Coronavirus Resources for ELT

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves and spreads globally, closing down public venues, shuttering people in their homes, and suspending schooling, many teachers are left unsure what to do. English language learners and their families can find themselves in a particularly stressful place if they don’t have the language proficiency to fully understand the facts about the virus and discern truth from misinformation. Additionally, because the epicenter of the outbreak is located in China, some people identifying as Asian and Asian American have been the subject of racially charged bullying and aggression.

All of this means that it’s crucial to provide our students—English learners and proficient English speakers alike—and their families with accurate and updated information that they can comprehend, whether you’re still teaching face to face or all your classes have moved online. Here are some resources for teaching and learning to help you through this challenging time.

We’ll continue to update this blog post as more information and resources become available.

Resources for Schools and Teachers Serving English Learners

★ NEW ★ Covid-19: Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (Wiley)
Wiley is using this site to highlight newly published academic articles—all free of access—related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Ten Strategies for Teaching English-Language Learners Online (EdWeek)
This fourth post in a multiseries brings together English language experts to share ideas and strategies related to teaching ELs online. (Free registration required)

Supporting Multilingual Learners (MLLs)/English Language Learners (ELLs) During the COVID-19 Shutdown (TNTP; The New Teacher Project)
Recommendations and guidance on what to consider as you determine how to best continue your students’ language and literacy development, including language considerations for specific tech tools and online resources.

Distance Learning During COVID-19: 7 Equity Considerations for Schools and Districts (Southern Education Foundation)
This brief outlines digital equity issues and provides resources to ensure that all students have access to learning opportunities during this crisis.

Continuity Planning and Emergency Preparedness (OLC Institute for Professional Development)
OLC community-contributed resources to support your efforts around emergency preparedness and continuity planning.

School Responses to COVID-19: ELL/Immigrant Considerations (Colorín Colorado)
Tips for schools and districts to ensure that English learners and their families are included in all communications and school closure plans related to COVID-19.

Supporting Every Teacher (Cambridge University Press)
This series of blog posts provides expert advice on how to move your classes online.

Coronavirus Pandemic and Rights of Students with Disabilities (Disability Rights Texas)
A handout highlighting some key special education requirements that may assist you in ensuring that students with disabilities continue to receive a free and appropriate public education.

Taking Your Teaching Online (The TESOL Blog)
This blog post provides information about choosing between synchronous and asynchronous online learning, selecting an LMS and video software, and utilizing free resources when transitioning to online teaching. Virtual classroom activities suggested.

myTESOL COVID-19 Resources Group (TESOL International Association)
English language educators share COVID-19 and online teaching resources and have discussions. The group is open to all and free to join (registration required; instructions here).

Responding to COVID-19: Educator First Steps (The TESOL Blog)
Teachers are finding themselves having to adapt and change with new pandemic paradigms. Here’s where to get started to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Free Online Resources for Schools Shifting Online During Coronavirus (National School Choice Week)
A list of free online resources for schools, educators, and administrators to help them navigate the new online education landscape.

10 Strategies for Online Learning During a Coronavirus Outbreak (ISTE)
ISTE’s professional learning networks have identified 10 key practices for successful online learning.

Coronavirus Resources (TESOL International Association)
TESOL provides a list of links from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and others to help you stay updated on the virus.

Coronavirus: Multilingual Resources for Schools (Colorín Colorado)
This page includes multilingual resources, fact sheets, and infographics.

Coronavirus Information Sheet (Ontario Ministry of Education)
This information sheet is available in 28 languages.

Poster: Stop Germs, Stay Healthy! (King County Health Department, Washington, USA)
This poster illustrating the proper way to wash hands and stop the spread of germs is available in 22 languages.

Public Service Announcement (Minnesota Department of Health)
This brief video about coronavirus is available in American Sign Language.

Sifting Through the Coronavirus Pandemic (Infodemic)
Before you teach about coronavirus, it’s important that you know the facts. This blog outlines the four steps that will allow you to sort fact from fiction on the web; these are great skills for teachers and learners alike.

For the (Virtual) Classroom

★ NEW ★ Online ESL Learning Tools (
Links to various free online tools for ESL teachers and students.

★ NEW ★ Penguin Random House Open License (Penguin Random House)
Penguin Random House is permitting teachers and educators to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events using its content (through 2020 December 31)

How to Support English Language Learners During E-Learning (EdTech Magazine)
An article focusing on bridging the digital divide and tailoring ed tech tools to ELL students’ needs.

Resources for Learning at Home: English Language Learners (Colorado Department of Education)
This site provides extensive online resource lists, sorted by grade level, for English learners.

Digital Resources For EL Students (New America)
This list focuses on online resources that would benefit English learners.

English for Anxious Times (Speaking of English)
Activities and resources for teaching English online, covering multiple skills.

Learning Keeps Going
This coalition of education organizations has curated free tools, strategies, tips and best practices for teaching online in the following categories:

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)
Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children.

56 Free K–12 Resources During the Coronavirus Pandemic (District Administration)
A list of free teaching resources and education services.

What Science Classes Are Teaching Students About Coronavirus (EdSurge)
This article shares ways some science teachers are taking new approaches to teaching students about pandemics, viral infections, and coronavirus.

How Teachers Are Talking to Students About the Coronavirus (Education Week)
This article shares a few ways to address the virus with your students without causing undue stress or panic, as well as a few coronavirus lesson ideas.

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus (NPR)
This comic is a great way to engage students in the discussion—in particular those who would benefit from visual scaffolding. A printable and foldable version is available.

Coronavirus Lesson (BrainPOP)
This lesson includes a 4-minute video, reading about viruses, vocabulary terms to preteach, a graphic organizer to help students separate facts from fears, and more.

Lesson of the Day: ‘What Is the Coronavirus? Symptoms, Treatment and Risks’ (The New York Times)
In this lesson, older students learn about the virus and how people are responding to it around the world.

Dealing With Coronavirus-Related Racism and Xenophobia

Countering COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Stigma and Racism: Tips for Parents and Caregivers (National Association of School Psychologists)
Recommendations for adults to model acceptance and compassion in their words and behavior.

Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus (Teaching Tolerance)
This article covers the historical context behind racism around Asian American or Pacific Islander groups and how to interrupt racism and equip students with the skills to recognize and respond to bias.

Coronavirus: Protect Yourself and Stand Against Racism (Facing History and Ourselves)
This teaching idea provides an outline of facts about the virus, allows students to explore instances of coronavirus-related racism, and gives them the opportunity to become upstanders.

If you have resources about coronavirus or stories to share about teaching related to coronavirus, please share in the comments.

About Tomiko Breland

Tomiko Breland
Tomiko Breland is TESOL managing editor. She received her BA in English from Stanford University, her MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University, and her certificate in TESOL from Anaheim University.
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One Response to
Coronavirus Resources for ELT

  1. Maureen Pierce says:

    Would we need our school district to subscribe in order for EL teachers to have access?

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