ESL Sites




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A large collection of ESL links for students and teachers can be found here. The site is maintained by the Internet TESL Journal.

·         Breaking News English

A huge site with lots of vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension lessons. Answers are supplied.

·         Dave's ESL Cafe

One of the oldest ESL sites, it has:

ESL news


a bookstore (a search links to Amazon)

Chat Central (you need to supply a working email address)

Discussion Forums

FAQ,questions about the site

a help center (Students' grammar questions answered by teachers)

hint of the day (grammar point)

an idea cookbook (teacher tips)

idioms (alphabetical listing)

a job center (for teachers)

phrasal verbs (verbs with preps, an alphabetical list)

photos (Dave & family)

Pronunciation Power (tour of a product, with sound)

·         English Town

There are chat rooms for voice (with microphones) or typing, forums (bulletin boards), a service that connects pen pals and several grammar exercises and quizzes. This is a free site if you want to chat with students from around the world. They require "tuition" payments if you want to chat with a teacher present, but this isn't necessary. If you have a microphone attached to your computer, you can see what it's like to talk (for free) with people as far away as the other side of the world!

·         English Daily

This is a great site for American slang and idioms, seeing grammatical forms by example, and there are short stories taken from ancient Chinese fables which are good reading passages for writing or discussion.

·         English Language Entertainment

Rick Shur's site contains grammar handouts for classroom teachers, Golden Errors (funny mistakes made by ESL students), color names, editing macros for Microsoft Word documents, Crazy Cloze (a Mad Libs style fill-in game that demonstrates parts of speech), a movie of Rick's kittens and a collection of songs written by Rick Shur in midi and mp3 format, including "New York City People," a tribute to his students who immigrate to America.


A large site! Here's the subject list: Bilingual Ed., British/American, British/Cambridge, Chat/Newsgroups, Computer ESL/EFL, ESL/EFL, Employment, English - Spanish, ESL/EFL Sites, e-Zines, False Friends, Grammar, Children's ESL, Listening, Online Courses, On the Job English, Pronunciation, Quizzes and Tests, Reading, Reference, School Directories, Software, Suggestopedia, NLP, Teacher Training, Teaching Resources, Teaching Technique, TOEFL, Vocabulary, Writing.
Links to related sites include: Adult/Continuing Education, College Admissions: U.S., Current Events: World, Distance Learning, Graduate School, Immigration Issues, Literature - Classic, Newspapers: World, Radio


A large site containing grammar information, quizzes (for pen and paper) with answers, and ideas for activities. It's a good place for teachers to go to get materials, but students will enjoy its clear grammar explanations with diagrams.

·         Five-Minute English

This site offers lots of short exercises for most of the grammar and vocabulary points of interest to ESL students. There are also an area that answers some of the most popular questions asked by ESL students about confusing issues related to English grammar and usage.

·         Karin's ESL Partyland

Student pages have over 75 interactive quizzes, 15 discussion forums, interactive lessons on a variety of topics, a chat room, and lots of great links. For teachers, lesson plans and reproducible materials to use in class, teacher discussion forums, ideas for communicative practice activities, a chat room, a job board, links, and more.

·         Nonstop English

Lots of quizzes with grammar and creative vocabulary building will be found here. There is special attention to spelling, with many exercises that ask you to correct the errors. The quizzes are a lot of fun, self-correcting, with answer keys. There is also an option to have a personal page with activity history.

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The chat room requires you to give an e-mail address before you can participate. The software isn't as elegant as it might be; you have to hit the RELOAD button every time you want to see the next thing that somebody said. On the other hand, it's very busy at Dave's ESL Cafe, and you will always find somebody "talking."

·         Excite Community Chat

This is not an ESL site, but for those who want to participate in chats on a variety of subjects, with native speakers of English, this place is very active, with many different chat rooms on many subjects. You can also send private messages to people in the chat room if you don't others to "hear" your exchange.

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This is a site that gives you movie schedules.

·         Atom Films

A site that requires a fast computer and a fast connection, and headphones if you're in a lab. Short movies and cartoons from cutting-edge filmmakers are provided here, many using the latest technologies that will amaze even the most experienced Web surfers.

·         Brainquest

This is a game and quiz site. You can test your knowledge of science, geography, history and a lot of other things that should have learned in high school but maybe didn't.

·         Ask Dr. Universe

Many stupid questions, or questions you thought were stupid (like "Why do men have nipples?") are answered by Washington State University's Dr. Universe, a really knowledgable guy.

