Effective Online Tools & Resources for Teachers and Learners

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Over the past two years, I have been attending a lot of webinars, presentations, conferences, dialogues and online courses. I’ve also been reading blogs and articles as well as doing presentations and writing blogposts. I’ve gained knowledge and collected remarkable resources. Tools like the ones below can help us design tasks that will engage and motivate our learners.

Useful Online Resources & Tools

Reading Tools:

ReadWorks: Has many reading resources for learners from kindergarten to grade12 with over 100 different topics suitable for ESL learners. If you have Google Classroom you can link it. The student library is great to use for extensive reading. Readworks

 Breaking News English: 3, 025 free English news lessons for beginner to advanced learners. Teachers can use/adapt some of the lesson plans. Breaking News

News in Levels: English news for learners. This website takes authentic news stories and simplifies them for intermediate to lower levels. They also provide video and audio of the written passage. News in Levels

Cambridge Assessment English: Free material for students at different levels. Teachers can adapt some of the short activities.  Cambridge English

Writing Tools:

Padlet: Free digital bulletin board to post messages, images, video recordings or an online link. Perfect tool to enhance virtual teaching. Padlet

Write and Improve: Free tool for students who want feedback on their writing. Write and Improve

Book Creator & Make BeliefsComix: Book Creator lets students use this free website to create interactive stories, poetry books, ‘About me’ books …etc. Makebeliefscomix empowers students to express their ideas and stories in comics. Bookcreator  &  Makebeliefs Comix

Speaking Tools:

Flipgrid: A video discussion platform where teachers create a space for their class, set a speaking task, and learners reply with a video. Students do not need to sign up and one classroom is free. Flipgrid

Voki: A great tech tool, but students need to sign up to use the free version. Teachers can assign homework or a speaking project. Teachers can create an avatar and add a voice to make it speak. Voki

 Listening Tools:

Lyrics Training: Great for students to learn the words of songs and choose music they want to use when practicing English. A good resource for fill-the-gap activities. Lyrics Training

ESL Brain: Provides clips of talks by people giving their opinion on different topics. Authentic materials, perfect for high-level students. ESLBrains

BBC Learning English:  Awesome materials here. Suitable for lower and upper intermediate students. BBC Learn English Drama

 ESL Video: Contains many videos with quizzes created by instructors. Videos for youthful and adult learners, from beginner to advanced level. Teachers can also add their own videos and quizzes for their students. ESL Video

Grammar & Vocabulary Tools:

 Live Worksheets: This tool allows teachers to turn printable worksheets into interactive worksheets and observe students’ progress. Has many readily available worksheets that you can use. Liveworksheets

Kahoot: A game-based learning platform that is a great tool to check/assess students understanding. Teachers can use the free version for grammar points. Kahoot

 Quizlet: Free resource help students learn/practice/memorise vocabulary. Quizlet

Quiz your English: A great app for self-study. Students play games with other students around the world. Cambridge Quiz Your English

Pronunciation Tools:

 Ship or Sheep: Free resource, perfect for minimal pair practice. Ship or Sheep

Sounds: The pronunciation app: Students study sounds and practise using them. Free version available. Macmillan Education Apps

Forvo: A free pronunciation dictionary. Listen to how words, including names of places etc., are pronounced by people from around the world. Forvo

BBC pronunciation videos:  Free pronunciation workshop videos (assimilation, linking, schwa, long vowels, short vowels, diphthongs, voiced and voiceless constants …etc. BBC Learn English Pronunciation

There are many online resources that learners can use to help develop their skills autonomously. I wonder what websites you have recommended to learners for help with listening, speaking, writing, reading, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary skills. Please, share your ideas/resources in the comments section. I would love to know.

Post written by: Gonul Turkdogan

Gonul has a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Women Studies. She earned her TESL Certificate and Master of Applied Linguistics (TESL) and previously taught ESL in China and Turkey. She has taught a variety of EAP courses at Niagara College in the School of English Language Studies since 2013, including Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, and Grammar (beginner through advanced level). Given the present downturn in international student numbers, Gonul is now  working in two part-time positions: as a Drop-In Facilitator in the Niagara College Library (strategies for note-taking, academic writing, and time management), and as an interpreter for the Canadian Border Service.




Gonul - I graduated from Brock University, with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Women Studies, earned a TESL Certificate and Master of Applied Linguistics (TESL). Previously, I taught ESL in China and Turkey. I have taught a variety of EAP courses at Niagara College in the School of English Language Studies since 2013. Currently working three part-time jobs: as a Peer Tutor Program Coordinator in Niagara College’s Library, a communication professor for the School of Academic and Liberal Studies, and an interpreter for Canadian Border Services. Currently, I am a volunteer with TESL Ontario (TESL Exchange Videos, Dialogues, Webinars and Blogposts). My research interests are Extensive Reading and Second Language Reading.


