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For Instructors

Instructional Links


Read CAELA's links selection criteria.


Adult Education ESL Teachers Guide
A manual for those with little or no training in teaching ESL. After an orientation to the adult learner, language teaching, ESL placement, and program organization, lessons and accompanying detailed instructions for teaching beginning, intermediate, and preliterate learners are provided.


Adult Literacy Education Wiki
This relatively new Web site is a collection of information about various topics related to adult literacy education, including professional development and ESL. Other topics include public policy, participatory and emancipatory education, and learner persistence. The site is a volunteer effort, and catalogues information posted by its more than 600 registered users. Some areas of the site are more developed than others, but new resources and information are added regularly.


Civic Participation and Community Action Sourcebook: A Resource for Adult Educators
This online version of the 1999 book published by the New England Literacy Resource Center and edited by Andy Nash tells 20 stories about civic participation. These include a wide range of issues from finding a class project and goal-setting to meeting with legislators and advocating for adult education funding. Preparation activities accompany each article. The sourcebook also contains an extensive webliography and an appendix of human rights and civics documents. While many of the articles deal with ABE/GED learners and teachers, the themes and activities can be adapted for ESL classes.

Clip-Art for Foreign Language Instruction

Computers and English for Speakers of Other Languages (CESOL)

This Web site provides a compendium of resources related to computers and ESL/ESOL. The site includes links to lessons, software information and reviews, and teacher resources.

Computers in Action!
Computers in Action! is an online guide to help adult ESOL teachers integrate the basics of computer use in their instruction. Teachers are offered a list of ready-made, stand-alone lessons that they can use to help learners develop computer skills while learning English. Lessons are listed with their computer skills focus (i.e., files and folders, hardware, manipulating font variables) and language objectives (i.e., sentence sequencing, writing dialogue, question formation) to facilitate selection. Computer and educational considerations and advice are discussed in an introduction to teachers. (This guide is the result of a Curriculum Frameworks Project funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education. Information on a print guide for learners, Learning Computers, Speaking English, is also available on the site.)

Computer Training Tutorials
Links to tips and tutorials about computers and the Web for novice to experienced users. The topics range from tips on buying a computer to troubleshooting problems.

Cultural Orientation Resource Center
This extensive website which was established to link overseas cultural orientation with domestic resettlement programs, offers a great deal of both background and up-to-date information about refugees and their concerns. The website includes Fact Sheets which give pertinent country and cultural background about such groups as the Sudanese, Iraqi Kurds, Somalis, Haitians, and Cubans as well as questions frequently asked by refugees. This site is maintained by the Center for Applied Linguistics.

Dave's ESL Cafe
One of the most comprehensive websites for ESL/EFL students and teachers of all levels from around the world. For teachers, it offers such resources as a bookstore, a page with ideas for classroom activities, a job center, and a variety of ways for teachers around the world to connect electronically, including message boards, chat room, topical discussion forums, and a help center.

E.L. Easton Materials for Teaching English
This site offers links to numerous resources on the web that ESL teachers can use to support their instruction, including information and resources for teaching ESP and business English, history, holidays, reading, speaking. listening, writing, pronunciation, money and banking, and science. The "Teaching Methods" section offers background on such topics as specific instructional approaches, language and learning awareness, and multiple intelligences. There are also links to resources like song lyrics, maps, calendars and clocks, newspapers, and country profiles.

E-Mail Projects Homepage
This site, created and maintained by Susan Gaer, is home to a number of project-based learning activities that have been carried out by teachers and learners. Some provide the results of the efforts while others offer more background information on the lesson outlines and procedures.

ESLoop Collection of ESL-related Sites
A collection of websites on a variety of aspects of English language teaching and learning. The sites are extremely diverse, ranging from pages on private English language programs to writing and grammar exercises to teaching resources.

ESL Starter Kit
The online version of this kit, produced by the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center, provides an overview of the information most often needed for those beginning to teach adult ESL. Sections provide information on such topics as intake, adult ESL resources, adult learning principles, second language teaching, the four language modes, and curriculum development. Links to online resources and sample lesson plans for reading, writing, listening, and speaking are included.

