With or Without You: 7 ELL Websites to Benefit Your Students in or out of Class
Sublime English education content is right at your fingertips.
That’s right, it’s time to put down those textbooks and induce creative learning with interactive and engaging online material.
We’ve all had those teachers who put you to sleep.
Luckily, it’s easier than ever not to be that kind of teacher.
With just a bit of browsing, you can find exactly what you need to put together a lesson your students will love!
ELL (English Language Learner) websites, or websites specifically designed for English learners, are a great resource for implementing new and interesting material into your classroom.
This holds true if you are a new teacher just taking the reins, or a veteran teacher who has worked with learners all around the world.
These websites are also a great resource for allowing students to explore English on their own.
Developing an exciting and interactive classroom atmosphere should be at the top of your list of priorities—as this is important for your students’ growth, confidence and enjoyment—and ELL websites make it easy for you to do just that.
In this post, I’ll show you the best sites where you and your students can find exciting new content with just a few clicks.
Benefits of ELL Websites for You
Grabbing quality material from websites or utilizing websites directly in class is the perfect way to keep your lesson plan flowing in the right direction while creating a wonderful learning atmosphere your students will enjoy.
Most ELL websites cover a general theme—like reading, listening or even interactive sing-alongs—that you can easily implement into your classroom. You can discover new material and tailor-make lessons to pique your students’ interest while keeping English relevant and practical for them.
Benefits of ELL Websites for Your Students
Combining English with learning methods that are practical and relevant to your students’ lives and needs will benefit their growth and confidence greatly. Think of it this way: They probably don’t need to hear any more teachers droning on and on about the English language. Sure, they may be learning a lot, but are they truly enjoying it?
Too much of the wrong English material may be overwhelming for your students, since they are already surrounded by the language and oftentimes it’s based around challenging academic concepts. ELL websites can offer up some excellent material to ease the pressure of learning.
These websites are essential for your students because they help create an experience that is interactive, engaging and that will really boost their overall enthusiasm for learning.
When you draw material from or let your students use these sites, you are putting a new twist on learning English that they will not only love, but truly appreciate. They will learn essential English skills and retain what they learn.
After all, if you think back to your own school days, what were the lessons or activities that stuck out the most?
You would probably agree that a simple activity with an emphasis on student engagement goes a long way. By keeping learning engaging and active, you will see your students’ development right before your eyes!
What to Consider When Choosing ELL Sites
The ELL websites you use should fit your students’ age, level and overall learning needs. There are plenty of ELL websites out there, but choosing the right ones for your students is important.
As we’ve already seen, ELL websites offer English teachers and students multiple possible benefits. But in order to get the most out of those possible benefits, defining the key characteristics of quality websites is essential for you and your students.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while browsing:
- Look for site features that align with your students’ personalities, learning styles and attitudes. This will allow them to utilize material more effectively.
- Choose material from websites suitable for your students’ needs and English level. This will allow your students to make a stronger connection with the material.
- Make sure websites contain relevant and practical material. Your students should be discovering English in a practical manner that can be relevant to their daily lives. This may mean looking at sites that involve an element of their native language as well.
Now let’s take a closer look into a few sublime ELL websites you can utilize in your classroom as well as draw from while developing your lesson plans.
You and your students will discover a plethora of engaging activities and material to choose from.
7 Sublime ELL Websites for First-rate Learning and Teaching
Colorín Colorado is an exceptional website offering a wide array of material for students, teachers and families. The material available from the site is great for grades K-12, and is especially geared toward native Spanish-speaking ELLs. This website also contains a very informative educators’ page discussing all things ELL, beneficial for new to veteran English teachers.
You can dive into this website and find a variety of resources covering multiple aspects of language skills your students need to grow. It offers videos, research-based articles, newsletters, books, toolkits and many more essentials that will benefit you and your students.
Colorín Colorado has won several awards and is a must for English learners and their teachers.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
You can also browse the FluentU blogs for English teachers and learners to gather tons of lesson ideas. You will find additional blogs focused on standardized English tests and business English for the more developed learner.
