Tutor resources

Massachusetts Adult and Community Learning Services

Massachusetts ACLS has provided benchmarks for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Click here

Advanced degree study programs for teaching ESL
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Greater Boston ESOL Organizations Click here

Newcomer’s Almanac

September 2019

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February 2019
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English At Large Tutor Newsletters:

EAL Tutor Newsletter March 2019

EAL Tutor Newsletter JulyAugust 2019


English At Large recommended online resources:

Find online reading texts, listening exercises, and information about the English language below.


Dave's ESL Café


audience: learners
level: all levels

information: Dave’s ESL Café offers a multitude of grammar lessons on topics such as adjective clauses, conditional sentences, gerunds, regular and irregular nouns, prepositions, verb tenses, etc. This site also explains the uses of common conversational phrases, such as “I beg your pardon”, “How’s it going?”, informal variations of “yes” and “no”, and others. Also found are lessons on pronunciation, uses of modal and phrasal verbs, and vocabulary lists.  Students of all levels would benefit from exploring the options under the “Stuff For Students” tab of this website.


English for My Job


audience: learners

level: beginner-intermediate

information: EnglishForMyJob.com is a website designed specifically to help beginner-intermediate level students improve their grammar and vocabulary in the workplace, whether it be in the food, hotel, or travel industries, or just general tips on politeness training in order to communicate more effectively with customers. In addition to providing vocabulary quizzes for common items in each workplace, this site contains multiple-choice quizzes to teach students the proper responses to customer requests in various situations.

BBC Learning English


audience: learners

level: intermediate

Information: BBC: Learning English is a well-organized and highly interactive site that contains numerous multi-media exercises for learning and teaching English. Under the “General & Business English” tab, students can explore English podcasts and videos while reading comments from other ESL users about the topic provided. They can also get advice on acquiring a job and learn about business management through stories about experts such as Bill Gates. Under the “Grammar, Vocabulary, & Pronunciation” tab, students can watch entertaining videos about idioms, review pronunciation tips, and learn “how to” phrases in order to express how to make suggestions, extend conversations, ask for permission, give directions, etc. In addition, learners can read blogs by other students and teachers in the “Community” section. This site is not only helpful to students, but is also worthwhile for teachers to explore since it provides lesson plans and downloadable worksheets.



Learn English


audience: learners

level: beginner-intermediate

Information: LearnEnglish from the British Council is a highly interactive website that is suitable for all levels of English Language Learners, though it would be most beneficial to beginner or intermediate learners. After listening to podcasts in the “Listen & Watch” tab, students can complete a series of post-listening activities, ranging from fill-in-the-blank character statements to configuring sentences into the correct order based on the events of the podcast. Some podcasts even contain transcripts for students who are not confident about their listening ability to follow along.  The website contains a series of “How to” videos that teach students tasks such as how to turn down an invitation or how to order drinks in a pub. Activities under the “Grammar & Vocabulary” tab are also interactive by including vocabulary games and grammar exercises following each lesson. The “Business & Work” section contains videos that are especially beneficial in helping students learn about business and professional topics, and are accompanied by language practice activities to help one improve his or her English in the workplace. All in all, this site is great for all types of learners whether they want to improve English listening, reading, grammar, or vocabulary skills in a highly interactive manner.


Activities for ESL Students


audience: learners
level: all levels

Information: This site is geared towards students who wish to improve their English grammar and vocabulary. It contains online grammar quizzes that are categorized as either easy, medium, or difficult on a wide range of topics such as correct word choice, prepositions, choosing the correct verb form, subject-verb agreement, etc. Vocabulary quizzes are also divided into easy, medium, or difficult, and encompass a similarly diverse range of topics, such as commonly confused words, opposites, analogies, expressions, transportation words, homonyms, etc. However, one of the best assets of this site is that it contains bilingual vocabulary quizzes in numerous languages on topics such as camping, religion, foods, emotions, and others.


