ESL Lesson PlansFree ESL Lesson Plans to Download

Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language

English Assistant | English MP3s | Private Lessons | American Slang

This page was originally designed to share my materials with other English teaching assistants in France, especially those who have no experience in teaching ESL yet. I've also included worksheets that I used for private English lessons in France as well as some of the materials I used in my ESL classes in the United States. Feel free to use them as you'd like. Some of the lessons listed under the Assistant section can also be used for private lessons and vice versa. There is a page of English grammar if you need a review. If you want to use videos with subtitles in your classes, Yabla and FluentU offer many videos on a variety of topics.

Teaching ESL Lesson Plans - Buy English as a Second Language Lesson Plans! All of the ESL lesson plans are now available as one ZIP file download, with FREE lifetime updates. All of the lessons available online are included and you will be notified via e-mail when new lessons and mp3s are added to the download. (New lessons will no longer be added to the website.) If you cannot afford the electronic pack, please download the free lesson plans below. Thank you very much and happy English teaching!

Buy ESL Lesson Plans


Book Recommendations

If you are new to teaching English to non-native speakers, I recommend trying some Teaching English courses at Udemy and the following books:


The ESL / ELL Teacher's Survival Guide: Ready-to-Use Strategies, Tools, and Activities for Teaching English Language Learners of All Levels, 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, Lessons from Nothing: Activities for Language Teaching with Limited Time and Resources, How To Teach Speaking (other books in this series also include reading, writing, listening, pronunciation, and vocabulary), Keep Talking: Communicative Fluency Activities for Language Teaching, Games for Language Learning, and Teaching American English Pronunciation.

English Assistant in France Lessons

Refer to the Teaching section of the Assistants Guide if you'd like a more detailed account of how I used these lessons in my classes, as well as links to other plans that I found online. Most documents are available in Word format; however if you do not have Microsoft Word, you can still open the documents in OpenOffice, which is a free software. (I try to provide my documents in Word format instead of PDF format so that you can modify them.) The majority of the below documents I have written myself, but some I have found online and can no longer locate the original source to link back to.

Conversation / Speaking

You should only have to focus on teaching conversational English (listening, speaking and pronunciation skills). The students will learn reading and writing skills in their regular English classes. Your school may have some materials and books that you can use, but try not to fall into the trap of only teaching the stilted form of English found in these books. You should incorporate authentic language (such as from television and movies) as well as reduced forms (such as gonna, wanna, doncha, etc.) because that is the way that most Americans talk and that is what the students will need to understand the most. Textbooks will focus on the formal ways of speaking and writing, but students need to learn the informal ways too.

Just Get Them to Talk - Plan for the first day with a new class when the teacher instructs you to "just get them to talk" and you have nothing else planned

Formal vs. Informal Conversation - Table of greetings and good-byes for formal speech and informal speech
Interview Your Partner - Unscramble words to form questions to ask partner, then write a paragraph about him/her. Also includes space to review countries & nationalities.
Two Truths & One Lie - Students write three sentences about themselves; two that are true and one that is false. The rest of the class must guess which is the lie.
Describing People - Phrases to use for describing a person with basic personal information, as well as likes & dislikes and personal appearance
"People" cards - for students to describe. Includes name, age, nationality, where they live and what they like/dislike doing
Color Cards - for games (Go Fish, Memory, etc.) to review colors and family members, and perhaps "do you have / have you got?"
Expressing Likes, Dislikes & Indifference - Sample phrases followed by nouns and gerunds, as well as space to write more
Telephone Conversations - Students match up English & French phrases, read sample dialogs and write their own
Debate Topics - Students choose topics and write a dialog in pairs debating the pros and cons of both sides
Anglophone Countries - Students give oral reports on anglophone countries of the world
Fillers & Reduced Forms - common fillers and reduced forms in everyday speech with sample sentences
Synonyms of say & uses of like - Plus exercises on switching from informal to formal language (reduced forms)
Common Reduced Forms - Includes all the reduced forms presented in Slangman Book One, but not in the order of the chapters
How to Present a Document - For Terminale students, guide on how to present the unknown document on the oral bac


Vowels of English: Spelling vs. Pronunciation - list of American English vowels with IPA symbols, English examples and French examples; sorting exercises and spelling exceptions, as well as 25 sentences to practice pronouncing
Vowels of English: Diphthong Version - same as document above, but with diphthongs of the "long vowels" in English
Letter Combinations & Pronunciations - Another list of long vs. short vowel pronunciation according to spelling, as well as exceptions
English Pronunciation Poem - A poem to show that spelling cannot always help with pronunciation; author unknown
Different Vowel Sound - Students circle the word that has a different vowel sound than the rest, even though they're spelled with the same letters
Consonant Sounds - IPA symbols of consonant sounds in American English, with room to write example words
Homophones - Set of 75 homophones in American English (different spelling, same pronunciation)
Heteronyms - Two sample sentences comparing each heteronym (same spelling, different pronunciation)
Pronunciation of -ed and -s - Sort past tense verbs and plural nouns according to the pronunciation of their endings
Word Stress - Mark the stress on the advanced vocabulary words for Terminale topics (environment, gun control, immigration, health, organization of speech)


