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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Lees

Free Online Resources for ESL Students

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

I wanted to do a quick post on free resources I've found in the last year for ESL students, so here goes!


A lot of students ask me how they can learn English outside of class. Sometimes they ask if watching American movies is an option. Typically I don't suggest that (at least at first), because even with subtitles, most native speakers talk too fast or with an accent.

However, there are a lot of great ways that students can learn more English, and I would suggest listening to a Culips' ESL podcast. To listen to any of the podcasts is free. You can select the level that you want when listening, (which ranges from easy to difficult,) and in addition, you can sign up to receive up to six free study guides. The study guides include a transcript and questions from the podcast, which can be discussed with a friend or alone.


I use Linguahouse all the time in class because we have a subscription through Parkway. Unfortunately, the free version doesn't offer handouts and lesson plans with answer keys, but it does offer flashcards on verbs and idioms and similar things with pronunciations and examples.


I really like Pocket Passport. If you go to their main website, it has a paywall. However, a lot of Pocket Passport's material is already available online and on youtube for free. It's good for low to intermediate levels. You can find a link to this lesson here.

(I included the picture from the lesson below just because I like the cartoon.)


Easy English News is a physical newspaper we get during the school year on current events. (Unfortunately, we don't get them in the summer.) However, students can access free materials through its website online, ranging from the US Constitution in simple English to Citizenship Questions and Answers and more. Just click on the bar at the top that says "Free Stuff" to read any of the items posted below.

These are just a few of the free resources I've found online. I'm sure I'll discover more over time, and I'll share them later.

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