This “companion” post will share a list of my favorite free resource sites for teachers of English Language Learners, including – but not limited to – bloggers. They aren’t listed in any particular order, though – I’ve found, and continue to find, all of them very useful!
The Internet is awash in these kinds of sites. The question is, as the saying goes, how do you distinguish between the “signal and the noise”?
For me, the criteria includes:
- Are most, if not all, of the offered resources/materials/advice free?
- Have they clearly been “teacher-and-student-tested” in the classroom?
- Do the resources/materials/advice require minimal “teacher prep time”?
If the answer is “yes” to all three of those questions, then the blog or resource site has a chance to be on this list…
Here are my choices:
Of course, the Teaching English – British Council Facebook page and the Teaching English British Council website have to be on this list, and not just because they are publishing this post! Most teachers of English throughout the world are familiar with the incredible amount of teacher tips and resources they offer, plus they do a great job of “networking” by connecting teachers to each other and sharing their work.
- The iSLCollective not only has what seems to me to be an unlimited (okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration) number of useful worksheets for any English topic, but also an enormous number of interactive videos teachers can play in the classroom or assign as homework (teachers can create “virtual classroom” to keep track of student progress).
- ELTpics is an exceptional site where teachers share images for use in the classroom and how to use them.
- There are two excellent ongoing “chats” for English teachers that take place on Twitter - #ELLChat and #ELTChat. Not only are they great places to connect with colleagues around the world, their archives offer a wealth of resources.
- Humanising Language Teaching is my favorite journal for teaching English. Each issue – free and online – provides a cornucopia of useful ideas and concepts.
- The #EllChat_BkClub is a “slow book chat” on Twitter led by Katie Toppel and Tan Huynh. Teachers of ELLs choose a book and then, over a period of weeks, respond when they can to various discussion questions. It’s a wonderful professional development opportunity.
It’s always a bit tricky when it comes to sharing my favorite teacher blogs. So many great teachers post infrequently, and those lack of posts give me pause in my recommendations. So here is an incomplete list of English educators who blog regularly (and who have done so for a lengthy period of time) and who I highly recommend:
- Nik Peachey has several sites and I particularly like his Scoop.It! page
- Kieran Donaghy's FilmEnglish
This is an admittedly incomplete list, and I hope you view it as a starting – and not as an end – point. Let me know what you think should be added!
Larry Ferlazzo teaches English and Social Studies at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California. He has written nine books on education, include four on teaching English Language Learners, writes a teacher advice blog for Education Week Teacher, and has his own popular resource-sharing blog.