Minimal Pair Listening Exercise - Students must circle word they hear among minimal pairs: want, won't, or went?
Similar Sentences Exercise - Students mark the sentence they hear: She's taking a bath or She's taken a bath?
I've Never Been poem - Good for stress and intonation patterns; by George Bernard Shaw
Little Tree by ee cummings - Short poem to read at Christmas, with fill in the blank exercise
Cherokee Nation Lyrics - Good for teaching about Native Americans in November
Girl Next Door Lyrics - Includes typical vocabulary for American high schools
Dear Mr. President Lyrics - May be a bit too old for young students nowadays
Strange Fruit Lyrics - Sad song to show severity of racism and lynching in the South
Animaniacs Presidents Song - Funny song to learn about the US presidents, up to Bill Clinton. Video available online too.
Animaniacs Capitals & States Song - Another fun song to learn the US states and their capitals. Video available online too.

Random Vocabulary & Grammar

Make boards with just the pictures (such as body parts, clothes, sports) at for free. This way the student must understand the words you say, and remember how to say them back to you in order to win the game.
British vs. American English - Fill in the blank exercise; write American vocabulary on board and students match with British vocabulary
Sports - Match names of sports with pictures, sort sports according to their verbs (to box vs. to play soccer), small review of short answers
Scattergories - Enough categories for 3 games; you choose the letter (students should know how to play - it's called Le Petit Bac in France)
Terminale Vocabulary - Vocabulary list for the topic of health (junk food, smoking, drinking, drugs)
Nations & Nationalities - Flags, nations and nationalities with fill-in-the-blank worksheet
Countries & Locations - Phrases for describing location of EU countries, plus nationalities
Fake English - List of fake English words used in French and their actual translations in real English, correct the mistakes and matching
Count vs. Uncount Nouns - Explanation of uncount, matching, translating, correct mistakes
Adjectives/Verbs + Prepositions & Prepositions + Nouns - Students sort collocations according to prepositions
Translation Problems - When translating from French to English and with the verbs devoir and pouvoir; wrong translations in English for students to correct
Common Translation Mistakes - Sentences in French for students to translate, many with faux amis or verbs that are often translated wrong
Simple Mistakes - Another correct the mistakes exercise, with explanations and multiple choice




Don't forget to teach culture in your plans. Students are really interested in how the United States differs from France, so make sure to include these differences. This is also a good way of increasing vocabulary. (Some of these resources are very specific to my life in Michigan, especially pertaining to the school system, so you may need to make adjustments to the lessons.)