Starfall is another great ELL website with interactive language aspects that will keep your students enthused while offering up new material for your lesson plans. This site is perfect for preschool through kindergarten students. It focuses on interactive lessons, pronunciation activities, numbers, vocabulary and pictures. Coupling fun activities with academic material is the cornerstone of effective ESL education, and Starfall accomplishes just that.
The ELL aspects of the site are enhanced by excellent resources for educators as well as parents. There is a strong emphasis on reading and your students can really get their fill of exceptional material from this site with the step-by-step process and sing-along material.
Starfall can assist you in developing classroom material for your students in a concise, informative and interactive way.
Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental is an exceptional ELL website focusing on reading. RIF is part of a literacy movement in which literacy for all children is paramount. Their focus and aim is for every child to enjoy, benefit and implement reading into their everyday lives. This website is mostly geared toward students from preschool to 2nd or 3rd grade.
You and your students can benefit from RIF’s interactive resources, whether you implement the material into your lesson plan or use the website directly as a classroom activity.
The Activities page contains printable exercises and reading activity calendars your class can follow.
Literacy Center Education Network
The Literacy Center Education Network is a wonderful website for you and your younger students. This site offers excellent resources for students, educators and families of ELLs.
The Literacy Center Education Network is split into helpful pages including Play and Learn, Print and Practice, Parents and Teachers and Resources.
The Play and Learn page contains an excellent array of exercises—including writing, spelling, counting and puzzles—that you can develop into exciting and informative lessons. Students can practice their expertise in shapes, uppercase, lowercase, word matching, spelling and so much more. Your students will enjoy the colorful and interactive aspects in each lesson.
The printable pages available on this sublime website may be beneficial for crafting a worksheet your students will find enjoyable while learning new material in a fun way.
NIH Kids’ Pages
This ELL website was established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIH) in an effort to combine learning with informative information about health, ecology, the environment, science and other important issues.
NIH Kids’ Pages has a lot of excellent ELL content you and your students can benefit from. The material is perfect for students from grades 5 to 8. It conveys relatable issues and information in a way that’s easy to understand.
You can draw exceptional ideas from this website and incorporate them into a lesson or browse the website together with your students. The Discover & Explore page, for example, offers a handful of topics your students can dive into in a fun and interactive way.
NIH Kids’ Pages gives access to videos, key vocabulary, readings and many more interactive and enticing resources to help students learn.
The site also has a Lesson Plans & Activities page with an assortment of printable material perfect for any ELL classroom. The printable content covers booklets, fact sheets, interviews, flyers, lesson plans, presentations and a whole lot more.
Using English (UE)
Using English (UE) is geared toward all levels and ages and offers relevant information that will benefit you and your students. UE is an easy-to-navigate site with several categories for teachers and students alike. It offers tests, quizzes, forums, English references, articles, tools and extensive material you can utilize when crafting informative and engaging lesson plans.
Teachers have a wide variety of resources to choose from in the Handouts section of the UE site, including printable worksheets, lesson plans and much more.
This website boasts over 800 free downloadable and printable lesson plans and worksheets ranging from dialogue exercises to tests. It’s a must for teachers on the hunt for new material or exciting activities to shake things up a bit.
Finding quality ELL material, creative ideas and engaging activities to develop your lesson plans or create an interactive atmosphere in your classroom is not as challenging as you may think.
There are a wide array of resources for ELLs scattered about the Internet, and with a bit of browsing, you can easily find a variety of websites to utilize.
Keeping your eyes and ears peeled for engaging and informative sites like these is the perfect way to keep your students focused, learning and confident throughout their English journey.
Stephen Seifert is a writer, editor, professor of English and adventurer. With over 7 years of teaching experience to students worldwide, he enjoys the many aspects of culture and traditions different from his own. Stephen continues his search for writing inspiration, boldly enjoying life to the fullest.