Wednesday 30 October 2013

Here are some useful resources for ELL/ESL.

50 and More Recommended Links for ELL/ESL Educators

Teaching a new language to non-native speakers may be one of the most challenging educational jobs out there, so ELL teachers can use all of the help they can get! Thankfully, many excellent resources for ELL and ESL exist online, from full-service websites to reference tools and communities, all designed to make the task of educating ELL students just a little bit easier and more effective. We’ve scoured the Internet to share 50 of the best of these resources, and we hope you’ll find lots of valuable content and tools through these incredibly useful links for ELL educators.
Resource tools, printables, and other great stuff for ELL educators are all available on these sites.
  1. On, you’ll find an incredible collection of tools and resources for learning and teaching English as a second language, including a grammar glossary, printables, and teacher handouts.
  2. EverythingESL: EverythingESL is an awesome place to find ESL teaching resources, from lesson plans to teaching tips and resources.
  3. Colorin Colorado: Colorin Colorado is full of useful information, activities, and resources for ELL teachers, especially those at the Pre-K to third grade level. However, most activities can be adapted all the way up to high school, making this a diverse and useful website.

Articles & Advice

Check out resource lists, journal articles, and ideas for best practices in ELL on these links.
  1. Preschool English Language Learners: This resource list from the state of Illinois has a variety of support resources for preschool English language educators, with scholarships, journals, books, and more.
  2. Doing What Works: Visit Doing What Works to find best practices for teaching Literacy in English to kindergarten through fifth-grade learners.
  3. What Works Clearinghouse: In the What Works Clearinghouse, you’ll find scholarly publications for effective outcomes in English language learning.


Take advantage of the great opportunities and resources available from these organizations that benefit ELL teachers.
  1. National Council of Teachers of English: This professional association for educators in English studies, literacy, and language arts offers plenty of benefits for bilingual teachers.
  2. National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition: Find data, grants, even professional development resources for ELL educators from the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.
  3. TOEFL: As the official language test for education, TOEFL’s website is incredibly useful for sharing test-taking and studying information with students.
  4. International Reading Association: This association of literacy professionals has excellent resources for literacy educators, including journal articles and an educator community.

Learning Resources

Enrich your students’ learning by sharing these excellent English resources that they can check out in the classroom or on their own.
  1. Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon: Check out this lexicon that offers images demonstrating the true meaning of the word, making it easier for English language learners to understand.
  2. ManyThings: On this website, you’ll find quizzes, word games, puzzles, and a random sentence generator to help students better grasp English as a second language.
  3. is a really fun site for ELL learners, with reference tools like a dictionary and vocabulary, supplemented with quizzes, games, and a community forum.
  4. ESL Basics: On this site, you’ll find free English videos for both students and teachers.
  5. English Pronunciation: Okanagan College’s resource offers 13 different unit lessons for learning and teaching English pronunciation.
  6. BBC Learning English: In this website from the BBC, students can find help with grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, with plenty of references to current events. Plus, you’ll find a special section for ELL teachers.
  7. ESL Gold: ESL Gold is, no joke, golden, with seemingly endless learning resources for English. Students can practice pronunciation, find a book to study, and even talk to someone in English on this site. Plus, teachers can find a job, search for textbooks, discover games, and so much more.
  8. Real English: Check out this free site for learning English, with loads of videos from real English speakers, plus quizzes and community support.
  9. Repeat After Us: In this online library, students can get access to a huge collection of English texts and scripted recordings.
  10. Google Translate: An awesome resource to use for simple translations, Google Translate can help your students see how its done and better understand translations between two or more languages.
  11. ESL Cyber Listening Lab: Direct your students to this ESL cyber listening lab with study guides, quizzes, and even teacher features.
  12. Vocabulix: This online tool is designed to help jumpstart students’ vocabulary skills, with more than 90 vocabulary lessons, and the option to create lessons of your own.
  13. Wordsteps: Wordsteps makes it easy for students to build their own vocabulary collection, and even access their vocabulary through a mobile device for English language learning on the go.

