by Karen Schweitzer
The web is an excellent place for educators to find free teaching tools for the EFL classroom. There are sites that provide interactive exercises, online communities, virtual robots, podcasts, and other materials designed to enhance classroom instruction. Here are ten fee sites for teachers and students to explore throughout the school year.
ESL Fast – This site provides a virtual robot that is ready to practice more than 2,000 conversations with EFL students. Conversations are designed for beginners and cover a wide range of topics.
Radio Lingua Network – The Radio Lingua Network offers several useful tools for English language learners, including this free EFL course. The course provides practice with phrasal verbs and includes free audio materials.
FreeRice – FreeRice is an excellent tool for teaching English vocabulary and social responsibility. The non-profit site is operated by the United Nations World Food Program. The program donates rice to hungry people for every English vocabulary question that visitors answer correctly.
Lang-8 – Lang-8 is an online language exchange community with members from more than 180 different countries. Students who visit the site can write in English (or another language they are learning) and have their work critiqued and corrected by native speakers.
VerbaLearn – This online teaching tool makes it easy for anyone to create and study vocabulary lists. Students can also complete example sentences online to learn new words in context.
Grammar Girl – Grammar Girl provides easily digestible snippets of English grammar instruction online and through short podcasts. Grammar Girl also provides a daily tip that can be viewed online or delivered via email.
Shmoop – Shmoop is a great place to find free comprehensive literature study guides and other teaching resources for the classroom. The site’s content was created by teachers, Ph.D.s, and Ph.D. candidates from top universities.
Internet TESL Journal – Created specifically for EFL and ESL teachers, this site provides articles and information on teaching and teaching techniques as well as worksheets and activities for the classroom.
Nonstop English – Nonstop English is an online tool for EFL teaching and learning. Students can use the site to practice English grammar, vocabulary, and more through interactive tests, quizzes, and exercises.
Parapal Online – Parapal Online provides a range of interactive exercises for English students who want to improve their vocabulary, grammar, listening, and writing skills. Site visitors can also practice their English with other students in Parapal’s forums and chat rooms.
Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degree programs for OnlineDegreePrograms.org.