Here is a compilation of 18 free (and freemium) ELT resource websites for teachers – from video lessons, to exam preparation, business English and more. We hope that this list will help you find the lesson plans and materials you need to deliver top-notch classes.
This article is part of our regular series on teaching English.
Aimed at teachers of English as a second language, we aim to showcase the best resources for teaching and learning English.
Check out Linguabanca’s own free downloadable vocabulary worksheets or read our review of the best (and worst) mobile phone apps for English learners.
Lessons based on film and video
1. Lesson Stream – video-based ELT classes
Lesson Stream by Jamie Keddie is an award-winning video-based ELT resource website for teachers looking to step away from the course book. Full of engaging multi-level lesson plans and supporting worksheets, Lesson Stream is a great way to improve engagement and add variety to your English language classes.
Find it here: Lesson Stream
Jamie also has a new project and book, which can be found at Videotelling.com
2. Film English – English classes based on short films
Kieran Donaghy’s Film English is another award-winning TEFL website, providing dozens of interesting ESL classes. Kieran’s love of film is clear in these well thought out lesson plans, designed for a range of abilities. Definitely check it out if you want to mix up your classes with movies.
Find it here: Film English
3. TED Ed – lesson plans based on TED videos
Explore a range of interesting lesson plans based on TED talks and create and submit your own plans, if the mood takes you.
As a fan of authentic materials in the classroom, I can’t recommend this resource highly enough.
Find it here: TED Ed.
Resources and information for ELT teachers
4. Grammar girl – a fun grammar resource site
This website, from Mignon Fogarty, makes grammar fun, which is no mean feat. As much a resource for teachers as it is for language learners, Grammar Girl outlines the strange and sometimes complex world of English grammar. It’s definitely one to bookmark and explore at your leisure.
Find it here: Grammar Girl
5. Guardian TEFL – articles and insights from a national newspaper
The Guardian is a national newspaper in the UK and has a large education section. Included is a comprehensive TEFL section, which is certainly well worth bookmarking if you’re interested in keeping up with the latest news and events in our industry.
Find it here: The Guardian TEFL
Lesson Plans Based on Current Events
6. One Stop English – from Lindsay Clandfield
One Stop English has a number of free and paid resources for ELT teachers. The Guardian news lessons are a favourite of many teachers, as they use authentic articles from the newspaper and focus on topical stories for a range of abilities. If you don’t want to pay for a subscription yourself, bug your director of studies to purchase an account for your school.
Find it here: One Stop English
7. Breaking News English – by Sean Banville
Boasting literally thousands of lesson plans for English teachers, Sean Banville’s site is a must. Each plan focuses on up-to-the-minute news stories and provides a topical focus for your classes.
Find it here: Breaking News English
General Resource Websites
8. BBC Learning English
This is a huge and indispensable resource for teachers and students. With games, lessons, videos, news and more, it is not only a good source of lesson materials for teachers, but a help for students who want to learn English in their own free time.
Find it here: BBC Learning English
9. Dave’s ESL Cafe
Still going strong after many years, Dave’s ESL Cafe has a wealth of resources and information for teachers, as well as a range of lessons plans, tips and advice. The message boards are a good source of information – if you can navigate the labyrinthine threads which go back well over a decade.
Find it here: Dave’s ESL Cafe
10. Busy Teacher
Another gargantuan resource website, Busy Teacher has thousands of printables, worksheets and lesson plans. It’s a top destination for last-minute substitute classes and for when you’re running late! The classes are designed for multiple levels.
Find it here: Busy Teacher
Exam resource Websites
11. Cambridge English Teacher Resources
Cambridge’s website is another top-level site for teachers. Similar to the BBC’s offering, you can find a whole range of different activity types, exam practice for all Cambridge levels and other useful resources.
Find it here: Cambridge English Teacher Resources
12. Flo-Joe – Cambridge exam resources
Self-described as “THE place on the web for Cambridge exam preparation” – it is a great go-to website for teachers running exam courses. With contemporary materials and resources available from the KET to CPE and IELTS, you should bookmark it now.
Find it here: Flo-Joe
13. Easy ISE
This is a helpful website for students and teachers of the Oxford Trinity language exams. The website offers both free and paid resources, and it’s well worth looking into to refresh your knowledge of the exam.
Find it here: Easy ISE
14. Trinity ISE
Trinity College’s own website is also full of useful reference material and guides for teachers and students of the Trinity exams.
Find it here: Trinity College
Business English Resources
15. Business Balls
Though not specifically designed for business English lessons, Business Balls has a number of resources for professional training, which can be easily adapted to suit your classes.
Find it here: Business Balls
16. Business English Materials – Sean Banville
This is another site from Sean Banville. It’s a great resource bank with 102 Handouts, downloadable listening materials, and online quizzes for business English students.
Find it here: Business English Materials
17. Randall’s ESL Lab
If you can get over its very Web 1.0, 1998 looks, Randall’s ESL Labs is full of great listening resources. Beauty, as they say, is only skin deep and Randall is certainly providing teachers with valuable content for their classes.
Find it here: Randall’s ESL Lab
18. Podcasts in English
This is a freemium site, allowing students to listen to podcasts for free. However, only members can access the worksheets and transcripts.
Find it here: Podcasts in English
George has very humbly missed out his own website, designerlessons.org , another great resource for ELT lesson plans. Check it out!
Got a suggestion?
Let us know if you have any other favourite TEFL resource websites of your own!