Popular ESL Topics



Business English


Health & the body


Complaints and Annoyances

April  1st  (updated)

Complaints and annoyances are a part of everyday life. Talking about complaints and annoyances in the classroom is a great way to engage students. It’s a great way to get students to express their feelings and opinions. Textbooks often seem to avoid this great speaking and discussion topic  but I find it generates interest,  a lot of input and can be a lot of fun.

5 Cracking Complaints and Annoyances Language and Speaking Activities

News story worksheets are a great way to engage students with language and contemporary issues and events at the same time. They help students practice their use of tenses and logical narrative organization. It can also be pretty interesting and fun.

7 Illustrated New Story Writing Exercises

5 Kinds of Collocation and Phrasal Verb Exercises

4 Tantalizing Telephone Dialogue Exercises for Business English

What’s the link between language used in the health sciences and process paragraph and essay writing? Actually, these  two areas work really well together. The health sciences, including fields such as medical technology, are full of processes. And right now I’m teaching medical technology students.

9 Helpful Health and Medical Sciences Vocabulary and Language Exercises

9 Practical Process Paragraph and  Essay Writing Exercises

Older updates:

6 ESL Exercises and Worksheets for Talking about Cities

8 Excellent ESL Teaching Exercises for Houses and Housing

6 Story Telling Ideas for Teaching ESL Students

4 Excellent Exercises for Aspects of Nouns

5 Kinds of Free Online English Language Self Assessment Tests Reviewed

6 ESL speaking activities for talking about shopping

7 kitchen and cooking vocabulary and expressions worksheets

7 classifying/classification paragraph and essay writing exercises

6 descriptive writing templates and exercises

6 narrative essay writing templates and worksheets

 7 transportation, traveling and getting around language exercises

4 money and finance worksheets

8 invitation and requests dialogues exercises for every day scenarios

2 crime and illegal acts vocabulary exercises

Visual Appeal

Some of the most interesting topics to teach with the aid of images are   body language and gestures, advertising and describing appearance. They are quite different topics but their commonality is that they all have strong visual elements. As a consequence, it has been really enjoyable creating  teaching materials for these topics even though I have only scratched the surface of possibilities.

5 intercultural communication language exercises and worksheets

5 cool advertising & branding vocabulary & language exercises

6 describing people and appearance vocabulary and language exercises

8 comparison/contrast sentence, paragraph and essay writing exercises


The value of almost infinite image libraries these days is that you can find an image to match any kind of “grammar situation” you can imagine. It certainly makes teaching grammar more interesting to explore the possibilities.

7 incredibly useful past tense teaching activities

3 ed/ing adjective exercises

Images are also great for illustrating almost every kind of health problem and treatment.

7 health problems, symptoms and illnesses vocabulary exercises


Vocabulary and language for describing graphs is a pretty essential component of any Business English or academically related language course. It’s also a pretty important testing topic in English language assessment tests such as IELTS.

 5 describing graphs and trends vocabulary and writing exercises

I’ve always found cause/effect writing quite interesting to teach. This is probably because cause/effect can be applied to almost any topical social issue.

10 cause/effect writing activities

Opinion and argument paragraph writing is really enjoyable if you carefully  organize the steps  throught the writing process of brainstorming, outlining and sentence writing.

10 opinion and argument writing worksheets

I’ve realized belatedly that the best way way to look through ideas and material is to scroll up and down through it. So I’m formatting most of my pages in this way.

10 role play speaking activities

5 present perfect language and speaking activities

8 preposition exercises for time, location and movement 

If your students are at the right level, debate and discussion lessons about contemporary topics can be some of the most interesting classes you will ever have. That’s my experience. Discussing a topic such as automation with students who are just  about to graduate is really fascinating as it is so relevant to their career paths and future lives. In fact, when you throw technology in the mix, many topics become more interesting.

11 classroom debate and discussion language activities

10 environmental issues vocabulary and language exercises 

I’ve realized it’s quite a head-spinning business choosing images to accompany teaching materials. There are quite a number of factors to be considered. An image has to have the right visual clarity and  it also has to have a clarity of meaning.  Sometimes it takes a while to get this right ( a year or two!). And a lot of classroom testing. Anyway  here are the latest reviewed and improved pages:

5 tourism and hotel vocabulary and  language exercises

5 airport and travel vocabulary and language exercises

10 Jobs and careers language skills exercises 

4 essential pronunciation worksheets

Over the past year this website has been moved onto a new platform. Due the site’s size, there have been many problems. However, it seems finally we can get back to just focusing on improving the sites user-friendliness and teaching materials.

8 essential Business English vocabulary exercises

10 adjectives lessons

11 personality and vocabulary lessons

With the arrival of the new academic year I have found myself having some time to improve teaching materials posted on this website. Increasingly, technology is making it easier to produce better materials and I am trying take advantage of every technological advance. At present, I am trying to add answers to most exercises and improve the quality of the materials.  I want to make it easier to search through the materials on mobile devices. Also, I have improved the download speeds on many PDFs. Below are some recent updates:

6 Elementary to Pre-Intermediate Reading Exercises

10 Food, Cooking and Restaurant Language and Vocabulary Exercises

8 Business English Speaking Skill Worksheets

10 Computing and  Internet Vocabulary and Speaking Activities

One of the most popular classroom topics at the beginning of each academic year for elementary ESL students is classroom language.  Below is a compilation of classroom language exercises.

8 Classroom Language Exercises

Also for the first day of class!

5 First Day of Class Activities

Other ESL Topics