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 Click here
Greater Boston ESOL Organizations Click here
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English At Large recommended online resources:
Find online reading texts, listening exercises, and information about the English language below.
Dave's ESL Café
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
Sounds of English
English for Everyone
Easy World of English
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.
Hopelink Adult Education
California Distance Learning Project
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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