ESL Resources

  • Clear Filters

Teaching Language

10-step guide to Teaching Effective Conversation Classes

Learn suggestions for incorporating conversation into the classroom, or beginning a stand-alone conversation class or a conversation circle. The article includes a link to a guide with 30 speaking activities.

Academic Conversations with ELLs Video Series

This 7-part video series developed by the Teaching Channel showcases five tips for engaging students in academic conversations. While the videos were developed for K-12 teachers, the demonstrated techniques and tips easily transfer to a intermediate or advanced adult ESL setting.

Adult ESL Pronunciation Activities Videos

Find six different Pronunciation Classes videos that feature teachers delivering integrated pronunciation instruction in beginning and intermediate adult ESL classrooms. Some of the topics covered include word stress, intonation, and voice quality settings.

Authentic English: Communication Activities

Find short videos of native and fluent English speakers discussing a wide variety of topics. Transcripts for the videos are included.

Comic Creator from ReadWriteThink

Teachers and EL learners can design individualized comics on this fun and interactive website. The comic creator allows users to select characters, backgrounds, and props to facilitate writing dialogs.

Depend on the Text! How to Create Text-Dependent Questions

In this video from ReadWriteThink, a first-grade teacher demonstrates the process she uses to create text-dependent questions around a reading text. The strategies that are described are easily adapted to adult EL classrooms.

Editing Checklist for Self- and Peer Editing

The website ReadWriteThink has a sample peer editing checklist that can be adapted for a variety of writing levels and focuses. It also contains suggestions for scaffolding peer editing with learners who are new to the process.

ELLLO: English Listening Lesson Library Online

Over 2,500 free English video and audio tracks of native and fluent speakers of English speaking about a variety of topics including current events and grammar. Also find games, worksheets, and lesson plans. New tracks and materials are added each week.

ELLLO! Listening Games

This website contains short listening texts for English language learners that are read at a natural speaking rate. After listening, learners can take a quiz to demonstrate their understanding of what they heard.

ESL Teaching Methods: Teaching Grammar Creatively

This article from the Reach to Teach blog offers best practices for teaching grammar in an effective and engaging manner for learners of all ages.

Facilitating Adult Learner Interactions to Build Listening and Speaking Skills

A Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) research brief that includes techniques to promote successful language learning interactions, examples of activities, and special considerations for beginning-level learners.

Five Activities to Promote Interaction and Communication

This packet contains in-depth descriptions of five communicative activities that can be used with literacy- and beginning-level learners through advanced level learners.

Getting to the Rough Ground of Language and Literacy Learning Through the Language Experience Approach

This blog post from The Literacy Bug describes how teachers can use the language experience approach (LEA) to support early language learners by providing them with ample opportunities to hear, see, use and manipulate language in contextualized, purposeful ways.

Give It a Go: Teaching Pronunciation to Adults

This interactive PDF resource provides "a brief and accessible overview of how pronunciation works in English, some explanations of the particular difficulties faced by learners from different backgrounds, and activities that teachers can use to help adult language learners to improve their pronunciation."

Guided Reading Prompts and Questions to Improve Comprehension

This blog post from Scholastic.com contains excellent teacher practices and materials that can be adapted for improving reading comprehension at any level. The post includes printable PDFs of a teacher Reading Prompt Booklet, "reading prompt" bookmarks for learners, and guided reading question cards for small-group or independent work. The reading prompts are written for a third grade reading level, which can easily be used with intermediate and advanced adult ESL learners.

How Should Adult ESL Reading Instruction Differ From ABE Reading Instruction?

A brief from the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) summarizing the research base on adult English language learners (ELLs) learning to read. It describes how ELLs differ from native English speakers and how these differences should affect reading instruction.

Improving Adult Literacy: Developing Reading and Writing

This booklet presents an overview of what is known about how literacy develops, the component skills of reading and writing, and the practices that are effective for developing them. It also describes principles of reading and writing instruction that can guide those who design and administer programs or courses to improve adult literacy skills.

Improving Writing Skills: ELLs and the Joy of Writing

This article offers some concrete activity ideas to build writing skills at all levels, as well as suggestions for differentiating writing instruction and links to additional online resources.

Just Write! Guide

The Just Write! Guide is a resource guide for ABE teachers, intended to increase familiarity with evidence-based writing instruction and to facilitate translation of research findings into teaching practices and products that will enhance the quality of instruction delivered to adult learners.

Language Experience Approach and Adult Learners

This Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) article explains how the language experience approach (LEA) approach can be used in tutorial or classroom settings with homogeneous or heterogeneous groups of learners to help develop and strengthen English literacy skills.

Listening and Speaking Activities for Adult ESL Learners

This packet of listening and speaking activities contains a number of activities that can be used in the ESL classroom. The activities are organized by the three skills of language scored in the BEST Plus assessment: Listening Comprehension, Language Complexity, and Communication.

Listening with a Purpose: 7 Types of ESL Activities

This article outlines different approaches that teachers can take when planning the purpose of a listening activity so that students can strengthen a variety of listening comprehension skills.

Manythings.org

This website is for people studying English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL). There are quizzes, word games, word puzzles, proverbs, slang expressions, anagrams, a random-sentence generator and other computer-assisted language learning activities - including activities that learners can do on their own and listening and reading texts that can be used to create lessons.

