tips provided or use them as a spark to your creativity so that you can create your own field trips.
- Interactive Whiteboards. Learn how interactive whiteboards can add some spice to your classroom and grab your students’ attention in this article.
- Using Digital Cameras in the Classroom. This article discusses the benefits of using a digital camera to enhance lessons and even offers some lesson plans.
- PoducateMe. This guide instructs you on how to incorporate podcasts in your classroom and provides suggestions for equipment and lessons with podcasts.
- Digital Video in Education. Find the benefits, uses, project planning and more for using a digital video camera in the classroom.
- GPS Activities and Lesson Plans. Using GPS and geocaching can really enhance the learning experience. Find ways to use GPS and get lesson plans as well.
- Videoconferencing for Learning. This handy resource provides the hows and whys of videoconferencing and also offers lots of ideas and examples for specific lessons.
- USB Flash Drives. Learn how using flash drives can open up accessibility to computer technology for students in this article.
- 5 Creative Ways to Use a Scanner in the Classroom. Imagine having your students bring their family history and heritage into the classroom and incorporating it in your lesson. Using a scanner open up lots of possibilities. Find five ways to use a scanner with your class.
For ESL Teachers Abroad
Whether you are thinking of taking your ESL teaching abroad or if you are already there, the following information is for you.
- International vs. Private Language Schools. This article offers an overview of these two options and explains why you may have a preference for one over the other.
- TESOL Courses. This company provides courses to obtain your TESOL certification–a common certification accepted with many employers for ESL/EFL teachers.
- ESL Jobs. This blog provides postings for ESL jobs all around the world. Choose to browse the site or sign up for "Job Alerts" to be emailed to you directly.
- Teach Abroad. Use this search for finding international ESL job postings. Just select a country from the drop-down menu and you will receive listings specific for that country.
- AAC. Focusing on Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China, this site offers information on teaching in each country, as well as job postings and links to visa information.
- Teaching Abroad. Read these helpful resources offered by the U.S. Department of State on teaching English in a foreign country.
- English Now the Foreign Language of Schools Abroad. This article offers an informative look at why teaching English in foreign countries is so popular right now and is a must-read for anyone interested in teaching abroad.
- Overseas Digest. This site offers lots of information for anyone thinking about teaching abroad. From how to land a job to ways teachers can earn extra money, if you want to know something about teaching overseas, you can probably find it here.
- Teaching English Abroad. Find articles, job search engines, advice, and forums that all focus on teaching English overseas.
- This Guy is Teaching Abroad. This blog updates with all the latest TEFL news. Written by an experienced teacher and journalist, this blog will keep you in the know.
- Teaching Abroad: Facts and Figures. This post offers interesting statistics on teaching abroad. It also offers teaching tips and red flags for choosing a school.