If you’re new to the ESL teaching world- welcome! This is the start of an exciting journey, get ready to learn all about the delights of teaching English as a Foreign Language. The amount of growth that awaits you in your first weeks, months, and years is truly mind-blowing.
But, before you start feeling overwhelmed about where to start, there are plenty of sources available that can help support you grow into an outstanding ESL teacher.
Don’t reinvent the wheel….instead, you can learn more about the resources that experienced teachers have tried and tested along their career paths.
To help you on your way, here’s my guide to ESL resources for budding ESL teachers.
- Learning resources online
- Games and activities
- Getting organized
- The main resource
1. Learning resources online
Some schools will be great at providing tailored ESL teaching materials for teachers to use, but others may leave it up to you to plan the content for your lessons.
There are hundreds of online resources to help you out here
For young learners check out the International Children’s Digital Library for books and The British Council website for songs and videos. Anglomaniacy also has some super resources and games for young learners.
2. Games and activities
Games are a useful tool, especially if you’re teaching kids and teens. They can even be used to liven up online lessons.
Once you get a few games in rotation, your students will enjoy playing them again and again, and you can always adapt them to suit new learning purposes. They can have real learning benefits for your students, plus they’re plenty of fun!
Classics like hangman, Taboo, Pictionary, Kim’s Game, and Categories all require minimal equipment and are simple to explain. Online games can be useful too.
3. Getting organized
Creating your lessons on word etc is a great idea this will allow you to save yourself time if/when you need to reuse them.
Trello boards can be a great way to plan out the school term and keep track of your classes and learning goals.
And Class Dojo can help you keep in touch with parents easily (the message translation tool is especially handy for ESL teachers), and give your students feedback.
Alternatively, you can use physical resources as well, such as a weekly calendar, watch, a well-organized locker, or even stationary supplies.
4. The main resource
The main resource for all ESL teachers is other teachers whether this is face-to-face or online. Chatting with other teachers is invaluable- inevitably they will have taught the lesson before, come across the same issues.
Social media can be a great place to turn for support, advice or just to speak to like-minded educators through online communities. Just be wary- do not mention schools, teachers, parents, or students by name, and be mindful of being always professional.
Joining Facebook groups and/or following Twitter hashtags enables you to follow discussions. We recommend #tinyvoicetuesday for tips and advice, #edutwitter for news, #teacher5oclockclub, #teachertwitter and #twitterstaffroom for chat, and #planningshoutout for lesson plans and resources.
There are also plenty of ESL groups for teachers in specific countries or cities around the world, providing local information, advice, and even meet-ups for the local teaching community.