Resources & Technology

Listening | Speaking | Pronunciation | Reading and Vocabulary | Writing |
Plagiarism | Grammar | Canadian Content | Culture |
Interactive Activities | Software Platforms | Language Testing |

New Post: ESL Library

Recommended by Michael Murray, our Board member! This is the best ESL resource website I have used to date. The cost is $22 USD per year, but it is well worth the money. As the site claims, “Download, print, and photocopy our beautifully designed, well-planned English lessons and flashcards to help you teach a better class.” With over 800 lessons and 2000 flashcards available, you will never exhaust the material on this site. The lessons tend to be methodical and highly practical with categories ranging from “Functional English” and “Everyday Dialogues” to “Famous People” and “Group Projects”. There is an extensive, user-friendly grammar activity section and easy-to-use audio accompanying the lessons. You will need to keep the initial lesson page open to use the audio while you open a separate page for the lesson itself. This will continue to be your “go to” site for years to come.

Listening

There is a wide variety of ESL-focused audio recordings available for free on the internet. Some include useful additions such as cloze or gap-fill exercises, quizzes and scripts. While you can find such recordings on just about any topic, it is necessary to listen to the full recording yourself before choosing to use it in your lesson plan. Some recordings are not well-made while others actually contain offensive material. For example, if we compare Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab with ESL Fast we see a huge difference between the two. Randall’s ESL Lab contains professionally made recordings which sound quite natural. They are marked for level of complexity and are accompanied by various exercises which my students have found very helpful. While ESL Fast also has a large selection of topics, the recordings tend to be awkward in speed, intonation, mood, etc. Having multiple recordings that differ slightly may be of some value, but the voices and effect are actually strange and unnatural in the extreme. Obviously, free online listening dialogues are not created equal!

Listen and Speak all levels This website has a free, award-winning new system for learning to speak English. The program contains lessons that give special attention to English pronunciation of everyday language. With over 100 lessons, organized by level, Englishspeak.com provides a large amount of audio content. Users have access to two different speeds of playback for each item. There are over 2500 common vocabulary and phrase items.

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

CBC Cultural Learning Tool: News in Review high intermediate+ levels News in Review has been designed by teachers for an integrated curriculum and is an effective learning tool for topics including Canadian studies, world studies, history, social science and media literacy. You will find articles about Superstorm Sandy and more, along with downloadable lesson plans for each topic. There are many layers in this site, but the best place to start is here.

CLEO Citizenship Resources all levels CLEO is a community legal clinic that specializes in providing clear language legal information to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including people with literacy barriers. The ESL Activity Kits have been developed to help newcomers learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities in Canada, as well as to provide information about where and how to access legal help in their community, as they develop their language skills. These materials were developed using Canadian Language Benchmarks and are intended for learners at levels ranging from CLB 1 to 6+. The activities cover topics based on CLEO publications in the tenant and workers rights series. These correspond to themes and topics in the Adult ESL and LINC curriculum guidelines. Each English as a Second Language activity kit contains a full set of teaching materials.

Many Ways to Practice English all levels Offers lessons, practice and activities in every aspect and level of English, from Beginners to Advanced: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, slang, idioms it has it all! It is very well organized, so it is easy for students or instructors to find what you want.

Speaking

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

CLEO Citizenship Resources all levels CLEO is a community legal clinic that specializes in providing clear language legal information to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including people with literacy barriers. The ESL Activity Kits have been developed to help newcomers learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities in Canada, as well as to provide information about where and how to access legal help in their community, as they develop their language skills. These materials were developed using Canadian Language Benchmarks and are intended for learners at levels ranging from CLB 1 to 6+. The activities cover topics based on CLEO publications in the tenant and workers rights series. These correspond to themes and topics in the Adult ESL and LINC curriculum guidelines. Each English as a Second Language activity kit contains a full set of teaching materials.

Many Ways to Practise English all levels Offers lessons, practice and activities in every aspect and level of English, from Beginners to Advanced: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, slang, idioms it has it all!

Using Creative Thinking to Find New Uses for Realia  all levels Here is the authors’ introduction: The use of realia is well known to teachers. However, this article suggests different ways of using realia. By thinking creatively we can find new teaching uses for the everyday objects that surround us, by relating them to language and looking at them in new ways. Take a look I think you will find it as fascinating.

Pronunciation

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

English with Jennifer – intermediate+ levels This blog for teachers is sponsored by Pearson Longman and is a veritable font of great tips. This particular post is on practising phonemes, but you can explore other topics as well, and can sign up to be notified of new posts if you wish. Definitely worth a look. More English with Jennifer intermediate+ levels Here are a series of YouTube videos from English with Jennifer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMM_hwyHxaI&list=PL4B28722936C871E8 They explain how to pronounce English vowel sounds, include exercises, and also include a lesson on accent and dialect.

