There are tons of places on the Internet where you can find ESL/EFL hand-outs and worksheets of varied quality and varied cost. You can find a very long list of them on my website under ESL Hand-Outs And Lesson Plans.
In order to make it on this list, the site needed to have a large quantity of high-quality resources available — free of charge — for printing-out. In addition, I’ve only listed sites that do not require registration, either. And, I’ve only listed sites whose materials I’ve actually used in my own classroom.
Many ESL/EFL textbooks have most of the same information that these hand-outs and worksheets offer. However, even — as most of us who teach ESL/EFL do — if we use a textbook, these kinds of worksheets are valuable for a few reasons:
* I’ve found that many teacher-created worksheets are just plain better at helping students learn than the textbooks I have seen, so they are excellent supplements.
* Since students can’t write in most textbooks, unless it’s a “consumable,” worksheets are good materials for students to annotate.
* These kinds of worksheets are great for use in reinforcing games. For example, I’ll have different “stations” where small groups of rotating students — under stringent time limits — have to complete different hand-outs. We then correct them as a class and tabulate the results to determine a group “winner.”
Of course, if you’re teaching in an environment that cannot afford a newer textbook — or any textbook at all — then these kinds of hand-outs are indispensable.
As I’ve mentioned, there are ton of these kinds of sites out there, and I’m sure I don’t know them all. If you know of sites that you think should belong on this list, please feel free to write about them in the comments section.
Since all the sites listed here meet the criteria I mentioned earlier, I’m not going to describe each one in detail. Instead, I’ll just provide the name and the link.
Here are my picks for The Best Sites For FRee ESL/EFL Hand-Outs & Worksheets (not in any order of preference):
The Guardian Teacher Network, from the British newspaper, has thousands of resources that can be printed out and used in the classroom. I was quite impressed with the high quality of the materials that I saw, and many can be used with English Language Learners.
Checking-out ESL Library has been on my “to do” list for quite awhile. I’ve been impressed with the free sample lessons and worksheets they offer, but, with all the quality free resources out there, I’m hesitant to spend time on sites that charge. Jason Renshaw saved me the trouble by writing a very informative and positive review of the site (which charges $55 a year). Since I value Jason’s opinion so highly, I’ve got to take his word for it, and so I’m adding ESL Library to this list with the important caveat, of course, that it’s not free, but worth paying for. I also have another important caveat — before you spend any money on any ESL/EFL materials, you need to go to Jason’s own site, English Raven, and join it. Many of his materials are free, and to access additional resources, he just asks that you pay what you can. His stuff is the best!
Teaching Ideas is a site in the United Kingdom that offers a ton of free printables, among other things.
ESL Flow seems to have a good number of useful reproducibles.
Network Now has quite a few very good free downloadable materials for teaching and learning English.
As always, feedback is welcome.