Manythings.org

This website is for people studying English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL). There are quizzes, word games, word puzzles, proverbs, slang expressions, anagrams, a random-sentence generator and other computer-assisted language learning activities - including activities that learners can do on their own and listening and reading texts that can be used to create lessons.

Newsela

Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading.

Pronunciation Pull-Out Kit

The Pronunciation Kit provides activity instructions for a wide variety of activities that focus on helping learners improve their pronunciation of English suprasegmentals (intonation, rhythm, stress, etc.). The activities in this kit can be used with low-beginning to advanced level English language learners.

Pronunciation Webinar 1: Voice Quality Settings

Learn how Voice Quality Settings (VQS) impact accent and pronunciation. Discover ideas for integrating VQS instruction into your classroom instruction and daily routines at any level.

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab is an online, multimedia listening website designed to help ESOL students improve their listening comprehension skills in English. The website contains over 300 original learning quizzes and activities that cover functional language topics.

Reading Skills for Today’s Adults – ESL

This website was designed to provide an online repository of leveled reading selections that are appropriate for and valued by adult learners. The readings being posted correspond to CASAS 200 - 235, focusing on topics such as Civics, Employment, Housing, Health, School, Money, and Government.

ReadWriteThink

Search the extensive classroom resources section of the ReadWriteThink website to find a wide variety of writing lesson plans and activities. All activities were written and reviewed by educators, and many align to standards-based teaching practices.

Rong Chang Listening Collection

This is a collection of online listening tracks for ESL learners. There is a wide range of topics and levels featured, and all of the sites include an audio track and a reading text.

Sounds of English

Sounds of English is a collaboration by Holly Gray and Sharon Widmayer that they started to help their ESL students develop their pronunciation and speaking skills. The site has been expanded to include information about their past research and presentations, lessons and activities for ESL teachers, and more.

Sounds of Speech – Phonetics: The Sounds of American English

This website contains animated libraries of the phonetic sounds of English and other languages. For each English consonant and vowel, viewers will find an animated articulatory diagram, a step-by-step description, and video-audio of the sound spoken in context.

Story by Story Phonics Lessons

Find phonics based readings on this website that can be read on the computer or printed off to read in class. There are also typing lessons, and links to other resources that support beginning literacy development.

Teaching Academic Writing to Adult English Learners

This PowerPoint shares the importance of teaching academic writing in the 21st century; reports on a 2014-2015 survey of adult ESL writing instruction; briefly describes ten approaches that are better aligned with academic writing skill development; and concludes with references for exploration by ABE/ESL writing teachers.

Teaching Grammar to Adult English Language Learners: Focus on Form

This brief from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) provides a research-based rational as to why there is a need to teach grammar within a meaningful context. Teachers who struggle with questions of how much, when, and how to teach grammar will find this brief both informative and thought-provoking.

TEFL Online Tutorial: Teaching Grammar in Context

TEFL Online Tutorial: Teaching Grammar in Context - an example provided by an experienced TEFL teacher of how to teach grammar using context.

Ten ESL Activities to Teach Perfect Pronunciation and Get Mouths Moving

This article from the FluentU English Educator Blog provides ten activities for teachers to use when students have difficulty differentiating between two sounds (known as minimal pairs).

ThoughtCo How to Teach Pronunciation

This guide on how to teach pronunciation provides a short overview of the main issues to be addressed at each level, as well as pointing to resources on the site, such as lesson plans and activities, that you can use in class to help your students improve their English pronunciation skills. Following each level are a few suggestions for level-appropriate activities.

ThoughtCo Pronunciation and Conversation

English pronunciation and speaking help and exercises including International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) guides, lesson plans, and conversational strategies for ESL/EFL classes and teachers.

ThoughtCo: Writing Skills

This website contains articles on English writing skills for a variety of purposes, including essays, formal and informal letter writing, resumes, business documents, that include examples and instructions. The articles can be printed for use in the classroom.

Transforming Grammar Instruction: Moving from a Traditional Practice to a Functional Practice

Sheri Lear, and adult ESL teacher from Minneapolis, MN, outlines her approach to teaching functional grammar in this lesson plan. The plan provides teachers with an explanation of functional grammar as well as a concrete example of how it integrates grammar instruction into the overall context of the lesson.

Ventures Online Activities

This website provides free online activities to supplement the Ventures Series. Learners can practice grammar and vocabulary activities that support align with the units in the Ventures student books.

Wisc-Online

Wisc-Online is a repository of high-quality educational resources that are free for learners and teachers. It includes over 2,500 learning objects (such as assessments, animations, and templates) for topics ranging from language arts to career clusters, to manufacturing, to math. It can be used in the classroom or independently by learners.

Wisc-Online

Wisc-Online is a repository of high-quality educational resources that are free for learners and teachers. It includes over 2,500 learning objects (such as assessments, animations, and templates) for topics ranging from language arts to career clusters, to manufacturing, to math. It can be used in the classroom or independently by learners.

Writing Across Borders

Writing Across Borders is a 3-year documentary project whose purpose is to help faculty, writing assistants, and other professionals work more productively with international students in writing environments.

ESL and Math

Need resources related to integrating math/numeracy into your ESL instruction? Check out the Language of Math section of the Numeracy resource library!