Teaching Resources

With these resources, you can find great ways to communicate more effectively, explore lessons, and be a great ELL teacher.
  1. Utah Education Network English Language Learner Resources: Check out this list of great resources for ELL, with teaching ideas, forums, and even news and research.
  2. One Stop English: Specially designed for English language teachers, One Stop English has a monthly topics series, news lessons, and even an app for on the go ELL teaching.
  3. Casa Notes: This ingenious tool allows ELL teachers to effectively communicate with non-English speaking parents. You’ll be able to quickly make and customize notes that you can translate and send home to parents, effectively communicating information about field trips, conduct, homework, and more.
  4. ESL Party Land: A great site for ELL teachers, ESL Party Land has lesson plans, strategies, worksheets, flashcards, quizzes, games, and even vocabulary resources to help you be a better ELL teacher.
  5. Clip Art Collection: Check out this collection of royalty-free, language-neutral clip art designed to be used for foreign language instruction.
  6. Activities for ESL Students: Thousands of teacher contributions can be found on this site full of quizzes, exercises, and tests for teaching English as a second language.
  7. Szoter: Using this online annotation tool, ELL teachers can write directly on images to explain their meaning to students.
  8. Oxford University Press Learning Resources Bank: A service of Oxford University Press, this learning resources bank for English language teaching has courses, titles, and interactive English reading tools.
  9. Encourage students to self-test with this website, offering free English tests, grammar exercises, and worksheets.
  10. EduFind English Online Tests and Learning Games: Check out these test and games that offer a great way for students to test and improve their English language skills.


From reference books to a pronunciation guide, you and your students will get a lot of use out of these links.
  1. This site isn’t just for looking up words, although it’s quite useful in that function. also offers a word of the day, games, quotes, translation, and much more.
  2. Like, goes beyond simple reference, bringing inspiration and fun in the form of synonyms, fun word facts, and even search trends.
  3. Common Errors in English Usage: Read Paul Brian’s Common Errors in English Usage on this website, and even get links to the book’s blog, calendar, and entry-a-day Facebook page.
  4. Play & Learn English: Through the Early Childhood Education Network’s Play & Learn English resource, you can share letters, print, shapes, writing, and other relevant images for learning the English language.
  5. Idiom Site: With the help of this site, English language learners can make sense of common idioms.
  6. Fonetiks: Direct students to this incredibly useful pronunciation guide with instant sound and samples by native speakers.

Communities & Blogs

Get help and regular feedback for ELL education from these communities and blogs.
  1. Learning the Language: On Education Week, Lesli Maxwell covers educational policy and social issues relating to English language learning in the US.
  2. Dave’s ESL Cafe: Check out Dave Sperling’s ESL cafe, where ELL teachers and students alike can enjoy a great community of English learning, plus job resources and stuff for teachers.
  3. Englishtown: Join this community of English learners from around the world to gain insight for your ELL students.
  4. Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day: Want a regular dose of ELL resources? Check out Larry Ferlazzo’s blog that shares news, learning resources, and other great links for ELL teachers.
  5. ESL Podcast: Follow this podcast to share English language learning opportunities with your students on a regular basis.
  6. ESL Resource Center: The ESL Resource Center is “where English and people connect,” offering live chat rooms and forums for English practice. There are even ideas for drama and role plays, teacher development, and story telling resources.
  7. Teacher Talk: Several ELL teachers contribute to this blog, sharing teaching practices, materials, ideas, and guides.
  8. Pain in the English: This fun blog is a great resource for explaining gray areas of the English language to your students.
  9. TEFLtastic with Alex Case: Follow Alex Case’s blog to find news, views, and reviews for English language teaching.
  10. The English Blog: Visit The English Blog to find resources, reviews, and much more for both learners and teachers of English.
  11. Inspiration Lane: Inspiration Lane is designed to be an interactive reading activity to share with your entire ELL classroom with new learning content each day.