ESL Start-Up Kit
A synthesis of theoretical and background knowledge on langauge acquisition, English language instruction, and teaching adult learners, as well as a collection of teaching tips and suggestions for activities.

This site features a compilation of cultural and medical background information on recent immigrant groups regularly served at medical clinics in the Seattle, WA area. In addition to medical information pieces translated into languages such as Chinese, Amharic, Eritrean, Cambodian, and Vietnamese, the site features cultural profiles of these immigrant groups and cross-cultural advice. (Some profiles are more complete than others.) Staff of the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center direct the project with input from members of the local communities.

Gateway to Educational Materials
A searchable site for lesson plans, curriculum units, and other educational resources on the Internet. Users can search by keywords (e.g., ESL, citizenship, grammar) as well as by educational levels of learners (pre-K through higher and adult education).

Help! They Don't Speak English Starter Kit
First developed in 1993 by the Virginia Migrant Education program, this guide offers practical information on a variety of topics of interest to beginning adult ESL. Chapters include discussions of second language acquisition, adult learning, ESL teaching methods and techniques, survival English themes and lessons, and assessments. Although developed with migrant young adults in mind, teachers of any English language learners beyond adolescence will find the information applicable. The guide can be downloaded in PDF format.

Internet for ESL Teachers
Claire Bradin Siskin, editor of CALICO Journal and director of the language media center at the University of Pittsburgh, has collected and organized links related to the Internet with ESL teachers in mind. Links cover such topics as background and introductions to the Internet, search engines, ESL/EFL Web sites, evaluating Web sites, articles on using the Internet in ESL/EFL teaching, Web authoring tools and information, and teacher professional development. The links have been selected with an academic ESL context in mind, but much of the information is broadly applicable or adaptable.

Key Newspaper Online
This online newspaper, produced by Milwaukee Area Technical College, provides articles for adults with low level reading skills or who are learning English. Sections of the newspaper include Current Events, Health, Parenting, Consumer Affairs, Civics/Government, Education, International, and Letters to the Editor. Lesson plans accompany some articles. Suggested reading level for each article is identified. Updated articles are posted to each section monthly.

LINCS Adult ESL Special Collection
This special project of NIFL is a collection of materials and web resources about teaching English to adults.

Linguistic Funland TESL
Like Dave's ESL Cafe, this website for students and teachers of EFL and ESL provides teaching tips, sample activities, job listings, general advice, and links to other sites of interest to the adult ESL instructor or prospective instructor.

This tutorial is for novice computer and Web users. The tutorial provides practice using the mouse to point, click and scroll, use radio buttons, and check boxes. The first page contains quite a bit of text. However, the rest of the tutorial has very little text and beginning ESL learners probably can work through the activities with some assistance. Teachers who are not familiar with computers may find the tutorial helpful too.

NOAH: New York Online Access to Health
The wide array of health information on this Web site is available in both English and Spanish. In beginning and low intermediate level classes, teachers can access the site itself for background information about health topics in which the learners have expressed interest. Intermediate ESL learners can probably access the information with the help of a teacher or volunteer, and high-intermediate or advanced learners can access the site themselves. Of course, ESL learners of any level who are literate in Spanish will find navigating the site easy. This Web site is sponsored by a group of institutions including The New York Public Library, The City University of New York (CUNY), and the New York University Medical Center. The Health Information providers include The New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the University Hospitals of Columbia and Cornell, and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. The site is updated frequently and keeps current with topical issues such as learning disabilities, sexually transmitted diseases and "Mad Cow" disease.

Northeast Literacy Tech
A collaboration of leaders in technology in adult education in the (U.S.) Northeast put together this Web site of resources and materials to support adult educators as they integrate technology use in their instruction. There are training modules that can be used with groups or as individual tutorials on such topics as writing lesson plans integrating the Internet, finding Internet resources, authoring and publishing Internet-based materials, and project-based learning and the Internet. The Odds and Ends section has numerous topical lesson plans and other materials to support instruction and technology integration. From this Web site teachers can download Under Construction: Building Web Sites s a Project-based Learning Activity for ABE/ESOL Classes: Tips for Teachers at

Online Directory of ESL Resources
This directory collects online ESL resources and information into a searchable database for teachers, learners, and others interested in or working with English language learners. Users can search the database using self-selected key words or they can browse pre-formed searches on topics (e.g., online activities, sites for ESL learners, curriculum and instruction) or resource types (e.g., conferences, professional associations, listservs, educational institutions). Each directory listing is annotated and includes contact or availability information. The directory was created by the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, now known as the National Clearinghouse of English Language Acquisition & Language Instructional Programs (NCELA) and the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs, now known as the Office Of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA), and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement(OERI), which has been replaced by the Institute of Education Sciences.

