Links to ESL and Literacy Sites

Many websites have been chosen that offer online tutorials and assistance for Adult new readers and English as a Second Language students. All of the sites listed here follow our Selection Guidelines which are listed at the bottom of this page.


Web links to organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. The links do not constitute an endorsement of the organization by LEARN or its members, and none should be inferred. Reference to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company also does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. LEARN is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.


Online dictionary, thesaurus, grammar, usage & style, and writing resource.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Provides a free online dictionary, thesaurus, audio pronunciations, word of the day, word games, and other English language resources.


Dave’s ESL Cafe on the Web
Helpful pages on idioms, slang, test preparation advice, and links to other ESL websites.
Lessons, games, quizzes, forums, chat, lesson plans, jobs, & more for ESL learners & teachers.

Karin’s ESL Partyland
This site has over 75 interactive quizzes, 15 discussion forums, interactive lessons on a variety of topics, a chat room, and lots of great links.

Ohio ESL
English student resources from Ohio University including grammar, reading, writing, listening, speaking, special topics, and additional resources.

The official website for the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Grammar & Writing

Chomp Chomp: Grammar Bytes
This site, created by a community college instructor, includes terms, interactive exercises (with answers/explanations), handouts, and guidelines for quickly improving grammar ability. Appropriate for both GED students and instructors. English Grammar Guide
A complete reference on the rules of English usage. Every grammatical rule is explained in clear, simple language.

Review math facts or parts of speech. Includes many interactive, online games to practice basic math and language arts concepts.

Grammar Handbook from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Provides explanations and illustrations of the basic grammatical rules concerning parts of speech, phrases, clauses, sentences and sentence elements, and common problems of usage.

OWL: English as a Second Language (ESL) Resources, Handouts, and Exercises
Includes various materials for English as a Second Language (ESL) students and teachers, which include resource pages, handouts, and exercises as well as links to over 60 additional grammar-related handouts and exercises.

Self-Study Quizzes for ESL Students
A very large collection of quizzes for English study.
This site has numerous detailed handouts and quizzes for all levels of English grammar–from beginner to advanced. Many are in PDF format and most include answer sheets.

Listening, Understanding & Speaking

Phonetics Flash Animation Project
Created at the University of Iowa, this site contains animated libraries of the phonetic sounds of Spanish and English. It is intended for students of phonetics, linguistics, and foreign language.

Reading Comprehension

CNN Interactive Learning Resources
Great adult literacy site provided by CNN. Read, view, or listen to current news stories. Includes reading and vocabulary activities with each story.

The New York Times Learning Network
Current event stories, quizzes, crossword puzzles, and other vocabulary and knowledge building resources for students, parents, and instructors.

Online ESL Journals & Magazines

English Teaching Forum
English Teaching Forum is an online quarterly journal published by the U.S. Department of State for teachers of English as a foreign or second language. The website contains articles from issues of the Forum dating back to 1993.

The Internet TESL: For Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
A monthly, online journal for ESL teachers that contains lesson ideas, conversation questions, as well as links for students.

Topics: An Online Magazine for Learners of English
In this online magazine “learners of English as a second language express their ideas and opinions on topics of interest to them.” It features accounts of international foods, festivals, dances, superstitions, proverbs, and more. Also includes a description of class projects from around the world.

ESL Sites for Instructors

Center for Adult English Language Acquisitions
Focuses its efforts on literacy education for adults learning English as a second language. Major content is the ERIC Digests–concise articles on topics relevant to adult ESL literacy instruction.

LINCS: Literacy Information and Communication System
LINCS is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education which includes on-demand, web-based professional development opportunities; targeted face-to-face training, high-quality resources; and an interactive online learning community.

Literacy Connections
Provides a wealth of information on reading, teaching and tutoring techniques, ESL literacy, and adult literacy.

National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy
“A federally funded research and development center focused solely on adult learning. NCSALL’s efforts are dedicated to improving practice in educational programs that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills, and those without a high school diploma.”

ProLiteracy Worldwide
A nonprofit international literacy organization that was formed by the 2002 merger of Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America.

Selection Guidelines

When linking to other websites, LEARN considers the following criteria:

  • The purpose of the Web page is educational and not to sell a product or service.
  • Information on the site is available at no charge.
  • The source of the content and the entity responsible for maintaining the site are clear.
  • The information is appropriate to the audience level, well organized, and easy to use.
  • Information is from primary sources such as abstracts and textual material.
  • Information is current or an update date is included.
  • The site is consistently available.
  • Registration is not required to view the information on the site.
  • The site contains special features such as graphics, diagrams, or other unique information.
  • The site should be accessible to persons with disabilities.