Resources for Teaching Language Arts

Top free resources for teaching and learning English Language Arts 

The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition collects, coordinates and conveys a broad range of research and resources in support of an inclusive approach to high quality education for ELLs. NCELA is operated by the George Washington University (GW), Graduate School of Education and Human Development under contract from the U. S. Department of Education.
Materials for Teaching and Learning English and  American English Online websites from US Department of State have resources for English education.
LORO (Language Open Resources Online) contains resources for teaching language available to download and reuse, including those used by the Department of Language at the Open University, UK.
ReadWriteThink, a langauge arts based web site with mission “to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in Reading and Language Arts instruction by offering the very best in free resources for teaching” , including classroom resources and professional development. Theinteractive tools can help them accomplish a variety of goals—from organizing their thoughts to learning about language—all while having fun.
The Ohio Resource Center for Mathematics, Science, & Reading and the Ohio Social Studies Resource Center are great curriculum sharing sites that align with state and national content standards.
The Literacy Web from the University of Connecticut, is designed to promote the use of the Internet as a tool to assist teachers in their search for best practices in literacy instruction, including the new literacies of Internet technologies. Classroom resources for a full range of teaching from pre-K to adult education and ESL are available. Also you can find resources for teacher professional development in literacy and technology integration.
Literacy Network delivers free, top-quality online resources for teaching on literacy instruction and lifelong learning for adults and family literacy programs. Affiliated Organization: National Center for Family Literacy , ProLiteracy.
The National Writing Project (NWP) is a nationwide network of educators working together to improve the teaching of writing in the nation’s schools and in other settings, you can find resources for teaching writing. NWP provides professional development programs to teachers. The NWP Digital Is website is a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world.
International Writing Center Association was founded in 1983 to foster communication among writing centers and to provide a forum for concerns.  You can find resources for teaching writing like Resources for Writers K-12 Writing Center, and more.
The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project has an outstanding interactive resource on Romeo and Juliet, as students read the document they can click on any link in the text to view definitions, images, audio recordings, and videos related to the content they’re reading.
Teaching Resources from Scholastic - Language art teaching ideas, student activities and reading/writing resources, you can find interactive whiteboard teaching resources here.
Storytelling in Classrooms (for K-5) is a free resource from Discovery Education, it covers lesson ideas from pre-writing to publishing.
Literature-Map – The tourist map of literature - Just type an author’s name into the search box and webbed list of authors will be displayed. The authors’ names closest to the author whose name you entered are the authors whose work you’re most likely to enjoy.
  • The Virtual Library of Instruction hosts many excellent unit plans designed at the University of Georgia’s by Dr. Peter Smagorinsky’s secondary English majors. Scroll down to see units listed by grade. Titles listed in pink are the best.
  • At Teaching That Makes Sense (, Steve Peha has created a ridiculous amount of materials useful for writing instructors and students. Drill, baby, drill into his site.
  • has standards-aligned high quality multi-media activity kits for ninth- to twelfth-grade language arts teachers.
  • Open Culture archives hundreds of free courses. While many of them share everything, other links dead-end at a thumbnail description. Check out the excellent courses and materials related to the teaching of literature.
  • Journalistic Ethics contains YouTube lectures by UCLA professors. Content is sophisticated. The audio is not always state-of-the-art.
  • MIT’s Opencourseware hosts complete online courses, going back to Fall 2002. Advanced Essay Workshop, Becoming Digital, Writing and Reading Short Stories, Writing and Reading Poems are multi-media rich.
  • English Courses from Yale I’ve watched Dr. Amy Hungerford’s lecture on the American Novel four or five times.
  • How to Teach Writing: A Resource for UCLA TAs has a comprehensive and detailed collection of practical resources and multimedia.
  • Utah State University also shares many useful resources.
ePals launches the newest version of its social learning network LearningSpace, which provides educators with new customization options for creating online learning communities of any size that can span individual schools and districts up to a global network of classrooms. The site combines features from familiar social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, with safety and privacy controls to manage online social interaction.
Skype an Author Network  - a network of authors willing to skype with 21st century classroom to speak with teachers and children, sponsored by author Mona Kerby and Library Media Specialist Sarah Chauncey
The Internet TESL Journal - For Teachers of English as a Second Language , there are articles, research papers, lessons plans, classroom handouts, teaching Ideas & links, free online quizzes, exercises to help you study English.
Lingt Language - Get your students speaking, in another language. Lingt Language allows students to practice their foreign language skills online by allowing teachers to build assignments online that use voice, video, images, and text with the Lingt online editor. Students can then interact with the assignments and respond. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
Colorín Colorado is a free web-based service that provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs). Colorín Colorado is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation’s capital. In addition to Colorín Colorado, WETA (Learning Media) also produces LD OnLineReading Rockets, and
ESL-Library provides lesson plans, flashcards, group activities ideas for ESL/EFL teachers worldwide.
Hello-Hello is a FREE language learning website with a community of like-minded individuals that help each other during the learning process. Now there are English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian available. The lessons were developed in collaboration with ACTFL – The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