·         Earthcam

See live webcams of Australian beaches, or Times Square, or just about anywhere else in the world. Some webcams show a new picture every 15 seconds, but the good ones are live, streaming videos that let you see traffic and people moving, or the ocean waves rolling onto the shore.

·         Holidays Around the World

Here you'll find everything about holidays around the world: stories, activities, historical facts, artwork, and more.

·         Internet Movie Data Base

This is probably the largest and most complete information center for movies. You can look up any movie ever made, or any actor who has ever appeared in a movie. You can read reviews of movies by other users, and you can write reviews yourself, which others will read, and maybe respond to. Movies are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, and popular ones are rated by thousands of people around the world. Any movie scoring an 8 or higher by users is usually a good bet. A score of 6 or lower is a warning that it probably won't entertain you.

·         Mr. Showbiz

This is where to go if you want to read about your favorite celebrities on TV or in the movies. Just type in a name and click the Search button. Just remember to spell the name correctly. That's Arnold "Schwarzenegger," and Streisand spells her first name as "Barbra."

·         Download Real Player

Get the free Real Player so that you can play Real audio and video files. ( Basic is free, although you can pay for a spiffier version.)

·         WackyUses.Com

Joey Green brings to the Net this collection of suggestions for using things like Coca Cola, tennis balls, Ziploc bags, and many other common household objects in ways that their manufacturers had probably not intended, but which are often ingenious money and time savers. You can't enter this site without learning something useful. Don't miss the bulletin board where users can offer their own useful tips.

·         Wacky Web Tales

A Mad-Libs style fill-in game. You are asked for words (an adjective, a plural noun, and so forth) without knowing how they are going to be used. Then a story is created, using your words, and the results can be humorous. Users can submit their own stories to be turned into future word games.

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·         Bedford St. Martin's Lunsfor/Connors Books

·         Cuny WriteSite

This link is to the part of the CUNY Writing Center that offers help with grammar, both on its own site and also with links to other sites.

·         English Test for TAP

Four levels of difficulty are tested, 25 questions for each level. This is a multiple choice test in which students must pick the one sentence that is grammatically or lexically (vocabulary choice) correct. The last 25 are challenging even for native speakers.

·         English Test Net

Tests are provided here for many grammar points. The test requires you to spot an error in a sentence and then provide your correction. This is good practice for future teachers, too.

·         Flash Quizzes for English Study

Lots of practice is available here, for almost every grammar point typically introduced to ESL students, especially verb forms and word forms, as well as useful vocabulary. Quizzes are arranged in groups including easy, medium, medium to difficult, and difficult. Most quizzes are short, and feedback is provided instantly.

·         Karin's ESL Partyland Quiz Center

Lots of practice is available here, for business English, grammar, idioms, listening, reading, Make vs. Do, Prepositions of Location, Food Quantifiers, Prepositions of Time, Gerunds and Infinitives, And and But, Reported Speech, Conditional Sentences, Irregular Plurals, Simple Past and Past Progressive, Verbs with Prepositions, Slang, Phrasal Verbs, Idioms and Expressions, Two-word Verbs, as well as American culture and history.

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The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has a selection of listening comprehension quizzes. You listen to a newscast on Real Audio and then answer the questions.

·         Dictation practice has dictations that range from simple sentences for beginners to entire phone messages for advanced students. The advanced dictations are challenging even for native speakers, including teachers!

·         TOEFL Listening Test

You can download some software that will enable you to practice the test.

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Long Island City Weather at

ABC National News
ABC Eyewitness News 7
Boston Globe
Business Week
CBS National News
Chicago Tribune
Christian Science Monitor
ESPN SportsZone
Fox News
The Los Angeles Times
The Miami Herald
Minneapolis Star Tribune
NBC/MSNBC National News
Newsweek International
New York Daily News
New York Post
New York Times
NY1 News & School Closings
Newsday (Long Island, NY)
Public Broadcasting Service
San Francisco Chronicle
San Jose Mercury News
Time Warner Pathfinder
Salon Magazine
US News & World Report
USA Today
Village Voice, NYC
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post
Washington Times
1010 WINS-NY News & School Closings

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This is the home page for the Big Apple. Everything New York is here! Going here is the easiest way to find Web sites for museums, parks, zoos, and major tourist attractions. Use the "Attractions and Events" link. There's also a "Services and Agencies" link for the times when you need help more than fun.