General US Quiz - General questions about the US to quiz the students on
US Questions - Short exercise in creating questions from given answers, on the subject of basic US information
September 11 - Transcript from the first Daily Show with Jon Stewart after 9/11. The video is available online too. Follow up with discussion on Patriot Act.
US Election Quiz - Short multiple choice quiz mostly about the government and electoral college
Electoral College Info - Map of US with number of electoral votes for each state, a short explanation, and the number of votes from the 2000 election
Republican or Democrat? - Students agree or disagree with statements to determine if they are more Republican or Democrat
In Flanders Fields - Poem for students to study around Veteran's Day, includes picture of a poppy
Thanksgiving Article - Two page article on Thanksgiving customs, history and contemporary celebrations
American Thanksgiving - Shorter (one page) article about Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie recipe
Story of Thanksgiving - Past tense fill in the blank exercise (regular & irregular verbs) using the story of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day Photos - Photos of Thanksgiving dinner and the typical food Americans eat for the holiday
Label Thanksgiving Clipart - Label the clipart about Thanksgiving, for young learners (write words on board so they can choose)
Pearl Harbor - Article about the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt's speech, comparisons between Dec. 7 & Sept. 11, and passive mood exercise
US Geography & Directional Words - Map of US with list of directional words for students to practice describing the location of a state
Famous Cities - Student locate cities on map of US and determine the three with the highest populations (NY, LA & Chicago)
Distances between cities - Students locate cities on map, and determine which two cities correspond to the distances given; also includes some famous places to see in the US
Size of US compared to Europe - Two maps (to scale) that compare the size of the US to the size of Europe (The US is 17 times larger than France)
Tourism in the US - Match tourist attractions with location, and identify pictures of nine tourist attractions
Weather in the US - Describes weather in 5 regions of US, plus translation exercise for weather vocabulary (French to English & vice versa)
US High Schools - Short article on American high schools, mostly what is different from French high schools
High School Test - Multiple Choice & True / False test on American high schools
Interdictions & Obligations: Modals - Choose correct modal to fill in sentences about American high schools
Interdictions & Obligations: T/F - Interdictions and obligations about high school, students determine whether true or false and correct the false ones
Schedules & Grades Compared - Sample schedules and grades (marks and years) comparing the school systems in France and the US
Student Vocabulary - List of nouns and adjectives for describing teenagers or students, with French explanations
Stereotypical Students - Pictures of stereotypical students, students fill in nerd, jock, goth, band geek, preppy and slacker
Martin Luther King Article - One page article on MLK, as well as comprehension questions
ACLU ad - Pictures of MLK and Charles Manson, with caption stating that MLK is more likely to be pulled over by police because of his skin color
"I have a dream" speech - Transcript of the last 5 minutes of MLK's famous speech
St. Patrick's Day - Paragraphs about the holiday, map of Ireland & Northern Ireland, and fill in the blank questions
American's Guide to France - Funny article about stereotypes of the French & France (and Americans!), with clipart of stereotypical French man
American Restaurant Quiz - Multiple choice quiz about eating in restaurants in the US, with some common restaurant expressions at the end
American Restaurant Menu - Sample menu from a typical American restaurant that serves everything (modified from a Coney Island menu)
Food & Pronunciation - Vocabulary relating to meals and food in the US, with food vocabulary sorted according to vowel sounds
Memorial Day Food - List of foods typically eaten at cookouts in the US, plus explanation of Memorial Day in French
Cookout Food - Photos from a Memorial Day cookout, showing typical American foods
American Breakfast Food - Photos and labels for American breakfast foods, plus matching (with cookout foods) and short answer exercise
Bushisms - List of Bush quotes for students to correct

English MP3s

I made the following vocabulary pack (English and French) for my private student and recorded my pronunciation of each word. I haven't yet double-checked the French translations and please note that I speak American English with a Midwestern accent (that may have been slightly modified by years in France.) I have also created an American English Vocabulary tutorial from this file and integrated the mp3s into the pages, if anyone would like to read and listen online instead of offline.

English Vocabulary - 35 pages of vocabulary lists in English and French

Conversation Questions & Responses Indefinites
Alphabet Regular Verbs - Present & Preterit/Past Participle
Numbers Irregular Verbs - Present, Preterit & Past Participle
Days, Months, Seasons Transportation & Places
Time Countries & Nationalities
Weather House & Furniture
Colors & Shapes Parts of the Body
Subject & Object Pronouns Clothing, Accessories & Toiletries
Be & Have (Present Tense) School
Auxiliary Verbs Work
Contractions with Not Food & Meals
Contractions with Will, Would & Had Fruits & Vegetables
Interrogatives Animals & Insects
Possessive Adjectives & Pronouns Nature
Family Sports, Games & Hobbies
Prepositions of Place & Adverbs of Movement American States
Articles & Quantifiers American Cities by Population
Adjectives & Opposites Vowels of American English
Link Words American English Homophones


Private Lessons

The private students that I have in France are all at the beginning level. Since they are learning English at collège or lycée, the focus is on grammar (and British English instead of American English). I've found a lot of useful exercises on Anglais Facile, Learn English Online, English Grammar Reference, English Basics, Lanternfish (formerly Boggle's World), and ESL Flow. For more advanced topics, try English Page, and Breaking News English. You can also buy Anglais workbooks designed for collège students at many bookstores. They usually cost less than 5 € and include all the relevant grammar that students learn in school, so you know what to teach. Additionally, a lot of publisher websites allow you to download sample pages or units from their textbooks, such as New Interchange.


