1,706 FREE ESL Essentials - What Every English Teacher Needs To Know!
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1,706 FREE ESL Essentials

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How to Create Your Own Games for ESL Classes

How to Create Your Own Games for ESL Classes

ESL Essentials
The idea of creating your own games for ESL classes might seem intimidating. After all, don’t professionals work hard to make games that people will love and want to play? And don’t t ...
2 All levels
Getting Scrappy: 7 No-prep Games That Only Need Some Scrap Paper

Getting Scrappy: 7 No-prep Games That Only Need Some Scrap Paper

ESL Essentials
Are you looking for a no-prep activity that doesn’t require special materials? Try one of these language exercises that need nothing more than some scrap paper. Try These 7 No-prep Games ...
4 All levels
United Nations: A Fantastic ESL Negotiation Exercise

United Nations: A Fantastic ESL Negotiation Exercise

ESL Essentials
A few years ago, I found the need for an ESL discussion task which was fun, flexible, suitable for almost any level, and dependent on the minimum of resources. I ended up creating United Nations, ...
2 All levels
When You Feel Like a Million Cents: How to Teach When You’re Sick

When You Feel Like a Million Cents: How to Teach When You’re Sick

ESL Essentials
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to call in sick when we need to. Employers would be understanding and compassionate, quickly reorganizing the school’s schedule around our impendi ...
5 All levels
Teaching Tone and Register: the Press Conference

Teaching Tone and Register: the Press Conference

ESL Essentials
There’s a tendency for language students, especially young learners, to seek the ‘path of least resistance’ when expressing themselves. This often results in short, choppy utter ...
2 All levels
Beyond the Basics: 5 Extra Ways to Use Your Lesson Plan

Beyond the Basics: 5 Extra Ways to Use Your Lesson Plan

ESL Essentials
One of the most interesting aspects of working with other teachers is to see how they plan their lessons. Everyone seems to have a slightly different format, their own attitude to structure, perh ...
4 All levels
Grade A+: 10 Tips for Giving Your Students Success on Tests

Grade A+: 10 Tips for Giving Your Students Success on Tests

ESL Essentials
Are your students gearing up to take the TOEFL or TOIC? Help them get ready with these simple preparation activities. Discover 10 Tips for Giving Your Students Success on Tests 1 Practic ...
3 All levels
Keeping a Rhythm: How to Maintain a Good Pace in ESL Classes

Keeping a Rhythm: How to Maintain a Good Pace in ESL Classes

ESL Essentials
Almost every book, TV show or movie has a ‘boring bit’ which you might feel you can safely skip over. The action seems to ebb for a while, or perhaps there’s a long section of b ...
4 All levels
It’s All Relative: 6 Simple Class Activities for Practicing Relative Clauses

It’s All Relative: 6 Simple Class Activities for Practicing Relative Clauses

ESL Essentials
Are you looking for some not-so-typical activities for practicing relative clauses? Try one of the following. Enjoy These 6 Simple Class Activities for Practicing Relative Clauses 1 The ...
4 All levels
‘Here, Teacher!’: 5 Fresh Ways to Take Attendance

‘Here, Teacher!’: 5 Fresh Ways to Take Attendance

ESL Essentials
I’m a big fan of routines in the classroom. They’re efficient and help speed things along, leaving more time for other things. But I sometimes find that my routines become too repetit ...
14 All levels
Riddle Me This: How to Make Fantastic Crosswords for ESL

Riddle Me This: How to Make Fantastic Crosswords for ESL

ESL Essentials
I’m a huge fan of crosswords for ESL students. They’re a quick way to practice vocabulary and spelling in a challenging, even competitive context, and my students love them. Developin ...
4 All levels
Different but Equal: Getting the Best out of Mixed-Ability Classes

Different but Equal: Getting the Best out of Mixed-Ability Classes

ESL Essentials
If you teach ESL for long enough, you’ll have to deal with the complex issue of mixed-ability classes. It’s often simply not possible to organize the students into groups of similar a ...
9 All levels
9 Things You Can Do for Your TEFL Career Today

9 Things You Can Do for Your TEFL Career Today

ESL Essentials
So you’re serious about your career in TEFL. Great! You may have already obtained your TEFL or TESOL certification. Or maybe not. You may be thinking about getting your CELTA or even DELTA. ...
7 All levels
Rank and File: How to Help ESL Students Stay Organized

Rank and File: How to Help ESL Students Stay Organized

ESL Essentials
It’s fair to say that, with the advent of affordable personal devices such as laptops and Ipads, student note-taking and organization has reached something of a crossroads. Increasingly, co ...
4 All levels
Business Basics: How to Plan a Great ESL Business Course

