ESL and Literacy Resources on the Web

Paul Zink, Selector


These sites provide a good starting point for ESL learners and teachers with links that allow the user to search further into the World Wide Web.

Activities for ESL Students

Over 1,000 activities arranged by category to help students and teachers study English as a Second Language. A project of "The Internet TESL Journal" with contributions by many teachers.

BBC—Learning English

A very complete site, with eight major sections: Learning English Vocabulary from the News, Watch and Listen (News, Pictures, Stories), Quizzes & Exams, Grammar & Vocabulary (English as it's used today), Talk about English, The Flatmates (a SitCom), Business English and Lesson Plans / Support for Teachers of English.

Dave's ESL Cafe

A quasi-commercial site which (freely) offers (for students) a Help Center, materials on Grammar Lessons, Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, Pronunciation Power, Quizzes, Slang and Student Forums.

Site includes lessons on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, quizzes, interactive games, jokes, forums and more. Learners will also find a 24-hour ESL Help Desk with teachers available to answer questions. Teachers will find lesson plans, a newsletter, job ads and forum.

English as a Second Language Home Page

A starting point of English sites for students learning English through the World Wide Web. The page includes links to hot ESL sites, a teachers' corner, listening and speaking, reading, grammar, writing and much, much more.

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English Page

Free ESL / EFL lessons, online flash cards, online dictionaries, and a host of other useful resources.

English Practice

40,000 free interactive lessons for beginning, intermediate, advanced and TOEFL learners.

English Through Stories

Listen to fun, entertaining stories while improving English skills with weekly podcasts (10-20 minutes). Learn new expressions and idioms and learn to use them the way native speakers do.

FSI Language Courses

Welcome to, the home for language courses developed by the Foreign Service Institute. These courses were developed by the United States government and are in the public domain. This site is dedicated to making these language courses freely available in an electronic format. This site is not affiliated in any way with any government entity; it is an independent, non-profit effort to foster the learning of worldwide languages. Courses here are made available through the private efforts of individuals who are donating their time and resources to provide quality materials for language learning.

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Ethnologue: Languages of the World

An encyclopedia reference work cataloging all of the world's 6,912 known languages. It is frequently cited as a source of basic information on individual languages, language use, bilingualism and other topics.

Recordings and texts are provided in over 2,000 languages.

Global Language Monitor

A site that monitors trends in languages throughout the world.

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This is a great guide to languages on the Web, with more than 2,400 links.

Interesting Things for ESL Students

Word games, puzzles, quizzes, slang, proverbs, and more—for ESL students around the world.

Internet TESL Journal Home Page

A monthly journal for teachers of English as a Second Language which includes articles, research papers, lesson plans, classroom handouts, teaching ideas and Web links.

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Learn speaking and writing from native language-speakers in a friendly, social environment.

Language Links

The home page provides multiple links to Web sites for learning languages and cultures.

Learning Express Library

Offerings include TOEFL, U.S. Citizenship Exam, Reading Skills Improvement and Writing Skills Improvement. Provided through Michigan eLibrary—you can log in from outside our Library with a Michigan Driver's License.

LINCS (Literacy Information and Communication System)

The National Institute for Literacy's comprehensive site with links to literacy sites, forums, listservs, regions hubs, and more.

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Live Lingua

The world's first total immersion language school online.


Livemocha is the first-of-its-kind online language-learning community. Lessons. Fun and interactive lessons that move at the right pace for you. Motivation. Track your progress and reach your goals with Livemocha tools..

A way to find local language groups in the area. Type "language" into the "Find Meetup Groups" search bar and a listing of local language groups will appear.

Michigan Literacy Inc.

A non-profit organization dedicated to advancing basic literacy skills throughout Michigan, funding over 100 basic literacy programs.


MITESOL is an acronym for Michigan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. It is an international association of English teaching professionals. Sites include fun links for students and teachers, MITESOL publications and membership information.

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Modern Language Assoc. Language Map

The MLA Language Map is intended for use by students, teachers, and anyone interested in learning about the linguistic and cultural composition of the United States. The Data Center provides census data for over three hundred languages spoken in the United States, including actual numbers and percentages of speakers.

Ohio University's Department of Linguistics Comprehensive Skills Section

A rich set of online resources for ESL students, organized around skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, quizzes, proficiency tests, etc.


This site contains details of most alphabets and other writing systems currently in use, as well as quite a few ancient and invented ones. It also includes information about some of the languages written with those writing systems, multilingual texts, tips on learning languages, a book store, some useful phrases in many different languages, and an ever-growing collection of links to language-related resources.

OWL at Purdue

The OWL offers thorough sections on general writing concerns, ESL, grammar, spelling, punctuation and more. Try the tutorials, workshops and links to other writing resources.

ProLiteracy America

This is the largest adult literacy organization in the U.S. Their mission is to teach adults and families with limited literacy skills reading, writing and English speaking skills.

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Site

A collection of general listening quizzes (audio files) consisting of everyday conversations with adult and children's voices, separated into easy, medium, and difficult grades.


A University of Iowa project. This site contains animations of the phonetic sounds of English, German and Spanish.

UniLang Community

The main purpose of the UniLang Community is to provide an online site where people interested in languages can unite, openly discuss, and find resources related to language(s), linguistics and translations.
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University of Michigan's English Language Institute: ESL Self-Study

Offers some MICASE-based self-study materials. In each lesson, there are interactive exercises that will give you feedback based on your own input. Please note that the newest version of RealPlayer is required for audio files, and that it is not free—RealPlayer is available from only as a 14-day trial, after which it must be purchased. Materials include Spoken Academic English Formulas by Rita Simpson, Sheryl Leicher, & Yung-Hui Chien and Clarifying and Confirming by Sheryl Leicher & Yung-Hui Chien.

USA Learns

A heavily audio-visual site. Free registration is required.

U.S. Dept. of Education

A searchable site by any topic including ESL, Adult New Reader. Contains government statistics, studies and reports on literacy issues.

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