2,098 FREE ESL Essentials - What Every English Teacher Needs To Know!
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ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 2,098 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 2,098 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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ESL Articles
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The Illiterate Teacher: First Hand Tips for Navigating a Culture That Doesn’t Speak English

The Illiterate Teacher: First Hand Tips for Navigating a Culture That Doesn’t Speak English

•ESL Essentials
Have you ever been illiterate? That’s a crazy question, you might think. How on earth would I be reading a blog if I couldn’t read? It’s easier than you think. After completing ...
Views 2,186 All
Packing for an Overseas Classroom: Five Things You Should Make Room to Pack

Packing for an Overseas Classroom: Five Things You Should Make Room to Pack

•ESL Essentials
I will never forget lugging a briefcase packed with teaching books, seriously the thing must have weighed fifty pounds, through the airport in Newark, NJ to LAX to Tokyo to Shanghai to Beijing. I ...
Views 1,686 All
What Do Beer and Vocabulary Have in Common? Teacher Trusted Tips for Making ESL Class Practical for Career Professionals

What Do Beer and Vocabulary Have in Common? Teacher Trusted Tips for Making ESL Class Practical for Career Professionals

•ESL Essentials
How many years have you been teaching? If you’re in your first or second year, you probably remember a lot of what you have done in the classroom. Everything is fresh and new. But picture y ...
Views 3,206 All
Blessed Are the Flexible: Five Productive Activities for Unprepared Students

Blessed Are the Flexible: Five Productive Activities for Unprepared Students

•ESL Essentials
Teaching ESL isn’t your average, everyday teaching kind of gig. When someone is a math teacher, for example, you probably picture them in front of a classroom full of twenty to thirty stude ...
Views 3,247 All
9 Ways to Develop as a Listening Teacher

9 Ways to Develop as a Listening Teacher

•ESL Essentials
Professional development refers to the various ways people can improve their skills and knowledge related to their field of expertise. In ELT, there are numerous options for pursuing professional ...
Views 2,179 All
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How to Talk to Your Students: Ten Tips from a Retiring ESL Professional

How to Talk to Your Students: Ten Tips from a Retiring ESL Professional

•ESL Essentials
I’ve heard it said that teachers never truly retire. The lessons of their profession lends themselves to so many others walks of life, and emerges in such a variety of ways, that they remai ...
Views 6,295 All
Flashpoint: The South China Sea

Flashpoint: The South China Sea

•ESL Essentials
An in-depth foreign policy class for Advanced ESL learners John Lennon begins one of his 1967 masterpieces with, “I read the news today, oh boy…” If you have a TV, or internet ...
Views 1,712 All
This Is What Democracy Looks Like: An ESL Class on Protest Culture

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: An ESL Class on Protest Culture

•ESL Essentials
I knew it was a bit risky, but I did it anyway. After greeting my class one Friday morning, I wrote on the board, in large letters: What are you angry about? My current class is a young, advance ...
Views 2,890 All
An Orange on the Desk and Slippers at the Door: What to Do When You Encounter Cultural Differences

An Orange on the Desk and Slippers at the Door: What to Do When You Encounter Cultural Differences

•ESL Essentials
Everybody knows people in China don’t wear shoes in the house, don’t they? I knew it before I went overseas to teach, so it wasn’t a surprise to me when I saw it in person. Gran ...
Views 3,413 All
3 Instant and Emergency Classes with (Almost) No Resources

3 Instant and Emergency Classes with (Almost) No Resources

•ESL Essentials
Every teacher has a situation where they have nothing prepared to teach. You may have been asked to cover a lesson at short notice, there may be an emergency, your new born baby kept you awake al ...
Views 7,719 All
Getting the Year in Place: Six Things to Think about Before the First Day

Getting the Year in Place: Six Things to Think about Before the First Day

•ESL Essentials
I walked into an empty classroom. A teacher desk sat at the front of the room with twelve student desks before it. The walls were blank, intimidating white canvases, the bulletin boards brown one ...
Views 2,763 All
Ten Easy Homework Tasks to Set

Ten Easy Homework Tasks to Set

•ESL Essentials
Homework doesn’t always have to be something that a teacher has to mark or that students hate doing. Used correctly, it’s the springboard to a great class with students doing most of ...
Views 28,109 All
Pushy Parents: How to Help Your Students When the Parents Are the Real Challenge