Using Creative Thinking to Find New Uses for Realia all levels Here is the author’s introduction: The use of realia is well known to teachers. However, this article suggests different ways of using realia. By thinking creatively we can find new teaching uses for the everyday objects that surround us, by relating them to language and looking at them in new ways.Take a look

Canadian Pronunciation intermediate+ levels http://englishaccentcoach.com/ is an interactive website where students can practise the pronunciation of CANADIAN vowel and consonant sounds! It was created by Canadians: Ron Thomson PhD at Brock University, Tracey Derwing PhD at U of Alberta, and Murray Munro PhD at Simon Fraser University. It is really a wonderful approach to pronunciation, because it is based on listening; students are guided to recognize the sounds before production is expected.

Six Point Guide to speaking English all levels Pronunciation expert Judy Thomson has an article “Teaching Speaking Online (pg 56) of TESL Ontario Contact magazine Spring 2015 issue. The poster is featured in the article as a roadmap for teaching speaking online or in the classroom. http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/contact/ContactSpring2015.pdf

Reading

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

CBC Cultural Learning Tool: News in Review – high intermediate+ levels News in Review has been designed by teachers for an integrated curriculum and is an effective learning tool for topics including Canadian studies, world studies, history, social science and media literacy. You will find articles about Superstorm Sandy and more, along with downloadable lesson plans for each topic. There are many layers in this site, but the best place to start is here.

CLEO Citizenship Resources all levels CLEO is a community legal clinic that specializes in providing clear language legal information to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including people with literacy barriers. The ESL Activity Kits have been developed to help newcomers learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities in Canada, as well as to provide information about where and how to access legal help in their community, as they develop their language skills. These materials were developed using Canadian Language Benchmarks and are intended for learners at levels ranging from CLB 1 to 6+. The activities cover topics based on CLEO publications in the tenant and workers rights series. These correspond to themes and topics in the Adult ESL and LINC curriculum guidelines. Each English as a Second Language activity kit contains a full set of teaching materials.

Understanding Canadian Government & Culture – high intermediate+ levels Do you know the levels of Canadian government and how they represent you? Do you wish you understood Canadian culture better? Do you wish you had some support in finding a job? Then this is the site for you. You will find information on every aspect of life in Canada as well as guides to help you do everything from finding a job to negotiating a mortgage.

Many Ways to Practise English all levels Offers lessons, practice and activities in every aspect and level of English, from Beginners to Advanced: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, slang, idioms  it has it all! It is very well organized, so it is easy for students or instructors to find what you want.

Vocabulary

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

Many Ways to Practise English all levels Offers lessons, practice and activities in every aspect and level of English, from Beginners to Advanced: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, slang, idioms — it has it all! It is very well organized, so it is easy for students or instructors to find what you want.

Writing

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

CBC Cultural Learning Tool: News in Review – high intermediate+ levels News in Review has been designed by teachers for an integrated curriculum and is an effective learning tool for topics including Canadian studies, world studies, history, social science and media literacy. You will find articles about Superstorm Sandy and more, along with downloadable lesson plans for each topic. There are many layers in this site, but the best place to start is here.

CLEO Citizenship Resources all levels CLEO is a community legal clinic that specializes in providing clear language legal information to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including people with literacy barriers. The ESL Activity Kits have been developed to help newcomers learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities in Canada, as well as to provide information about where and how to access legal help in their community, as they develop their language skills. These materials were developed using Canadian Language Benchmarks and are intended for learners at levels ranging from CLB 1 to 6+. The activities cover topics based on CLEO publications in the tenant and workers rights series. These correspond to themes and topics in the Adult ESL and LINC curriculum guidelines. Each English as a Second Language activity kit contains a full set of teaching materials.

Many Ways to Practise English all levels Offers lessons, practice and activities in every aspect and level of English, from Beginners to Advanced: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, slang, idioms  it has it all! It is very well organized, so it is easy for students or instructors to find what you want.

Plagiarism

Cultural differences in writing styles and expectations can lead to problems in EAP programs. Here is a blog that discusses how to deal with plagiarism in the classroom and useful tools to help teachers find it.

Here are a number of online resources to teach about plagiarism in order to help students understand this issue and become better writers.

Different perspectives about aspects of plagiarism are discussed in this article from the Spring 2014 edition of Contact Magazine titled Understanding Student Plagiarism and Advice for Practical Action.

Grammar

More Activities for ESL Students all levels Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

Many Ways to Practise English all levels Offers lessons, practice and activities in every aspect and level of English, from Beginners to Advanced: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, slang, idioms it has it all! It is very well organized, so it is easy for students or instructors to find what you want.

Using Creative Thinking to Find New Uses for Realia all levels Here is the authors’ introduction: The use of realia is well known to teachers. However, this article suggests different ways of using realia. By thinking creatively we can find new teaching uses for the everyday objects that surround us, by relating them to language and looking at them in new ways. Take a look  I think you will find it as fascinating.

Canadian Content

The Historica-Dominion Institute This is the largest, independent organization dedicated to Canadian history, identity and citizenship. It is a rich resource, with more than 40 000 fascinating articles, 6,000 interactive maps, graphs, oral interviews, photographs, animations and all sorts of projects involving Canada’s parks, veterans, aboriginal peoples, black history in Canada and more. A terrific resource for information on Canadian history.

Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) As an endless source of discoveries, this is a unique interactive space that brings together Canadian museum collections and riches in a variety of thought-provoking and instructive contents. It is your window on current museum news and your reference guide to plan your next outing. It also has a Teachers’ Centre, as well as all sorts of special in-depth sections. This is a wonderful resource for teaching about Canadian culture and history.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, (OCASI)-Resources In case you have not explored it yet, the settlement.org website, run by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, (OCASI), has a wealth of resources for ESL teachers and students alike. There are two sections: one for immigrants, full of articles you can use in the classroom on such topics as education, health, money management, and much more, and one for those of us who serve immigrants, with many resources and articles that can contribute to our effectiveness, and also to our wellbeing. It is well worth taking a little time to explore both sites, which you can enter here.

The Canadian Immigrant The Canadian Immigrant is an online magazine full of information, resources, success stories, thought-provoking articles and pictures. It can be an invaluable classroom resource, as well as providing pertinent and enjoyable reading for students at home. To view The Canadian Immigrant magazine, click on this link.

CBC Cultural Learning Tool: News in Review News in Review has been designed by teachers for an integrated curriculum and is an effective learning tool for topics including Canadian studies, world studies, history, social science and media literacy. You will find articles about Superstorm Sandy and more, along with downloadable lesson plans for each topic. There are many layers in this site, but the best place to start is here.

CLEO Citizenship Resources CLEO is a community legal clinic that specializes in providing clear language legal information to low-income and disadvantaged communities, including people with literacy barriers. The ESL Activity Kits have been developed to help newcomers learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities in Canada, as well as to provide information about where and how to access legal help in their community, as they develop their language skills. These materials were developed using Canadian Language Benchmarks and are intended for learners at levels ranging from CLB 1 to 6+. The activities cover topics based on CLEO publications in the tenant and workers’ rights series. These correspond to themes and topics in the Adult ESL and LINC curriculum guidelines. Each English as a Second Language activity kit contains a full set of teaching materials.

Culture

An interesting perspective on intercultural differences in the workplace in this New York Times article.

A teacher’s guide from Council of the Alberta Teachers Association highlights how culture is central to learning within the school environment and how to help ESL students by understanding cultural differences.

A community built resource for cross-cultural etiquette and understanding unity, The Culture Crossing Guide is an evolving database of cross-cultural information about every country in the world.

A section of a six-part series on culture in the language classroom by OUP Teacher Trainer, Stacey Hughes. Here, Stacey shares ideas on how to get your students thinking about and talking about cultural stereotypes. These videos (Video 1) and( video 2) are supported by a handout with activities to use in class.

Intercultural Communication (ICC) Skills refer to your ability to communicate effectively with individuals from different cultural, religious, social, and educational backgrounds. This includes communicating both with individuals raised in other countries and those raised in other generations! In this website from Kathryn Brillinger we explore materials that will help you to increase your ICC skill level so that you can participate in our increasingly global environment.

Developing EAL Learners Intercultural Sensitivity Through a Digital Literacy Project. This article from the TESL Canada Journal describes a digital literacy project implemented with language learners in an adult EAL program.

Interactive activities

More Activities for ESL Students Thousands of quizzes, exercises, tests and puzzles to help you learn English. Self Study Idioms, Slang and Phrasal Verbs. Daves ESL Cafe is a great resource for students learning English as well as for teachers looking for resources or jobs. He also has an online forum for students to exchange ideas.

Software Platforms

Tutela Acts as Repository and Community

When you join Tutela.ca you get FREE access to Canadas largest collection of ESL/FSL resources and peer community. Tutela is a national online repository and community for Canadian English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL) professionals. This Federal-Provincial joint initiative is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It is a great platform for sharing resources, discussing issues, networking and accessing webinars. As a repository, Tutela contains learning activities, worksheets, templates, teacher training resources, curriculum guidelines, policy and management documents, research papers and more. As a community, it offers interactive technologies to support ongoing collaboration and sharing among ESL/FSL professionals and builds community through special interest groups, a calendar of events, survey tools, postings of training/job opportunities, wikis and news feeds. And if you have trouble meeting the professional development requirements for your TESL certification, be aware that TESL Ontario now accepts participating in live Tutela webinars through http://tutela.ca. You will need to submit a certificate of participation, available through the site.

How to Set up a Classroom Blog Stop! Before you decide this one is beyond you think again! This site will take you step by step through the process and although you may have thought you could never do this! And it can be enormously satisfying for both you and your students. It will not cost you a thing, either.

Come and Moodle with me! Andrew Shedden has been working with Moodle for almost two years, and in his TESL Ontario blog entry he explains why this Learning Management System platform has the potential to be a great resource for any ESL class. There is also a Part 2 for those who want to learn more.

Language Testing

CAEL The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment is available in Kingston. CAEL is a reliable indicator of a test takers’ ability to use English as it is used in post-secondary institutions and there is a testing centre in Kingston at Keys Job Centre. In the Kingston area, CAEL is accepted at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College.

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