There's a lot of great TEFL-ers creating excellent resources out there. To help you navigate, I've compiled a list of sites, divided into categories, that I hope will help you on your ELT journey.
If you don't see a site that you really think should be here, please contact me here.
A huge site, brimming with useful resources, videos, podcasts, blogs, and a thriving community (and tons more), you can spend days on this site (and I have!). Aimed at all ESL teachers and learners, there’s something for everyone, and all for free. An essential bookmark for every teacher.
Another hall of famer, the site is mostly free but has a paid subscription option to access all its content. Don’t worry though, the site is stuffed full of useful, free content for teaching all ages and levels, plus essential reading for professional development.
A site full of interesting articles about teaching that will make you ponder. Set up by the George Lucas Foundation but sadly, no Star Wars themed articles. Definitely worth signing up for their newsletter though.
Activities, Plans, Worksheets & Ideas
Bogglesworld – changed its name to Lanternfish, but has some extremely well-put together resources. Tried and tested throughout the years, and some great roleplay resources.
Busy Teacher - great site for worksheets and articles. Professionally produced.
ESL Printables - great community of teachers, delivering endless worksheets. Endless.
ISL Collective – another community-driven site, nicely laid out, and with tens of thousands of worksheets for free download.
Film English - an award winning site (an ELTon!), giving lesson plans based around films.
On the Same Page - a well put-together lesson plans and activities from a teacher.
TEFLtastic - huge, long-running blog-site of Alex Case, with several hundred articles and thousands of worksheets. Prolific is the word.
The Steve Brown Blog - a huge blog site, brimming with great ideas. Easy to lose track of time!
Tim’s Free English Lesson Plans - great lesson plan site by two teachers!
Anki - makes remembering anything easy. A powerful flashcard tool, that syncs between computers, browsers and android/iOs apps. Great for learning!
Kahoot - create, share and play fun learning games or quizzes in minutes.
Mentimeter - ask a question, the learners vote with their smartphones, and the screen shows real-time results. Good for classes and presentations.
Sounds: Pronunciation App - from Macmillan, a wonderful pronunciation aid for learning the sounds (and IPA) of English. Another ELTons winner!
Author Blogs / Sites
Adaptive Learning in ELT - Author Philip Kerr's blog on learning and teaching. Discusses personalised learning, and some well thought out articles on trends in the industry.
Adrian Underhill - If you've ever learned about phonology, chances are you've read Sound Foundations, written by this man. Interesting articles on the blog, as well as some phonology questions from Trinity DipTESOL students answered.
Carol Read’s ABC of Teaching Children - Known for her book ‘500 Activities for the Primary Classroom’ this is author Carol Read’s blog, full of ideas, tips and resources for primary language teachers. Her main site is at Carol Read.
Demand High ELT - Started by Jim Scrivener and Adrian Underhill, 'Demand High' is a set of principles that question how we get more out of our teaching by setting higher expectations for our learners and ourselves.
EL Teacher Trainer - A handful of great articles on critical thinking, personalisation and observation from John Hughes. A good accompaniment to my favorite of his books, ‘A Practical Introduction to Teacher Training in ELT’.
ELT Resourceful - Lots of resources, plans and materials from Rachael Roberts.
Four C - site of author, speaker and IATEFL Tdsig coordinator, Tyson Seburn. Also has a very useful ELT Events Calendar.
Leoxicon - Blog of author Leo Selivan - a great mix of articles, presentations and lexical tools.
Lindsay Clandfield - No longer 'live' but some good archived articles around an interesting theme.
Reflective Teaching Reflective Learning - Blog of teacher and author (And ELTon winner!) Lizze Pinard. Worth a read!
Sandy Millin - Some good articles, and a worthwhile read from recent author Sandy Millin.
Scott Thornbury – a now deceased blog, but chock full or articles that are still as relevant as they ever were. If you’re ever bored, I recommend picking up ‘The New A-Z of ELT’, a great dictionary of ideas and concepts in our profession.
Simple English - Personal blog of author Nicola Prentis with a wide mix of good articles.
Vicki Hollett - Blog of author Vicki Hollett, covering a lots of topics. Interesting reading!
Visible Learning - A learning organisation started by John Hattie, who conducted a meta-study of hundreds of educational studies to find out what really works in teaching and learning. Definitely worth reading his books on the science of how we learn and ‘Visible Learning for Teachers’.
British Council ELTons - These yearly awards celebrate new innovations for ELT worldwide. The list of previous winners is useful (especially the award for teacher resources).
Company Blogs / Sites
Cambridge English - Some useful teacher development resources from Cambridge.
ELT Jam - a higher-level view of the TEFL industry, well-written and articles that make you think on the direction the industry is taking
Oxford University Press Blog - regular and riveting, covers topics from all over the TEFLsphere.
A corpus is a collection of written or spoken language, usually as a computer database, that can be used for research.
Corpus of Contemporary American English - over 560 million words, with a wide range of spoken sources (i.e. tv news programs). Also hosts the iWeb corpus, with 14 billion words from the web. Most importantly, easy to use!
