English for Speakers of Other Languages, English as a Second Language and English Language Learning

ABC English

Free site for English as a second or foreign language students, in English or Spanish,"using theories from Applied linguistics." Includes online assessments and instruction.

Activities for ESL Students
Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles

American English as a Second Pronounciation

  American English Speech Dictionary

The babLa dictionary site offers 15 free online bilingual dictionaries: English-Arabic, English-Chinese, English-Dutch, English-French, English-German, English-Hindi, English-Italian, English-Japanese, English-Korean, English-Polish, English-Portuguese, English-Romanian, English-Russian, English-Swedish, and English-Turkish. One particularly interesting feature is that users can suggest new translations in an entry box on the web page. Presumably thee help to improve the dictionaries' translations Phrases

The Phrase Dictionary includes thousands of translations of common phrases and expressions. It features four categories with hundreds of different phrases. Each phrase has a situation description to help the user know when to use a particular phrase.The four categories are:
1. Application
Motivational Cover Letter | Résumé / CV | Reference Letter more
2. Academic
Table of Contents | Opening | Main Body | Statistics | Graphs, Pictures and Diagrams | Closing | Citation more
3. Business
Letter | E-Mail | Invoice | Order | Appointments | Reservations | Abbreviations more
4. Personal
Letter | E-Mail | Announcements and Invitations | Best Wishes | SMS and Web more

The phrase dictionary includes thousands of common phrases divided into four main categories: Academic Writing, Business Communication, Applications and Résumés, and Personal Correspondence. Within each category widely used phrases are grouped together according to the situation in which a phrase is used. The situation description helps the user judge in which context to use the phrase. Vocabulary Lessons

Hundreds of free English vocabulary lessons.

BBC Learning English

California Distance Learning Project
The goal of the California Distance Learning Project (CDLP) is to expand learner access to adult basic education (including ESOL/ESL/ELL) services. It includes: News Stories (some recent, some not); Family, Community and Work; ESL Connection Online; Workplace ESL Online; How To Vote; How to Be Heard; Safe Streets; Employment Application; How to Get a Job; and the California E-mail Projects. (See Email Project below.) Learners can get information about a wide range of topics on audio, and sometimes on video, as they read along. After they listen to or read each story they can do reading comprehension and vocabulary exercises.

British Council Learn English

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA, formerly NCLE)
Located on the Center for Applied Linguistics Web site, this features FAQS on Adult ESL, ESL Program standards information, issues of CAELA Currents, a brief on ESL Reading Instruction, and other info about CAELA publications and services.

Dave's ESL Cafe
Current news, geography, grammar, history, idioms, slang and words, people, reading comprehension, science, world culture, writing

Easy English Times
A newspaper for English language learners. Subscription fee ($10/student/year as of 2012)
Easy World of English

EL Civics for ESL Students

A major role of public education is to ensure that students understand the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen. Educators prepare students for democracy by teaching them to respect the rights of others, vote in elections, obey the rule of law, actively support public causes, and participate intelligently in public debates and discussions. Although these civics lessons are designed for K-12 and ESL students, they provide a quick and easy review for everyone, including college students. Each civics lesson includes support material such as photos, downloadable worksheets, crossword puzzles, stories, reading exercises, PowerPoint presentations, or videos. Both students and teachers will find these government and history lessons clear, concise, easy to use, and free of rhetoric.

English as a Second Language
A starting point for those who want to learn English from using Web sites, this also includes Web sites for teachers.  The author is an experienced ESOL Web-site designer. There are many good sites linked here.

