43 Excellent ESL Resources for Students

There are over 1 billion people all over the world learning English right now. Luckily for them, there are now, more than ever, a plethora of great resources on the Web to make this challenge easier.

We’ve put together this guide to help students, from teens to adults, get the help they need to achieve their goals with learning English. We’ve divided the resources into five sections to help you find exactly what you want.


  • Activities for ESL Students: This site includes exercises, puzzles and quizzes to help students learning English as a second language. The content is contributed by teachers and categorized by language and difficulty level.
  • Common Errors in English Usage: This is a companion site to Paul Brians’ book of the same title. The site  explains some of the most commonly misused and misunderstood aspects of English. For example, apostrophes are only used to indicate possession or omitted letters in a contraction, not to indicate plural.
  • English Media Lab: This site includes exercises, many using audio or video, introducing English vocabulary and pronunciation. Exercises are categorized by difficulty level and subject matter, such as “planning a poker night”, “phone expressions” and “immigration and going through customs.”
  • ESL Podcast: The ESL podcasts help students learn pronunciation and word usage in a conversational context. The podcasts use current events, pop culture and typical social situations to illustrate concepts.
  • Interesting Things for ESL Students: This site includes a variety of exercises and interactive activities for ESL students. The “listen and repeat” and “listen and read along” sections may be helpful for ESL students and native speakers working on basic skills.
  • Kenneth’s ESL Blog: This blog is written by an ESL teacher and content developer. Content includes advice on grammar, word usage and other topics of interest to non-native speakers, such as the importance of effective cover letters when applying for jobs.
  • Talk English: Talk English helps students identify, integrate and understand English through a series of exercises categorized into topics such as interview English, business English, travel English, etc.

Vocabulary & Grammar

  • 20-Minute ESL Lesson: This site contains a series of English vocabulary exercises designed to be completed in 20 minutes. Each lesson includes listen and repeat audio, a quiz and a follow-up activity.
  • Easy Vocabulary Quizzes with Pictures: This site offers interactive vocabulary quizzes that ask students to match nouns, verbs and adjectives with pictures.
  • ELC Study Zone: ELC Study Zone is part of the University of Victoria English Language Centre. The site offers vocabulary lists and exercises categorized into subjects including Canadian coins, furniture, and kitchen utensils.
  • English Grammar Online 4 U: This site helps students learn to compose positive and negative sentences and learn tenses through a series of exercises categorized by skill level.
  • ESL Gold: ESL Gold presents ESL resources including vocabulary guides and textbook recommendations as well as lessons categorized by skill level, from low beginning to advanced.
  • Hyperlink: This site is a comprehensive resource for ESL students, presenting test preparation guides, vocabulary lists and games, verb usage and more.
  • Illustrated Vocabulary: Illustrated Vocabulary helps students learn elementary vocabulary in English, Dutch, French and Danish through multiple choice picture games.
  • LanguageGuide.org: This site helps Spanish-speaking students learn English vocabulary through language guides and pictures.
  • Match the Picture: This site helps students learn English vocabulary through picture matching games.
  • Vancouver Community College ESL: This site, published by Vancouver Community College, helps students in literacy level 1/2 learn vocabulary through a series of exercises and puzzles, emphasizing Canadian vocabulary.
  • Vocabulary.co.il: This site helps ESL students learn English vocabulary through a series of games. Games are categorized as slangs/idioms, analogy, contractions, etc.

Listening & Reading Comprehension

  • Easy Reading for Adult ESL Beginners: This site presents short stories at a basic reading level that introduce English vocabulary and expressions. Students have the option of listening while they read.
  • Elllo: Elllo helps students learn English naturally, through lessons that include recorded conversation, text notes, quizzes and more. Lessons include a variety of subjects and are categorized by skill level.
  • EnglishMed.com: This site helps ESL students learn English vocabulary used in medial settings.
  • ESL Fast: ESL Fast, published by Pasadena City College, includes a variety of ESL resources. The site allows students to practice conversation on a variety of subjects, with animated tutors.
  • ESL Gold Speaking Phrases: This site helps ESL students learn conversational phrases by listening to audio recordings and completing accompanying exercises.
  • Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab: This site offers a wealth of resources to help ESL students learn English vocabulary. Lessons include recorded audio listening quizzes on a variety of topics and in various skill levels, 20-minute vocabulary lessons and longer conversations with video.
  • Real English: This site offers video exercises on a variety of subjects, including more specific information, such as the differences between US and UK speech and normal, formal and informal introduction.
  • TalkEnglish.com: This site offers a number of listening exercises categorized by beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Each lesson includes a quiz, and students have the option of viewing the dialogue while listening.

Business English Help

  • Business English Grammar Exercises: This site helps ESL students learn the finer points of grammar through a series of quizzes and exercises.
  • Business English Lessons: This site includes interactive exercises and reference materials to help ESL students prepare for business interactions. Topics include presentations, negotiations, etc.
  • Business English Pod: Business English Pod offers portable ESL lessons specifically designed for use on an MP3 player.
  • BusinessEnglishSite.com: This site is a comprehensive resource for ESL students in business. Lessons are divided into subjects like Information Technology and Sales and Marketing, and more specific subjects like English for Sales.
  • English Club:  This site includes references and exercises teaching pronunciation, vocabulary and reading skills on a variety of business topics.
  • ESL Gold Useful Phrases: This site helps ESL students learn useful business expressions for use in business interactions, correspondence, and presentation. The lessons include specific grammar rules, like using appropriate tenses, with written exercises and audio recordings.
  • Learn-English-Today: This site offers a comprehensive library of business English vocabulary (with definitions), and crossword and word search games to help students learn vocabulary.
  • Linguarama: Linguarama presents exercises to help ESL students learn business language specific to sales.
  • Nonstop English: Nonstop English helps ESL students learn business vocabulary and phrases by choosing the appropriate word to complete a sentence.
  • Parapal Online: Parapal Online helps ESL students learn business vocabulary through multiple choice quizzes and exercises. This site also includes a library of business letters.
  • SpeakSpeak: This site offers advice on and examples of business English usage in common business documents, vocabulary, etiquette, grammar rules, word usage, and more. The site also offers grammar and vocabulary exercises at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level.
  • TalkEnglish.com: Talk English presents lessons that teach ESL students how to use common words and phrases in a business office setting.
  • World-English: This site includes links and activities that help ESL students learn how to use English in business communication, such as letters, resumes, etc.

Writing Resources

  • English Writing Skills: This site helps ESL students improve their business writing and includes advice on and examples of business letters and resumes. Materials are categorized by beginning, intermediate and advanced writing. The site also includes more specific topics such as persuasive writing and American versus British spelling.
  • ESL Galaxy: ESL Galaxy offers a variety of English grammar writing exercises, including sentence scramble, gap exercises, picture description, and more, divided into beginner, intermediate, and high levels.
  • ESL Writing Wizard: ESL Writing Wizard is a free resource that allows ESL teachers to create and print customized English handwriting worksheets.
  • English as a Second Language: Jumbled Sentence Exercises: This site allows ESL students to test their word knowledge by rearranging the given words to form a sentence.
  • English as a Second Language: Dictation Exercises for English Learners: On this page, ESL students can practice their English comprehension by listening to spoken sentences and typing what they hear.
  • English as a Second Language: Sentence Structure Writing Practice
    : This site allows students to test their English comprehension and writing skill by rearranging words to form sentences. Students must not only rearrange the words, but also use proper capitalization and punctuation.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: This site provides a variety of materials, including vocabulary and grammar reference, practice exercises, and coaching on writing for various business audiences. The staff also offer individualized writing help by email.

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