·         MTA Home Page

The place to go if you have to get around. There are bus and subway maps, LIRR and Conrail train schedules, and information about special day trips, including New York State fall foliage and apple orchard tours.

·         Port Authority & PATH

Sometimes you just have to get out of town!

·         NYS Fall Foliage Report

Find out where the leaves are changing colors. "Peak" means that the leaves are at their most colorful. The Conrail trains that go north, especially the one to Poughkeepsie along the Hudson River, offer spectacular views of fall foliage, which is predicted to be better than usual this fall. See the MTA home page (above) for train information.

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Carnegie Mellon University provides an easy to follow phonetic transcription of all English words. You enter the word, press the SEEK button, and follow the phonetic symbols guide at the bottom of the screen.

·         International Phonetic Association

This is the home site the group that invented the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), the symbols used most commonly around the world to show how words in different languages are pronounced.

·         Spelling City

This site lets you enter words so that you can hear them pronounced and also hear them in a sentence whose context gives them meaning. You can also practice spelling the words after you enter them.

·         UCL Phonetics and Languages

This is an organization that sells the IPA font for Windows, the symbols of the IPA (above) designed for use in word processing programs.

·         English Spoken Around the World

This is a page developed by the newsgroup Alt.Usage.English to plays audio of stories read in different accents of the English-speaking world. You can hear how English is spoken In England, Australia, Ireland, Canada, and different parts of the United States.

·         Five-Minute English Pronunciation Lessons

This site offers explanations on how English speakers use intonation (stress) for various types of utterances, and it also gives help with areas of common difficulty, such as uniquely English vowel sounds and the use of the unstressed schwa.

·         ASCII IPA

This is a phonetic alphabet designed by the newsgroup Alt.Usage.English that uses the regular keyboard characters instead of the special symbols developed by the International Phonetic Association. Many Web sites use this system now because its easier to put into Web pages.

·         NextUp Technologies TextAloud MP3

This is a program that you can download and try for free (for 21 days) that actually reads typed text with generally accurate pronunciation. There are several male and female voices to choose from, and some of them sound fairly natural. It also reads text in French, Spanish, German, and Italian. It's a good way to hear how a language is pronounced, but be aware that these programs occasionally make errors, such as confusing the past and present tense pronunciations of read.

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Barnes & Noble Bookstore

E Campus Bookstore


Addison-Wesley Longman

Athelstan Publications

Ballard & Tighe

Barron's Educational Series, Inc.</a

Cambridge University Press

Delta Systems Home Page

Exceller Software

George F. Cram Maps Inc

Gessler Publishing


Hampton-Brown Books

Hands-on English

Heinle & Heinle

Holt, Rinehart & Winston




Oxford University Press USA

Prentice Hall Regents

Pro Lingua Associates

Rand McNally Maps Inc.

Oxford University Press

Tuttle Publishing

University of Michigan Press

Wiser Software

World of Reading

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You can search for books online! This is a skill every serious student must develop. See if you can learn how to use the catalog from their online tutorial. It's actually very simple.

·         A to Z Teacher Stuff's Harry Potter Site

This is a great Harry Potter resource. See what students, from young kids to Ivy League college students are writing about Harry, and view some of the activities surrounding Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone that different schools have tried. Even at Princeton, Harry is being studied quite carefully, as literature, and as an historic cultural phenomenon.

·         The Collected Works of Shakespeare

The Bard's works, and everything about the Bard, can be found on this site with its speedy search engine.

·         TOEFL Reading Test

You can download some software that will enable you to practice the test.

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This is the home site of the newsgroup that discusses the English language, especially those aspects of it that are controversial, difficult to decide, or confusing. If you have a question about the language that your grammar books and dictionaries can't answer, this is the place to go.

·         AltaVista Translations

This amazing site will translate from English to most European languages, including Russian, or from those languages into English. Just be very cautious! Machine translations get a lot of the grammar and vocabulary wrong, but in an emergency, you can usually translate well to communicate to a speaker of the target (other) language.

·         Alternative English Dictionary (obscenities)

Sometimes it's useful to understand the nasty things that people say in English. This listing is not an endorsement of the vocabulary that you will find; it's merely a reference.

·         Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

Here, you can find out who said what. Just enter the famous phrase you're interested in, and the program returns its author and facts about where it was used. You don't have to type a whole sentence. A few of the most important words in the quotation (spelled correctly) will usually be enough.

