21 Mar 2009

30 Websites with Free ESL Teaching Resources

Yesterday, Karen Schweitzer, an experienced freelance writer and copyeditor who also writes for About.com and other education companies, sent me this article with very valuable information about Free ESL Teaching Resources.
Every teacher needs a little help now and then inside the classroom and out. Fortunately, there are plenty of free ESL teaching resources that can be found online. Here are 30 useful sites worth checking out today.

General Teaching Resources

  • Education World - Education World is one of the best online resources for teachers. This site hosts information about professional development, lesson planning, and other resources that educators can use.

  • Teachers Network - This non-profit organization was created by teachers for other teachers. The Teacher's Network offers up-to-date research, news, lesson plans, videos, and much more.

  • Teacher Magazine - This online magazine provides news and a collection of blogs for teachers. Other features include polls, interviews, and interactive forums.

  • GEM - The Gateway to Education Materials (GEM) is brimming with free teaching resources and tools. Teachers can choose from more than 50,000 free resources.

  • Teacher Planet - With more than 350 theme based resource pages, Teacher Planet is a good place to come up with ideas and information for themed activities and lessons.
General Lesson Plans
  • PBS Teachers - This PBS site is an excellent place to find free, standards-based lesson plans for a wide range of subjects.

  • Discovery Education - The online lessons library from Discovery Education includes hundreds of free teacher-created lesson plans.

  • Scholastic - Scholastic provides a number of timely, thematic lessons for teachers. Many of the lessons are free. An additional 10,000 lessons can be accessed for a small fee.

  • Thinkfinity - Sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, this popular site includes free lessons, interactives, and other useful resources for teachers.

  • Lesson Planz - Lesson Planz is an online directory of lesson plans. Using this Internet directory is a great way to find free lesson plans without going from site to site.
ESL-Specific Lesson Plans
  • The Internet TESL Journal - This site has thousands of free resources for EFL and ESL teachers. Some of the best resources include lesson plans, classroom activities, games, and articles on teaching techniques.
  • Using English - Using English is an excellent source for free ESL lesson plans and printables. The site also hosts forums, articles, and useful links.

  • English as a Second Language - English as a Second Language is an About.com site with free lesson plans for students of any level. The site also includes printable quizzes, tests, and English learning tools.

  • ESL Galaxy- This site provides nearly 3,000 free worksheets that can be used in ESL lessons. New worksheets and activities are added on a weekly basis.

  • Read Write Think - Although this site isn't aimed at ESL teachers, it does offer reading lessons and materials for English readers at almost every reading level. Read Write Think also includes the IRA and NCTE's standards for the English Language Arts.

Worksheets and Worksheet Generators

  • Educational Press - Teachers can make and print all of the free educational worksheets, flashcards, game boards, and quizzes they want with the Personal Education Press.

  • TEFL.net - Created specifically for ESL and EFL teachers, TEFL.net has more worksheets, lesson plans, activities, and quizzes than one teacher could use. The site also has a worksheet generator so that teachers can create their own worksheets.

  • Teachnology - Teachnology offers more than 6,000 printable worksheets sorted by category. The site is also a good resource for lesson plans and other printables.

  • Family Education - Family Education is a great place to find printables for almost any reading level. This site also includes a number of other resources ESL teachers can implement in the classroom.

  • Super Teacher Worksheets - This site is an excellent source for ELA worksheets. Specific topics include grammar, printing, cursive, phonics, reading, reading comprehension, and writing prompts.

Flashcards and Flashcard Makers

  • ESL Flashcards - ESL teachers can download hundreds of free flashcards from this site. Flashcards come in three different sizes.

  • Flashcard Exchange - Teachers can make, print, and exchange flashcards on this easy-to-use website. Flashcards can also be studied online.

  • Scholastic - The Homework Hub Flashcard Maker from Scholastic is great for math and word flashcards. The flashcards you make are printable. Make up to four cards at a time.

  • Kitzkikz - This no-frills flashcard maker is great for making versatile flashcards. Just print, cut, fold, and study.

  • Flashcard Machine - Teachers can create web based flashcards using this free web app. Flashcard Machine also hosts more than 10 million ready-to-use flashcards.

Teacher's Blogs

  • TeacherLingo - TeacherLingo is a blog community for teachers. Educators can create blogs, read blogs, and network with other teachers.

