Internet Resources

Resources in Easy English
This is the Voice of America site. From it you can choose stories to both read and listen to. The stories are spoken slowly in Special English. You can sign up to receive a new story every week by email.
This part of the VOA site explains the background of the site. VOA “Special English” provides clear and simple news and information to listeners whose own language is not English. Using a 1,500 word vocabulary and a slow delivery, about 90 words a minute, Special English has helped tens of millions of listeners learn English since its first broadcast on October 19, 1959″
This site explains Basic English, another simplified form of English. The vocabulary of Basic English consists of 600 nouns (200 of which are names of readily pictured objects), 150 adjectives (50 of which have the mnemonic advantage of being opposites of other words in the list), and 100 structural words, including operators, pronouns, and others. This list is reinforced by 50 nouns that have acquired wide international intelligibility (for example, hotel and radio) and certain systematic additions that do not rank as learning items in the full sense: namely, the numerals, the calendar, and the names of weights and measures and currency. (Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 3, pages 312)
VOA special English compared to Ogden’s Basic English
Uses Basic English to translate chapters of the Bible
This site gives parallel translations in choice of several different languages, including Basic English.
This is the simple English Wikipedia
This is a Wikipedia article on writing articles for Wikipedia in Simple English using Basic 850, Basic 1500 and Special English. Wikipedia has a special section with simple English articles.
This explains the simple English Wikipedia.

Sites for Students
A site for students with a daily English lesson, chats, forums (on topics such as “What is your favorite TV show?”)
This site has compiled a list of resources for people who want to study English on-line. It is a goldmine of interesting resources.
This is an example of one of the resources. It is a list of 100 free short stories in easy English. The stories are read slowly as well as printed. They are followed by questions.
Interesting things for ESL students

A fun study site for learners of English as a Second Language with word games, puzzles, quizzes, exercises, slang, proverbs and much more.
A page from the site above that can be used as a student’s home page. It has something new every day.
VOA stories to listen to and read along. They are printed out one sentence at a time as the sentence is read.
ESL quiz with images – Nouns 2, an example of noun picture quiz
This section has on line practice in pronouncing minimal pairs.

Quick lessons on grammar, reading, idioms and slang, vocabulary, listening and pronunciation. Includes online quizzes.

Sites for Students and Teachers
Dave’s ESL Café: Activities for students, quizzes, ideas for teachers, classroom activities
Example of a page with ideas for using the internet for a homework exercise
This site has sections for ESL students and teachers
Here is an example of a resource for students, a monthly news digest.
A range of discussion-based worksheets for free download in Adobe PDF, so they’ll print out perfectly on A4 or US Letter-size paper. Each worksheet is accompanied by Teaching Suggestions (TS) with answers.
This site provides over a thousand pages of free information and resources for both teachers and students.
This Reuters site requires membership to access all the features, but some resources are available for free. It has “instant” lessons available at five levels.
English-Zone.Com is a fun site for students who are learning English as a Second Language. This is also a useful site for teachers. English-Zone.Com has a Teacher’s Zone filled with ready-to-print materials usable for ESL teaching guides, worksheets, handouts, or quizzes. There are dozens of links to other sites for teachers as well.
The Internet TESL Journal — For Teachers of English as a Second Language. This site contains: articles, Research Papers, Lessons Plans, Classroom Handouts, Teaching Ideas & Links. This is a monthly web journal, so make a bookmark.
Conversation questions for the classroom
Companion site to the one above for students: Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you learn English as a Second Language (ESL) This project of The Internet TESL Journal ( has thousands of contributions by many teachers.
A page with selected links

The purpose of this page is to introduce students to a select list of links that they will find immediately interesting and useful. These may not be all of the very best sites, but these are definitely some of the best. We have not included sites that are difficult to navigate or are cluttered with advertising.
This site has short articles that can be read as you listen to them being read aloud.
An example of stories available on the topic of families
The pages at ESL PartyLand are designed to provide you with the resources and connections you need to become a better ESL teacher. You’ll find loads of ideas and printable materials to use in class here, discussion forums, and employment opportunities.
Conversation questions to print and use in class, and many more teaching resources.
The ESL site at has free lesson plans, newsletters, and on-line quizzes for student sat all levels. has several free weekly newsletters about ESL you can receive by email. This is the sign-up page.

Here is a program of 20 lessons for absolute beginners.
Example of page from with pronunciation exercise offers TOEFL quizzes.

Helping Students Prepare for Tests
This is the official site for the TOEFL® – Test of English as a Foreign Language. It gives all the official information about the test as well as free practice questions.
This site has many kinds of tests for students to practice, including the TOEFL.
This official government site has practice questions in on-line quiz format as well as information on requirements and eligibility. Click here to go directly to their learning resources.
This site has the 100 questions in a form you can print out to use in class.
This site is meant to help children learn about US Government. But it can also be useful for adults studying for the citizenship test.

On-line dictionary and thesaurus
On-line dictionary which also has a children’s dictionary.
On this site you can type in any web site and it will be enabled for definition assistance. Then on the web site you can click on a word and the definition will pop up.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online
This online dictionary from Encarta includes pronunciation of each word. It also has a thesaurus and a translator.

An index of common idioms, as well as some background on what idioms are.

Managing Money
This site from VISA has lesson plans and activities about money and finances. You can also request free pamphlets for all your students.
This is another site about money. Requires free registration for a “limited” membership.

Other Resources
This site offers parallel translations of very short stories in many different languages.
This site has sample questions form a word game especially designed for ESL students.
This site has TPR materials for sale. Some of them looked very interesting.
The website of Maryland TESOL

This list was compiled by Janet Pryor, ESL Director at Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church in Relay, Maryland. You may contact her at or 410-489-6238.