·         CIA World Factbook

This is like an encyclopedia of the world. The CIA collects facts about all nations, and even though they might misplace an embassy or two, they are usually quite up to date and thorough.

·         Connecticut State University Web Reference Guide

One-stop shopping! A marvelous collection of links to every type of reference site: dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs and information sites of every variety.


a dictionary, an encyclopedia and a web directory

·         Dutch Dictionary Project

The Dutch lost New York City to the English in 1664. Nevertheless, they show what good sports they are by providing these free bilingual desktop (computer) dictionaries between English and most European languages, as well as Swahili and Latin (sorry, no Asian languages). You can look up one word, or you can copy and paste a whole page of English text (from the Web or anywhere else) into a frame and then click on each word to see the trnaslation to French, Russian, Spanish, Greek, German, and so on. You can also paste in European languages and see the translations to English. A lovely gift from the Netherlands!

·         Encarta Language Learning Online

This site has a a three-way dictionary that lets you translate between French, Spanish, and English, from one language to either or the other two.

· Image Index

There are about 700 images now, most of which have been used with ESL students online or in class. You click on the link to see the picture. You will find all the skyscrapers here, including the Petronas Towers.

You can look up a word in 632 dictionaries at one time!

This very unique reference site has a lot of language tools, like dictionaries, and also reference aids for biographies, quotations, geography, finance and shipping.

·         Speed Test offers a speed test to tell you how fast your Internet connection is. You might be surprised that the results vary from hour to hour, and even from minute to minute. When you get to the MSN page, it will start calculating immediately, so don't touch any keys or click the mouse. Under the word "Calculating" you'll see four question marks (????) that will soon change to a number, which will be your speed.

Windows has an alternate keyboard that allows accents and non-English language characters. This is the guide to that keyboard.

This is a good place to look for information about different customs in different countries.

Dictionaries, maps, almanacs, government documents, zip codes, calendars, and scientific data are some of the things you'll find here.

·         World Book Encyclopedia Online

This encyclopedia is available to use for free, for a short time, but they require the logon name global and the password debut for access. They have a lot of 3-D pictures (try "New York") that you can rotate with your left and right arrow keys to get a panaromic (360°) view. The up and down arrow keys let you zoom in and out. Be careful. You can get very dizzy.

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In this site's Advanced Search, you can use the very useful term "NEAR." Read their help file about it.

·         AltaVista Image Search

One of the best picture finders on the web. Type in a name or word ("Lincoln," "rose") and you'll see hundreds of pictures of your subject.

·         AOL Search Engine Home Page

You don't have to belong to AOL to use their search engine. It provides listings by category, too, like Yahoo.

·         Ask Jeeves

This search engine encourages you to put your search in the form of a question, like "How many albums has Madonna put out?" It searches a lot of other search engines using your key words.

·         Dogpile

With an interesting name for a search engine, this site is aimed at college students and other young adults, with an emphasis on job hunting, games and MP3 music files.

·         Education World

A great place to look for everything having to do with education.

·         Excite

One of the first search engines on the web, now they're offering chat rooms along with their search engine.


This company bought Lycos and Infoseek, some of the early search engines.

·         Google

Possibly the most comprehensive search engine on the web, with over a billion pages. Google searches using a lot of other search engines first, and then reports all the findings to you.

·         HotJobs

A site to look for jobs; their main competition comes from

·         Monster

A good place to look for a job, and they have funny commercials on TV.

·         Net-Temps

Another place to look for jobs, including temp work. There is a section for jobs in health care.

· News Search

This is the search engine that finds current news stories. Other search engines will find news, but usually after it is about a week old. Moreover finds news that is only a day old.

·         NBCi

This search engine is part of the NBCi Internet service, and it claims to be the most comprehensive engine on the Web. Like Google, it uses everybody else's search engine and reports all the findings.

·         Share.Com

This is a search engine for Shareware, software that you download and use and then pay for if you decide to keep it.

·         Super Snooper

This is a search engine with a spell checker that may help you if you don't know how to spell what you're looking for.

·         Yahoo

The most visited Web page on the Internet, Yahoo collects information and puts it into categories for you.

·         Yahooligan

This is a search engine aimed at kids, but there are special links for parents and teachers, too.

·       YoYSearch

Divides searches into ten categories: web, news, directory, images, groups, weather, movies, products, books, software

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Both the theory and practice of teaching language is discussed here.

