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Staff Portal » ESL Resources

ESL Resources




43 Excellent ESL Resources for Students -  This page has a collection of useful resources for students to assist their scholastic goals. - This is San José City College's extensive ESL webpage with links to a multitude of resources for ESL students. -  a free website that teachers seven levels of grammar, idioms, listening comprehension and more.
New American Horizons Foundation - This foundation aims to enhance the development of teachers through the creation of a series of training videos, Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action. Find links to their ESL Teacher Training videos here.

Back to School 2014

Ronna Magy's Presentations August 13 & 14, 2014
In Ronna's own words, "Our goal is to teach students the skills they need so they can write independently when they leave the  classroom.
By differentiating the Revision Stage from the Editing Stage in teaching the writing process, we will truly help to strengthen student writing. The Revision Stage is for building fluency-for expansion of information, revisiting organization and flow, and for adjusting of language. The Editing Stage is for building accuracy skills: spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization.
Please feel free to revise and adjust these checklist as needed to suit the language level of students involved and to help teachers focus on single rather than multiple skills at the same time."

ESL 1 

Information Gap Activity with Clocks (1st page) (Unit 2) (PDF)
Computer Basics (PDF)
Dolch Sight Words (High Frequency Words)
Low Level Activities (PDF - From Susan Gaer. Includes activities on speaking, mixers, oral presentations, graphing results reading, and writing)
Phonetics Stories Spoken and printable stories for Beginning ESL that focus on a specific sound.  Includes typing practice.


Low Level Activities (PDF - From Susan Gaer. Includes activities on speaking, mixers, oral presentations, graphing results reading, and writing)
Phonetics Stories Spoken and printable stories for Beginning ESL that focus on a specific sound.  Includes typing practice.


Adjectives Lesson Ideas (PDF - from Azar's Fun With Grammar)
Making Plans Role Play (Lesson Idea – Unit 2)
Reading Comprehension stories and activities - California Distance Learning Project From OTAN - Practice basic skills like reading and spelling using short, real-life stories on topics of interest to adults. Topics include Working, Law and Government, Family, School, Health and Safety, Housing, Money, Science and Technology, Services, Going Places, and Nature.


Dictionary Skills (PDF)
Dictionary Features (PDF)
Paragraph Writing (Unit 1)

ESL Web Resources

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
The Internet TESL Journal
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL)
Free Clip Art
More Free Clip Art
Graphic Organizers
Oxford University Press Teacher's Club (join to download free resources)
Azar Grammar (Grammar presentations, explanations and worksheets by level and topic)

ESL Party Land (Teacher resources, lessons, and ideas on teaching grammar, and more)
Paperless ESL (Tips on ways to use less paper in the ESL classroom. Timely!)

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS)


Family Literacy

Practitioner's Guide to Working with Preliterate and Beginning Literacy Level Parents in Family Literacy and Parent Involvement ProgramsThis brief guide is published by the Goodling Institute for Research in Family (Penn State College of Education).  It provides recommendations for educators, including developing cultural awareness of the population, recognizing trauma, and recommendations for instruction.

Goal Setting Activities

Goal Setting Worksheets (at bottom of page)


Perfect English Grammar - a site with many grammar resources, including explanation and exercises. 


Listening to Prepositions  Interactive listening exercises that provide simple preposition practice (in, on, at, etc., with location and with time). Multimedia presentations show how these prepositions are used. Practice exercises included.

Listening Practice  

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab - This free website has listening practice for Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced students. Students choose a level of difficulty (Easy, Medium, or Difficult), choose a topic, and listen to the conversation.  Then they take a short quiz to see how much they understood. Although the teacher can't monitor their progress, this is a great resource for students to practice on their own - post it to your teacher webpage!
Mark Kulek's YouTube Channel for ESL Listening practice - this channel has many videos for lower level ESL students to practice listening and repeating English phrases. 


Adult Phonetics Stories

 Spoken and printable stories for Beginning ESL that focus on a specific sound.  Includes typing practice.


Many Things American English Pronunciation Practice for ESL/EFL This page has links to many pronunciation activities that students can do on their own (minimal pairs practice and quizzes, listen and repeat videos, songs and poems, tongue twisters, pronunciation videos, etc.)



Easy to Read Online News

News For You Online This interactive site uses real news articles to help students learn to read, write, speak, and understand English. Articles include audio, exercises, vocabulary, a crossword puzzle, and a poll.
NewsELA This online news site has current news articles on different topics, written at 5 different Lexile levels. Learn more about ways to use the site at

Online Reading and Vocabulary Practice

WonderopolisThis site poses a Wonder of the Day, on an interesting topic. Each topic includes a brief video, an article with vocabulary words underlined and defined, and a recording of the text that highlights each sentence as it’s being read. It’s appropriate for kids and adults (Level 3 and above ESL students).

Fluency Tips

A free website with short posts on topics related to fluency and U.S. culture (e.g., what not to say at a job interview, how to give advice without sounding rude, Idiomatic Expressions, etc.).  Level 3 and above.  

Health Literacy

Nutrition, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure Interactive exercises that provide practice in 3 areas: Understanding food and reading a nutrition label, understanding basic information about diabetes, and basic information about high blood pressure. Spoken and printable introductions in English, Arabic, Hmong, Somali and Spanish.

Medicine Labels and Warnings  Interactive exercises that provide practice in 4 skill areas: reading a prescription medicine label, reading an over-the-counter OTC medicine label, reading special warning labels and information about side effects. Spoken and printable introductions in English, Arabic, Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
Health Literacy Resources for ESL This page from Fremont Adult and Continuing Education has a variety of health-related resources for beginning, intermediate and advanced level ESL.


 Earthquakes - The Great California Shakeout



Writing Dena resource from Act-Den (Digital Education Network) designed for Grades 6-12 (but with material appropriate for Intermediate or Advanced ESL) that focuses on English reading, comprehension, and writing skills. It has a section with tips on writing sentences, paragraphs, and essays.
Make Beliefs Comix - A fun site where students can create their own comic strips, using pre-designed characters, scenes, talk and thought balloons.  A fun way for students to practice vocabulary, collaborate on creative writing assignments, create dialogues, etc. The site includes a section on teacher resources.
Perdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)Contains many ESL writing resources for students and teachers.

ESL Beginning Literacy Course Outline

ESL Beginning Low Course Outline

Multi-Level Beginning ESL/CBET/Using Computers and the Internet Course Outline

ESL Beginning High Course Outline

ESL Multi-Level Course Outline

ESL Intermediate Low Course Outline

ESL Intermediate High A Course Outline

ESL Intermediate High B Course Outline


ESL Basic Computer Literacy (Multi-Level Intermediate to Advanced) Course Outline

ESL Advanced Low Course Outline

FREE ESL Conversation Groups at Public Library branches

The ESL Writing Process: Practice, Polish, Publish by Jamie Adelson-Goldstein

Here's a link to a recording of the 54-minute webinar that Jamie Adelson-Goldstein gave on 4/24/13. Focused on pre-writing tasks, writing models and prompts that are meaningful for adults, and editing exercises and instructor feedback that help learners polish their work.