5 Places To Find Free And Affordable ESL Teaching Resources Whether you're teaching online or live in a classroom, these tips and resources can save you time and money
Many teachers, whether working online or in a brick and mortar school usually have a few resources they depend on and use all the time for their teaching. However, there are a variety of activities or resources you can turn to when you need to modify a lesson or change routes. If you are an ESL teacher, no matter how or where you teach, you may be looking for some new resources to add to your teacher’s toolbox. If you want to have more variety within your lesson plans, have a look at these useful sites below, as they provide some significant tools to reinvigorate your classroom.
After you read about these sites, be sure to check out the online resource section with ideas from the teachers at 51Talk American Academy. You’ll find some unexpected offerings that can enhance your classroom
This website has a ton of free worksheets that you can download and use with your class. They provide essential grammar worksheets and activities for a range of ages and ability levels. They also offer games that are rich in content so you can adequately teach English from a whole child perspective, and not solely with a focus on grammar and repetition.
This site hosts a collection of video and audio files, split into easy, medium and challenging levels. The resources you’ll find here also include a mix of conversation and quizzes. For example, along with each listening file, they provide pre-listening and post-listening worksheets to accompany their clips. This site has a high bank of listening records and is perfect for pulling out a quick listening activity.
Teaching with games is an incredible and enjoyable way to help your students learn. This website is a veritable cornucopia of web-based ESL games. These games help with grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. You can use these games to supplement your lesson plans and make learning fun for both you and your students. This site is a great place to find extension or support activities that are easily accessible and useful. Also, students can use the games offered at this site during and outside of class.
This website has over 17,000 free printable worksheets and lesson plans, all for the ESL student. Even though there are such a large number of resources on this site, it is easy to find what you need at the time. The worksheets are split into to content topics, while they cover grammar, vocabulary, speaking, reading, listening, writing and pronunciation.
If you have a bank of resources that you’d like to share with others, then this site can be an excellent source of new ideas and resources. ESL Printable provides a place for teachers who want to share their resources with each other. It is free to use, as long as you upload and share one lesson before accessing their offering. Once you share your work, you are free to download from the hundreds of thousands of projects and lesson plans, which include everything from worksheets and quizzes to PowerPoint presentations. The site arranges all of these resources by strategic learning categories such as grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading, games, and songs. They also offer content topics such as film and television.
All teachers know that a critical part of teaching must include the resources you need to ensure learning mastery.
If you or your school is in a pinch for funds, these resources can help you cost-effectively help to deliver your curriculum. With these five ESL sites, you will have a wealth of resources at your fingertips to help you achieve and meet student goals.
Here are some tips from the teachers at 51Talk American Academy.
Rhonda Ragsdale, “Honestly, I have a ton of props, and I didn’t buy them. I found things I already had in my house. Things that you can use in your teaching are spoons, hats, balls, etc.”
Ashley Knapp, “The store, Five Below is fun if you’re sick of your current batch of stuff. I love picking up stickers and flashcards to mix things up from any dollar store. Actual teaching stores tend to be expensive and overpriced, so only venture in if you need something super specific.”
Joni Slack Collins, “I like to go to The Dollar Tree. I have alphabet flashcards, toy food, various balls (football, basketball, baseball, tennis ball), insects, and a few stuffed animals. Flashcards are also useful tools for sight words with pictures.”
Shaundra Schlapia, “I have bought many things for the brick and mortar class that have become useful teaching online. I have been to Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, teacher supply stores, Amazon, Tractor Supply, Lakeshore Learning, Scholastic, Kohl’s and grocery stores to look for items I’ve needed. I have books, animals, stuffed toys, pens, pencils, erasers, magnetic letters, small whiteboards, markers, puppets, hats, headbands, stickers, and paper. And, my pet cats like to visit the classroom periodically.”
Sarah Dees, “Office Depot has some great flashcards with pictures for about $4.00 a box. I love them, and I use them every day. They have the alphabet letters photo cards and also letter combinations. I also got some great teaching tools when you’re working on colors, and none of it was costly. I also found some of the cutest soft stuffed toys from PetSmart! They are supposed to be animal play toys. I found a tree with holes in it, and three cute bugs, which is perfect for insect songs. I got three peas in a pod, and they are adorable. I always keep my eyes open for cool things for my classes.”
Heather Carter, “I have a field day at Dollar Tree and Five Below. I stockpile on animal toys, food props, instruments, boards, awards, bubbles, classroom signs, construction paper, markers, flashcards (I have too many of those), cars, short reading books, and much more.”
Hermann Rojas, “Novelty sunglasses serve as a reward system and are also great for teaching colors. I went kind of nuts. I have over 35 pairs. You can find a lot of cost-effective teaching tools at Goodwill, The Dollar Store, Discount Bins and also at garage sales.”
LaMonica Stephens, “I love going to Goodwill. You can find flash cards, games, puzzles and other nifty things at meager prices.”
Sarah Jane, “I often visit Dollar Tree, Mardel, and Hobby Lobby. I print a lot of stuff from online sites, and cut and laminate to make 2D props. I can usually find anything I want, and the props easy to store. I keep mine in page protectors in a three-ring binder!”
Mary Elizabeth Davisson, “I found a lot of my cute props such as stuffed animals, dolls, balloons, butterflies, balls, children’s books, puzzles, jars for rewards at The Dollar Store in my area. I also found unusual printable items for class by surfing the Internet online. And, I got creative with things I already had around my house to save money.”
Michelle Dragalin, “Most of the resources I find are at The Dollar store and thrift store in the area. They have a lot of useful items that are reasonably priced, cute and colorful.
Yolande Swanepoel, “I use Dollar tree and Wish.com. I order a ton of stuff on Wish. I love their teaching tools. I ordered a world map, and my kids love it. I also ordered math tools; headbands, stars and they even have cheap finger puppets. I love it.”
Dalia Aziz Iskandar, “Dollar stores and thrift stores. I found terrific toys and hats at thrift stores. I usually go there when they have 50% off sales.”
Irish Lemmon, “I visit Dollar General or make my props. We have been making great teaching wheels and stick puppets using just a bit of printer ink, glue and Popsicle sticks.”
Serena Bloom, “I suggest visiting Dollar Stores, using eBay, Oriental Trading, Wish, and Amazon.”
Thank you to the teachers who shared their generous ideas with our site.
What other places or online resources do you recommend?