Teaching resources for English as a second language (ESL) classes
Recently, I’ve started teaching in Korea and it’s a pretty new experience for me even though I’ve taught before. The biggest class I taught was a class of fifteen students without another co-teacher present (with older students). I could play pretty large games since there weren’t many tables involved or students. So, my dilemma arose when I realised I now have a classes double the size and extra help (which is useful). I’m stuck for ideas for when students need to practise the language point. And on top of that, my students are middle schoolers! Ahh
I took a look at my bookmarks and found a bunch of resources I used to use. Some are for all ages and levels; some are specific ages and levels. Here is my collection. They’re in no specific order.
Three websites provided by the British Council means that some words will be spelt different (aha). These websites contain lesson plans, worksheets, listening , reading and speaking activities that all can be tweaked according to your own lesson. For the kids section, there are also videos like nursery rhymes which came be really useful in class.
As this is a British run website using the Common European Framework a quick outline – A1 & A2 is probably where most of our students are currently (especially for older elementary, middle and high school.) CEFR is a system used to assess students on their skills and help the process into speakers of the second language. For more info, click here.
For all ages, levels, and classes.
The Learner’s dictionary
This cool little dictionary definitely helps me explain what topics or words mean using “simple” English and maybe helpful for the older English learners.
This website was one of my go-to websites back in China. It has lots of game ideas based on skill or type of game (e.g. category games) and ideas from teaching large or mixed ability classes, to cultural awareness and personalising activities. Sometimes, some activities will say ‘free’ or ‘exclusive.’ Don’t watch that entirely, you can still read the short description and then tailor it for your own class. Definitely a neat gem to treasure.
For all ages, classes and levels
Grammar for Kids
Though we may not be teaching grammar, if a language point pops up in our lesson, we can definitely use some of the games on here. Most games are based on the computer but check them out before you overlook it.
For young learners and smaller classes
This website was really useful to me when I was teaching one to one classes since there is pretty much a worksheet for every topic. It’s good for practising new vocabulary or even playing a few games. It provides both grammar and vocabulary printable exercises such as matching exercises and word searches. Don’t wanna use any of those ideas? I’d use them for playing group games that steers away from flash card drilling.
For all ages.
This website is tailored for elementary students (or low level students) providing lesson plans, songs, videos and worksheets.
Ohh, this was another fall back website when I needed speaking topics for one to ones or older students. The website is divided into topics and then hundreds of links to complete your search for games, topics, vocabulary, worksheets whatever it is you may need. Personally, I’d say this is another cool gem to pocket.
For older learners, or more advanced English learners
ESL Writing Wizard
This website was used a lot in my previous teaching life as it practise student’s handwriting. You can add the content and chose how you want students to practise – by tracing or by themselves? You decide.
You can click on the ‘find a worksheet’ or make your own and upload it. You can click on one-word wizard or multi-word wizard to begin.
For elementary or low level students
Millions, I exaggerate not, of worksheets and lesson plans and just good old help. Endless ideas created by other teachers. I’ve used a many ideas from this website. Again another little gem.
For all ages
Classroom Management ideas
Nuggets of information needed for any class really.
For all ages, classes, levels.
Go Overseas ESL
When my ideas well has dried up sometimes, I’ve definitely found some renewal in looking at these ideas for an ESL classroom which works will all ages and class sizes. Yay! Nifty little gem.
These three websites were saved in my language section bookmark but I haven’t actually used them…Well, I don’t remember using them. But hey, they could be useful to you guys.
FunEnglishGames[dot]com lives up to its name and has some good ideas on there for all ages, classes and levels provided the language point is tailored.
HeadsUpEnglish[dot]com has been divided up into level appropriate topics and has lots of speaking ideas and materials for students. Maybe this is a good one for English clubs or small groups.
BreakNewsEnglish[dot]com has lots of current topics/issues which can again be used in small discussion groups
Hope these resources have been helpful!