Professional development for ESL/EFL teachers: free or ‘worth investing into’ web resources


Private language schools that were started with a ‘business only’ idea in mind are not very keen on offering their teachers adequate professional development.
So, how can conscientious teachers stay up-to-date with the ESL industry developments if they end up working for schools like that?
Luckily, there are a lot of fantastic online resources to get ESL practitioners started. They can offer:

• inspiring teaching ideas
• opportunities to update their knowledge and skills
• projects to try
• help with professional dilemmas
• new IT tools to integrate in their work.

Here’s my list:

1. My personal favourite is the blog written by Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers. It is hugely popular among teachers of different subjects. The blog is comprehensive, updated daily and will literally swamp you with endless free IT tools for your classroom.

2. Blogs maintained by the legends in the ESL industry:

Jeremy Harmer
Scott Thornbury
David Crystal
Nik Peachy

Other worth exploring blogs:

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day
A collection of blogs from Onestopblogs

All of them are informative and thought-provoking.

4. Here is the list of free or affordable blogging platforms if you would like to keep a personal record of your teaching experience:

WordPress (free but a hosting solution is required)
Blogger (free)
Edublogs (free)
TypePad (affordable)
Movebletype (free)

5. Active ESL/EFL communities worth joining:

TESOL International Association

6. Would you like to start your own Personal Learning Network? To create it, here are the platforms to research: (free) (free) (free) (free) (paid)

7. Lots of video tutorials to help you learn different IT tricks for your blog, community or class:

ELT/ESL Training Videos

8. Pod/videocasts:

Pearson Longman Professional Development

9. Webinars:

Macmillan Webinars

10. E-books: an excellent collection of free e-books to get you started or enhance your IT skills for education is listed on Shelly Terrell’s blog

So, what are you waiting for? Get started now!


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