I began my ELL teaching career thirteen years ago working with pre-literate Hmong refugees. Since that time, however, I haven’t had a student who was not literate in their home language – until this year.

This obviously creates many challenge, including the fact that most online ELL resources require some degree of literacy.

Here are a few online resources that seem to have been helpful and accessible to my student – let me know if you have other suggestions:


Raz-Kids (paid subscription required)

Language Guide

Online TPR Exercises by Henny Jellema

Lyrics2Learn is a music video program to teach early readers. It feels to me something like a StarFall (the famous site for early readers) put to music. You can create a virtual classroom with it, and can try it out for a month. Then you have to pay $150 per year (you can also pay a monthly charge, instead). I’ve been having a few of my lowest English-proficient and least engaged Beginning ELLs use it, and it seems to be going well.

I’m adding this list to The Best Online Resources For Teachers of Pre-Literate ELL’s.