I'm an adult ESL teacher. I worked in Palm Beach County as a public school teacher and have my Statement of Eligibility for English 6-12.
In this article, I will offer some resources to help keep your students engaged. These resources are for teachers and parents that are looking to make distance learning a little more fun and engaging. I also have some resources that can offer more structure for the students and parents that may need it.
Since I work with adults and high school students the most, that's where I'm going to start. I have three resources for you. One of them is free. The others cost some money, but they are relatively affordable. All of these are ACE (American Council on Education) accredited and fall under their Alternative Credit Project (ACP). You can find out more about ACP here.
Note: Because the ACP has ended, students should contact the registrar or admissions offices at listed schools to confirm that credits articulated under the ACP are still being granted to new students.
- Sophia—They are offering college classes for free until July 31st due to the current crisis. If you end up going to one of their partner schools, the credits transfer. Otherwise, you may need to test out of the class. The good news is taking the test is cheaper than taking the class.
- Straighterline—Their courses start from about $59 per class and are also ACE accredited.
ESL Resources: Adult and High School
Next up, I'm going to recommend some adult and high school resources for anyone who is learning English as a second language.
- Coursera—They are offering some free courses due to the current crisis. The main categories are English/ language learning, mental health and well-being, professional development, college, and high school students. These courses are free and offer a free certificate at the end as well. You can add the certification to your Linkedin profile as well.
- Test-English—This is great for self-study, especially with grammar. They are a newer website that I've used with my adult students and they work really well. It's especially excellent for grammar practice. Unfortunately, the last time I checked they didn't have any writing practices yet.
- BBC—This is a great well-rounded site for giving structured ESL lessons and for self-study. It does everything step-by-step. On YouTube, they even have a video series that's called the grammar game show. Just watch out for differences in spelling and different word use if you're learning American English. I would recommend taking the English test to find out your English level before you start.
- ESL videos—This is great for practicing listening. They have all kinds of different videos with quiz questions.
Educational Resources: Middle School
Here are some resources that I've personally used with my former students.
- Flocabulary—The first week is free and they have some great lesson plans and videos that align with common core standards.
- Project ideas for your middle schooler—If you need a fun reading project for your middle schooler, this link has some great suggestions.
- Sparknotes—This one isn't for just middle school, but it's a great resource for reading nonetheless. They have explanations, summaries, and quizzes.
- Common Lit—This one is free and works well for both high school and middle school students. It has reading passages and some great questions to go with them. A bonus is that these line up with Common Core standards.
- British Council Teens—This is similar to the adult ESL resource bank, but the resources are specifically for teen students. They're well structured and give great instructions and visuals.
- Dogo News—Complete with questions, videos, vocabulary, and more this is a great resource to get your student interested in the news. The free version doesn't include the questions, but it's still a wonderful resource regardless.
- Free Rice—This resource is a lot of fun for teens and middle school students. The company donates rice for each correct answer. There are questions for vocabulary and grammar. This was a personal favorite with my students.
- Sports Illustrated Kids—This is great for the sports lovers out there. It has engaging articles designed by kids and for kids. This is another resource that's completely free.
Great Self-Study Resources
- Adventure Academy—This is a great way to learn about science, math, and reading by playing games. It's a good way for your student to learn without getting bored.
- ABCYa—This is another resource that's great for learning while playing games. It's separated by grade level and aligns with common core standards. It goes from Kindergarten through sixth grade.
- Learning Chocolate—This is a great grammar and vocabulary resource for ESOL students. The vocabulary lessons are separated by category, and under the special series you can find some grammar resources.
These resources are great for when your student is stuck on a problem for math homework. Since I've tutored math for over six years, these are all websites that I've used personally and at the base level they're all free.
- Purple Math—I've found this particularly helpful for tutoring. They do in-depth explanations of math problems and include examples. This resource works better if you are able to sit with your student and provide some verbal explanation to walk them through the information.
- IXL—This resource is a little more hands off and comes with practice exercises. It's a great self-study tool. This goes from K-12 and it even has some Spanish practice. It's free up to a certain amount of questions. If you want to use more content, there's a paid membership as well.
- Free Math Help—This one is just what it says. Free math help. It has explanations of different math concepts. There's even a message board and some games for math practice as well.
- Khan Academy—This is a resource that you may already be familiar with. It offers videos, explanations, and practice problems. It's a great self-study resource.
- Math is Fun—This resource has some games and puzzles for your student as well as some good math explanations with lots of visuals. It's great for a more visual learner.
Bonus Educational Resources
- Scholastic—Right now, Scholastic is offering free resources for Pre-K through Grade 9. This is great if you need more structured learning resources
- Skillshare—Skillshare is free to start, so if you want to learn a new skill or work or just want to pick up a new hobby, this is a great place to go.
- Ereading Worksheets—This is great if you need some worksheets to give your student a little extra practice. This website also has some English themed games for your student.
- Literary Devices—Like the name implies, this free resource offers definitions and explanations of the different literary devices for your student.
- Teacher.org—This website has lesson plans for teachers. If you're struggling to give your student structure, this is a good place to check for some lesson plans.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
sowspeaks from Bengaluru on May 20, 2020:
Hi! That was a fairly comprehensive list that students,teachers and parents are sure to find useful.Good that you did not stick to English alone and included math as well.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on May 17, 2020:
My grandchildren were home schooled prior to the crisis. Thank you for sharing these resources.