1,761 FREE ESL Essentials - What Every English Teacher Needs To Know!
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ESL Essentials for Busy Teachers
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1,761 FREE ESL Essentials

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Getting Ready for Page One: 9 Things You Can Do Before Your Students Read

Getting Ready for Page One: 9 Things You Can Do Before Your Students Read

ESL Essentials
Don’t lead your ESL students into page-one panic. Help them get ready to read that long or longer passage with one of these nine pre-reading strategies. They won’t take a lot of effor ...
5 All levels
The Best Things Come in Small Packages: 9 Best Reasons to Teach a Small Class

The Best Things Come in Small Packages: 9 Best Reasons to Teach a Small Class

ESL Essentials
I’ve never really been able to determine my own class size, and I think that’s pretty typical among ESL teachers. Some classes have been larger, and others smaller, but all of them ha ...
3 All levels
Once the Book Is Closed: 9 Follow-up Activities for Reading Passages

Once the Book Is Closed: 9 Follow-up Activities for Reading Passages

ESL Essentials
We all know how important it is to get our students ready to read. If we don’t prepare them for what they will find between the pages, their comprehension will decrease and their stress wil ...
5 All levels
10 Ways to Make Your Lesson Planning Easier by Using Worksheets in Class

10 Ways to Make Your Lesson Planning Easier by Using Worksheets in Class

ESL Essentials
When it comes to worksheets, opinions run the gamut. Some teachers love them and use them in class and for homework every day. Other teachers are not so keen on copies, and they prefer to use mor ...
4 All levels
Choose Your Own Vocabulary: 3 Simple Ways to Give Students Input on What They Learn

Choose Your Own Vocabulary: 3 Simple Ways to Give Students Input on What They Learn

ESL Essentials
Vocabulary is one of the most useful parts of the English language. Even if someone knows all the rules of pronunciation and grammar, without knowing what individual words mean, they will not be ...
3 All levels
Yet and Already: 7 Classroom Activities for ESL Students

Yet and Already: 7 Classroom Activities for ESL Students

ESL Essentials
Are we there yet? Have you already finished? Yet and already are words that can be confusing to ESL students, and it’s worth spending some class time practicing them. Already refers to even ...
3 All levels
Phonics in a Flash: 4 Simple Ways to Use Flashcards When Teaching Phonics

Phonics in a Flash: 4 Simple Ways to Use Flashcards When Teaching Phonics

ESL Essentials
How can ghoti spell fish? The sometimes crazy rules of English phonics make it possible. This classic example combines gh as in enough, o as in women, and ti as in nation to creatively spell the ...
2 All levels
Top 9 Ways to Use Podcasts in the ESL Classroom

Top 9 Ways to Use Podcasts in the ESL Classroom

ESL Essentials
If you don’t use podcasts in your ESL lessons, you don’t know what you’re missing. Here is what you need to know to get started with this great resource for ESL teachers and stu ...
2 All levels
Show It Off! How to Pull off the Perfect Class Exhibit

Show It Off! How to Pull off the Perfect Class Exhibit

ESL Essentials
Teaching children can be wonderfully rewarding. They learn by leaps and bounds, and we are often very proud of our young ESL learners’ achievements. But just as rewarding is to be able to s ...
2 All levels
Cultural Kids: 5 Classroom Activities That Help Young Learners Understand Cultural Differences

Cultural Kids: 5 Classroom Activities That Help Young Learners Understand Cultural Differences

ESL Essentials
Culture. It is a huge part of who we are, but how much can we really articulate about what culture means to us? And if we as adults struggle to explain our cultures, how much more so do young Eng ...
3 All levels
Pencils Out: 5 Simple Games That Need Nothing More Than a Pencil

Pencils Out: 5 Simple Games That Need Nothing More Than a Pencil

ESL Essentials
We are all busy, and we work hard to plan our classes just right. The right amount of instruction. The right amount of discussion. The right amount of homework. But try as we might, there are sti ...
5 All levels
Time to Tune In: 7 Simple Ways to Use Music in Your ESL Classroom

Time to Tune In: 7 Simple Ways to Use Music in Your ESL Classroom

ESL Essentials
Music may not make the world go round, but it certainly makes it a more pleasant place. All sorts of people listen to all sorts of music, and anyone can find tunes they like with just a little sea ...
4 All levels
Slick Slogans: Studying and Creating Great Ads with ESL Students

