Being a teacher is not easy by any means. From lesson planning to class execution, and reflecting to make ourselves better we are constantly trying to get better at our craft. In order to make things a little easier we’ve decided to compile a list of awesome offline and online resources for teachers. Keep reading to find out what tools you might be missing out on as an English teacher in China and some tips for how to get the most out of them.

Online Resources

  • Worksheets
  1. ISL Collective  – with a free account, you can access thousands of worksheets, activity pages, and other resources.
  1. Busy Teacher – free printable worksheets and lesson plans for busy teachers, haha get it?
  • Crafts
  1. Twinkl  – this is the essential website for all crafts. It is based on a freemium model where a paid account gets you access to so much more. Trust us, this is worth it! Tip: Pitch in with a friend or teachers in your campus to share an account.
  1. Pinterest – great for long-term planning and making meaningful crafts for production activities in the classroom. I have a pinboard for each level of classes where I add lesson plans, crafts, and other activities.
  1. Crayola for Educators offers coloring-based worksheets and other activities for your youngest learners, super helpful for your young learners’ classes!
  • Songs and Videos
  1. Super Simple – It is all in the name, the songs and videos created by this platform are meant to be super simple! They are a great way to set the context or introduce the new language.
  1. Alphablocks – Head over to BBC video player or do a quick YouKu App search to find Alphablocks songs that are always a hit with our young learners. Their catchy tunes always get stuck in our students’ (and teachers’) minds.
  1. The Measured Mom Phonics worksheets and other printables! Some of the website requires a paid subscription to access it but there are still loads of freebies you can download and make use of.
  1. TaoBao – Search “phonics” or “alphabet” in English and you’ll find so many books and other materials to help teach your phonics to students. Come to think of it, Taobao can be used for almost any class materials!
  • Icebreakers and Name Games
  1. Ultimate Camp Resource – amazing for game ideas during a warm-up! You can easily modify them to have content from class and it is a great way to think of ideas for new classes, PBLs, and other instances where you need to break some ice between new students.

The following websites all cater to development as teachers. They offer an online community of educators that support and uplift each other. There are loads of training videos, class inspiration, and growth opportunities. Don’t miss a chance to connect with other teachers and learn from one another.

  1. Edutopia 
  2. Teach Better
  3. Cult of Pedagogy

Essential Reading

  1. Learner English: A teacher’s guide to interference and other problems by Michael Swan and Bernard Smith

If you’ve completed a level 5 EFL course such as CELTA or CertTESOL there is a 99% chance you know this book well. It gives clear examples of how second language learners are affected by their first language and what we can do as teachers to help them. It goes through correction techniques, long-term development plans for pronunciation, and other aspects of language learning, and sheds light on why your students might be making those common mistakes. If you don’t have this book, get it.

  1. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language by Marianne Celce-Murcia

While Michael Swan’s book offers theoretical knowledge of ESL/EFL teaching, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language by Marianne Celce-Murcia provides more practical advice for the EFL/ESL classroom.

  1. How to Teach English by Jeremy Harmer

This book along with How to Teach (grammar, writing, reading, etc.) by Jeremy Harmer are considered must-haves in the ESL community.


By Christian Lopez