Online EFL Resources?

Do you find and use activities online? When I started writing the TEFL Logue, I thought it was time for me to get acquainted with much of what’s available online for EFL teachers – not just other blogs but sites with lesson plans and advice. Despite my experience teaching, and generally being an internet user, I was familiar with some but hadn’t actually utilized much of what’s out there.

I think the main reasons, for me, anyway, and the time it takes and the necessity of “believing in it.” Most EFL teachers are under some amount of pressure to “produce” (a lesson) using a certain text or theme and to do this obviously relatively regularly. Teachers have a somewhat specific idea of what they need but don’t have hours on end to search through extensive sites with lesson plans at different levels. Similarly, very often I wouldn’t be able to use the full lesson plan as I find it online in class; I’d have to adapt it substantially anyway. Would it be “just as good”? Perhaps, but lesson plans are often designed as a whole, and spending the time to adapt it might mean time spent searching and then time spent adapting a plan that, in the end, is not really as good as the original anyway.

As I discussed here, for me, believing in an activity is an essential component of its success.

I don’t have to have an extensive understanding of the methodological underpinning and I don’t have to be convinced it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but I do have to have a basic feeling that the activity is worthwhile and students will respond in a generally positive way to it. Plenty of what I find online doesn’t fit this for me. This absolutely doesn’t mean I think the activities aren’t good…they just don’t fit my constraints or give me the right feeling right away, and again given the time pressure, it’s often just not practical to invest the time searching.

Sadly, this probably mean that lots of good activities escape my radar! So I have two questions for my readers – 1) how much of what you use online comes from the internet – and what (YouTube videos, texts from the Economist, etc.) – please post a comment to let me know. 2) if you have used or found any specific activities already published online that you think are great – especially if they are adaptable beyond the specific point they deal with…drop me an email at tefl_logue at yahoo dot com explaining why you like it and include a link. Please note that I’m not asking for activities you have developed yourself at this point unless they are already published online and you can send me a link. This could eventually make a great addition to the TEFL Logue but at this point would involve a greater investment of time and energy than I currently have at my disposal. Please also do not send me a link to a general page and tell me all the activities are great, especially if the are all written by you :). Send me your favorite and tell me why.