Tips on Creating ESL Resources to Reinforce Students’ Learning Part 1

ESL Resources image

This post covers three aspects of creating your own ESL resources: benefits, sources of inspiration and process.

There are numerous websites and print based materials designed for ESL students; however, I am convinced that the ability to develop your own resources for your ESL classes is essential for every ESL teacher.

Why create your own resources?

Custom resources have a number of advantages for ESL learners. Well-designed and thought through worksheets and activities:

  • ensure more structured lessons
  • assist with a more focused delivery
  • improve students’ memory retention
  • reinforce learning
  • contribute to learners’ assessment/portfolios
  • provide variety
  • encourage higher order thinking

For teachers who create them, custom resources:

  • showcase their skills
  • help achieve teaching goals
  • develop their knowledge of resources
  • contribute to their teaching portfolio
  • help develop additional skills such as instructional design, word processing or ICT specific knowledge.

Sources of Inspiration

  • newspaper/magazine articles
  • online news
  • junk mail/other advertising material
  • work/school related texts
  • official documents (contracts, letters from a local council, etc.)
  • formal letters
  • bills
  • recipes
  • emails
  • podcasts
  • manuals
  • movies
  • real estate brochures
  • blog posts
  • brochures
  • infographics
  • street signs
  • job advertisements
  • Pinterest (lots and lots of amazing photos)
  • websites relevant to students’ needs (e.g. Yellow/White Pages, Library, Centrelink, Medicare, online shopping, job seeking, etc.)
  • youtube/vimeo/videojug videos
  • students’ own writing

What process is involved in designing ESL resources?

  1. Check the Teacher’s Book/Module/Unit
  2. Examine the unit/module material
  3. Choose the focus for your activity (e.g. vocabulary, grammar, spelling, settlement information, skill, etc.)
  4. Decide on the type of your activity
  5. Develop your activity
  6. Trial your activity with your students
  7. Adjust your activity accordingly
  8. Recycle

Part 2 will include some important pedagogical and design considerations.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


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