PlayPhraseMe - Not really a traditional corpus (sorry!) but an awesome tool that instantly plays a series video clips when you type in your chosen phrase. Just try it to see what I mean. So many fun applications for classroom use!
All of these are good for seeing what others are saying on all aspects of teaching abroad. Be aware though, a lot of people only take to the forums when they have a complaint they want to vent about, so occasionally they can seem to give a skewed perspective!
British Council Teacher Framework - Ever wondered how developed your teaching skills are? Here are two frameworks that you can look at to try and self-assess; 'Quality in Teacher Education' and 'Quality in the Classroom'.
Common European Framework (CEFR) - a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and, increasingly, in other countries.
Dave's ESL Cafe – not the most beautiful site (as of 2018) but because of its age, everyone advertises here. Lots of new jobs added daily.
Glassdoor - a review site where staff and ex-staff rate their jobs and management. Worth checking here before you accept that job offer.
TEFL.com – the granddaddy of job sites, everyone and their monkey advertises here. Great to get an overview of the job market, and it also has some useful cost-of-living tools. Even has an app!
Magazines & Journals
Applied Linguistics Journal - From Oxford University Press, this journal publishes research into language issues.
EL Gazette - The 'English Language' Gazette, started in 1978 and available both on and offline.
ELT Journal - Another from Oxford Universoty Press, this is a great read for everyone involved in English language teaching. Some good research papers.
English Teaching Professional - I also love this one, it comes once every couple of months and is packed with full of relevant articles. Worth the (reasonable) price.
HLT (Humanising Language Teaching) Magazine - a great free online magazine, with downloadable archives, a real treasure trove of information.
Modern English Teacher Modern English Teacher online is thorough, and comes out once a quarter. Varied articles and reviews make this one a worthwhile read.
IATEFL - the Internation Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. What a mouthful. But the biggest TEFL organisation around, with a yearly conference that’s not to be missed, online events, special interest groups and a journal. Worth paying to be a member.
TEFL Equity Advocates - A much needed organisation that speaks out for equal opportunities for all teachers, both 'native' and 'non-native'.
TESOL Org - An international TESOL organisation that has some of everything - articles, standards, research, conferences and more.
Barefoot TEFL Teacher - this very blog you’re reading now.
Burcu Akyol - great all round TEFL blog.
Chia Suan Chong - a great contributor to many other ELT sites around the web, as well on her own blog.
ELT Planning - Good blog with lots of ideas, reflections, and lesson ideas (and phonology DipTESOL quizzes!)
English with Jennifer - A very diverse set of blog posts and ideas.
Hanatichi ELT Blog - Another great teacher blog, filled with ideas from experience and reflection.
Language Teacher Toolkit - Some very interesting articles and ideas regularly presented on this site, by a PGCE tutor.
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day - incredibly prolific, and a great source of information. I don’t know how he has the time!
Marisa Constantinides- another prolific writer, teacher trainer and all round TEFL-er, an invaluable blog to read regularly.
The Secret DoS - Possibly the best blog, ever. Great site by a 'secret DoS' who cuts through the manure and pulls no punches. With swearing. A firm favourite - please never stop writing.
The Teacher James - Blog by 'The TEFL Commute' podcast - includes articles, presentations and lesson ideas.
TEFL Training Institute - My personal favourite! A wide range of thought provoking topics covered, and I've even had the pleasure of being interviewed a handful of times.
TEFLology - A good podcast about language teaching and linguistics. Catchy tune as well!
TESOL Pop - A newer podcast, but one with lots of potential!
The TEFL Commute - A very practical podcast with ideas you can use in your classes.
The TEFL Show - A show that explores topics related to learning and teaching English.
Trinity College – the Trinity qualifications mirror, to a certain extent, Cambridge’s. Whilst a newer organisation, its qualifications are equally as rigorous and are accepted as such. From the basic ‘gold-standard’ Trinity CertTESOL to DipTESOL and beyond, they’ll improve your teaching no end. I can personally vouch for their Diploma in TESOL :-)
Cambridge ESOL - you can’t argue with a Cambridge certification, and here they are. From the pre-entry level Teacher Knowledge Test, the classic CELTA, and beyond to the Diploma and Masters in TESOL, all the info you need is here.
Academia - a way to share academic papers on every subject imaginable, there are quite a few TEFL research papers here.
British Council Research Papers - quite a variety of free to download research papers
ELT Research Bites - fantastic site! Relevant research summarised and with ideas for implementation added for good measure. Excellent idea, wonderful implementation.
Evidence Based EFL - a blog written by a clear-thinker. Although a personal blog, I've classed it here as the author references studies galore. A lover of evidence after my own heart.
And that’s it so far! I know, I know I’ve missed so many… but these are my personal favourites, and ones that I’ve used repeatedly. I hope you find them useful.
If there are any more that you’d like me to consider adding to the list, don’t forget to contact me and let me know.