English for All
A free Web-based multimedia system for adults learning ESL/ESOL/ELL. It incorporates California standards for High-Beginning ESL and the Skill Modules of the Latino Adult Education Skills Project (LAES). EFA materials include: an interactive Web site that is the core of the program, five stand-alone video tapes, each containing four 15-minute programs, five CD-ROMs designed to work with the EFA Web site, and printable materials for students and teachers that are available as .pdfs or in Rich Text Format (compatible with most word processors). After watching a video, learners can practice listening, vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, and "life skills" based on the video segment.Note: this web site is no longer being updated. It has been replaced by USA Learns, a free English language web site that will be found at

Equipped for the Future (EFF)Teaching/LearningToolkit
The EFF Toolkit is a resource for teachers who want to build curriculum around students' goals and life contexts. While the Toolkit is based on the Equipped for the Future Teaching/Learning Cycle and the EFF Standards, the Examples and Tools in the Toolkit are a resource for any teacher who wants to contextualize instruction. Examples are complete descriptions of particular lessons and are organized by content and by instructional setting. The Tools used in the Examples are linked and often include worksheets that can be dowloaded.

ESL Blues
Pre-intermediate to high-intermediate level English

ESL gold
This is a free commercial site with phrases for conversation. lots of listening, speaking, reading and writing exercises, grammar explanations, ideas for teaching and links to other ESL/ESOL/ELL sites.It includes audio, pictures, handouts, and quizzes. All materials are free to ESL students and teachers, and are categorized by skill and level. ESL gold contains, for example:

For students: For teachers:

ESL Lesson Plans and Resources
A straightforward, comprehensive list of lesson plans and one of the best hypertext lists of practical, teacher-oriented ESL/ESOL/ELL resources I have seen.

ESL Loop
This is a collection of sites related to English language teaching and learning. It includes the California E-Mail Project Homepage, TESL Ontario, and Computers and English Language and Literacy Education, among others

ESL Quizzes, Lesson Plans, Activities and More

ESL Monkeys
Free English language learning materials and tools for self-study or classroom learning, including reading and writing lessons, word of the day tool, free ESL books, story room, students’ forums, school search and more.


ESL Reading for English language learners
The site includes: original and adapted versionsof classic texts, including ghost stories, adventure stories, comic stories and poems. It also has podcasts.

ESL Resource Center
Free ESL/ESOL/ELL lessons in: reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, listening, spelling and idioms a "Discovery Trail" game for learning facts and background information.

ESL Voices
An English As A Second Language (ESL) international website created for teachers students, and everyone interested in the English language. Includes information from a large number of sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and Tech Crunch. Areas covered are education, environment, technology, science, literature, politics, art, business and history.
For students ESL-Voices provides a help center where they can receive advice for challenging questions in grammar such as the active/passive voices, irregular verbs, and other common language problems. In addition there are student forums where students can meet and talk about topics of common interest. There is a library containing classic reading selections from the Gutenburg Project, and reviews of contemporary novels. Interactive word games and puzzles for practice in language skills.


  • Eva Easton Authentia American Pronounciation

    Focus English

    43 Fantastic ESL Resources for Students

    List carefully selected web sites for adult and teenage students who want to learn English online.

    Glossary of Second and Primary Language Acquisition Terms
    This is a very useful list of terms and definitions used by ESOL/ESL/ELL teachers, teacher trainers and researchers.

    Grammar for English Language Learners
    A comprehensive list of links to on-line grammar and writing sites

    Grammar Check
    A free grammar check web site. You enter a text you want to check for spelling or punctuation mistakes. The text items that may need revision are then underlined. When you select an underlined text you get possible wording alternatives, suggestions and explanations.

    Harnessing Technology
    This Web page includes common problems faced by ABE and ELL teachers in the classroom, and solutions to these problems which use technology.  The Web page is updated from time to time and, as an incentive, those who contribute problems and technology solutions have access to the most recently updated page, at a different address.

    Internet TESL Journal

    Lots of usable information for classroom teachers, including lesson plans.

