Introducing the basic workings of the English language to nonnative speakers can be gratifying but demanding. Whether you have traveled to a foreign country to teach English or are teaching English as a second language (ESL) to immigrants in the United States, you may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to convey and may wonder which method is the best way to do it.
Following is a list of online resources where both teachers and students of English as a second or foreign language (or even those who are still considering becoming one) can find helpful information on many aspects of this profession:
- EL Civics. Aimed at beginning and intermediate learners of ESL, this website helps teachers teach ESL through photos and other visual aids. The website contains lots of free, downloadable resource materials such as bingo games, crossword puzzles, worksheets, and videos that make learning English fun. It also includes lessons on topics such as famous Americans, U.S. holidays, and U.S. geography.
- ESL Flow. Using a flowchart format, this website is loaded with plenty of resources for ESL teachers such as lessons, worksheets, exercises, quizzes, and picture lessons-all arranged by topic.
- ESL Partyland. This is another website that aims to make learning English fun with interactive online games and other activities that help students practice vocabulary, learn new words, and understand American culture. The site also contains much useful material for teachers, including aids for teaching conversation, grammar, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Everything is organized efficiently into student or teacher categories.
- Educators Overseas. This organization specializes in placing ESL teachers in exotic and off-the-beaten-path locales in Africa, Asia, China, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Western Europe. The website also offers useful teacher resources such as advice on teaching ESL in the U.S., ESL lesson plans, and firsthand, written experiences from teachers who have worked overseas.
- Englishclub.net. Written mainly in British English, but also with samples of the American and Canadian dialects, this site encourages students to set up their own personalized English pages.
- English International. This website, maintained by a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) instructor, gives an excellent overview of various areas of interest to those who are considering teaching English abroad, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), training options, certification information, the job market in various foreign countries, job search tips, and available publications about Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).
- TEFL Uncovered. This free, downloadable e-book gives detailed information on exactly how to go about teaching English overseas, including obtaining certification, finding employment, teaching strategies, and insider’s info on the pros and cons of working in particular countries. The book comes in a PDF workbook format in which you can click on resource links and (if you have your own Adobe software) take notes directly in the workbook.
- Total ESL. Created and maintained by TESOL instructors and educational administrators, this website was designed as a free resource in which students, parents, teachers, and schools can post and share information about both ESL and English as a foreign language (EFL). The site also contains numerous searchable databases where you can find teacher job openings, training courses, schools, résumé postings, private tutors, teaching aids, lesson plans, and informative articles (such as “Advice on Avoiding Teaching Scams”).