eslflow.com

Website Review: eslflow.com

In short: Lots of links for teachers (and some in-house material). You’ll find handouts and lesson ideas that you’ll surely be able to use. Some of the links are really awesome, others are just OK or may not work in an ESL classroom (e.g. the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s site). But, that might be being too picky. It’s really great that they link to stuff that wasn’t just intended for the ESL classroom, and what one teacher can’t see the use for another might turn into a golden lesson. Some of the links are broken and a lot of the stuff is old, but the broken links aren’t distracting and the old are still good.

For students: This is really a site for teachers, but you might enjoy printing off some worksheets for extra practice on many topics.

For teachers: The organization of the site is quite good (if just a little messy at times). Follow the categories or use the search function to find just about anything you’re looking for.

manythings.org

Website Review: www.manythings.org

In short: Many things indeed! And each thing is educational and will work quickly on any computer—even slow computers, even computers with slow internet connections.

To begin, there are hundreds of vocab lists and more than 20 games to play with each one. For example, you can do crossword puzzles or match opposite words (e.g. fat-skinny).

But, that’s just the start of the site. Students can practice listening to sounds that are similar (minimal pairs), work with English proverbs, match definitions to words, browse links to YouTube videos, listen to jokes, learn songs, read English signs, read/listen to news stories, and many more.

The Flash Quizzes for ESL Students will make you say “wow.” With all the grammar practice you’ll become an expert. Heck, you can even learn all about American history.

Above all, everything is high quality. The word lists are strong. Definitions are short and good. It all works easily and quickly.

For students: Go to the Random Sentence Generator page. After you learn a new verb tense, use the page to see thousands of examples.

For teachers: Have the students visit it and find three activities they think look cool. At the start of the next class, have them share what they found in pairs, or just write them on a slip of paper for you to check.

eslfast.com

Website Review: www.eslfast.com (www.eslyes.com)

In short: These identical websites appear simple at first, but there is a very large amount of material and it’s all really good stuff. It’s best for low-level reading practice.

You can read and listen to stories and conversations. You can also do several excellent activities related to the stories and conversations. There are Yes/No comprehension checks as well as cloze (fill-in-the-blank), sentence order, and dictation activities.

It would be nice if the vocabulary linked to an ESL dictionary (like this: www.ldoceonline.com). Also, the layout and organization are terrible. Still, the material is excellent and that’s what’s most important.

For students: Go to the site and click on any story. First read, then listen, then click the links at the bottom of the page to do the exercises. There are 365 stories on the home page, so it might be fun to try and do them all in one year.

For teachers: You could assign specific stories as homework, or go over the stories in class and then have the students do the follow-up exercises as homework. There are so many stories and conversations that you should be able to find something relevant to what you’re doing in class.

Another idea would be to have the students choose a random story for homework and then report on it for the next class.

englishonline.org.cn

Website Review: englishonline.org.cn

In short: A great site. An amazing site. This is a really wonderful site.

Let’s start by saying that it’s difficult to describe this site “in short”. You’ll need about three hours to just look at everything. But the fine British Council folks in China have made a site that’s easy to understand and use. Grab a cup of tea and start enjoying all the great resources.

First off, you can read and listen to stories and articles on many different subjects and themes. Easy to use glossaries are there to help students with difficult words.

Then you might check out some idioms or other shorter bits of language on the site. They come with wonderful audio tracks, videos, or cartoons.

Maybe the best things on the site are the video and audio series. “Big City Small Word” is an audio soap opera that would be great for students studying alone or for a class to listen to together. If you’re looking for Business English resources, you’ll find an essential series that takes you from an employee getting fired through interviews and to a new person starting.

And everything is very interactive. You really feel like you’re part of a global English community.

For students: In addition to reading, listening, and following a series, you can also play lots of useful games. This site makes it easy to learn English. Have fun!

For teachers: Click on the “Go To English Online Teachers” tab to find a bunch of resources just for you. You’ll find downloadable workshops and other great tools to help you become a better teacher. There are even lesson plans that accompany some of the material on the main site.

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