Top free resources for teaching and learning English Language Arts
The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition collects, coordinates and conveys a broad range of research and resources in support of an inclusive approach to high quality education for ELLs. NCELA is operated by the George Washington University (GW), Graduate School of Education and Human Development under contract from the U. S. Department of Education.
Voice of America offers special broadcasts and materials for learners of English.
LORO (Language Open Resources Online) contains resources for teaching language available to download and reuse, including those used by the Department of Language at the Open University, UK.
Standards for the Foreign Language Arts come from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
ReadWriteThink, a langauge arts based web site with mission “to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in Reading and Language Arts instruction by offering the very best in free resources for teaching” , including classroom resources and professional development. The interactive tools can help them accomplish a variety of goals—from organizing their thoughts to learning about language—all while having fun.
The Ohio Resource Center for Mathematics, Science, & Reading and the Ohio Social Studies Resource Center are great curriculum sharing sites that align with state and national content standards.
The Literacy Web from the University of Connecticut, is designed to promote the use of the Internet as a tool to assist teachers in their search for best practices in literacy instruction, including the new literacies of Internet technologies. Classroom resources for a full range of teaching from pre-K to adult education and ESL are available. Also you can find resources for teacher professional development in literacy and technology integration.
Literacy Network delivers free, top-quality online resources for teaching on literacy instruction and lifelong learning for adults and family literacy programs. Affiliated Organization: National Center for Family Literacy , ProLiteracy.
The National Writing Project (NWP) is a nationwide network of educators working together to improve the teaching of writing in the nation’s schools and in other settings, you can find resources for teaching writing. NWP provides professional development programs to teachers. The NWP Digital Is website is a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world.
HippoCampus has free resources for learning English and composition with instructional videos, it’s good for independent learners.
International Writing Center Association was founded in 1983 to foster communication among writing centers and to provide a forum for concerns. You can find resources for teaching writing like Resources for Writers , K-12 Writing Center, and more.
The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project has an outstanding interactive resource on Romeo and Juliet, as students read the document they can click on any link in the text to view definitions, images, audio recordings, and videos related to the content they’re reading.
Storytelling in Classrooms (for K-5) is a free resource from Discovery Education, it covers lesson ideas from pre-writing to publishing.
Literature-Map – The tourist map of literature – Just type an author’s name into the search box and webbed list of authors will be displayed. The authors’ names closest to the author whose name you entered are the authors whose work you’re most likely to enjoy.
Suggestion from “Radical Curriculum Sharing at the Open High School of Utah” by Todd Finley
- The Virtual Library of Instruction hosts many excellent unit plans designed at the University of Georgia’s by Dr. Peter Smagorinsky’s secondary English majors. Scroll down to see units listed by grade. Titles listed in pink are the best.
- At Teaching That Makes Sense (TTMS.org), Steve Peha has created a ridiculous amount of materials useful for writing instructors and students. Drill, baby, drill into his site.
- PBS.org has standards-aligned high quality multi-media activity kits for ninth- to twelfth-grade language arts teachers.
- Open Culture archives hundreds of free courses. While many of them share everything, other links dead-end at a thumbnail description. Check out the excellent courses and materials related to the teaching of literature.
- Journalistic Ethics contains YouTube lectures by UCLA professors. Content is sophisticated. The audio is not always state-of-the-art.
- MIT’s Opencourseware hosts complete online courses, going back to Fall 2002. Advanced Essay Workshop, Becoming Digital, Writing and Reading Short Stories, Writing and Reading Poems are multi-media rich.
- English Courses from Yale I’ve watched Dr. Amy Hungerford’s lecture on the American Novel four or five times.
- How to Teach Writing: A Resource for UCLA TAs has a comprehensive and detailed collection of practical resources and multimedia.
- Utah State University also shares many useful resources.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, it’s provided as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction. In addition, users are invited to submit brief, writing-related questions to our OWL Mail Tutors. You may also find the Grammar Gang’s blog rather useful.
CLEAR – Center for Language Education and Research – is a U.S. Department of Education Title VI Language Resource Center. The goal of CLEAR’s Rich Internet Applications project is to create tools that are informed by language acquisition research, and engage language learners in active learning. The RIA programs should be used as tools. There is no content in them, there is only functionality. The tools therefore can be used to support any materials. The same tool can be used by any language teacher.
CAPL, Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon, is a project developed by Dr. Michael Shaughnessy at Washington & Jefferson College. It is to provide images that demonstrate the true meaning and intention of the words in a language. CAPL currently has collections of images for teaching and learning English (North American), German, French, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, and Ukranian. All of the images in the collection are licensed under a Creative Commons license.
Skype an Author Network – a network of authors willing to skype with 21st century classroom to speak with teachers and children, sponsored by author Mona Kerby and Library Media Specialist Sarah Chauncey
The Internet TESL Journal – For Teachers of English as a Second Language , there are articles, research papers, lessons plans, classroom handouts, teaching Ideas & links, free online quizzes, exercises to help you study English.
