As a comment to one of my earlier posts about blogging, reader Diana Bermfadez mentioned a website that was new to me called ManyThings.org. This prompted me to take a look at the site, which is amazing, and think about other useful sites that make ESL/EFL materials available to teachers.
ManyThings is really great because it has lots of online exercises that students can do in class on a computer or, better yet, on their own as homework assignments. There are vocabulary building activities, pronunciation practice tasks, and many types of gap fills and quizzes for all different ages and levels.
I found the minimal pairs section to be really helpful because it gives students the chance to hear, for example, 17 and 70 as many times as necessary to learn how to distinguish the difference between the two. If you could create a weekly or monthly homework log with one activity link per day or week, and maybe even have parents sign off on the amount of time their children spent practicing the specified activities, that could help ensure that students were completing the required tasks and that parents were involved in the process, too.
ManyThings had great digital resources and activities that students could complete online, but I also wanted to share some of my favorite paper-based ESL/EFL resource websites. They are all free to join but require registration. The first is BusyTeacher, which has free articles and worksheets. While it is great to make your own worksheets, I see nothing wrong with starting with a set of materials and adapting them to suit your purposes rather than starting from scratch, especially when teaching common topics like colors or directions. Another site is ESLPrintables, which requires you to post at least one worksheet and earn points to download worksheets created by other users but, if I remember correctly, you start off with enough points to become familiar with the site first.
Finally, the most recent site I have found is TeachersPayTeachers, which is exactly what it sounds like but, in addition to having many teaching resources for sale, there are a ton of free materials. Also, if you sign up for the newsletter, you can get even more worksheets plus free personal- and commercial-use clip-art to spruce up worksheets of your own. While the first two sites are just for ESL/EFL materials, TeachersPayTeachers is not, which just makes searching for resources more interesting.
Now you have one website with online-based activities and three with downloadable teaching materials to make your life a little easier. Thank you, Diana, for sharing that marvelous site ManyThings.org! If anyone else has sites to share, please feel free to post them in the comments section.