General Resources --Scroll down to see "Reading" and "Writing" Resources-- => Technology and Teaching Reading & Writing => Topic started by: Randall Sadler on November 16, 2009, 01:21:31 PM

Title: Technology and teaching SL reading/writing--some resources
Post by: Randall Sadler on November 16, 2009, 01:21:31 PM
Hello all,

Below you'll find a few of my favorite resources that use technology to enhance the teaching of L2 Reading and/or Writing.  Take a look and see what you think?  If you have any that you think are valuable, add them to this section via a new post.  Please note:  These are 'classic' resources rather than tech heavy ones, so they should work in almost any setting where you have basic computer and internet connections.

Project Gutenberg (
This project was started by Michael Hart ( with his invention of electronic books WAY back in 1971.  He was from Urbana, Illinois and died on September 6, 2011.   He as a VERY forward thinker, and Project Gutenberg continues!!  The project currently has over 36,000 free books available via their website, including books in other languages.  The books can be read online or downloaded to readers like the Kindle, iPhone, etc.  A GREAT source of free books.

LibriVox (
LibriVox is another site that makes use of books in the public domain.  These include novels, short stores, poetry, fables, etc.  You can find a large number of books that the LibriVox volunteers have turned into free audiobooks.  Books can be downloaded directly, or you can subscribe to their podcast.  In addition, LibriVox is always looking for volunteers to record their own readings of available books--a good activity if you have advanced learners. ( is a site fiction.  This genre of writing consists of stories created by fans of popular writers.  For example, on this site you'll find over 400,000 (yes, four hundred thousands) fan fiction stories related to Harry Potter.   They also have fan fiction based on short stories, movies, comics, games, tv, and more.  This is a great source of free fiction for your students, and is also a place where you could have your students post their own writing to a public audience.

Online Bulletin Boards
Blogs (e.g., Blogger, Wordpress, etc.) are very popular, but good old fashioned bulletin boards/message boards like the forum you are on right now can have some advantages over blogs.  First and foremost, they are designed more for two way communication than blogs (which are, after all, intended as online diaries).  If you want your students to ask questions, provide answers, etc., message boards may be a good choice.  Below are just a couple samples, one for ESL students and one for travelers.  I've had ESL students go to the Frommers Travel Forum and answer questions about their own countries.  This makes them the "expert," and they tend to get a lot of appreciation from the readers for their efforts!
Title: Re: Technology and teaching SL writing--some resources
Post by: katwu on November 17, 2009, 08:02:02 PM
I think it's great that the above two sites provides free reading material. I would probably prefer a real book for my own leisure reading, but for teaching an ESL class, it's great to have something that is free and reachable to everyone!

Here are some other resources that I've found on line--though it's not really that "techy"--

News of the Weird (

This is a good website if teachers are looking for ?weird and interesting? news that they may use for students? reading material! This website updates the new once a week and has a collection of news from a wide range of magazines and newspaper from different countries. What's good about it is that it has already picked out the weird and interesting ones for you--so it might make the teachers' job easier.

ESL Monkey (

In the section of ?English Reading Room?, it provides lots of stories for ESL students of different level proficiency (short stories, long stories and classic stories) that you could either download or read on line.

What?s really cool about this webpage is that it has an on-line dictionary assisted tool, which means that students can paste the text they are going to read there, and if they encounter a word they don?t know?they could just double click on that word and it will automatically link it to an English dictionary definition!

Title: Re: Technology and teaching SL writing--some resources
Post by: Randall Sadler on November 18, 2009, 03:10:11 PM

Ohhh, I love New of the Weird!  Another one is you have a "dark" sense of humor is The Darwin Awards: (

That site chronicles the amazing ways people find to get themselves killed or injured.  A recent favorite of mine--two bank robbers who used too much dynamite when blowing up an ATM.

Title: Re: Technology and teaching SL reading/writing--some resources
Post by: dunn10 on May 06, 2020, 09:46:37 PM
Here are a few more FREE resources;

OASIS:  ( This source is a collective from 97 sources (majority of which appear to be academic) that allows you to search for a wide range of educational tools; textbooks, courses, modules, audiobooks.... When I searched textbooks for "ESL", I received 700+ results. This could be great for resource for educators that have low budgets and are i need of classroom resources.

Google Dataset Search ( If you are in need of some data, Google's Dataset Search provides a fast and convenient way to get started. This would be useful for students that are writing research papers or argumentative papers and are in need of some data.