PBS Point of View: Borders This is a Web-only interactive series from PBS.Through stories, photos, guest writers, and games, it explores the idea of the borders in people's lives. Border Stories follows three young adults living close to the U.S. and Mexican border. Border Journey looks at the life of migrant workers. The site features audio and video clips with transcripts and there are resources for teachers and librarians. High intermediate ESL learners and above can probably access the information on the site.

Both of these sites offer a variety of copyright-friendly images that can be used for educational purposes. Teachers (or learners) can browse the images by topic and download or copy them for instructional use. Clip-Art for Foreign Language Instruction consists of drawings that illustrate items, concepts, and actions (some more clearly than others) while Pics4Learning images are photographs.

Puzzlemaker offers this puzzle generation tool that helps teachers create or customize word searches, crossword puzzles, math puzzles, and mazes for their classes. Puzzles can be downloaded or printed from the site and you can save created puzzles. A user guide and clip art to enhance puzzle presentations are available.

Rebecca's EZ Page
This site is a collection of projects created by beginning level ESL learners for beginning level ESL learners. In some cases, the project page provides an overview of the topic being addressed with accompanying learner-generated writing or graphics. Others involve the user in responding to prompts or questions. Topics covered include headaches, holidays, lead poisoning, workers' rights, housing, maps and continents, and a phonics lesson.


This Web site is being developed by teachers, learners, and administrators at the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP)for adult English language learners and teachers who live and work in Arlington County, Virginia. However, because of its clear and simple directions, level-appropriate activities, and high-interest topics (so far, family and health), this site is useful to a a wide audience of beginning level learners and their teachers.

Spring Institute ELT Website
Offers information, materials, and technical assistance to those providing English language training to refugees (and other immigrants). Full-text online publications address such topics as integrating pre-employment training with ESL (including SCANS), program planning and evaluation, teaching tips and lesson ideas, and back issues of their newsletter, Compass Points.

Steps to Employment in Ontario
This site is a project of the Ontario Administration of Settlement and Integration Services (OASIS) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Partners include labor unions, employment centers, and public school boards. This site includes a series of downloadable workshop manuals--each with enough material for ten days of full-time instruction.The Steps to Employment manuals include workbooks for participants, notes for instructors, and implementation guides. These manuals provide orientation, workplace law, and workplace culture information as well as job specfic vocabulary and information. Manuals in the series include computer, education, construction, food service, automotive services, home health aide and several others.

Study Place
The Study Place offers adult education teachers free access to a Web-based tool that can be used to create and deliver online instruction. The site provides the structure for creating original online lessons and activities; programming experience is not required. Teachers will also find ready-to-use activities and means for monitoring and tracking learners' use of the activities created.

Verizon Literacy Network/Thinkfinity

Now part of Thinkfinity, The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) and ProLiteracy Worldwide--supported by Verizon Communications--developed this online training center for literacy providers. The free online courses are particularly designated for potential volunteers, existing volunteers, and program directors and staff. Expected course completion time seems to be approximately one hour. While many of the courses appear geared to literacy volunteers and Adult Basic Education (ABE), several deal with adult ESL topics (e.g., culture and English language learners, working with adult English language learners, citizenship: teaching U.S. civics for the exam). Such courses include links or pop-up reference citations, evaluations, opportunity to give course feedback, and --with a "passing" score on the evaluation--the opportunity to print a certificate that names the course completed.

Visiting the Doctor
Although this Web site says that it is for ESL students, because of the complexity of the navigation and language, it appears to be most useful for teachers, at least initially. There are several dead links and the site no longer seems to be regularly updated. Having said that, there is a wealth of activities related to healthcare from word-level vocabulary puzzles to links on readings on such pertinent topics as AIDS and alcohol and pregnancy which could enhance and extend classroom activities.