2,105 FREE ESL Essentials - What Every English Teacher Needs To Know!
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ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 2,105 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 2,105 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
View our latest knowledgebase articles that will help you become a better English teacher. Learn from professional teachers and put a bit of your own creativity into it!
  1. 6 Ways to Use Google Maps and Smartphones in Your Classroom
  2. Dealing with Difficult Students
  3. You've Got Talent! Using Talent Shows to Learn English
  4. Talking Heads: Role-Play Using Masks
  5. What's Math Got To Do With It? 5 Strategies to Connect Math and ESL
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6 Ways to Use Google Maps and Smartphones in Your Classroom

6 Ways to Use Google Maps and Smartphones in Your Classroom

•ESL Essentials
With Google maps and Street View you can get your students to explore the world without ever leaving the classroom.  Here are some ways you can incorporate the technology into your lessons. ...
Views 143 All
Dealing with Difficult Students

Dealing with Difficult Students

•ESL Essentials
At times, we all encounter students who we find it difficult to deal with. It's easy to let those students get to you, but we have some tips to help you handle the students before they get the bes ...
Views 3,954
You've Got Talent! Using Talent Shows to Learn English

You've Got Talent! Using Talent Shows to Learn English

•ESL Essentials
We’ve all seen "America’s got Talent," "Britain’s got Talent,” or one of the many talent shows that appear on television or have viral clips on YouTube these days. But have ...
Views 5,396 ElemInt
Talking Heads: Role-Play Using Masks

Talking Heads: Role-Play Using Masks

•ESL Essentials
Role-play activities are a fun way for students to practice vital speaking skills. Give students some masks and assign them characters to play and they can "be" someone else while practicing the ...
Views 6,020 ElemInt
What's Math Got To Do With It? 5 Strategies to Connect Math and ESL

What's Math Got To Do With It? 5 Strategies to Connect Math and ESL

•ESL Essentials
Try these strategies to help students learn to speak the language of math in English. It has been said that math is a universal language. Whether you’re in China, Brazil, or the United Stat ...
Views 7,971
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Mini Whiteboards: Old Fashioned Technology That Works Perfectly Today

Mini Whiteboards: Old Fashioned Technology That Works Perfectly Today

•ESL Essentials
A few weeks ago, I spent ages setting up https://getkahoot.com/ so my students could interact with an interactive whiteboard using their phones. It’s awesome, fun technology that engages th ...
Views 9,518 All
Teaching Using Anecdotes and Stories

Teaching Using Anecdotes and Stories

•ESL Essentials
An anecdote (to quote OALD) is ‘a short, interesting or amusing story about a real person or event’. They are a great way of learning English, they are fun, entertaining and whether y ...
Views 8,319 All
8 Instant No Resource Warmers and Fillers

8 Instant No Resource Warmers and Fillers

•ESL Essentials
Finished all the material for your class and have ten minutes left to spare? Need a warmer to fill up the first ten minutes and get your class engaged? Sometimes the old tricks are the best and ...
Views 13,892 All
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 6,176 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 4,596 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 6,412 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 6,972 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 4,534 All
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 10,079 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 2,844 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 4,194 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 4,737 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 10,343 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 3,906 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 30,209 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 4,984 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 6,344 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 5,947 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 15,517 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 4,988 All

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