The Internet TESL Journal

The Internet Guide for English Language Teachers

A review of a book by Dave Sperling

Sheryl Olinsky

Dave Sperling, "chef and creator" of Dave's ESL Cafe, has written a book with (almost) everything anyone interested in language teaching wants and needs to know about the Web.

For those teachers who have just begun to surf the web, Dave provides all of the basics - how to get connected, how to use search engines, and how to send and receive e-mail. Dave even promises to write you back if you send him an email message at

What I like most about The Internet Guide for English Language Teachers is that Dave does not try to dazzle us with technotalk. He writes in a language we ALL can understand.

For those teachers who have already passed Internet 101, Dave provides more sites than anyone could visit in a semester. In Chapter 5, "Dave's Guide to the Best of the Web," he lists endless numbers of websites to visit for games, lesson plans, quizzes, tongue twisters, student internet projects and much more. For the research addicts among us, there are sites to surf with articles, associations, journals, and libraries with information on topics from languages and linguistics to literacy and literature. Best of all, Dave has done all of the work for us by finding all of these sites. There's no longer a need to spend those few office hours a week typing the letters "ESL" in Yahoo's search page.

One of the most useful chapters is "Jobs on The Net." Just pick a country and Dave can find you a job there --well, almost. He lists hundreds of websites to surf to for jobs around the world. You can get in touch with universities and other educational programs that are looking for English language teachers. You can even use the skills Dave teaches in Chapter 3, "Communicating on the Net," by sending your resume via email to apply for one of the jobs advertised.

For those who of you who are ready to do more than just surf the Net, Dave provides easy-to-follow directions on creating a web page. He shares tips on adding graphics, color, and links to other sites. Before you know it, you will have created your own ESL Cafe!

The comprehensive glossary in the back of the book is excellent. Dave has defined every acronym and technoterm about computers and the Internet that you have been wondering about. You'll also like the list of Dave's favorite emoticons (icons that show emotion) and net slang that you can use to jazz up your e-mail messages.

I recommend getting your own copy of The Internet Guide for English Language Teachers but I urge you to be careful! You'll notice, like I did, that people will want to "borrow" the book from you and you may never see it again!

You can see the table of contents of the book at
Published by Prentice Hall Regents.

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. III, No. 3, March 1997