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4 Websites that TEFL Teachers Should Use for Their ESL Lesson Plans

ESL activities

Teaching English is a never-ending challenge and I am constantly trying to think of fun and engaging ESL lesson plans to make the book work a little bit more interesting. If you are like me, then you regularly Google ideas for your speaking lessons. There are endless ESL resources, like books and websites with ideas, and it’s hard to know where to start a lot of the time. Many other teachers and tutors have shared their lists of useful websites with ESL teaching resources with me. However, many of those sites are for subscribers only or contain too much information to even begin searching through.

Four Sites Bookmarked for ESL Lesson Plans

This is a list of four sites that I have bookmarked as I use them so much as an ESL teacher and thought I would share:

To Help with ESL Lesson Plans

ESL activities
During one of my ESL lessons

Busy Teacher

  • Busy Teacher is an absolute lifesaver and is my ‘go to’ should I need a really quick lesson plan or pre-prepared ESL activities. There’s everything here! In particular, there are some good gap fill song exercises which my kids seem to love. Just type in the artist you want and you can find gap fill sheets already prepared with additional discussion points of activities. I’ve also found fun bingo sheets, worksheets for kids, history lessons, texts for readings, ideas for crafts, the list goes on…
  • Busy Teacher has really good lists of activity ideas and English resources for teachers Say you need some inspiration for practicing the present perfect or activities to help with adjectives, there are short blog posts with a few great ideas which can then be adapted to your needs. Perfecto.

News in Levels

  • I’ve found that talking about the news and current affairs is a great way to get students talking. And the wackier the news story the better.
  • News in Levels is an awesome site with an extremely broad range of articles, themes, and ideas for lessons. Created purely for English language learning, the articles on this website are fun and relevant and range across 3 different levels. From “What to do in a Terror Attack” to “Sugar in Hot Drinks”, there are hundreds of ideas here. I have often started with ideas from this website and used them to encourage students to share their opinions and have debates, which are good tools when you practice TEFL abroad.

Apart from these two, Eslbase can also be helpful as it includes, for example, worksheets and activities, classroom ideas, theory and methodology, and grammar.

To Use in the Classroom

Lyrics Training

  • My students absolutely love this. On this website, one can find almost any song with its video and the lyrics on screen. Some of the words are missing; so students have to listen and shout out the word for you to type in. A word of advice, check the video for the song you plan to do beforehand. Some songs are not as innocent as they may seem!
  • This is also great for improving your Spanish! I have listened to Bailando so many times now that I’ve lost count…
ESl lesson plans
Singing Christmas carols with younger students

Esl Games Plus

  • This site provides great interactive and fun ESL games for kids that you can play with students of all ages; although it generally seems to work better with the younger ones. Students can work in teams or as a class to answer questions on grammar, vocabulary etc. Things can get quite competitive but it is often requested in my class. I’ve found it helps students who are a bit quieter in class to gain confidence and get involved.

Of course, the last two are reliant on you having access to a whiteboard and a computer in your classroom. This is a luxury that not everyone has. And I have had to be careful not to rely on using the internet in my class as sometimes the focus on speaking can get lost. However, it brings an element of fun and entertainment to the class which I have found can work wonders!

2015/2016 Posted by Harriet S.

Have you ever used these websites? Are there any others you can suggest?

If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss out the following articles with ideas for ESL lesson plans

  1. What in the World is that Creature? A Language Assistant’s Task
  2. An Amazing Maze
  3. Creating a Vegetable Patch at School

11 Responses

  1. I had only heard of two of these websites; I had never heard of News in Levels or ESL Games Plus. I have been trying to find a way to bring current events into the classroom but was never able to find a resource that had the level that my students could understand! I love this website and will definitely be using it all of the time now! Thanks for the article and help!

  2. Really helpful article! I use BusyTeacher, LyricsTraining and ESLGamesPlus also. Some others I use are iSLCollective (there are a lot of worksheets that you can download, adapt and use), Games to Learn English (if you want to review things with games online), English Corner Time (a blog where you can find songs, stories and activities) and for my infantil classes I use a lot of songs so Youtube channels like Super Simple Songs are great.

    1. Thank you for the comment Paige! There are so many YouTube channels it can sometimes be hard to know best how to use the platform as a language tool. Thanks for the additional resources – I’ll be sure to check out Super Simple Songs. Have you ever used Amigos Ingleses? This is my new favourite YouTube channel!

  3. This is super helpful! I haven’t actually used any of these sites yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them. Islcollective.com has been helpful for me as well as the resources given to us in our certification courses as well as at orientation.

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! There’s so many resources available on the internet sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. I’ve also used islcollective, I think it’s a great platform (and it’s free!).

  4. Busy Teacher is amazing!!! I also would recommend iSLCollective. They have tons of games, print outs, and even power points.

    1. ISLColletive is also great, thanks Christa. Have you tried Teach-This? Not everything is accessible but some of their free resources are good too!

  5. I´m so glad I read this article, I had been looking for something like ´News in levels´ for ages but I hadn´t found anything! I find that my ESO students are interested in the media but regular news programs and newspaper articles tend to be too difficult for them. So, I´ll definitely try this site out – thanks!

    1. Hi Rebecca, I know what you mean! When I found News in Levels I was over the moon! Good luck with using it in your teaching!

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