The U.S Department of State has a great website called American English. It is a resource center for teaching and learning about American English language and culture. The website provides a variety of engaging materials and resources for teachers’ professional development and for students in the classroom.
There is a wealth of information there and I encourage you to spend time looking at it. I’m highlighting just a few of the resources that may be of most help to our classes. Note: If you get a “Not Found” message – retry the link (may need to do a few times) and it will appear. This happened to me several times but the material always appeared eventually.
Teaching Four Skills – breaks out various books / presentations by skill
- Developing Writing is a writing skills text designed for beginners
- In The Loop is a reference guide to American English idioms. Don’t get mislead by Part 1 which is an extensive but boring list of idioms. Look at Part 2 that summarizes key idioms by category and especially Part 3 that has good activities for teaching idioms. Useful for intermediate to advanced classes.
- Dialogs for Everyday Use is one of 3 books of short situational dialogs
- The Color Vowel Chart helps teachers incorporate pronunciation into lessons
- Americans Teens Talk! are interviews of American high school students – Real-life language ! Each interview is about 2-3 pages but have vocabulary notes and additional discussion ideas.
- About the U.S.A. – lots of info on holidays. customs, government, and history of the U.S. All set up in a “activity” format so it would be very easy to make classroom ready worksheets.
- Celebrate! Holidays in the U.S.A. discusses federal and several other popular holidays each in a stand-alone unit suitable for advanced / ERV classes.
- Activate Games – board games that offer interactive English language practice . Also has a template so you can create your own.
The American English Webinars is a huge collection of online teacher training seminars for professional development.
The English Teaching Forum – is a quarterly journal with articles written by teachers for teachers, with classroom ideas and activities. There is a searchable archive of past journals.