Lingt Language – Get your students speaking, in another language. Lingt Language allows students to practice their foreign language skills online by allowing teachers to build assignments online that use voice, video, images, and text with the Lingt online editor. Students can then interact with the assignments and respond. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
Colorín Colorado is a free web-based service that provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs). Colorín Colorado is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation’s capital. In addition to Colorín Colorado, WETA (Learning Media) also produces LD OnLine, Reading Rockets, and AdLit.org.
ESL-Library provides lesson plans, flashcards, group activities ideas for ESL/EFL teachers worldwide.
Hello-Hello is a FREE language learning website with a community of like-minded individuals that help each other during the learning process. Now there are English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian available. The lessons were developed in collaboration with ACTFL – The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
22frames is for locating captioned videos for learning English and for Internet users who have hearing impairments. For each video 22frames provides a list of idioms, slang words, and commonly mispronounced words in each video. Users can learn the definition and pronunciation tips.
How to pronounce words and use them (by EmbedPlus) – Users can search for a word and not only access conventional audio pronunciations but also time-stamped videos of real people in real situations speaking and using the word in context. The videos could also help teach a word’s pronunciation more effectively by showing the facial gestures needed to produce it and illustrating how it is naturally pronounced with other words, not just in isolation.
Study Stream is a service for learning to read and speak Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. It is a collection of videos and articles in the languages . The videos and articles are accompanied by side-by-side translations to help you follow along. There are exercises too.
Grammar Bytes offers Language Art teachers and students the glossary of terms, handouts, interactive exercises, slide show presentations, tips and videos.
Great Source iWrite from the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt company features an animated and narrated glossary of grammar terms, with videos explaining the use of punctuation and mechanics of writing.
Wordsmyth is a educational dictionary site offers a beginner’s picture dictionary along with a full dictionary, puzzle solvers, glossary makers, quiz makers.
Lexipedia is like a beefed up dictionary, giving the definitions of words and then providing diagrams of related words and their definitions.
Snappy Words – free online visual English dictionary and thesaurus with intuitive and interesting user interface, a networking between words is created according to what you input.
Visuwords is a thesaurus reimagined. It uses a web design to show users the definitions of words and the connections between words. (one of 50 best websites by Times, 2009)
Wordia features a selection of user-submitted and professionally created videos explaining the meaning of a word and its everyday use.
Forvo hosts hundreds of recordings of word pronunciations by native speakers. Currently there are around 200 languages supported on Forvo. Its content is user supported and user generated so new pronunciations are added frequently.
Verbs Online provides foreign language students with a good selection of activities for practicing verb conjugations. Practice activities are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.
The following websites are for building vocabulary capability :
- Vocabulix provides numerous free tools for learning Spanish, German, or English. Vocabulix can be used to create quizzes or take quizzes online. It has a social networking option that helps match native speakers with learners.
- WordSteps is a resource for learning the vocabulary of your choice of nine languages with six types of practice activities.
- ESL Basics is a site that provides short video vocabulary lessons for beginning and advanced ESL students.
Wordle – enter your text, select Go and you instantly produce a graphic representation that’s pleasing and interesting, it’s a good tool to observe words and its trend in different kinds of contents like websites, articles, speeches …
Tagxedo – Dazzle your project with these word clouds. Choose a picture or shape, then add your words and voila, a visually enticing display. Tagxedo can be used to demonstrate speeches, animal reports, or anything else you can imagine. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning) The site also features a list of 101 ways to use the resource.
PicLits – If a picture is worth a thousand words, then let this site provide the picture to inspire your words. Choose a picture from the gallery, and add text. Word choices are available or use your own. There is also an introduction to writing poetry using this tool. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
StoryBird – it help kids to create short, visual stories. You can save them, share them and (soon) print them. Use Storybird’s beautiful illustrations to tell your own story or do a collaborative storytelling.
StoryJumper – you can read stories, create and publish your own story books, then share stories online for free and order beautiful hardback books.
ZooBurst – Add a new dimension to storytelling, reports, and presentations with ZooBurst’s digital 3-D tool. In this safe and protected space, students create and customize pop-up stories; add their own voice to characters, upload artwork or items from a built-in database of over 10,000 free images and materials. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
Kerpoof – Explore, create, and design at Kerpoof. Make a picture, a movie, a drawing or a card by selecting a background and then dragging and dropping your selected additions. There’s a host of activities that you can do at Kerpoof. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
My StoryMaker – from the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, lets students create their own stories that are archived for 30 days. Once created, a story is saved as a PDF and can be exported to a computer for permanent access. Students can play with characters, shapes, colors, movement, and sentences.
Myths and Legends – A site for those who enjoy stories and storytelling. Read digital myths, folktales and legends about the British Isles. Students and teachers can add to the stories and there are thousands of stories to choose from. (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)
On AdLit teachers can find book lists, video interviews with authors, and a comprehensive list of strategies for teaching reading and writing. Its focus is on adolescent literature.
Art of Storytelling features paintings housed in the gallery of the Delaware Art Museum, and students can create digital stories inspired by the artwork. Students can also read and record their stories aloud.
Write Rhymes is a fun little site where you can find all the words that rhyme with the word you input.
Kindersay is designed for use by pre-K students. There are more than 500 activities that students can use.
DailyWritingTips has all kinds of information for writers, and there is a free ebook on grammar.
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