Instruction materials at seven proficiency levels


audience: learners

level: all levels

Information: This website is divided into seven levels of instruction that each contain grammar video lessons and grammar quizzes. There are also lists of idioms, slang, and popular expressions for students to learn. The “Chat” section allows students to chat with other ESL students in the same level as them through “meebo rooms”, which is embedded in the page. The “Stuff for Teachers” tab includes sample conversation questions about topics such as crime, creativity, and housing, grammar worksheets, and the link to the learnenglishonline YouTube channel for access to all grammar instructional videos.


News Articles


audience: learners

level: intermediate

Information: English-Online provides “articles in easy, understandable English for [ESL] learners” on a truly wide variety of topics, including but not limited to: entertainment, health/medicine, education, government/politics, technology, sports, and travel. Each article contains bolded vocabulary words that are defined at the bottom of the page so students can expand their vocabulary while developing their reading skills simultaneously. For some topics, students can watch a news broadcast on the issue rather than reading an article, but the video still contains a list of vocabulary words from the broadcast that readers may be unfamiliar with that are defined at the bottom of the page.


ProLiteracy Education Network


audience: tutors and learners

level: all levels

Information: This website offers innovative and research-based techniques and strategies for teaching English as a second language. It not only offers interactive resources for learners, but it also provides constructive lesson plans, conversation topics, and other activities for tutors. Topics range from a focus on citizenship and passing the citizenship test to how to read a newspaper and a more specific focus on American culture. The material for learners covers a broad range of vocabulary and comprehension levels with various games to help reinforce key terms.


California Library Literacy Services


audience: tutors
level: n/a

Information: This website helps tutors to identify why individual learners want to learn English. It offers methods to shape tutoring sessions around the goals of the learner. Literacy volunteers and staff from all over California have contributed to bringing together activities, ideas, games, materials, websites, tips, insider information, and sound advice for accomplishing many of the goals on their “Roles and Goals” form. The roles listed in the curriculum provide a solid base for citizenship in focusing on being a life-long learner, a worker, a family member, and a community member.


ESL Notes
audience: learners and tutors
level: intermediate-advanced
Information: ESL Notes offers a practical approach to vocabulary acquisition, based on the ideas that people internalize languages more easily when they are already familiar with what is being said. ESL students are able to read the synopses before seeing an accompanying film, which has been proven to increase their level of comprehension. Each individual movie guide functions as a synopsis of a popular movie that consisting of plot summary, a list of the major characters, an extensive glossary of vocabulary and various cultural references that even advanced ESL learners would often not understand, and questions for ESL class discussion. The site also offers helpful tips for tutors.


ESL Gold
audience: learners and tutors
level: all levels
Information: ESL Gold provides free information and resources for both learners and tutors. Materials are organized by skill and level for quick and easy access. This site contains educational material for learners of all levels pertaining to speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. There are also additional pages for using English in business and learning idioms. For tutors, there are helpful tips in addition to information regarding standardized teaching exams. The site is very user friendly and easy to navigate. This site has relevant topics such as “Today’s News Stories” as well as a list of conversation topics.


Sounds of English
audience: learners and tutors
level: beginner-intermediate
Information: Sounds of English is a site operated by ESOL teachers, where they share their favorite links, handouts from previous presentations, English pronunciation pages – Activities and exercises for English pronunciation and listening, and tips for teachers. The site also has listening exercises with printable worksheets and teacher guides along with pictures, sounds, and videos to help with learning English pronunciation. This site does not have advertisements, nor does it require personal information to log-in.


English Club
audience: learners and tutors
level: all levels
Information: English Club provides learners with lessons, games, quizzes, and videos to help them learn English. There also chat areas for learner and tutors to communicate as well as practice their language skills. For tutors, the site posts materials and pages designed to help in teaching English as well as volunteer/job opportunities. This site has advertisements.


Free Rice
audience: learners
level: beginner-intermediate
Information: Free Rice allows learners to access a helpful quiz tool to practicing their vocabulary and speaking without submitting any personal information to log-in. The site has an appealing presentation and is quite easy to use. Learners benefit from the range of vocabulary and meanings given in an easy format. As they learn they are donating rice to a food program by answering questions correctly.