Be & Have got charts - to fill in; present tense of be and have got: regular conjugation, question, contraction, negative, negative contraction, etc.
Be & Have Past Tense - Charts for the past tense of be and have.
Translating Be & Have - Vocabulary differences between French and English using the verbs be and have.
Will, Would, Can, Want - Charts to fill in for auxiliary verbs
Play & Go Present and Past - Charts for regular and irregular verbs in present and simple past tenses
Three meanings of 's - contraction with is, contraction with has, and possession. Rewrite sentences with no apostrophe s.
Personal Pronouns - Review of subject & object pronouns, possessive adjectives & pronouns.
Contractions - Contractions of be and have in the present tense; subject + verb and verb + not
Contractions Exercise - Write the contractions for subject + verb and verb + not. Includes past, future, conditional tenses.
Auxiliary verbs - followed by infinitive and followed by to + infinitive; word order in negative sentences and questions.
Two Groups of Verbs - Put the verbs in the correct group depending on their word order in negative and interrogative sentences
Word Order Exercises - correct word order with negative and interrogative sentences
Past & Progressive Review - Exercises on forming past tense and progressive, with negatives.
Wh- Questions Exercises - forming questions with wh- words from given answers, in present, past and progressive tenses
Yes / No Questions - Formation of yes or no questions with all verbs, in present tense
Short Answers to Yes / No Questions - Positive and negative short answers to yes or no questions in present tense
Tag Questions - Exercise on tag questions in present tense
So / Neither, Tags & Short Answers - Review of phrases beginning with so or neither, tag questions, and short answers
Simple Past Review - Exercises on the past tense, regular and irregular verbs and negatives and questions
Simple Past Questions - Exercise on responding to questions in the simple past, positive and negative
Simple Past & Past Participles - Patterns in formation of simple past and past participles of irregular verbs
Irregular Verbs Charts - Fill in charts of simple past and past participles; first corresponds to patterns of formation, second is mixed together
Simple Past & Present Perfect Exercises - Fill in charts, complete the sentences, and choose between since or for
Verb Tense Review - Form sentences (positive, negative, interrogative) using regular and irregular sentences in present, past, progressive, present perfect, and future tenses

Vocabulary / Pronunciation / Listening

Basic Conversation - Common questions and phrases in English that students should master from the very beginning, includes questions/translations
Conversations & Matching - Fill in the blank with phrases that go with the conversation, and match English & French phrases
Family Members - Female words, male words, and French translations. Short exercise using a family tree.
Olympics - Summer olympic events and general vocabulary matching French to English
Adjective Opposites - Matching exercises of English to French and opposites in English (note there are two light and two short); as well as fill-in-the-blank exercise
Common Questions - Change the instruction in French into a question in English (i.e. demande-lui si elle aime faire du ski - Do you like to ski?)
Identify vowel sound of common words - subject pronouns, possessive adjectives, determiners, verbs in present and simple past only
Identify vowel sound of common verbs - in present, simple past and past participle
Dictations - Set of dictations (10 sentences each) revising auxiliary verbs, vowels, nationalities, and food

American Slang

When I taught ESL in the US, my classes focused on slang, pronunciation, and conversation.

Slang / Accents

I used the Slangman: Guide to Street Speak books in my conversation classes, which teach common slang words and reduced forms of speech. I created quizzes for each chapter of the first book. (I also used Focus on Pronunciation in the same classes, so some parts of the quizzes test pronunciation.) The dictations at the end of the quizzes generally focused on the vocabulary and reduced form lesson from each chapter. Another book that teaches essential slang and idioms is A Year in the Life of an ESL Student.

Review of Reduced Forms in Slangman
Quiz 1
Quiz 1 Answer Key
Quiz 2
Quiz 2 Answer Key
Quiz 3
Quiz 3 Answer Key
Quiz 4
Quiz 4 Answer Key
Quiz 5
Quiz 5 Answer Key
Quiz 6

Quiz 6 Answer Key

Quiz 7 (Chapters 7-8)
Quiz 7 Answer Key
Quiz 8 (Chapters 9-10)
Quiz 8 Answer Key
Quiz 9 (Chapters 7-10)
Quiz 9 Answer Key
Quiz 10 (Final Quiz)
Quiz 10 Answer Key

Keep in mind that your students may have had assistants in the past who spoke with different accents and they may be confused if they don't realize that you speak with a different one. I like to expose my students to as many accents as possible, so I often use Dr. Ladefoged's recordings of "Arthur the Rat" in five accents of English. The Speech Accent Archive also has a large collection of sound files of speakers of English. I hand out this list of links near the end of the semester so that students can use the internet at home to learn more about slang words and English accents:

Helpful Links for Slang & Accents


If you find these resources helpful, please consider buying the language tutorials or sending a donation to support Thank you!



Buy the language tutorials in PDF format and receive free mp3s and lifetime updates.

Buy now

Please consider sending a donation of any amount to help support Thank you!

Donate to


FluentU offers authentic videos in French, Spanish, German, English, Chinese and Japanese. Learn from captions and translations.


Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and English with authentic videos by Yabla that include subtitles and translations.

Interlinear Books

Learn to read languages with interlinear bilingual books that include the original language and an English translation below in a smaller font.

Udemy Language Learning Courses

Hundreds of free and paid online language learning video courses at Udemy. By native speakers and experts, from Arabic to Zulu.

My French books published by Dover:

Return to top of page