If you understand and communicate fluently in English, you can teach ESL? Wrong! There’s a lot more to teaching English to foreigners than that. It’s about creating the right learning method and environment for your students. Not everyone learns the same way. Thus, you will need to employ a variety of teaching materials until you find the perfect one that works for your ESL students. Sometimes, ESL teachers must employ the combination of them all to perfect your students’ speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills.
If you teach English online or teach ESL abroad, you may be provided with a curriculum and ready-made lesson plans. Yet sometimes, you may need to improvise. Sometimes, you are asked to prepare your own lessons and teaching materials. Especially when you tutor or conduct your own private English lessons, it’s up to you how you want to structure your classes.
We’ve compiled the 10 best ESL and English teaching resources that will definitely help you find an ESL teaching job or plan your lessons and engage your students.
1. ESL Library
ESL Library is one of the best online resources that offer excellent ESL teaching materials. Whether you’re teaching grammar, sentence structures, dialogues or debates, you’ll find endless practices and activities that fit your students here. The site is used by hundreds of thousands of ESL teachers all over the world. The teaching materials are not only effective but also diverse in the format: PDF, flashcards, charts, lists, assessment forms, cheat sheets, templates, video lessons, etc.
ESL Library membership starts at $5.42 per month. It’s probably worth it, given the various topics it covers and its 500 ready-to-teach lesson plans and 2,000+ printable teaching materials. It also includes trending topics and current events in its lessons, making them relevant and useful.
Established since 1992, Oxford Seminars not only offers accredited TESOL/TEFL/TESL Certification Courses but also provides teaching resources and job postings to assist ESL teachers to find the right opportunities. Their courses are available in 100+ cities around the U.S and Canada. There are lesson activities, lesson plans, teaching resources such as flashcards, printable photos, games, and quizzes available for free download. Moreover, prospective ESL teachers can find travel tips, general teaching guidelines and job postings on its website.
BusyTeacher has tons of worksheets and activities available for ESL teachers to use in class. You don’t need to sign up or pay any membership fees. The worksheets are conveniently categorized based on the topics (music, mass media, politics, for example) and skills (reading, grammar, vocabulary, listening, writing, etc.) You can find English learning materials for young students as well as adults. BusyTeacher materials touch everything from grammar to pronunciation.
Some other fun materials that our ESL teachers love to use from BusyTeacher are their 363 warmers and fillers. They are especially helpful to plan a smooth lesson. They can be a fun and engaging way to review lessons you taught in the past. One of the most popular time fillers is the Twenty Questions game. To play, you (or a student of choice) must think of a person or object. Your students then get 20 opportunities to ask yes/no questions and guess the object/person you (or their classmate) are thinking of. There are activities for all levels and ages on this website, available for you to use in your class.
TESOL Association is an international association that has been around for over 50 years. It’s a supportive community to help teachers, researchers, and students. Needless to say, there are many ESL teaching resources, from lesson plans, activities, teaching tips, to virtual seminars, events, and educational sessions. There are academic resources as well such as TESOL books, journals, white papers, research, and reports. To become a TESOL member, you have different pricing and subscription plan options for professionals, low-income or new professionals, students, retirees, and save more with the 2-year plan.
ESL Jobs Forum or ESL Employment is an ESL/EFL job resource website. This is perfect for English teaching job seekers. The threads are well organized and maintained. They also offer teaching resources, listing educational websites and popular blogs by other fellow educators. The job board is broken down by continents/countries, and online vs. offline.
The English Teacher Site also named the International Association of English Language Teachers (IAELT), was founded in 2011. It serves the ESL teaching community by offering free resources to English teachers and students. There are academic articles, general English exercises, creative writing topics, grammar lessons, ready-made lesson plans, teaching tips, vocabulary worksheets, as well as speaking, writing, listening and reading assignments. They are all available at your fingertips, ready to be downloaded and used in your class.
We have many useful resources for ESL teachers as well. Here’s the ultimate guide to getting started as an online ESL teacher. We also have a comprehensive country-by-country guide for teaching English abroad. Many of our articles are contributed by fellow ESL teachers, such as online teaching company reviews, testimonials, and personal teaching experiences. We have a new ESL Teachers Group and Lounge online forum. And you can find plenty of teaching opportunities currently available through our OET Jobs Board.
The ESL Printables site looks crowded and overwhelmed with information at first, but it has some of the best resources that will help you plan your English lessons. It operates on a give-and-receive principle: you must contribute your own teaching resources to download somebody else’s. It’s totally free to register and become a member. Whenever you submit a printable or powerpoint or an online exercise, for example, you’ll earn points, and then be able to use that points to download existing teaching materials. If you’re an active contributor, you’ll become a premium user and get 30 free downloads every day without using your points. Your contributions must be ESL resources.
The ESL teaching materials on ESL Printables vary in topics: from television to hobbies, to music, and more. There’s an online forum that’s only available to registered members, where you can post questions, share ideas and get advice from fellow ESL teachers.
Dave’s ESL Cafe has gained its popularity over the recent years. There are not only English learning and teaching materials such as grammar lessons, quizzes, idioms, and slangs, but also teaching resources also. You can find job boards for different countries, current job postings, and advertise yourself as an English teacher to recruiters active on the forum. It serves a large audience, from online to abroad ESL teachers, English students, and recruiters.
10. Facebook groups
There are many helpful Facebook groups that can connect you with other fellow ESL teachers, students, and employers. You can find teaching tips, advice, reviews, as well as current job postings and referral links. Some examples are the Online English Teaching Jobs Facebook group, Online ESL Job Reviews Facebook group, and Teach English Abroad Jobs Facebook group.
Overall, there are many job opportunities out there for ESL teachers, online or abroad. It just takes a little bit of time invested in researching your options at first. However, the more prepared you are, the more rewarding your experience will be. It’ll be totally worth it! And I hope these resources will help you find the right teaching opportunity and aid you in teaching ESL more effectively.