English for Everyone
audience: tutors
level: n/a
Information: English for Everyone allows tutors to access a range of resources to help in teaching reading and grammar skills, as well as provides a list of lesson plans and ideas. Most of these exercises are geared for beginner level learners, and most of the materials are printable. There are some advertisements on this site.


audience: learners and volunteers
level: all levels
Information: Users can access information without logging on. This site is relevant to both learners of all levels and volunteers. It is a helpful tool for grammar, vocabulary, and lesson planning ideas. This site has multimedia, and it offers explanations of many grammar topics, exercises organized by level of learner, as well as games for learners.


Easy World of English
audience: learners
level: beginner-intermediate
Information: The site gives learners the freedom and independence in their own learning process. The site’s material is separated into four components: Grammar, Reading, Pronunciation and a Picture Dictionary, which is great for beginner level learners. There also various multimedia resources to support motivation and facilitate understanding. The site is free, but users need to register to access all the lessons.


Azar Grammar


audience: tutors

level: n/a

pros: This site is a time-tested and proven tool for helping tutors in teaching ESL. It is operated and updated by professionals in the field, and the material is relevant and constructive.

cons: This site is as limited as the extent of the program. While there are updates from blog posts, the featured material consists of the established program without any other outside resources included.

information: Azar Grammar offers ESL tutors from around the world to connect and share experiences and resources with each other. The site functions as a support system in forming this community as well as offering free downloadable material to guide tutors. The site is based on a program, so it is limited to the confines of the material. Tutors write blog posts that are accessible to anyone viewing the site.

English Central
audience: learners
level: all levels
Information: English Central offers a clever way to practice pronunciation in a meaningful context. Learners choose a short video clip from a TV show, commercial, movie, or informational topic, and repeat what they hear, phrase by phrase, into their computer’s microphone. English Central’s speech recognition feature records it and rates it in comparison to the original phrase. Phrases can be played at a slower rate and definitions of unfamiliar words can be provided.


ESL Tower


audience: tutors
level: n/a
Information: ESL Tower features several ESL Exercises for Tutors and Learners. There are English grammar & vocabulary quizzes, crosswords, word search and several fun puzzles that make the learning and teaching of English easy and fun. Tutors can access an array of downloadable and printable material to help structure their own curriculum.


Hopelink Adult Education
audience: tutors
level: n/a
information: Hopelink Adult Education offers a bank of resources for Adult ESL tutors. Resources range from lesson plans and ideas to ice breaker type exercises. The site is operated by tutors, so there are also helpful practical and conceptual tips for tutoring. The FAQ section is helpful and expansive as well.


audience: learners
level: all levels
Information: EnglishLearner.com helps you learn English online with exercises on grammar, reading comprehension, vocabulary and listening at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Material and Resources are organized by level and subject matter is presented in exercises, informal activities, and games.


California Distance Learning Project
audience: learners
level: intermediate-advanced
Information: The California Distance Learning Project (CDLP) offers this site as a resource for an adult ESL learner to build their life skills and the language pertaining to them. Topics include: Law and Government, Family, Health and Safety, Housing, Money, Services, and much more.


Real English
audience: learners
level: all levels
Information: Real English combines ESL/EFL grammar and lexical items in conjunction people encountered during their filming campaigns to offer a unique educational experience for adults. The videos are based on grammar structures, lexicals, and social functions, providing an anchor and a counterpoint to the spontaneity of the street videos. The lessons include images and audio files directly related to what the speakers are saying in the videos, providing meaning for beginners and intermediate students alike.


GCF LearnFree.org


audience: learners

level: all levels

Information: The EDL project uses interactive, situation-based lessons to teach functional literacy skills. Each activity provides learners with the opportunity to test their knowledge of real-world situations and to develop the confidence and skills necessary to be successful in everyday life. Each learning scenario is comprised of prose, document, or quantitative literacy tasks, as defined by the NAAL, with an emphasis on task-based applications of literacy. Each lesson has specific educational objectives and is classified as one of the literacy task categories that the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) measures (i.e., Document, Prose, and Quantitative), when applicable.


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