·         English Grammar Clinic

A bulletin board for teachers. Guests are permitted to read the messages, which include discussions on technical issues (using software, surfing the Web) and also on grammar points that students stump teachers with (like when it's okay to end a clause with a preposition, or whether to hyphenate often-used compounds). Lots of fun reading for nitpickers and pedants. And by the way, can fun be an adjective?

·         Directory Of MA Dissertations

See what other TESOL MA candidates studied intensively in order to get their teaching degree.


This free site has a lot of wonderful writing prompts ranging from questions that might require a paragraph response to those that solicit a full essay, with topics that include smoking, teen gangs, animal abuse, marriage, and others that should stimulate student thinking. The site is especially designed for teaching Korean students (with some handouts giving Korean translations of vocabulary) but the topics are of universal interest.


This site has a lot of handouts and activities for the classroom. Americans may want to adapt some of the British English to the dialect spoken in the former colonies.

·         Five-Minute English Resources

This site offers a treasure trove of quizzes, lesson plans, and activities for most of the grammar and vocabulary points of interest to ESL students.

·         Hot Potatoes Homepage

The University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, provides online test-making software. You can create HTML pages that have a cloze, crossword, matching, multiple choice, jumbled sentence, jumbled word, or ordering quiz, and you don't have to know any HTML to create it. It's amazing what our friends to the north have come up with...for free.

·         Tom's Page

Tom Robb teaches English in Japan, and he has lots of good ideas and insights to share with other teachers. He offers examples of Web sites created by students, too.

·         History of the English Language

You'll find links to sites that discuss English history, from Runic inscriptions to Shakespeare, as well as some Anglo-Saxon glossaries.

·         Links To ESL/EFL Articles On The Net

This huge ESL site (listed among ESL Sites, above) has a set of links for teachers as well as another set for students. Having your own site added to this index will increase your traffic greatly.

·         TESOL Journal and TESOL Quarterly: Selected Articles

The professional organization for ESL and EFL teachers has an impressive collection of articles written by its members.

·         Teaching The American Literature Archives

Get some tips on how to introduce students to American literature, including specific genres such as works by women and African Americans. You will find links to many actual course syllabi created by teachers.

·         ESL Activities and Games

Dave's ESL Cafe has a discussion board for ESL/EFL teachers to exchange ideas.

·         ESL Idea Page

Dave Sperling of Dave's ESL Cafe has collected and organized a ton of great ideas for teaching all aspects of ESL, including grammar, writing, reading, pronunciation, spelling, and listening.

·         ESL Lesson Plans and Resources

There are many links here, with an emphasis on gamelike activities for teaching different aspects of ESL.

·         SUNY Learning Network Faculty Developer Gateway

You'll find a lot of good advice on how to take advantage of the Internet for getting your students active and interested in your class.

·         Yahoo Teachers' Guide

You'll find help with Internet literacy, lesson plans, course materials, and a wide variety of other things that might enhance your teaching.


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Follow the Student link to practice taking the ACT tests.

·         Educational Testing Service (ETS)
They make the SAT tests and other college exams.

·         Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

You can download some software that lets you practice the TOEFL.

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This is the Writing Center developed for the City University of New York and all its students in the four-year and community colleges. There's help with grammar and advice on writing compositions.


There are a lot of good tips here, including a presentation of vocabulary and spelling points that even the most literate writer might not know.


You can view student writing here. Follow the links to "Meet My Classes," and you will see partner biographies written by students of various levels, along with pictures. Compositions vary greatly in terms of length, use of language, and content. See if you can decide what makes some compositions strong and others weak.

Spelling Slide Show at

The Doubling Rule

(See Purdue, below, for Slide Show instructions.)

·         Purdue University's Online Writing Lab

This site is full of good tips on writing good sentences, paragraphs and compositions. There are slide shows and handouts explaining how to write clearly and convincingly.

Slide Shows at Purdue

(Instructions: With Internet Explorer, when these shows open, RIGHT-click anywhere in the window and choose "Full Screen" from the pop-up menu. You can also RIGHT-click to end the show. With Netscape, choose "Open File" when you are given the choice of "Open" or "Save to disk." The slide show will open in a program called PowerPoint. On the PowerPoint menu bar, click Slide Show/View Slide Show. You can RIGHT-click on the show to end it.)

Punctuating Sentences

Writing More Creative Sentences

Writing an Opinion (expository writing)

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rickshur AT hotmail DOT com

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