Johanna Stirling's English Language Garden for teachers and learners of English as a foreign language

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Links for Teachers

Most of these sites are ones that I think are cool. The rest are ones I think are amazingly cool. Nothing's sponsored and I don't do link swaps. But don't forget there's lots to explore on The English Language Garden too! Bookmark it before you go.

Check out what's NEW. Last updated November 2010.

Purpose URL Description
General sites

These three blogs, all written by Nik Peachey, are treasure troves of links to fantastic Web 2.0 sites where you and your learners can do amazing things. He also gives lots of examples of how they can be used for teaching English. Check them out! Lots of really good quality material here for learners and teachers. In fact, the whole of the BBC site is superb. I particularly like Words in the News.

The British council also has loads of good activities for learners, and their Teaching English site has great stuff for teachers too. Shambles is a huge site for schools in South East Asia. It's got masses of links on it to other sites. All sorts of cool tools.



This site is for Special Educational Needs teachers, but I think it's a great timesaver for us all. Ever spent hours drawing clocks, looking for dice, making flashcards, etc? SENteacher can save you hours of preparation. It's one of my favourites.
General sites for teaching children


More from the BBC. This is their schools website, so head here if you teach children. Great for CLIL teachers. (But the videos are only available in the UK - other stuff is OK overseas though) The children's section of the British Council website. Worksheet generators, printables, classroom posters - lots of useful things for primary teachers. Loads of great stuff for primary teachers.
Printable Puzzles Puzzlemaker is an old favourite. Create your own wordsearch puzzle or crossword in an instant. Magic! And easy to use.
Make animated films I love this! Children and adults can make animated films so easily and quickly. Have learners make their own or create one yourself to get your point across. Dfilm is a bit more flexible than Zimmertwins (more characters, choose your music etc). Better for teenagers perhaps.

Create comic strips Make comic strips using a range of weird and wonderful characters. Learners create them or you create them and get learners to fill in speech bubbles. NEW Now includes objects!
Get visuals NEW Incredible resource - high quality photos that you can use freely in class, online, anywhere. You can modify and even use commercially.

If you can't find the pictures you need at then try here - clipart for language teaching. Great if you want a picture of a preposition like 'next' for example. Flickr is a photo-sharing site. You can use a lot of the pictures free for educational purposes. You can also put notes on images, like this or this. Lots more to explore. Search for Creative Commons images here (you can use these images, videos, etc, with fewer legal restrictions than normal).
NEW Image editing NEW If you have an image that is too big or small, this great web tool resizes it for you without any download.
NEW Free online photo editing. This is just one of many programs.
Make online activities You can make quizzes really easily at ProProfs and get the results and even a map of where your 'students' come from. Put them in blog or site. See some of my examples here. Fantastic for making interactive Flash activities to host on your own bolg or site. Great for IWB too. Especially like Lights Out.
Voice tools Now you can give your learners speaking homework! Voicethread is a superb example. Chinswing is a another great way to get your learners speaking out of class. Check out this great example:
Speaking Looking for discussions questions on a particular topic? There are 12,600 of them here on 630 topics! Interesting questions too. Amazing!
Listening Hard to find good listening material. isn't it? The BBC has some greaat podcasts. News articles read quite slowly and clearly with some great accompanying lesson plans. Brilliant for dictations. You listen to a variety of texts spoken slowly and broken into sentences. You write what you hear. You have to get it right to continue. Make your own podcasts for, or with, learners.

Help your learners improve their reading speed with this cue prompter.

Have your students got writer's block? Get them started with this great motivator. It makes you keep writing. Great fun and ideal for procrastinators! Note: the tool is now in the sidebar.

The plagiarism checker does just what it says on the can! You paste in your student’s work and the program will suggest which bits might have been copied. Look at the video here to see how here. One of the few sites that teaches, rather than just tests, spelling. Very useful.
Research Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary online. And you can switch to other dictionaries too such as their Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. (There's a CALD widget on every page of this site too)
NEW Use this concordancer to find common collocations. See which words are usually used together.

We all know (don't we?) wikipedia, but did you know Simple English Wikipedia has articles written in easy English. Thank you, whoever thought of it!

Need up-to-date statistics? This is real time. And very shocking.

Customised search engine. Your students see only the sites you want them to see.

Pronunciation Interactive chart of English phonemes. Listen and compare. From New English File coursebook. Or you may prefer the British Council one. Don't know how to pronounce a word? Type it, then listen. Just want I've always wanted, well, nearly. Videos and diagrams showing how different English sounds are made. Only US English though. Interested in different English accents? This is fun!
Surveys Make your own questionnaires or get your learners to. Great for IELTS prep.
Videos Jamie Keddie's wonderful, award-winning site of lesson plans based on YouTube clips. Amazing presentations on every subject. My favourites (at the moment) are about the left and right brain and schools and creativity. Much better than telly! Really useful. Watch teachers teaching and lots of different programmes about education. Like YouTube but lots of instructional videos for teaching.
Drama Lots of great free drama games and activities. Get your learners up and doing.
Graphic organisers Free tool you download for making mind maps. There are others but it does what I want. Mind mapping. It's online and free and I love it!
Blogs Make your own blog.
Wikis What's a wiki? And why would you need one? A wiki is an online document that you and your learners can collaborate on. Check out more here. Create a wiki here. Here is one I made with some Italian teenagers.
IWB/classroom projector

Blockbusters word game.

A quiz scorer. Kids love it.

A great bank of sounds for ... everything.

A 'maze' about poverty from the charity Oxfam

Dissect a frog online! No mess but still not for the squeamish.
Chill out Now it's time to relax. Watch and enjoy!! It's not just computers that are baffling. Really funny video about a medieval helpdesk. I've seen it 100 times and I still laugh. Choose music to suit your mood or your task. Listen and enjoy!!

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The English Language Garden by Johanna Stirling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.