Starfall- This is a favorite site for many young children and their teachers! Students choose one of these categories: ABC's, Learn to Read, It's Fun to Read, and I'm Reading. Using exciting visuals, sounds, and text, students can learn their letters, sounds, and advance to reading simple stories. This site began in September of 2002 by the Polis-Schutz family. It's a free public service to motivate children to read with phonics.
Storyline Online-Children can listen to famous actors read popular stories to them. Twenty-two well loved stories are available for students to choose from. Students see the text and illustrations while they listen to the story. This site is a program of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
BrainPOP ESL- Students can choose lessons from six different levels with each level consisting of five stories. Students begin by watching an animated movie that focuses on particular vocabulary and grammar points. Students practice the concepts with fun games and activities. Each lesson has a short quiz and a teacher resource page. BrainPOP was started ten years ago by Dr. Avraham Kader, M.D. T.
PBS Kids-Young children can have lots of fun playing interactive games with their favorite PBS characters! Students choose a PBS show and then they can choose a variety of games that practice concepts such as literacy skills, science, social studies, citizenship, and technology. Teacher and parent resources are provided for each lesson. Some parent resources are translated into Spanish. This site is offered through the Public Broadcasting System.
Websites for Grades K-12
Hampton-Brown Avenues-This website supports Avenue's ELD curriculum. It provides extended activities for each unit's theme. For example, in the 3rd grade space unit, students can calculate their weight on the moon and on various planets. This site is a product of Hampton-Brown publishing.
ESL Bears-This site links you to other ESL sites. An educator designed it in 2001 for his/her entry level-intermediate level students. Students can click on a table to choose from vocabulary, listening, games, pre-reading, reading, grammar, and writing activities. The linked sites are reputable and provide quality activities.
Picture Dictionary-This is a free online multilingual picture dictionary that includes English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Students can choose to see vocabulary by theme or by letter of the alphabet. Activities are provided to practice the vocabulary such as flashcards, word scrambles, and quizzes. It was created by pd-developers.
Kids InfoBits- The Sacramento public library offers this research support tool on their website. You need a library card number and pin number to access this site. It's designed for students K-5, however, it is also appropriate for beginning English learners in upper grades. Students can select articles written at beginning levels that include graphics and a mp3 option so that they can listen to the article being read. This research tool is a product of the Gale Cengage learning company.
Student Resource Center Gold-The Sacramento public library offers this research support tool on their website. You need a library card number and pin number to access this site. It's designed for students doing research in 6th-12 grades. Students can select articles written at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. The articles include graphics and a mp3 option so that they can listen to the article being read. This research tool is a product of the Gale Cengage learning company.
Websites for Adult ESL Learners
USA Learns-This is one of the best websites available for adult learners. Students can choose from beginning, early intermediate, and intermediate levels. Once you choose a level, you can view a video on a particular lifeskill area such as housing, health, and work related topics. After viewing the video, there are many interactive activities to practice the vocabulary and grammar concepts. It was conceived by the U.S. Department of Education.
Dave's ESL Cafe-This well known site was one of the first ESL resource websites for teachers and students. Teachers can get information about job postings,teacher forums and ESL resources while students can choose lessons that practice a variety of grammar points, idioms and slang. Dave Sperling is the author of this site.
ManyThings-This is a study site for learners of English. Students can choose from a wide assortment of activities in reading, speaking, listening, and writing to practice English language skills. I was impressed with the podcast section and audio book section where students can listen to songs and stories while reading the text. The authors of this site are Charles Kelly and Lawrance Kelly.
Mango-This site is an online language learning program. There are twenty-three languages available to choose from! If you want to learn English, there is support in fourteen primary languages including Russian. To access this site you need a library card number and a pin number. Mango is a company that produces this online language tool.
Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab-This is a great site if you want to practice listening skills. You can pick a topic and listen to conversations. For example, if you choose the topic "airport" you will listen to an airport announcement and then there will be activities for you to practice vocabulary and comprehension skills. Randall Davis is the author of this site.
Updated May 2010 clip art from Microsoft