Finding the Most Suitable ESL Teaching Resources

The best way to locate useful ESL resources for teachers is simply to spend one's free time searching. This means not only surfing the internet for ESL worksheets, ESL games, and ESL activities, but also going to the librFindiary to browse the local ESL section and see what is available.

Bookstores provide the most up to date and best-selling materials, which are often the most useful for a wide variety of classes. In addition, the growth of online bookstores gives teachers a new avenue for finding and comparing materials. Online bookstores have the added benefit of offering user reviews of materials, so teachers can consider the advantages and drawbacks of materials before deciding upon purchasing them. In the modern age, there is a growing number of materials and choices for teachers when selecting ESL resources, and with added choice comes an added responsibility to spend the necessary time finding the most appropriate materials.

In addition to the textbooks found in bookstores, individual worksheets--including those that you make or those that you find online--can be the difference between a successful class and one that fails to achieve expectations. After spending years teaching students textbook after textbook, many EFL teachers begin to feel exasperated at their students' lack of progress. This is understandable given the relative uniformity of many texts and the fact that a textbook written for one culture may have limited suitability for another culture. In this context, ESL worksheets can often be the difference between a class that progresses rapidly and a class that becomes frustrated and falls behind.

Granted, teachers may need to spend some of their free time to develop and print worksheets, but this hard work will certainly pay dividends, both in terms of the overall enjoyment level of the class and students' abilities to grasp the material. Best of all, worksheets can be used in combination with any textbook series. For example, if students encounter particularly difficult vocabulary words or grammar points in a chapter, the teacher can make an introductory worksheet for the following class in order to ensure that everyone is on the "same page".

Moreover, these worksheets help create more structure for the children. For example, each class can begin with a warm-up, progress to the textbook's standard lesson, then feature an English worksheet, after which the class can be ended with a review session. Children respond well to structures such as this, and the chance to do a worksheet either by themselves or in groups gives them a welcome respite from the tedious and repetitive nature of most lecture-based classes. Teachers should thus look at worksheets as more than simply assignments, and as activities that can inject joy into each class!

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