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Lesson Planning

ESL Lessons on the Web

In the last 100 years, the number of foreign-born U.S. residents has grown to about 30 million people -- resulting in a corresponding growth in demand for schools to provide effective ESL and EFL programs at all levels of instruction. This week, Education World offers a guide to some of the best online lessons for ESL/EFL students in middle school, high school, and above. Included: Four complete lesson plans -- and links to scores more.

On January 1, 1892, Annie Moore, a 15-year-old Irish girl, became the first immigrant to arrive at Ellis Island, the New York City immigration station. During the following year, nearly half a million additional immigrants passed through Ellis Island. Over the next 62 years, more than 17 million people passed through its doors.

As impressive as those numbers are, however, they pale beside recent figures. In 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 28.4 million U.S. residents were foreign-born. That number represents a 43 percent increase over 1990 figures.

Such unprecedented growth in the number of foreign-born residents has brought with it a corresponding growth in the demand for ESL (English as a second language) and EFL (English as a foreign language) programs. Luckily, some of that demand can be met through the wealth of activities available online.

The Web-based lesson plans below are appropriate for ESL/EFL students in continuing-education programs, as well as for students in middle school and high school. Use one of the featured lessons or try one of the additional lessons found at each site.

Be sure to visit the Education World ESL Center for more ESL/EFL tools and activities.

A brief description of each activity appears below. Click any headline for a complete teaching resource!

Who Am I?
Students write an eight-line autobiographical poem. (Grades 6-8, 9-12, adult)

Write a Caption
Students write a caption to go with an amusing or interesting photograph. (Grades 6-8, 9-12, adult)

Tell a Story
Students share a folktale from their native countries. (Grades 6-8, 9-12, adult)



ESL/EFL Center
Education World's ESL/EFL Center provides tools, lesson plans, activities, articles, a message board, and links to a variety of resources for EFL/ESL teachers and students.

Larry Ferlazzo, Teacher
Ferlazzo, an ELL teacher, has pulled together a great list of resources. You might check out his blog or sign up for his newsletter too.

Classroom Handouts
The EFL/ESL Teachers' Room of provides work sheets on listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

Valuing Our Differences: Celebrating Diversity Calendar
The University of Kansas offers this comprehensive calendar of national, religious, and ethnic holidays.


Last updated 1/12/2012