By: Mindy Scirri
Learning a second language can be difficult, and learning English has its own specific challenges. This is why finding good English as a Second Language (ESL) resources is so important. If you are teaching your children ESL at home, you want to find ESL online resources that are effective and, when possible, free. We have done some research for you!
Continue reading to discover some free ESL resources for parents and students:
Choosing an ESL Curriculum
What is the best ESL curriculum? A quality ESL curriculum will focus on all four aspects of language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You may choose to pay for your ESL curriculum, but here is some free advice on choosing the best one for your family:
7 Best ESL Textbooks for Teaching Students Both Young and Old (FluentU)
“Teaching English is hard work! Unless you’re an all-knowing superhuman, you could probably use the help of a textbook. A great ESL textbook can be a wonderful asset to help maximize the class time. It will help you brainstorm effective activities, set up games, create targeted lesson plans and give specialized assistance to different types of students.”
Choosing a Children’s ESL Curriculum (Learning English with Laughter)
“Teaching ESL children can be extremely rewarding, and all kinds of fun, but having an interesting and effective curriculum is all important.” Read here to learn some key criteria for choosing an ESL curriculum.
ESL Curriculum Planning for Teaching English (ThoughtCo.)
“This curriculum plan for non-trained teachers of ESL/EFL focuses on building a program for your class or private students.” Find out some of the basics of ESL curriculum planning here.
How to Prepare a Thorough ESL Curriculum (VIPKid)
“Planning an ESL curriculum to teach English to kids can sometimes be a tough task, especially for beginner ESL teachers, but we are here to help. In this article, we are going to discuss what should be taken into account when preparing your English as a second language curriculum and give some examples of strategies that work.”
ESL Resources for Parents
Besides a quality ESL curriculum, how best can you support your kids as they learn English as a second language? Here are some resources just for you as parent-teachers:
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language
“The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, is a record of English vocabulary as it is used by a broad and diverse group of educated speakers and writers. Its word list reflects the many complex elements that constitute our language.” Find audio pronunciations of the words, 100 Words lists, a Crossword Puzzle Solver, and more. An app is also available for iOS and Android.
British vs American Vocabulary (EnglishClub)
Is an “articulated lorry” the same thing as a “trailer truck”? “Here are some of the main differences in vocabulary between British and American English.”
ESL games, songs, and ideas to make your ESL lessons better. Register with your email and get access to a free Genki English course or sign up to receive a Genki English teacher’s set.
Resources for ESL Teachers (ThoughtCo.)
“Everything you need to be a successful English as a Second Language teacher for students of all ages and skill levels. Includes teaching theory, information on teaching certificates and qualifications, plus detailed guidance on how to help students develop writing, reading, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation skills.”
The Tower of English
“Welcome to Tower of English, the largest directory of English tutors, Schools and Classes on the web.”
ESL Lessons and Activities
Even if you have a solid foundation with your ESL curriculum, you may want to add or substitute certain topics or skill lessons. Here are some online ESL resources that you can use for lesson planning or additional practice:
Activities for ESL Students (a4esl)
“Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you learn English as a Second Language (ESL). This project of The Internet TESL Journal (iteslj.org) has thousands of contributions by many teachers.”
“Browse our database of 17,300 free printable worksheets and lesson plans for teaching English. No matter if you teach kids or adults, beginners or advanced students – BusyTeacher will save you hours in preparation time. No registration required.”
EFL/ESL Lessons and Lesson Plans (The Internet TESL Journal)
Find resources on conversations, culture, grammar, oral presentation, etc. Also discover links to music and videos and so much more!
English as a Second Language Lesson Plans (Teachnology)
Find ESL lesson plans on everything from air travel and money to the solar system and weather.
English Learner: Get It by Heart
“EnglishLearner.com helps you learn English online with exercises on grammar, reading comprehension, vocabulary and listening at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.”
“Follow these links descriptions to over 3000 free resources for ESL lesson plans.”
“We are teachers like you, so we know you need good quality materials that are quick to find and easy to print. We aim to provide the best resources for teaching English to children to help make your lesson preparation a breeze. Take a look at our lesson plans, flashcards, worksheets, craft sheets, downloadable songs and classroom readers and feel free to use them in your ESL for kids lessons.”
ESL Worksheets (EnglishClub)
“These are practical, printer-friendly ESL worksheets (most with teacher’s notes and answers) that you can use in any English language class.”
Free ESL Games and Quiz Corner (TEFLGames.com)
“Welcome to our ‘Free ESL Games and Quiz Corner’. Here you’ll find interactive games, ESL classroom activities and games, online quizzes and hundreds of printable quiz questions in graded sets, including many sample question sets from our ESL board game Word Up. You’ll also find excerpts from articles and books on using games in language learning plus links to many other ESL games and activity resources online.”
“Jobs, worksheets, and flashcards for the ESL and TEFL teacher.”
Learn 4 Good: Learning English Online
Find an interactive test of English level, grammar lessons, practice exercises for everyday English, English for specific purposes (e.g., tourism, science & nature, law), TOEFL test preparation exercises, and a list of English language schools and courses.
Learning English (BBC)
“As part of the BBC World Service, BBC Learning English has been teaching English to global audiences since 1943, offering free audio, video and text materials to learners around the world…. Many of our materials are delivered as full-length courses but each component of the course is standalone and can be studied on its own. This means the learner can choose the best way to study for them; by following a full course or by following the individual materials most appropriate to them.”
Talking Point Lesson Plans (TEFL.net)
“A range of discussion-based lesson plans by Liz Regan – all available for free download. Each lesson plan is accompanied by handy teacher’s notes with answers…. More Talking Point lesson plans in the Talking Point Lesson Plans Archive!”
ESL Resources for Students
Looking for how your kids can practice their English independently? Here are some social networks and online games, so they can continue to learn English in fun and interactive ways:
Dave’s ESL Cafe
“The Internet’s Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World.”
Foreign Language and ESL Games (Vocabulary.co.il)
“A great way to begin to learn a foreign language is through online games. Kids and adults alike love learning foreign words and phrases using fun matching games.” Here are some fun online games….
Idiom Games for ESL Learning (Vocabulary.co.il)
“American idioms and slang are a huge part of American culture. While formal writing or speech does not include as many idioms or slang words, even there these words and phrases can creep in and confuse meaning for those not familiar with them. For this reason, many ESL learners use idiom learning games to help them understand specific meanings.” Check out these idiom games….