ESL Resources for Teachers and Students: 12 Great Websites

It’s useful to have a collection of tried and true go-to resources for your ESL lesson planning so you never run out of things to do with your classes.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ESL resources online. But how do you know what works?

In this post, I’ve collected 12 helpful websites for both teachers and students alike, to capture the attention of struggling students and—at the same time—challenge your top students.

From lesson plans to worksheets, there’s a resource here for everyone to make teaching and learning English much easier!


Resources for Teaching ESL

1. Ellii: Dynamic Lesson Plans and Materials

Logo fo Ellii

Best for: All levels

Ellii is one of the most comprehensive ESL teaching resources available. While it does require membership (the cheapest currently being $12 per month), many ESL teachers find this site incredibly helpful.

Membership to the site allows you full access to their lesson plan library, which has more than 500 ready-made lesson plans and more than 2,000 ready-to-print images and flashcards.

The site also takes current events and creates diverse lesson plans. The topics are very current and the lessons are sure to get your students talking!

The site also has a breakdown of lessons by topic, such as business in English, role plays, writing in English, holidays, grammar stories and more.

2. FluentU: Learn With Authentic Media

Best for: All levels

FluentU is a language learning program with a curated library of authentic English videos, that your students can watch with interactive dual-language subtitles. They can review what they’ve learned using multimedia flashcards and personalized quizzes, helping them to retain new vocabulary.

As their teacher, you are able to assign them specific videos and flashcards, and you are also easily able to keep track of their progress and activity.

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.

3. ESL Printables: Give and Receive

ESL Printables logo

Best for: Beginner and intermediate learners is a great website for teachers who have also already made a lot of their own curriculum. It’s a resource with hundreds of thousands of ready-made worksheets, PowerPoint presentations and online exercises. The caveat here is that you must submit contributions before you can download them.

Worksheet downloads are conveniently organized by grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading and writing worksheets. In addition, they offer cinema, television, games and song worksheets.

The site also has a forum for teachers, where ESL instructors can ask questions, get advice and share ideas.

4. LanternFish (BogglesWorldESL): Building Vocabulary

Lanternfish logo

Best for: All levels

I have often used LanternFish for young ESL learners, but it’s also a valuable site for teenage and adult learners. With hundreds of worksheets and lesson plans, it’s a helpful resource with lots of great ideas to better engage your students.

LanternFish offers flashcards, ESL exercises specifically for adults, a writer’s workshop and fun worksheet activities like word searches and crosswords for your students.

The site has a large listing of creative writing prompts, which can be really fun for more advanced students.

Building vocabulary through flashcards and exercises is one of this site’s major strengths. They have a collection of games and vocabulary exercises on a variety of themes from beginner to intermediate students.

5. BusyTeacher: Warmers and Fillers and More!

Busy Teacher logo

Best for: All levels is one of the best sites on the web for ESL teachers. It has thousands of worksheets and activities available immediately for free download. No signing up, no membership and no fees (though you can purchase their entire library for about $100).

One especially helpful offering is their 360 free “warmers and fillers” which include warm-up activities and ice-breakers to get your students engaged quickly from the start of your lesson.

One of their warmers is the “How Was Your Weekend” activity. The idea here is to give the students the identity of a famous person on a slip of paper (or let them think of their own). In pairs, the students ask questions and try to guess one another’s identity based on what they did over the weekend.

The site also offers great advice for ESL teachers, interesting creative writing prompts and much more.

6. Colorín Colorado: Info for Educators

ell websites

Best for: Grades K-12

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 ESL resources for teachers 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.

7. Reading Is Fundamental: Improving Literacy

ell websites

Best for: Preschool to 2nd or 3rd grade

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.

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 Litracy Central page contains printable exercises and reading activity calendars your class can follow.

Resources for ESL Students Learning at Home

8. Using English (UE): Quiz Yourself

ell websites

Best for: All levels

Using English (UE) offers relevant information that will benefit you and your students of all ages. 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.

This website boasts over 800 free downloadable and printable lesson plans and worksheets ranging from dialogue exercises to tests.

9. Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab: Listen Up!

Randall's Listening Lab logo

Best for: All levels

This online listening lab is the perfect resource for listening exercises. 

The audio listening exercises are organized by level of difficulty (easy, medium, difficult) and are listed by topic. Topic examples include “Clothing Styles,” “Car Rental,” “Breakfast Recipes” and “Friday Night Mishaps.”

Each lesson includes a short audio clip (usually less than two minutes), a quiz, vocabulary activities, post-listening exercises and online investigations, which ask the student to research the topic further online.

The site also has 20-minute ESL vocabulary lessons and longer videos that feature more in-depth interviews and conversations, perfect for your more advanced students.

10. Starfall: Activities for Kids

Best for: Preschool and kindergarten students


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 site has excellent ELL 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.

11. Read Today: Practice the Basics

Image from the Read Today website

Best for: Beginner learners

Read Today offers excellent resources for students, educators and families of ELLs.

The Play and Learn page contains an excellent array of exercises—including writing, spelling, counting and puzzles.

Students can practice their expertise in shapes, uppercase, lowercase, word matching, spelling and so much more in interactive activities.

Read Today also has workbooks you can purchase, which will help with learning new material in a fun way.

12. NIH Kids’ Pages: Improve Reading Skills

Best for: Grades 5-8


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 material that is perfect for students from grades 5 to 8. It conveys relatable issues and information in a way that’s easy to understand.

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.



All students learn in different ways, and these 12 ESL resources for teachers can help you find what works best for all levels, and all different learners!

So add these websites to your ESL tool belt today—you’ll wonder how you ever got on without them!

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