Slick Slogans: Studying and Creating Great Ads with ESL Students

ESL Essentials
Many of our ESL Business students are heading into the world of advertising. Learning some good methods for analyzing and creating fantastic advertising slogans is an important step, and deserves ...
3 All levels
Left or Right?: Helping ESL Students Find Their Political Stance

Left or Right?: Helping ESL Students Find Their Political Stance

ESL Essentials
Many of our ESL students are teenagers and young adults, people who are still finding their way in the world and learning to navigate society’s most contentious issues. Some come from cultu ...
2 All levels
Home Invasion! 5 Things You Need to Know Before Teaching Private Students in Their Own Homes

Home Invasion! 5 Things You Need to Know Before Teaching Private Students in Their Own Homes

ESL Essentials
ESL teachers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and so do our teaching environments. Most ESL teachers may have classes in classrooms and schools, but some of us get to teach in more challeng ...
3 All levels
Top 10 Times to Award Points in Your ESL Class (and What to Do with Them)

Top 10 Times to Award Points in Your ESL Class (and What to Do with Them)

ESL Essentials
Everybody likes to have a high score when it comes to playing games (except, perhaps, golfers). Maybe that’s why this simple motivator works so well with most ESL classes. Points. Something ...
2 All levels
Say It Loud and Say It Proud: 8 Fun Games for Teaching English Pronunciation

Say It Loud and Say It Proud: 8 Fun Games for Teaching English Pronunciation

ESL Essentials
If you are looking for a way to shake things up a bit in pronunciation class, try one of these simple games that focus on accurate pronunciation and listening closely. 8 Fun Games for Teaching ...
4 All levels
17 Great Ways to Use Pelmanism in Your ESL Class

17 Great Ways to Use Pelmanism in Your ESL Class

ESL Essentials
Memory, also called pelmanism, is a versatile and useful tool for ESL teachers. In this simple game, players lay cards face down in a grid and take turns flipping over two cards at a time looking ...
4 All levels
Party Time: How to Hold an ESL Presidential Election

Party Time: How to Hold an ESL Presidential Election

ESL Essentials
Few things are as illustrative of life in the modern US and UK than the way we handle our elections. Idolized by some, demonized by others, mystifying to many, they embody our most lofty principl ...
5 All levels
“So, I’m Like, What?”: ‘Like’ in the ESL Classroom

“So, I’m Like, What?”: ‘Like’ in the ESL Classroom

ESL Essentials
I invite you to try something the next time you’re in a classroom full of ESL students, especially those of intermediate level or higher.: count and note down how many times your students sa ...
4 All levels
Much Obliged: Going Beyond ‘Thank you’ with ESL Students

Much Obliged: Going Beyond ‘Thank you’ with ESL Students

ESL Essentials
I’m a great believer in teaching our ESL students to speak politely. This might be a result of having my roots in Britain, where we thank and apologize for everything, but it’s a grea ...
4 All levels
3 Developmental Stages: Get to Know Your Students

3 Developmental Stages: Get to Know Your Students

ESL Essentials
Kids are simply incredible. Each age offers an incredible variety of surprises. As children grow, what they are able to do increases and becomes more and more sophisticated. That's why, as a teac ...
3 All levels
Graded Readers: Why They Are Useful and How to Use Them in Class

Graded Readers: Why They Are Useful and How to Use Them in Class

ESL Essentials
I'm sure most would agree that where language learning is concerned, exposure is vital. However, what happens very often is that our students are only able to dedicate 2 – 3 hours a week to ...
3 All levels
Which Continuous Is It? Top 5 Exercises for Practicing Past, Present, and Future Continuous Tenses

Which Continuous Is It? Top 5 Exercises for Practicing Past, Present, and Future Continuous Tenses

ESL Essentials
Any grammar teacher knows that continuous tenses, also known as progressive tenses, describe an action in progress at a certain point in time. If the point in time in question is in the past, the ...
7 All levels
Station Break: How to Put Your Whole Classroom to Use in Your English Lessons

Station Break: How to Put Your Whole Classroom to Use in Your English Lessons

ESL Essentials
If you have four walls, you have what you need to play this game that gets your students up and moving and also gets them listening for whatever language aspect you are targeting. How to Play ...
4 All levels

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About ESL Essentials

ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 1,761 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 1,761 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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