for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Revised February 2017
Resources in Easy English
Voice of America – Learning English
This site gives a choice of many short radio programs in English that is spoken slowly using a 2000 word vocabulary. The words are also printed on the screen, so you can read along. You can choose from news programs, Special English features, and classroom activities on two levels.
This site also has short (about 1 to 4 minutes) videos in easy English on many topics. The speaker is facing the camera, and there are subtitles.
There is a course for beginners called Let’s Learn English.
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)
This is the simple English Wikipedia. The articles are written using Basic 850, Basic 1500 and Special English.
Sites for Students
Rachel’s English: This site has YouTube videos on American pronunciation. You can subscribe for free, and you will receive a new video every week.
Here are some sample videos on how to pronounce American vowel sounds:
English with Jennifer: A collection of over 400 videos on YouTube with lessons ranging from basic to advanced.
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.
http://www.manythings.org/vq/mc-n1.html An example of a quiz with pictures of simple nouns
http://www.manythings.org/pp/ This section has online practice in pronouncing minimal pairs.
This site has compiled a list of resources for people who want to study English on-line. It is a goldmine of interesting resources.
http://www.rong-chang.com/nse/ This is an example of one of the resources. It is a list of 200 very short stories in easy English. The stories are read slowly as well as printed. They are followed by activities.
Quick lessons on grammar, reading, idioms and slang, vocabulary, listening and pronunciation. Includes online quizzes.
6. http://www.cdlponline.org/ The California Distance Learning Project
This site has short articles that can be read as you listen to them being read aloud.
http://www.cdlponline.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=stories&topicID=3 An example of stories available on the topic of families
This site is a free ESL instructional program developed primarily for immigrant adults with limited English language skills who cannot attend traditional classroom programs. The site was developed by the Sacramento County Office of Education.
Sites for Students and Teachers
Dave’s ESL Café: Activities for students, quizzes, ideas for teachers, classroom activities
http://www.eslcafe.com/idea/index.cgi?Games Here is a list of games to use in the classroom.
Sections for both teachers and students with free resources including lesson plans, printable ESL worksheets, grammar and vocab classroom handouts and fun ESL activities and games.
http://www.englishclub.com/ref/idiom-of-the-day.php Check this site every day to learn a new idiom.
https://www.englishclub.com/efl/tefl-articles/10-tips-games-esl-classroom/ This page gives tips on using games in your classroom.
https://www.englishclub.com/songs/ Here are some special songs for beginners.
This site is for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, but is great for ESL, too. It has pages that include lesson plans, worksheets, courses, tips, job boards, FAQs, articles, forums and more.
http://www.tefl.net/worksheet-generator/sorting.htm Here is an example of their free work sheet generator. You can make a matching, sorting, or scrambled words worksheet to go with your lesson.
This site provides thousands of free resources and information for both students and teachers. All materials are organized by skill level for quick and easy access.
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.
http://www.english-to-go.com/english/samples/130916HONESThumf.pdf Here is an example of a complete lesson for intermediate students.
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.
http://english-zone.com/members/grammar/tags03.html Here is an exercise on tag questions.
Sites for Teachers
On each page, you will find ESL teaching activities, worksheets and games both free and paid. They are ready to print out in PDF format.
https://www.teach-this.com/images/resources/phrasal-verbs-lesson-2.pdf Here is an example of a work sheet on phrasal verbs.
https://www.teach-this.com/esl-games/sentence-race-games Here are some sentence race games.
The Internet TESL Journal – This site contains: articles, research papers, lesson plans, classroom handouts, teaching ideas, and games. This website is now an online resource book for teachers who can refer to the published articles on teaching techniques and other things of interest to EFL and ESL teachers.
http://iteslj.org/Lessons/Brown-TalkingCards.html Here is a game to practice answering different types of questions.
The ESL site at About.com has free lesson plans, newsletters, and on-line quizzes for students at all levels. Scroll down the left side of the page for a list of topics.
http://esl.about.com/od/businessspeakingskills/a/t_tips.htm This page has ideas for helping students practice using the telephone.
http://esl.about.com/od/teachingbeginners/a/ab_beg_intro.htm Here is a program of lessons for absolute beginners. This 20 point program provides a syllabus to take students from speaking no English at all to being able to fulfill basic communication needs including; giving personal information, and describing their daily routines and the world around them.
http://esl.about.com/cs/pronunciation/a/a_wordstress.htm Here is a pronunciation lesson on word stress.
ESL Lounge gives free access to hundreds of ESL lesson plans and materials that can be used for communicative English lessons in the classroom. There is also a premium paid section which requires a membership fee.
Boggles World has lots of board games you can use to get conversation going in your classroom. I use these as a warm-up activity while waiting for the whole class to arrive.
This site contains hundreds of complete lesson plans on 7 levels based on current events. There are long lesson plans and two-page mini-lessons.
7. http://www.lessonsonmovies.com/ This site has lesson plans based on movies. The lessons are based on movie trailers, so you don’t need to spend class time watching an entire movie.
http://www.lessonsonmovies.com/its_a_wonderful_life.html Here is a lesson on It’s a Wonderful Life.
Need a lesson plan on a holiday? Check this site.
http://www.eslholidaylessons.com/02/valentines_day.html Here is a lesson on Valentine’s Day.
An introduction to a pronunciation teaching program called the Color Vowel Chart. It provides an introduction to the chart with links to a webinar and power point that teach the program.
https://elts.solutions/ This is the website of the authors of the Color Vowel Chart program.
These sites have lists of questions on many topics for intermediate and advanced students. Just look for the topic of your lesson, and you can add discussion to your class! I like to choose some questions and type them out on strips. Then I give a set to each small group of students. They take turns reading and answering the questions.
Bible Study Resources
The complete Bible in Basic English
This site gives parallel translations in choice of several different languages, including Basic English.
This site includes the Bible in EasyEnglish on two levels (1200 word vocabulary and 2800 word vocabulary). There are also Bible commentaries and Bible studies.
Bible Translation Resources
Use these sites to translate your verse of the week into the languages of all your students.
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 is meant to help children learn about US Government. But it can also be useful for adults studying for the citizenship test.
This is the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. It uses common words in the definitions. This is one of my “go-to” resources to define vocabulary.
This is the Cambridge ESL online dictionary. It is another good resource for simple definitions.
On-line dictionary and thesaurus
An index of common idioms, as well as some background on what idioms are.
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.
This site has sample questions from a word game especially designed for ESL students. The game, “Word Up,” can be purchased for your classroom, or you can use the sample questions.
This site has TPR materials for sale. Some of them looked very interesting.
A shortcut I often use is to just type exactly what I need for my class into a search engine. For example: esl game on phrasal verbs. Lots of possibilities will pop up.
This list was compiled by Janet Pryor, ESL Director at Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church in Relay, Maryland. You may contact her at email@example.com.