Here’s another “The Best…” list, and this time it’s one that is specifically targeting ELL/ESL/EFL teachers.

And that’s why it’s called The Best Resource Sites For ESL/EFL Teachers.

Of course, strategies, resources and teaching tools that are effective with English Language Learners can be equally effective with native-English speakers. In fact, I’ll soon be sharing an article that the principal of our school and I co-wrote detailing how we think implementing English Language Learner teaching strategies school-wide helped us get out of Fourth Year Program Improvement Status.

I’ve been going through a stretch of finding it very difficult to rank sites in the recent lists I’ve put together. This one is no exception. I think all of them are excellent, and they offer different resources. Near the end of this post I share good sites that were recommended by other readers, too.

Here are my picks for The Best Resource Sites For ESL/EFL Teachers:

Even though it’s hard for me to rank the sites on this list, I have to say that one of my favorites is EFL Classroom 2.0. Begun by David Deubelbeiss, it’s an extraordinary collection of every imaginable ESL/EFL resource. David also has some strong feelings about ESL/EFL Teacher Resource sites that I generally share. I’d encourage you to read what he wrote.

I think the Peace Corps has developed some of the best materials on how to teach English Language Learners. Unfortunately, their website is usually not working so you can’t download them from there (I updated this list in March, 2010, and it was working at that time. You can download the documents here). Fortunately, the manuals are available elsewhere. The two best ones are TEFL/TESL: Teaching English As a Foreign or Second Language and Teaching English As A Foreign Language To Large, Multi-Level Classes.

There are many places that have teaching materials you can print-out. English Raven, though, I think offers particularly engaging materials and ideas about how to use them. Using their site has made me a better teacher.

The Internet TESL Journal may be the “grand-daddy” of ESL/EFL resource sites. It continues to provide a wealth of constantly updated materials.

Teaching English from the British Council is another “oldie” but “goodie” site (and it’s just been revamped). The countless resources, ideas, materials, and interactive online content make it an easy choice for this list.

The Ideas Index at Dave’s ESL Cafe has been a source of numerous lesson plans for me. They’re short, sweet, free and numerous!

All the sites on my list offer resources for free….except for one. Alta Books is THE place to find the publications and multimedia that are worth paying for.

Unfortunately, as of December, 2008, Alta began only distributing books they publish.  It seems pretty clear to me that there are two viable alternatives.

One is Delta Publishing Company, which seems to have almost as much of a selection as Alta did in the past. Delta was recommended by several people in the ESL/EFL community.

Just ordering from Amazon was the other primary recommendation. And, for that, there’s nothing better than the EFL Classroom 2.0 Bookstore. One nice benefit of using this service is that the books listed there are actually recommended by ESL/EFL teachers, and you’re not buying them “cold.”

These next two aren’t exactly websites. In fact, they’re listservs. I’ve learned a lot from them over the years, though probably haven’t contributed as much as I should have. The two are Teachers Of English As A Second Language (TESL) and the National Institute For Literacy (NIFL). Going to both of these links will offer you the chance to sign-up for their numerous “sub” lists.

Tools For ESL Lesson Planning: A Book of Techniques, Lesson Plans, Activities and Resources For Teaching ESL is the name of a free downloadable book in PDF form. It was compiled by the ESL and Citizenship Programs of the Los Angeles Unified School District.   I have to admit that I haven’t had a whole lot of time to review all of it, but from what I’ve seen so far it looks pretty good.  I’m tentatively adding it to this list.

EFL Teaching Recipes is a brand new site that immediately joins The Best Resource Sites For ESL/EFL Teachers.  It’s an extremely accessible site where ESL/EFL teachers can share their lessons, including video and images.  It’s just beginning, and I’m sure it’ll be filled-up with with ideas quickly. Go over and contribute some, as well as read the excellent ones that are already there!

Of course, it’s not unexpected that EFL Teaching Recipes would be so good after you learn who’s behind it — David Deubelbeiss, who’s blog is on The Best ESL/EFL Blogs list and who began and continues to guide EFL Classroom 2.0, which is on a ton of “The Best…” lists.

Finally, I obviously think that the Web offers a lot of possibilities for English Language instruction and learning. In one of my previous lists, The Best Places To Learn Web 2.0 Basics — 2007, I highlighted three sites as the best for helping both beginners and more advanced technology users learn how to use all the Web tools that are constantly evolving. One was Sue Waters’ Mobile Technology In TAFE Wiki. Another was Vicki Davis’ Cool Cat Teacher Wiki. And the third great site was Russell Stannard’s Teacher Training Videos. Russell’s is particularly relevant to this list because he has a number of videos showing how these tools can be used in the ESL/EFL classroom.

(Editor’s Note: I should add The Tapestry For Teachers of English Language Learners. You can read my post about it here.)

One of my favorite ESL/ELT periodicals is the online journal “Humanising Language Teaching.”  I’ve decided to add their main site, where you can access past (as well as current) issues, to this list.

Nik Peachey has written a very helpful post describing the different online communities that ESL/EFL teachers might want to consider joining (for free) and connect with other teachers. I’d strongly encourage you to read Blogging as part of the community.

Readers also had some other suggestions.

Chris Cotter suggested his own site, Heads Up English, as well as Breaking News English and ESL HQ.

Laura recommends One Stop English, Boggles World, and Nik Peachey’s fine blog. She also has nice words for this blog, too.

Learning About Learning has been added to The Best Resource Sites For ESL/EFL Teachers. It’s not specifically for ESL/EFL teachers, but it has an enormous amount of resources about teaching in general. Eventually, I’ll put together a “The Best…” list of broader resources for teachers.

The ELT Journal, from The Oxford Journals, is a very nice collection of articles that teachers of English Language Learners would find useful. The collection, titled Key Concepts In ELT, is described this way on the top of the webpage:

‘Key Concepts in ELT’ is a feature of the Journal that aims to assist readers to develop an appreciation of central ideas in ELT, and to approach the content of articles from a perspective informed by current debate on aspects of theory and practice.

The list given below is an up-to-date guide to all ‘Key Concepts’ that have been published in the Journal. The list contains links to the original articles, which are available to download free of charge (PDF file).

Philip Pound has just begun the free online EFL Magazine. It has some very useful articles in it.

If you’re looking for more resources, you might want to look at the Teacher’s Page on my website.

And if you’ve found this post useful, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog for free.