Check out these 10 Free Online Activities for teaching English to create impressive ESL/EFL lessons!
Most English teachers around the world have suddenly found themselves forced to teach English lessons online using new and unfamiliar platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. Having high-quality resources such as flashcards, games, worksheets, videos, and activities is an important factor in creating fun and engaging English lessons online. Today we will introduce 10 Free Online Activities for teaching English.
These are great for sharing on a screen during online Zoom or Skype lessons. You can click different areas around the screen to hear the words, the spellings, target sentences, questions with answers, and more. They’re loaded with tons of options such as uppercase/lowercase mode and singular/plural mode for example. If you’re looking for great interactive flashcards to teach the ABCs, phonics, or easy English words, these are perfect for you!
2. Interactive PDF Flashcards for Phonics
These flashcards are in the PDF format, so you can easily access them from your own computer or tablet after you download them. There are more versions on the way, but the ABC Phonics Interactive Flashcards are especially impressive because they have 6 different modes in 1 PDF. You can get students to guess the first letter of the word, the last letter, or even the vowels. Try these Interactive PDF Flashcards once, and they might just become your new favorite online teaching flashcards!
Free EFL/ESL Worksheets
Worksheets are a great tool for regular English classrooms, but not all worksheets work well for teaching English in online lessons. BINGOBONGO Learning has over 1000 free worksheets to download and use in your lessons, and we’re sure you’ll find some instant favorites to use during lessons or to assign as homework. We’ve selected a few of our favorites below that work well for the digital classroom, but there are over 40 types of worksheets to check out in total!
3. Diff-Pics Worksheets (Find the 8 differences)
These worksheets are fun to use in lessons because they’re super popular. Kids love racing to be the first to find the differences in the pictures. Diff-Pics Worksheets are also filled with useful vocabulary in themes such as “At Home”, “At the Zoo”, and “Seasons.” That means teachers can introduce new activities after the students finish finding the differences. Asking the students to say all the words they know or making a question about the scene in the picture are just a couple of ways to add more speaking opportunities to the lesson.
4. Matching Time Worksheets
For younger learners, we recommend Matching Time Worksheets. These use the same vocabulary as the DILLS Flashcards, so it keeps the lessons feeling consistent. If you use screen sharing and let students control your screen, then students can take turns drawing lines from the words to the correct letters. After that, students can practice saying or spelling the words as an extra activity.
5. Code Time (practice videos available)
Code Time Worksheets are one of our favorites by far! Students can practice saying letters and numbers (in random order) and then solve the code to read the message. If students have a whiteboard or paper with them during an online lesson, they can try to write out the message along with the teacher. After completing the Code Time Worksheets, teachers can also play the videos to practice listening and repeating the message written in each worksheet.
Copy Chat Worksheets are another fun way for students to practice listening, reading, writing, and speaking using a two-part activity. In the first part, students focus on listening to the stories or reading them on their own. In the second part, students choose the types of sentences and grammar they will use and then write their own stories. By copying the patterns, students quickly gain confidence to freely express their ideas when writing in English.
EFL/ESL Songs and Practice Videos
Everyone agrees that kids love watching videos on a TV, computer, or any kind of screen. That’s why we recommend playing a video between activities or segments of your online English lessons. It helps reset their focus and refresh the lesson atmosphere. There are over 200 videos on our YouTube channel, but for starters, we recommend the following videos to use as a way of introducing new words, reviewing words, or just mixing things up a little.
7. Ari the Alligator
Ari the Alligator helps kids learn how to sound out and spell words by playing ABC Chomp! (See #10 below). It’s fun for kids to try to figure out which word Ari is looking for in the memory game, and the more they watch, the faster they can learn to read and spell. After watching these videos, students can optionally play ABC Chomp! on your screen. Students love to take turns finding the words in the “Spell ‘n’ Match” game and feeding the words from the train to the characters.
Our kids songs are funny and silly, but they’re also full of complete sentences, questions, and answers so they’re perfect for EFL/ESL classes. You can find flashcards and worksheets to go along with the songs, too! This helps students learn the songs with a greater understanding of the meaning.
9. Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives and Sight Words Chants
Our last recommendation is in everyone’s favorite category: games! Games are a great tool to use in classrooms and online lessons, but some games have more educational value than others. Games that allow students to think and solve problems without getting too competitive or too excited are great for online lessons.
10. ABC Chomp! (2 games in one)
We created ABC Chomp! with several goals in mind. We needed a game that allowed teachers to keep control and play an active part as students played. It was also important to keep the game consistent with the vocabulary from the worksheets and DILLS flashcards. We also thought that making a two-part game with a reading/spelling stage followed by a listening/thinking stage would be effective for teaching English. Finally, it needed to be super silly and super fun for kids and teachers alike. ABC Chomp! accomplishes all these goals and more!
The game consists of a “Spell ‘n’ Match” stage followed by a “Word Chomp!” stage. Teachers can choose to focus on lowercase or uppercase letters, and then students must read each word before finding it behind the cards. After that, students must decide which words to feed to the character of each stage based on whether or not the word starts with the same letter as the character (with the exception of the letter X). Students can get hours of quality education disguised as entertainment as they play ABC Chomp!
This phenomenal phonics game is highly recommended for teachers who want to energize their lessons.
Now you can try these 10 Free Online Activities for teaching English!
When it comes to teaching English online, there are a lot of software recommendations and technical setup tutorials, but don’t forget that without high-quality resources and a passionate teacher, many online lessons risk falling short of being great. We hope that these 10 Free Online Activities for teaching English including free flashcards, worksheets, videos, and games take your online English lessons to the next level.
To get all of our flashcards, videos, and worksheets in one convenient download, take a look at our downloadable curriculum packs. One click and you’ll have everything you need for hundreds of fun and exciting lessons.
Need even more resources for your online lessons?
Check out our downloadable curriculum packs!
To help save teachers and schools time and provide even more great resources such as single-sided flashcards packs and more fun games and worksheets, we’ve bundled everything into one single .zip file to purchase and use. Each level of the downloadable curriculum is organized by unit and contains hundreds of great resources to use in your online English lesson plans.
If you try out the free resources above and realize that they make online teaching fun and easy for teachers and students, then you should consider getting the downloadable curriculum packs to plan even more great English lessons.
If there are other resources you think might be great in an online English lesson, please send us an email and let us know.
If you’re tired wasting time searching for games, flashcards, and resources for every single lesson, then you should check out the ABC FUN!box right now!
The ABC FUN!box is a powerful lesson planning toolbox and Online Teaching Platform that lets you plan lessons in minutes. There are thousands of worksheets, flashcards, interactive games, videos, chants, mini-lessons, and so much more that you can use to teach fun and effective lessons every time. And with over 400 lessons organized in a 10-level system, you’ll save hundreds of hours every year planning lessons.
There are plenty more articles for language school owners below!
Starting your own language school can be a rewarding career path, both financially and personally – so check out our other articles on this topic to find out everything you need to know about setting up and managing your own English language school (eikaiwa school in Japan)!
Jeremy is the founder and director of Step by Step Kids English Schools in Japan and the creator of BINGOBONGO Learning.
Armed with a master's degree in mathematics and a passion for artistic creativity, Jeremy's mission is to create effective EFL/ESL resources that are not only simple and fun, but are also loved by teachers and students alike.