ESL Resources for Teachers

ESL Resources for Teachers

Are you a new teacher gearing up for your first ESL classroom?

Teaching students from an array of cultures, learning styles, educational backgrounds, along with a language barrier, take some getting used to. We will provide our suggestions for ESL resources that will help you with your English teaching and ensure students gain more from your lessons.

Some will help you save time, some will allow your students to have a little fun, and some are basic essentials to assist you as you teach second language learners of all ages and abilities.

Here is the list of the best ESL teacher resources that will put you on the road to an awesome classroom.

1. Busy Teacher

Busy Teacher is a lifesaver when it comes to preparing for almost any ESL topic under the sun. With Busy Teacher, you have access to a database of more than 17,300 free printable worksheets and lesson plans.

Whether your student is still a beginner or already advanced, Busy Teacher can help you save several hours of preparation. Aside from providing resources essential in class, Busy Teacher also provides professional development articles to help you grow as a teacher.

The ESL resources are written by teachers for teachers and are absolutely free of charge, unlike other sites where you have to pay a subscription to access ready-made resources.

2. ESL Galaxy

ESL Galaxy is a comprehensive, one-stop, completely free ESL resource site. ESL Galaxy offers a variety of English grammar writing exercises, including sentence scramble, gap exercises, picture description, and more, divided into beginner, intermediate, and high levels.

You can download printable flashcards, worksheets, board games, lesson plan packs, and PowerPoint slides for the more high-tech classroom. There’s also many resources if you’re teaching ESL to adults, including materials on survival English and Business English.

3. TEFL Tunes

TEFL Tunes is an awesome ESL resource for teachers because it categorizes songs to help you teach certain grammatical concepts. If you loved Sesame Street as a kid, then you know that learning is way easier if you can sing about it. Songs are especially effective with kids and students who possess Gardner’s musical intelligence (i.e. learners who are music smart). The site also classifies songs according to learning level, theme, task, and artist. Although there are some free lesson plans, to access all the site’s resources, you have to subscribe.

4. Make Belief Comix

If you’re not a great artist but still want to use comic strips in the classrooms to make teaching and learning English more authentic and fun, this site will make life much easier for you. Make Belief Comix offers a more creative way to engage your students, including creative writing prompts, story ideas, and free printable comic strips. Topics include contemporary student issues like bullying, peer pressure, and identity formation.

5. ESL Video

Can’t access YouTube in the classroom and need free ESL video resources for teachers? ESL Video is the perfect, distraction-free alternative. It provides a ton of videos with quizzes and lessons already made by teachers. Use video to engage learners to improve their listening, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary skills. You can also create your own quizzes and embed them on the site!

6. ESL Games World

Looking for a fun game to perk up those yawning students? ESL Games World has interactive, online, and PowerPoint games based on popular TV game shows like Jeopardy to test vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. No computer? No problem! There are also printable games available for download if you’re teaching ESL in a low-tech classroom.

7. ClassDojo

Looking for great ESL resources for teachers and students? Class Dojo is a great app that can help you manage your classroom and make your students smile. If you think handing out stickers is boring, share a digital high-five with a student who got the answer right! Give virtual points for teamwork and for helping to clean up the classroom. Also, forget boring PTA meetings and connect with parents online to share news about their kids’ results.The app works on any device and is free for teachers. Score!

8. StoryPlace

StoryPlace is there to encourage your ESL students to read in their free time. Although the digital stories are suitable for elementary school native English speakers, they’re also massively helpful to students learning English for the first time. The colorful videos and graphics also make the stories really attractive to younger learners.

9. Memrise

If your students are finding it hard to remember tough vocabulary words or grammatical concepts, introduce them to Memrise. The app offers high-quality pre-made lessons in more than 200 languages, including English. If your students are feeling more adventurous, they can also make their own flashcards to focus on their individual weak points and compete with their friends online! Memrise is really effective because it uses technology that adapts to each learner’s personal learning style and performance. Memrise also encourages students to learn on the go because it can be downloaded on any iOS or Android smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.

10. British Council/BBC Teaching English

Often regarded as the authority on English in certain parts of the world, particularly Asia, British Council/BBC Teaching English offers a lot of resources, including many that focus on teacher development. Access an ELT research database, read research papers on teaching English, explore training courses to up your teaching game, and connect with teacher networks around the world to exchange ideas and to get answers to all your pertinent ESL teaching questions.

11. IELTS Podcast

If you are preparing older students for official exams, then they will probably need academic vocabulary. IELTSPodcast not only have some great tutorials about the IELTS writing section but an extensive vocabulary guide. This page uses interesting Ted Talks and focusses on the higher level vocabulary needed to pass the exams, it offers gap fill exercises and quizzes you can practice with your students.

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