Pushy Parents: How to Help Your Students When the Parents Are the Real Challenge

•ESL Essentials
Have you heard the term “canned essay?” I remember learning about them in my foreign language testing methods class back in grad school. We were talking about standardized testing. My ...
Views 4,120 All
Oh No! I Forgot the Bulletin Boards: Four Tricks to Using Your Bulletin Boards for Good (without Causing Yourself Stress)

Oh No! I Forgot the Bulletin Boards: Four Tricks to Using Your Bulletin Boards for Good (without Causing Yourself Stress)

•ESL Essentials
I had it all planned out. Every month a new theme, and with every new theme a new bulletin board. Not only would my students be fluent in English in no time, but our classroom would be a happy, w ...
Views 5,615 All
Read It, Don’t Weep: Four Tips for Using Scaffolding in Reading Class

Read It, Don’t Weep: Four Tips for Using Scaffolding in Reading Class

•ESL Essentials
What do window washers, construction workers, and teachers have in common? They all use scaffolding. I’ve talked about how scaffolding in ESL class is like scaffolding in construction class ...
Views 5,153 All
Reaching the Unreachable, Motivating the Unmotivated: 8 Ideas to Find Better Ways to Connect with Your Students

Reaching the Unreachable, Motivating the Unmotivated: 8 Ideas to Find Better Ways to Connect with Your Students

•ESL Essentials
Back in the dim and distant past, I used to be a performer with the English Teaching Theatre, a company that did stage shows for learners of English all over the world. I learned a lot from worki ...
Views 14,281 All
When Coffee Talk Is Off the Table: Tips for Communicating with Non-English Speaking Parents

When Coffee Talk Is Off the Table: Tips for Communicating with Non-English Speaking Parents

•ESL Essentials
Have you ever been stressed as a teacher? No, not you! Stress? Well, if you’re like me you may have had one or two isolated instances of stress in your teaching career. Here was one of my ...
Views 4,251 All
Share and Share Alike: How to Class Share to Get Students Ready for Mainstreaming

Share and Share Alike: How to Class Share to Get Students Ready for Mainstreaming

•ESL Essentials
When I taught overseas, the expectation was that each of my elementary ESL students would be mainstreamed after one school year. Depending on where you teach, your administration may have differe ...
Views 2,600 All
ADHD in the ESL Classroom: Practical Tips for the ESL Teacher

ADHD in the ESL Classroom: Practical Tips for the ESL Teacher

•ESL Essentials
I’ll never forget Paul. He was one of the most charming kids in my elementary ESL class and also one of the most challenging. He was a third grader at the time, and I was an inexperienced t ...
Views 4,773 All
Teaching with How-to Videos: Adapting Authentic Tutorials into Listening Lessons

Teaching with How-to Videos: Adapting Authentic Tutorials into Listening Lessons

•ESL Essentials
Practical, “how-to” tutorials are everywhere on the Internet. YouTube, as well as websites such as wikihow.com, instructables.com, and soyouwanna.com, have an incredible assortment of ...
Views 11,107 All
Flashpoint: An ESL Class on ‘Cold War 2.0’

Flashpoint: An ESL Class on ‘Cold War 2.0’

•ESL Essentials
There’s something very familiar, and very scary, about the tone of the news at the moment. It took me a while to pin it down, but then I remembered where I’d first heard these worries ...
Views 4,587 All
Flashpoint Korea: An ESL Class on the Korean Conflict

Flashpoint Korea: An ESL Class on the Korean Conflict

•ESL Essentials
I walked straight into the classroom and announced, “I’m thinking of a country. Ask me questions, and figure out which country I’m thinking of.” We quite often begin class ...
Views 3,828 All
Classroom of Dread: Get Your Students Pulse Thumping with These Six Speaking Activities

Classroom of Dread: Get Your Students Pulse Thumping with These Six Speaking Activities

•ESL Essentials
Halloween is not exactly around the corner. But you don’t have to put spooky language learning on the backburner and wait to embrace this holiday. Here are six great speaking activities you ...
Views 7,656 All
Beyond Counting: An ESL Class on Population Change

Beyond Counting: An ESL Class on Population Change

•ESL Essentials
The old adage reminds us that, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Well, that sounds true enough, but I’ve always thought we were selling oursel ...
Views 3,101 All
Playing in the Mud: An ESL Class on Cheating in Sport

Playing in the Mud: An ESL Class on Cheating in Sport

•ESL Essentials
How often do you put your pedagogical beliefs to the test? A few weeks ago, I found myself dragged into an online discussion related to an article which claimed that a teacher’s responsibil ...
Views 6,471 All

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