Here are five ESL/ESOL/ELL/EFL websites that we think teachers of English language learners will find helpful and informative:
EverythingESL.net was developed by Judie Haynes, an ESL teacher from New Jersey with 29 years of teaching experience. This attractively designed, user-friendly site is full of valuable information for ESL educators including:
- content-based, detailed “Lesson Plans” with inspirational ideas for lessons on such topics as “How to Organize Your Newcomer’s Day,” “Content- Based Science Instruction for ELLs,” and “Teaching About America”
- “Teaching Tips” that feature helpful ideas and strategies for both ESL and mainstream teachers on such topics as “Bloom’s Taxonony and English language learners” and “How Culture Shock Affects Newcomers”
- high-quality “Resource picks” for the ESL classroom, including books, websites and CDs
- the “Ask Judie” forum where students and teachers from around the world pose questions and ask for advice
ESLprintables.com is a site where ESL teachers can go to exchange resources. It was developed by Victor Gayol, an English teacher in Spain, to provide ESL teachers with a large database of printables, including worksheets, lesson plans and activities.
There is one provision, however: Once you register, you must contribute your own free resource before you can download one. Then you receive a point each time someone downloads one of your resources. For example, if ten people download your resources, you then get to choose ten resources to download. Once you reach 30 points, you become a “premium user,” which means you can download 30 resources per day.
ESLprintables.com also provides a forum called “The Teachers’ Café” where ESL teachers around the world connect to share ideas and ask questions.
Pizzaz! is an online resource for ESL teachers that provides “simple creative writing and oral storytelling activities with copyable (yes, copyable!) handouts for use with students of all ages.”
Developed by Leslie Opp-Beckman, Technology Coordinator and ESOL Instructor at the University of Oregon, the resources in Pizzaz! are available for in-class, non-profit use only.
Follow the links to explore an abundance of valuable resource sections, such as “Poetry,” “Fiction,” and “Bag of Tricks.” Click on one of the poetry links and you will find information on the ESL student level (for example, high beginner), the poem description, sample poems, and some great warm-up activities, lesson plans, a template to make your own poems, and follow-up activities. Or explore the “Bag of Tricks” to find more resources such as online writing prompt ideas, instructions on how to create your own tongue twisters, and the writing mailbox where students learn effective communication through letter writing.
Colorin Colorado! is a bilingual site that “provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs).” It is filled with valuable ideas, resources and strategies that ELL teachers can use to help their students learn to read. “Major funding comes from the American Federation of Teachers, with additional support from the National Institute for Literacy and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.”
This site can be navigated in either English or Spanish by clicking on the “In English” tab or the “en Espanol” tab. Each section provides a wealth of information for educators and families. For example, inside “Books & Authors” you will find the featured book of the month, a recommended list of bilingual and English language books, and also reading tips and activities. The “Glossary” section contains the definitions of educational terms, plus frequently used words and phrases. There are also “Webcasts” featuring experts who study ELLs and a “Multimedia” section that provides downloadable educational videos and podcasts. In addition, click to explore the “Multimedia,” “E-newsletters,” and “Web Resources” sections. Of particular interest is Colorin Colorado’s ELL News, which is updated each day and features the latest news headlines regarding education issues of interest to English language learners and teachers.
Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day … For Teaching ELL, ESL, &EFL
Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day is a resource-sharing blog dedicated to providing ELL classroom teachers around the world with helpful ideas and information. It is filled with lists of educational resources on the web, along with reviews and recommendations. Included are annual posts listing “The Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education,” “The Best Fun Sites You Can Use for Learning, Too,” and “The Best Websites to Help Beginning Readers.”
Larry Ferlazzo teaches English language learners at Luther Burbank High School, the largest inner-city high school in Sacramento, California, where over half the students are English language learners. As a former community organizer, Ferlazzo has learned the importance of “creating a community of learners” at his school. He writes about the ELL technology resources and classroom practices that he has found useful in his own classes and reviews educational resources on the web.