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Teaching Online Made Simple: My Top Resources for English Teachers

There are so many valuable resources online for language teachers—but how to choose the best ones from everything out there?

Vicki Robinson
Vicki Robinson
Book lesson

There are so many valuable resources online for language teachers—but how to choose the best ones from everything out there?

Like many English teachers at the start of 2020, I found myself in the sudden shift from the classroom to teaching entirely online. I had some tricks up my sleeve but they didn’t all work for the online classroom, so I spent a lot of time asking around and trying out new resources. I’m fortunate to have a great network of creative teachers, and their suggestions have made my online classes much more creative and professional.

Whether you’re new to teaching online or just looking for inspiration, here are my top picks for resources to spice up your online classes.

Wordwall

Wordwall is a free, colourful, and easy-to-use site to create your own online class materials, including spinning wheels, matching tasks, categorisation charts, and gap fills.

A great feature is that you can use many activity types for one set of vocabulary or grammar, and even make downloadable PDFs.

And you have access to all the pre-created sets from other teachers.

Storyberries

This is for all the storytellers out there, especially if you’re teaching Young Learners. It’s a wide-ranging, beautifully illustrated collection of stories for different ages and language levels. I personally love the fairy tales and their read-along videos on YouTube.

LearnEnglishTeens Writing

From beginner level to advanced, this site offers a selection of genre-based tasks for students to improve their writing. You can download and set the worksheets as homework, or work directly on the site with model writings and tasks to do with your class. Although it’s the teen website, it’s great for adults too, and the categories help you to find practical classes that are at the right level for your students.

TED Talks for Pronunciation

An old favourite, TED talks are brilliant and I love that they give us access to many accents in English, not just the native varieties in our coursebooks. I use them a lot with advanced learners to:

  • Do listening comprehension with the Ted-Ed section, with its pre-planned lessons and discussion questions.
  • Give students a video to watch and summarise for homework, either as a lead-in or an extension to a topic.
  • Help students with “shadowing” using the TED transcripts for pronunciation, especially intonation.

Mini IELTS Reading and Listening

I use mostly online materials to teach IELTS, as well as the IELTS Advantage books that I always used in the face-to-face classroom. But my favourite for homework and flipped classrooms is to give students a text or audio from this website—all past IELTS papers.

To plan lessons, the “View Solution” is very helpful because it shows where the answers are in the listening transcript or article.

All Things Grammar

My go-to resource for free grammar PDFs. These are so useful for flipped classrooms or some extra practice that students need: get your students to do them before class to come prepared or give them as a test after the lessons. They also have a vocabulary site.

Tay’s Creative Powerpoints

My students love gaming, competition, and fun, and this site has it all. This is Tay’s collection of pre-made PowerPoints in the form of games. You have to input your own questions, for example, vocabulary gapfills or trivia questions, but the templates are all set to download—from Harry Potter to Pokemon.

I use these with Young Learners but they are also a brilliant way to mix it up for one-to-one review classes with my adult students. Very fun!

I hope you enjoy these resources as much as I do. What are your favourite online resources to make your planning easier and your online classes more engaging?

EnglishLanguage Teaching

Vicki Robinson

I'm an English teacher and writer. I have over 10 years of experience teaching English to wonderful students all over the world. I can help you reach your personal and professional goals.

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Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.