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.
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.
This website offers 1600 FREE stories intended for Beginning and Intermediate level ESL students. Most of the stories have accompanying audios, and some provide two audio speeds: normal and slow. Many of the stories have vocabulary, cloze, scrambled sentences, crosswords, and dictation exercises.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This PowerPoint shares the importance of teaching academic writing in the 21st century; report on a 2014-2015 survey of adult ESL writing instruction; briefly describe ten approaches that are better aligned with academic writing skill development; and conclude with references for exploration by ABE/ESL writing teachers.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!