Business Basics: How to Plan a Great ESL Business Course

ESL Essentials
Many ESL schools and colleges have introduced Business English courses in recent years, and this growing trend has meant that ESL teachers, especially those with more experience, are adding a busi ...
8 All levels
Know When to Improvise: 5 Reasons to Throw Your Lesson Plan out the Window

Know When to Improvise: 5 Reasons to Throw Your Lesson Plan out the Window

ESL Essentials
Once you embark upon the glorious journey that is ESL teacher training (and by this I mean CELTA, DELTA or any TEFL certification), you soon discover that one of the biggest no-nos for an ESL teac ...
13 All levels
Silence Is Golden: 20 Tips on What Not to Say in Class

Silence Is Golden: 20 Tips on What Not to Say in Class

ESL Essentials
Sometimes knowing what NOT to say is more difficult than knowing what to say. That is never truer than in an ESL class. When you teach a class of mixed internationals, people from all corners of ...
10 All levels
I’m Not Buying It: Top 5 No Prep Activities Based on True or False

I’m Not Buying It: Top 5 No Prep Activities Based on True or False

ESL Essentials
True false questions are great for testing how much a student knows or remembers, but those type of questions don’t have to be just for tests. Try these simple no prep activities which are ...
4 All levels
Feed Me: How to Organize Effective Post-Practice Feedback

Feed Me: How to Organize Effective Post-Practice Feedback

ESL Essentials
Most classroom exercises, certainly in an ESL environment, conclude with feedback. This is your chance to check the students’ answers and make sure they’ve absorbed the target languag ...
13 All levels
A Little Help from My Friends: Helping Your Students Laugh and Learn Empathy

A Little Help from My Friends: Helping Your Students Laugh and Learn Empathy

ESL Essentials
How do we learn languages in the best possible way? For a long time, I’ve believed that both nature and nurture play a role, but that a successful learning experience is defined largely by ...
5 All levels
The Whole Enchilada: How to Elicit Full Sentence Answers

The Whole Enchilada: How to Elicit Full Sentence Answers

ESL Essentials
If asked, more than a handful of my students would tell you that I’m something of a pain in the behind. Why might this be? I’m a tolerant and reasonable guy, well-prepared and profess ...
7 All levels
Breaking out of the Mold: 3 Times You Shouldn’t Just Do Things the Same Old Ways

Breaking out of the Mold: 3 Times You Shouldn’t Just Do Things the Same Old Ways

ESL Essentials
Five paragraphs. Anyone who has taken a high school English class knows what five paragraphs means: an introduction, three examples, and a conclusion. The form is great for writers who are just s ...
5 All levels
9 Ways to Get the Most from Your Board

9 Ways to Get the Most from Your Board

ESL Essentials
Most new teachers I have worked with find their board a perplexing challenge. Be it black or white, it’s a ubiquitous piece of classroom furniture, but we have almost total freedom when it ...
9 All levels
Sit, Snack or Snooze? Getting the Best from Your Break Times

Sit, Snack or Snooze? Getting the Best from Your Break Times

ESL Essentials
The lesson comes to an end, and your students make their way out. Unless your employer is truly unreasonable, there will now be some kind of break, hopefully ten or fifteen minutes to recharge yo ...
3 All levels
From Boring to Bravo: Top Six Fun and Fabulous Test Preparation Activities

From Boring to Bravo: Top Six Fun and Fabulous Test Preparation Activities

ESL Essentials
For many ESL students, the thought of the TOIC or TOEFL exam is an ever present fear. The scores they achieve on those tests can make or break their educational goals, as far as they are concerne ...
4 All levels

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About ESL Essentials

ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 1,706 articles that cover essential ESL topics such as how to teach grammar, use realia, and teach young learners. There are also a lot of lesson ideas and fun activities included in the articles. This ESL article, for example, is about teaching grammar and describes five great activities. It has been given five stars by other busy teachers so it obviously has useful content. Check it out for yourself or take a look at other articles that relate better to your questions or teaching situation.

There are a lot of dos and don’ts and tips and tricks that many teachers learn through teaching.

Our ESL Essentials section will help you master the basics of teaching English and will help you start teaching like a 'pro'. Every ESL Essentials article provides clear, to-the-point instructions that can be used with the students right away.
At the moment we have 1,706 ESL Essentials.
Sometimes that is the best way to learn but the experiences of others can also help you develop your teaching skills without having to make the same mistakes. If you have a great story or activity, feel free to submit your own article so that you can share your knowledge with others. We would love to hear from you!
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