If you teach ESL, you should know about these five great websites for ESL teachers. According to the non-partisan National Center for Educational Statistics, the ESL population in American public schools
continues to grow. Teaching non-native students formal English remains as challenging as it is rewarding. Let these content-rich sites enable you to teach more effectively and efficiently.
The Internet TESL Journal is filled with useful resources. You will find an abundance of themed lesson plans, resources for teaching conversational English, and even tips for planning a memorable first class meeting. Of special note are the collections of links pertaining to culture. They feature in-class activities designed to help students of different cultures to interact with each other. The site does not appear to have been updated recently, but the sheer amount of information presented means that both novice and seasoned ESL teachers should find something of interest.
2. Everything ESL
Everything ESL is another great website for ESL teachers. It features lesson plans, teaching tips, and other resources. The homepage includes an active forum in which site proprietor Judie Haynes and others answer questions posed by ESL students and instructors. The questions are varied and address everything from dealing with misbehaving students to implementing Core curriculum standards. Quite an overview! There is a genuine sense of community present and Haynes offers tips on ESL teaching strategies that will appeal to new instructors.
Breaking News English utilizes current news articles. ESL instructors will appreciate that these stories are ranked across six levels according to reading level. However, the site includes much more than news. Each article includes two lesson plans, one brief and another longer and more detailed. Should you need more flexibility, links to specific activities based on the articles are also included. This great ESL website is useful not only for teaching Basic English; it will help your students learn more about current events.
4. ESL Mania
Featuring a banner reading “Bright Ideas for Teaching ESL,” ESL Mania focuses on areas other sites do not address, such as teaching Business English to non-native students. Another useful set of links offer information and exercises to help students lose their native accents when speaking. As expected, the usual exercises and worksheets are present as well. This site appears to be particularly useful for instructors teaching ESL learners in an adult literacy and language program. The site is cleanly laid out and information is easy to find.
Finally, no list of websites for ESL teachers is complete without a mention of Dave’s ESL Cafe. The site was one of the earliest ESL websites to appear and it rounds up our list of great websites for ESL teachers. Its popularity has steadily grown across the years; this is reflected in the active message boards where teachers and students alike talk freely among themselves on a host of ESL-related topics. The Café is intended for a large audience, including teachers who are interested in teaching ESL abroad. This latter group is well-served by the site as it includes areas in which users can post resumes and photos.
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There will always be a need for ESL instructors as English shows no signs of losing international importance. The language may not change much over time, but teaching methods are always evolving. These five great websites for ESL teachers are designed for both the novice as well as the experienced instructor.