(Reviewed February 15, 2012)
Reviewer: Ahlam Alfouaim
The ESL Lounge website is designed for both ESL teachers and ESL students. The focus of the website is to provide ESL students/teachers with a wide range of resources that they can use in their teaching/learning process. According to the website, “ESL-lounge has been online for a decade, providing millions of printable lessons for tens of thousands of English teachers worldwide.” The resources include lesson plans for teachers, flash cards, books and worksheets. Also, the website provides ESL learners with a lot of educational materials, such as vocabulary and grammar exercises, and listening activities for all levels. The website was created by Niel Coghlan who has been an ESL teacher since 1993.
The ESL Lounge is a great guide for teachers, and students and I do recommend it for everybody. The website has two main pages, one page (ESL Lounge Student) is designed to meet students’ needs, and the other page (ESL Lounge Premium) is concerned with teachers’ needs. The overall design of the website is organized; the main page is dedicated to ESL teachers, and there are extra links in the center of the page for further use. Regarding the teacher’s page, it contains a good range of teaching resources. Although the website provides free samples of some lesson plans, it requires a paid membership to make full use of the lesson plans and other resources. According to the website, the materials have been prepared by teachers with at least ten years of experience, and the credentials are easily available in the website. The materials are available for all levels in PDF forms, the quality is very good, and the content is organized in coherent formats.
As for the students’ site, all of the resources are available for free. The site provides a placement test to determine the students’ level to guide them in selecting the right materials for their level. The site includes great activities for students such as listening materials, quizzes, vocabulary, and newsletters that will be sent to the subscribers with new materials on a weekly basis, as well as holding competitions with cash prizes for a joyful learning experience. The website also has a great variety of board games, song lyrics, and pronunciation exercises. Overall, I would recommend this website; the only downside is that the teachers’ materials are not available for free.