    Language Games

    Language Testing Resources Website
    A great list of ESOL assessment sites

    Learning Resources
    Learning Resources offers Web-based instruction using current and past CNN San Francisco bureau news stories. Western/Pacific LINCS (part of the National Institute for Literacy's LINCS), Literacyworks, and CNN's San Francisco bureau partnered to develop an online literacy site that benefits all learners and instructors. Learning Resources' intended audience is adult learners, tutors and teachers, but learners of all ages are encouraged to use this material to promote better literacy. Modules include the full text of each story and interactive activities to test comprehension. The learner can choose to read the text, listen to the text, and view a short video clip of the story. Modules are designed so the learner can use them independently. An instructor can also incorporate a story into class activities and lesson plans. A multimedia format helps with clues, so a reader can get meaning from the text. One can read a story in full, in an abridged version, or in outline form. Students can listen to the story read aloud or watch it as a video. Afterward, they complete a series of exercises testing vocabulary and reading comprehension, and then they write their own ending. The learning experience involves many different components to assist a new reader.

    Learn English Feel Good
    Free English grammar and vocabulary exercises for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.


    Multimedia English Classroom
    This is for low intermediate to advanced learners. It has some U.K. and some U.S. material. Some of the videos are hilarious.

    National Immigration Forum
    Current information about issues of concern to teachers of immigrants, including citizenship.

    Northeast Literacy Tech
    New England Literacy Resource Center's  Using the Internet in Instruction

      Colorful Clothesline


  • A lesson created to introduce level 1 ESOL/ELL students to clothing, colors, and color patterns. Students can test their knowledge of colors and clothing. Select a category below to practice vocabulary.  Then take a quiz to test what was learned.
    Rachel's English (American Pronounciuation)
    Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab

    Real English ONLINE
    Real English Online requires registration but then offers a free subscription with authentic video interviews with ordinary English speakers, and interactive ESOL/ESL lessons for beginner, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced ESOL/ESL learners. Each video interview includes related short audio or video segments used in practice exercises.

    An alternative. which does not require registration, and includes over twenty video segments will be found at:

    REEP (ESL) Curriculum
    Arlington, Virginia Education and Employment Program (REEP) "on-line adult ESL instructional system to assist educators in enabling adult students of English to navigate U.S. systems in the 21st century.... The system consists of 9 proficiency levels ranging from low beginning to advanced. While each level is designed for 120 to 180 hours of instruction, the needs assessment component provides the flexibility needed to customize curricula for more intensive or less intensive instruction."

    REEP World

    Sounds of English
    Offers pronunciation instruction. It explains how each sound is made and offers audio and video examples with exercises.

    Study Zone
    University of Victoria, British Columbia's English Language Centre online lessons

    Talking Feather

    This is an English As A Second (or other)Language (ESOL/ESL) site with information about the American Indians (also referred to as the Original People, and Native Americans ) living in the North America, especially tribes that are located in the United States. "This site is intended for ESL teachers, students from other countries, and those people who wish to develop an understanding about the original settlers in North America. It is an educational site that includes complete lesson plans for 11 of the major tribes, and a blog that provides posts from news articles on current issues concerning American Indians. The issues cover the areas of education, politics, literature, business, music and art."

    The Internet Picture Dictionary

    USA Learns

    U.S. Citizenship Study  Pages
    Adult learners can study online for the U.S. citizenship test.  There is a $30 registration fee for students who live outside Minnesota.

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    Voice of America Learning English

    Pointers to Internet projects for learners and teachers of ESOL

    We Are New York
    WE ARE NEW YORK is an excellent, free online adult ESOL/ESL video series that is streamable and downloadable; available as a TV broadcast, at least in New York City; and in DVD format . It is also is available on YouTube. It is sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education in New York City. From the website one can download full videos and also accompanying print materials: Important Words, Study Guide, and a Low Level Reader. Magazines and scripts can also be downloaded in English and in other languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
    There are nine episodes, with the following titles: Welcome Parents, Stay in School, Love and Money, New Life Café, Asthma, No Smoking,The Wedding, Domestic Violence, and The Hospital
    English language learners can practice English using videos with subtitles.

    Web Learning Projects (Formerly Email Project)
    Includes current and completed on-line adult learning projects such as the annual Cookbook Project, the Internet Pizza Project, Home Remedies, an adult learners' annotated bibliography and others

    Return to Main page of the Literacy List

    Updated 2/21/13 by David J. Rosen