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1,493 FREE ESL Essentials

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ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 1,493 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 1,493 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!

Recently added worksheets in ESL Essentials:

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It’s One of the Hardest Pieces of English, and It’s As Easy As One, Two, Three: Are You Helping Your Students with This Important Language Element?

It’s One of the Hardest Pieces of English, and It’s As Easy As One, Two, Three: Are You Helping Your Students with This Important Language Element?

ESL Essentials
Numbers! They are one of the first things children learn, and we use them every day. Why then are they so difficult for ESL students to master? Perhaps using numbers correctly and fluently is a s ...
3 All levels
Language Cops in the Classroom? How To Set Up a Classroom Crime Scene (and 8 Language Activities You Can Do with It)

Language Cops in the Classroom? How To Set Up a Classroom Crime Scene (and 8 Language Activities You Can Do with It)

ESL Essentials
As a teacher, I am always looking for creative and memorable ways to teach language concepts to my students. Every year I try to include at least one large scale language lesson. It might be the ...
5 All levels
Tested Out: 5 Alternative Assessments for Your ESL Classroom

Tested Out: 5 Alternative Assessments for Your ESL Classroom

ESL Essentials
Not every student performs best with a traditional paper and pencil test. How can you get those low-performing students to show what they really know? Here are five alternative assessments that y ...
2 All levels
How Do You Feel About That? Teaching Students to Express Intensity

How Do You Feel About That? Teaching Students to Express Intensity

ESL Essentials
We all have opinions about things, and some of our opinions and feelings are stronger than others. That’s why teaching about intensity is good for your ESL students. When your students can ...
3 All levels
10 August Themed Language Building Activities

10 August Themed Language Building Activities

ESL Essentials
August is here, and many students are heading back to school after a fun filled summer. Use the following August themed activities to get your ESL students back in the groove of language learning ...
3 All levels
Should You Have Television in Class? 6 Reasons You Should Turn on the TV (and How To Make It Productive for Your Students)

Should You Have Television in Class? 6 Reasons You Should Turn on the TV (and How To Make It Productive for Your Students)

ESL Essentials
Television gets a bad rap in a lot of educational settings these days. It’s a brain drain, intellectual rot, a waste of time, and the source of all corruption in young people today, some sa ...
2 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: What Can I Do to Reduce the Stress of Teaching?

ESL Teachers Ask: What Can I Do to Reduce the Stress of Teaching?

ESL Essentials
“This has been a very rough year for me. I started the school year full of excitement and anticipation, but now I’m ending it totally burned out. Lesson plans, report cards, staff meet ...
6 All levels
Getting Conditional with IF and UNLESS: How to Make Sure Your Students Have It Straight

Getting Conditional with IF and UNLESS: How to Make Sure Your Students Have It Straight

ESL Essentials
Conditional sentences can be confusing for ESL students. After all, these sentences are talking about imaginary situations and imaginary outcomes. How does a person get tangible lessons into the ...
4 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Evaluate If My Lesson Was a Success?

ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Evaluate If My Lesson Was a Success?

ESL Essentials
 “I can tell when I’ve taught a particularly good lesson or if a class was a complete disaster, in general terms. But is there a more specific way to evaluate the success of a les ...
9 All levels
Can/Could? Will/Would? How To Teach Your Students The Difference (A Quick And Simple Summary)

Can/Could? Will/Would? How To Teach Your Students The Difference (A Quick And Simple Summary)

ESL Essentials
Modals, modals everywhere, and how do I keep them straight? This might just be what your ESL students are asking themselves. With so many modals with small nuances of meaning, things can get conf ...
6 All levels
From Conversational to Academic: Moving from “He Was All Like…” to “According to the Author…”

From Conversational to Academic: Moving from “He Was All Like…” to “According to the Author…”

ESL Essentials
I am sometimes, while reading student essays, moving along fairly smoothly, and then I’ll be hit with something like “He was all like…And then I was all like…” (to ...
3 All levels
Are Your Students Suffering From Conditional Confusion? 4 Simple Steps To Explain The 4 Types Of English Conditionals

Are Your Students Suffering From Conditional Confusion? 4 Simple Steps To Explain The 4 Types Of English Conditionals

ESL Essentials
Conditionals can be confusing for ESL students. Since they talk about real and unreal pasts, presents, and futures, sentences get complicated quickly. If you are ready to introduce your students ...
6 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Make Class More of a Pleasure and Less of a Chore for Students?

ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Make Class More of a Pleasure and Less of a Chore for Students?

ESL Essentials
“Most of my students come to class because they ‘have to’. They ‘have to’ study English because their parents make them or because they need it for work. They see lea ...
4 All levels
Get Passive Aggressive: 5 Easy Activities for Practicing Passive Voice

Get Passive Aggressive: 5 Easy Activities for Practicing Passive Voice

ESL Essentials
In school, most of us were instructed to avoid the passive voice whenever possible. We were told that active sentences are more descriptive, more interesting, better choices for our writing. And ...
5 All levels
What Do Kids and Grammar Have in Common? You’ll Find Out with These 4 Busy Teacher Tips for Teaching Grammar to Children

What Do Kids and Grammar Have in Common? You’ll Find Out with These 4 Busy Teacher Tips for Teaching Grammar to Children

ESL Essentials
When you walk into your ESL classroom, do you see a bunch of cherubic little faces staring back at you? Teaching ESL is a calling, and teaching ESL to young children is a calling even fewer answe ...
4 All levels
The Best of Busy Teacher: Top 10 Print and Go Games

The Best of Busy Teacher: Top 10 Print and Go Games

ESL Essentials
Do you like to include games in your ESL classes? No doubt your students love playing them. The following ten games are the top voted print and go games by busy teachers like yourself. They cover ...
5 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Make My ESL Classes More Dynamic?

ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Make My ESL Classes More Dynamic?

ESL Essentials
“I teach everything I’m supposed to teach in class, but I’d like to make my classes more dynamic. Do you have any tips or advice?” * This question brings up a great point. ...
6 All levels
Running Dry? Make Your ESL Lessons Irresistible with These Ideas to Boost Your Creativity

Running Dry? Make Your ESL Lessons Irresistible with These Ideas to Boost Your Creativity

ESL Essentials
Do you ever feel like you are running dry on creative ideas? That happens to all of us from time to time, and it certainly is a shame when it does. After all, great lessons thrive on creative ide ...
2 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: Are Native English Speakers Better Teachers Than Non-Native Speakers?

ESL Teachers Ask: Are Native English Speakers Better Teachers Than Non-Native Speakers?

ESL Essentials
“I’m a non-native ESL teacher, and I’m afraid I’m at a disadvantage when compared to native English speakers. Do you think native English speakers are better teachers than ...
11 All levels
Are You Doing It Right? 6 Quick Tips on Teaching Continuous Tenses

Are You Doing It Right? 6 Quick Tips on Teaching Continuous Tenses

ESL Essentials
Are you thinking about teaching continuous/progressive tenses? Are you looking at your lesson plans and not sure exactly how to tackle the subject? Are you simply wishing you could take a differe ...
3 All levels
Key Reading and Writing Experiences: Getting a Literacy Biography

Key Reading and Writing Experiences: Getting a Literacy Biography

ESL Essentials
Apply These Ideas for Literacy Biography  Writing 1 What What is a literacy biography? It is, like most biographies, a chronological discussion of the author’s life, or some as ...
2 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Increase Student Engagement?

ESL Teachers Ask: How Can I Increase Student Engagement?

ESL Essentials
“I have a group of very nice, polite adult learners, who meet the basic requirements for the course, but I would love it if they would participate more actively and with greater enthusiasm. ...
14 All levels
ESL Teachers Ask: How Do I Become a More Effective Teacher?

ESL Teachers Ask: How Do I Become a More Effective Teacher?

ESL Essentials
“Sometimes I feel my students could be learning a lot faster. They would accomplish a lot more if only I could guide them better towards increased English fluency. What can I do to become a ...
5 All levels
Top 4 Tools Your Students Need to Really Understand What They Read

Top 4 Tools Your Students Need to Really Understand What They Read

ESL Essentials
How well do your students read? Do they use good pronunciation and read with fluency? Are they quick to go through the words on the page and finish long before the other members of the class? Not ...
5 All levels
Knowing This Now Might Make All the Difference in Your Classroom: How to Assess Your Students’ Learning Styles (and Then Teach to Them!)

Knowing This Now Might Make All the Difference in Your Classroom: How to Assess Your Students’ Learning Styles (and Then Teach to Them!)

ESL Essentials
Have you ever taught a lesson and walked away just feeling like some students weren’t getting it? In fact, have you ever had a student who just didn’t seem to connect to the way you w ...
12 All levels

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