22frames is for locating captioned videos for learning English and for Internet users who have hearing impairments. For each video 22frames provides a list of idioms, slang words, and commonly mispronounced words in each video. Users can learn the definition and pronunciation tips.
How to pronounce words and use them (by EmbedPlus) - Users can search for a word and not only access conventional audio pronunciations but also time-stamped videos of real people in real situations speaking and using the word in context. The videos could also help teach a word’s pronunciation more effectively by showing the facial gestures needed to produce it and illustrating how it is naturally pronounced with other words, not just in isolation.
Study Stream is a service for learning to read and speak Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. It is a collection of videos and articles in the languages . The videos and articles are accompanied by side-by-side translations to help you follow along. There are exercises too.
Grammar Bytes offers Language Art teachers and students the glossary of terms, handouts, interactive exercises, slide show presentations, tips and videos.
Great Source iWrite from the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt company features an animated and narrated glossary of grammar terms, with videos explaining the use of punctuation and mechanics of writing.
Wordsmyth is a educational dictionary site offers a beginner’s picture dictionary along with a full dictionary, puzzle solvers, glossary makers, quiz makers.
Lexipedia is like a beefed up dictionary, giving the definitions of words and then providing diagrams of related words and their definitions.
Snappy Words - free online visual English dictionary and thesaurus with intuitive and interesting user interface, a networking between words is created according to what you input.
Visuwords  is a thesaurus reimagined. It uses a web design to show users the definitions of words and the connections between words. (one of 50 best websites by Times, 2009)
Wordia features a selection of user-submitted and professionally created videos explaining the meaning of a word and its everyday use.
Forvo hosts hundreds of recordings of word pronunciations by native speakers. Currently there are around 200 languages supported on Forvo. Its content is user supported and user generated so new pronunciations are added frequently.
Verbs Online provides foreign language students with a good selection of activities for practicing verb conjugations. Practice activities are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.
The following websites are for building vocabulary capability :
  • Vocabulix provides numerous free tools for learning Spanish, German, or English. Vocabulix can be used to create quizzes or take quizzes online. It has a social networking option that helps match native speakers with learners.
  • WordSteps is a resource for learning the vocabulary of your choice of nine languages with six types of practice activities.
  • ESL Basics is a site that provides short video vocabulary lessons for beginning and advanced ESL students.
CAPL, Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon, is a project developed by Dr. Michael Shaughnessy at Washington & Jefferson College. It is to provide images that demonstrate the true meaning and intention of the words in a language.CAPL currently has collections of images for teaching and learning English (North American), German, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and Ukranian. All of the images in the collection are licensed under a Creative Commons license.
Wordle - enter your text, select Go and you instantly produce a graphic representation that’s pleasing and interesting, it’s a good tool to observe words and its trend in different kinds of contents like websites, articles, speeches …
Tagxedo - Dazzle your project with these word clouds. Choose a picture or shape, then add your words and voila, a visually enticing display. Tagxedo can be used to demonstrate speeches, animal reports, or anything else you can imagine. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning) The site also features a list of 101 ways to use the resource.
PicLits - If a picture is worth a thousand words, then let this site provide the picture to inspire your words. Choose a picture from the gallery, and add text. Word choices are available or use your own. There is also an introduction to writing poetry using this tool. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
StoryBird - it help kids to create short, visual stories. You can save them, share them and (soon) print them. Use Storybird’s beautiful illustrations to tell your own story or do a collaborative storytelling.
StoryJumper - you can read stories, create and publish your own story books, then share stories online for free and order beautiful hardback books.
ZooBurst - Add a new dimension to storytelling, reports, and presentations with ZooBurst’s digital 3-D tool. In this safe and protected space, students create and customize pop-up stories; add their own voice to characters, upload artwork or items from a built-in database of over 10,000 free images and materials. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
Kerpoof - Explore, create, and design at Kerpoof. Make a picture, a movie, a drawing or a card by selecting a background and then dragging and dropping your selected additions. There’s a host of activities that you can do at Kerpoof. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
My StoryMaker - from the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, lets students create their own stories that are archived for 30 days. Once created, a story is saved as a PDF and can be exported to a computer for permanent access. Students can play with characters, shapes, colors, movement, and sentences.
Myths and Legends - A site for those who enjoy stories and storytelling. Read digital myths, folktales and legends about the British Isles. Students and teachers can add to the stories and there are thousands of stories to choose from. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
On AdLit teachers can find book lists, video interviews with authors, and a comprehensive list of strategies for teaching reading and writing. Its focus is on adolescent literature.
Art of Storytelling features paintings housed in the gallery of the Delaware Art Museum, and students can create digital stories inspired by the artwork. Students can also read and record their stories aloud.
Write Rhymes is a fun little site where you can find all the words that rhyme with the word you input.
Kindersay is designed for use by pre-K students. There are more than 500 activities that students can use.
DailyWritingTips has all kinds of information for writers, and there is a free ebook on grammar.


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