  • Edublogs - Edublogs hosts thousands of blogs for students, teachers, librarians, and other educators. The site is great for teachers who want to introduce blogging to their students.

  • So You Want To Teach? - This teacher-run blog is a great place to find motivation, teaching resources, and information about classroom management and personal development.

  • My ESL Corner - This teacher-run blog is a wonderful place for ESL teachers to share resources, news, and teaching tips.

  • Online Teaching Degree - The TeachingDegree.org blog is a good place to learn more about teaching education and degree options for ESL teachers.

12 Mar 2009


What is Internet4Classroom? A long time ago two enthusiastic American proffesionals, Susan Brooks and Bill Byles, began a collaborative project to help teachers to integrate New Technologies in the classroom in an effective way but it was so great that it arrived to the net for all of us in 2000.

What can we find on this wonderful site?

1. A site map with all the site items organized alphabetical order.

1. Online tutorials to help teachers to use programs such us Work, Powerpoint, etc; pedagogical tools such as Webquests; multimedia authoring tools such as Hyperstudio, a tools which allows you to integrate text, voice, pictures... and others.

2. In the same section, there are lessons as well which include useful examples and tips about how to use them in the classroom and many resources you can find on the net.

3. Resources classified by level and subject.

4. A great list of Web 2.0 tools (podcasts, wikis, blogs, bookmarking, etc).

This is a great project on how teachers can take advantage of New Technologies in an easy and educative way.

9 Mar 2009


Our students have changed radically. Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. Mark Prensky.

Many things have been written about how Web 2.0 tools can increase opportunities for learning in a cooperative way, improving critical thinking and communication between students, and between students and teachers.
Nowadays, competent teachers in the New Technologies usage are needed in Education in order to make a difference in the classroom. We should not forget that our students are “digital natives”, therefore, as Carina Grisolia and Claudia Marisa Pagano says in their article “WebQuests, Wikis y Blogs un trío que se las trae!” –“chalk and blackboard are not enough for teaching” (la tiza y el pizarrón no son suficientes a la hora de dar clases). However, teachers have to rethink the learning process introducing new learning strategies and methods based in New Technologies to motivate our students.
Technology by itself doesn’t change and improve the way our students learn; we can have classrooms full of computers, with the most innovative programs, and go on with the methods we use in face-to-face classes, I mean, magisterial classes. Therefore, we need new pedagogical approaches in order to our students learn in a cooperative way, and this is just possible if teachers learn to think web 2.0 networks educatively. This means, as well, to change the teacher’s role.
The teacher is not an "encyclopedia" anymore, but the person who helps students to achieve their goals teaching them to work in a cooperative way (webquests, wikis, blogs…). Cooperative learning is just possible with WEB 2.0 tools. Web 2.0 has expanded the class boundaries to create social and educative networks on the net where teachers and students work together to create and share knowledge, whereas Web 1.0 was about passive viewing of content. Students love project works in which each one has a role, since they feel they have a responsability. They enjoy and learn doing things and strengthening bonds with their classmates and teachers!
If you are interested in this topic, you should read these articles and book:

This lovely picture has been taken from Rachel Smith's presentation Digital Natives and Visual Practice at the 2007 IFVP Conference.

8 Mar 2009

Curriculumbits and Ziggity Zoom - Resources for Learning in a Funny Way

A long time ago, I wrote a post about the best site for finding ESL resources for all levels,ESLPrintables. Today, I would like to recommend you other two great sites full of resources: Curriculumbits and Ziggity Zoom.
Curriculumbits is a site which was launched in 2006 full of free interactive multimedia resources not just for ESL teaching but also but also for Bilingual Schools since it includes materials for subjects such as Geography, Biology, Art & Design, Maths, PE or Physics. As it is said in the site "Resources have been produced according to key stage 3 and 4 of the UK National Curriculum for students aged 11 to 16. All resources are produced by elearning multimedia specialists in collaboration with every day teaching staff as a direct solution to their classroom requirements."

The Teaching Resource Library includes games, quizzes, interactive animations and videos to use in the classroom. There are not many resources for English yet, but it worths visiting it!!

However, if you are looking for a great site full of ESL resources for preschool and primary (first cycle) the alternative
is Ziggity Zoom: a place where children will get excited and have fun playing games, colouring pictures, reading and listenting stories about different characters, watching vid
eos and more.

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