16 thoughts on “Effective Online Tools & Resources for Teachers and Learners”

  1. Hello All,

    Because of the word count (700), I couldn’t post all my resources here. However, I have more resources to share! Please, do not hesitate to ask:)

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Gonul, These recommended sites will be put to good use. I’ll likely contact you in the future to ask for more. Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you Gonul! Practical, solid, useful list for ESL/LINC instructors…(I’m happy to see many I know and use and grateful for new suggestions).

    Just as I bought my own copies of many classroom resources I have upgraded and paid for some of my “own” online resources – Padlet, ZOOM, ESLLibrary etc. ( I teach using ZOOM at the moment on the account provided to us by my SPO – but kept my personal ZOOM). I haven’t worked out yet how much I spent this “COVID” year (+ new Macbook!) – but it is comforting to have these. I’ve been able to download some favourite grammar resources and used the material in my Google Classroom platform.

    The LINC 5-7 LINC Activities binders (and I’m sure the spiral bound lower levels) are available digital..this has meant that I am able to replicate much of what I used in F2F – but “online” gave me greater potential to enhance and use media (e.g. well known pronunciation “mavens” – Rachel, Tifani, Jennifer! )

    Learning Management Systems? I subscribed to the free, basic GOOGLE Classroom – what a godsend in those early days of learning about online pedagogy. Intuitive, flexible, usable! (I experimented with EDMODO in the past – also free version. I haven’t checked it out lately.)

    Can’t count the hours I spent “learning” the resources -(thank you YouTube!! (esp Russel Stannard, Alice Keeler) but have been amply rewarded for time and sweat (equity!)

    What an adventure!

    1. Hello Claudie,

      Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience and some tools with us. This is wonderful!  

      I love sharing and I truly hope we will have some instructors who will share their online tools that we can give it a  try.

      I also learned a lot from Russel Stannard!  He is a lifesaver.  I am going to check, Alice Keeler.

      I agree with you, it is a very challenging adventure what we are going through.

      Thanks again for reading my blog post.

  3. Hello Gonul,

    I have also been attending webinars and courses in the last two years and completely agree with you that these resources are lifesavers, particularly ReadWorks, Quizlet, Padlet, Live worksheets, Kahoot, ESL Brain and Breaking News English. I would like to add here agenda web for grammar, eslhandouts for skill-based lessons, esl-lab for listening, Youtube for Rachel, Jennifer and Mark Kulek, TED Talks for videos and vocaroo for voice recording. I will check out the resources on pronunciation that you have posted. Thanks for sharing:)

    1. Hello Keresa,

      You are most welcome and thank you for reading my blog post.

      Thank you for sharing the Beeblio Vocab. App with us. To be honest, I do not know much about it because it is a new app and they are still working on the platform to make it better. All I know, it is a good tool for international Ss, and Business English learners to improve their vocabulary.

      I have recently found the below post, you might be interested. Here is the link:

      1. Hi, again Keresa,

        I forgot to mention it earlier. Beeblio App has a very neat feature and I truly like that. For example, Ss can copy-paste any URL that you are interested in or you can upload a pdf, txt, doc …etc. And it will give you an option to eliminate/remove the most frequently used vocabulary from the text/passage that you uploaded.

        My favorite is still quizlet tough.

  4. Thanks for your list, Gonul. I’ve used a few of these, like Padlet, Kahoot and Quizlet. I haven’t been inspired by the latter two (am I the only one who finds them fairly simple?); I do Zoom polls for quick little quizzes and surveys.

    I just looked through Write&Improve and Liveworksheets. They look promising; I plan to try them out next term. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are most welcome, Joan, and thank you for reading my blogpost. I am glad you found a few resources which look promising to use.

      You are not alone, I also found them very simple. Zoom polls are fun to use.

  5. Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience and some tools with us. This is wonderful!

    I love sharing and I truly hope we will have some instructors who will share their online tools that we can give it a try.

    I also learned a lot from Russel Stannard! He is a lifesaver. I am going to check, Alice Keeler….

    I agree with you, it is a very challenging adventure what we are going through.

    1. Thank you, Maria, for your kind words. I truly appreciate it.

      Yes, that’s why I wrote this Blogpost so that we can all share our best resources during these difficult times.

      I totally agree! I also learned a lot from Russel S.

  6. Hello there,

    Thank you very much for your kindness. I am so glad that you found it helpful. This means a lot to me:) I love helping and sharing what I may have to support other teachers. Please feel free to share!

  7. Good morning Nishtha,

    Thank you very much for reading my blog post and leaving a nice comment. I appreciate it!

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