The Internet TESL Journal

An Overview of The Internet TESL Journal's Things for ESL Teachers and Activities for ESL Students

Charles I. Kelly
In addition to publishing articles, The Internet TESL Journal has a wide range of materials for ESL/EFL teachers such as online textbooks, classroom game and activity ideas and a large list of conversation questions. For students there is a large collection of activities including quizzes and crossword puzzles. This paper will present an overview of what is available on these websites.


The Internet TESL Journal <> is a monthly web-based journal that began publication in 1995. In addition to publishing articles, it has many activities for students <> and various things for teachers <>. This paper introduces those sections of these websites and provides information on how teachers can contribute to the projects.

Things for Teachers

The Things for Teachers <> section of the website includes ongoing projects that teachers can use or contribute to and online textbooks.

Conversation Questions for ESL Students

This is a collection of over 2,000 questions on 33 topics that can be used for conversation practice. Some of the many topics include animals and pets, Christmas, family, health, sports and social problems. Individuals are encouraged to submit their own questions so the database of usable questions continues to grow.

Jokes for the ESL Classroom

Jokes that have worked well in the classroom have been submitted by both teachers and students. Teachers who use jokes in the ESL classroom to teach culture, grammar and vocabulary will find these jokes useful and funny. Jokes are often submitted by visitors so the collection is constantly being updated.

Games and Activities for the ESL Classroom

This is a list of games and game-like activities for teachers to use in the ESL classroom. Submitted activities are automatically added to this page so it is continually growing. The newest submission is at the top of the list so that repeat visitors can see what is new at a glance.

Internet Treasure Hunts for ESL Students

These scavenger hunts require students to visit various websites to find information. Treasure hunts include American universities, the movie industry, music and about the Internet. Individuals are encouraged to submit their own scavenger hunts.

EFL/ESL Lessons Using Web Sites

These content-oriented lessons were written by Scott South. He constantly updates them as websites change. Websites covered include such sites as,,, and These lessons are in PDF format so can easily be printed.

Internet Basics for ESL Students

This is an online textbook with fourteen lessons written by Jim Schweizer. Topics include the history of the Internet, using email, mailing lists, newsgroups and business on the Internet.

Tell Me More: Task-based Communication Activities

This is a complete online version of an English textbook written for speakers of Korean by Andrew Finch and Hyun Tae-duck. This textbook can be also used by non-Korean speakers. Teachers are permitted to print out and duplicate these lessons for use by their own students.

ESL Student Guides to the Internet

These guides, written by Bruce Vorland, not only introduce ESL students to selected pages designed for native-speakers, but also assist students in understanding and using those pages. Vocabulary lists and activities are included.

Daily Page for ESL/EFL Teachers

This is a fast loading web page (less than 5Kb) that has four popular search engines and the most recently submitted ESL/EFL links. This page allows teachers to have an easy-to-use startup page and helps teachers keep up with what's new on the ESL/EFL Web.


This is a large collection of web links related to English learning and English teaching. It can be browsed by category or searched by using the search engine. Submitted links automatically appear on the "What's New" page. This allows ESL teachers to register new web pages and makes it easy for others to find the newest pages on the Web. After new links have been verified to be accurate by The Internet TESL Journal staff, they are added to the main database.

Activities for ESL Students

There are over one thousand activities to help students study English as a second language on this website. This project of The Internet TESL Journal has contributions by many teachers throughout the world. New quizzes and activities are added regularly.

Activities for ESL Students

From the main page of the website, students can access all the main sub-menus of the site. Both the grammar quizzes and the vocabulary quizzes are sorted into six levels from easy to difficult. The bilingual vocabulary quizzes are sorted by language and the crossword puzzles are sorted into easy and not so easy. For the convenience of visitors who may not be able to use JavaScript or the Flash plugin, there are additional menus listing the quizzes as HTML-only, JavaScript or Flash quizzes.

HTML-Only "Self-Study Quizzes for ESL Students"

These quizzes work on any computer that is able to access the Web. They do not require JavaScript, Java or a special plugin such as Flash. An answer button under the question allows students to instantly see the correct answer. There are about 1,000 of these "HTML-only quizzes" on our website. This "HTML-only" listing is maintained for those who are using portable devices or computers that cannot use the Flash plugin or do not support JavaScript. The subdivisions include holidays, reading, trivia, culture, sports, writing, grammar, idioms, phrasal verbs, slang, scrambled words and vocabulary.

Interactive JavaScript Quizzes for ESL Students

This project takes advantage of the added features of JavaScript, thus making the quizzes more interactive than the "HTML-only" self-study quizzes. Some of the features of our JavaScript/HTML quiz templates are as follows:
The score is calculated after each answer is given. Quiz items are generated in a randomized order so that no two quiz sessions are alike. On the multiple-choice quizzes, the order that the choices appear is also randomly chosen. Skipped or incorrectly answered items are recycled and appear again at the end of the quiz. When a mistake is made, the quiz taker will immediately be shown the correct answer. The quiz writer has the option to put in an additional "feedback" statement that appears when a student makes a mistake.

Flash Quizzes for English Study

This project takes advantage of features offered by the Flash plugin. In addition to the same interactive features as the JavaScript quizzes, these quizzes also have the following features.

Each quiz may include any or all of the following types of questions: multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, true or false or fill-in-the-blanks followed by a multiple-choice question if answered incorrectly. For multiple-choice questions, the quiz taker has the option to either click the choice or to use the number keys on the computer. The quiz taker has the option to end the quiz at any time. The quiz taker has the option to restart the quiz at any point. The quiz author has the choice to include one feedback statement to appear explaining why the correct choice is correct and/or may include feedback statements for each wrong choice explaining why the wrong choices are wrong. These quizzes offer a fun, game-like feeling with sounds. In addition to the regular score there is a game-like score with some questions having a higher values than others.

Bilingual Vocabulary Quizzes

These quizzes are newly generated by the computer program from a list bilingual equivalents each time the quiz is taken. The program randomly chooses one word from the target language and randomly chooses one of the five choice locations to put the other language's equivalent. The remaining four choices are filled in randomly from other words on the list. Students can review the same vocabulary over and over without becoming bored since each time a quiz is taken the questions will be different.

English Vocabulary Quizzes Using Images

These quizzes are randomly generated in the same manner as the bilingual vocabulary quizzes. Each time a quiz is taken the questions will be different.

Crossword Puzzles for ESL Students

This collection of over 80 crossword puzzles covers a variety of subjects related to language learning. The puzzles are identified by level and contain between seven to twenty-six words. A hint button helps the student who has difficulty with a word.

Selected Links for ESL/EFL Students

The purpose of this page is to introduce students to a select list of immediately interesting and useful links. This is an excellent starter page for students. Sites that are difficult to navigate or that include a lot of advertising are not included. After students have visited this select list, they may browse through our complete list of links for students at

Daily Page for Students of English

This page changes every day and includes things such as "Quiz for the Day," "Proverb of the Day" and "Slang of the Day." This fast loading page also includes three popular search engines and two dictionary search forms making it a useful startup or home page for students. It can be used for both school computer labs and personal use.

How Teachers Can Contribute

How to Write Activities for the Activities for ESL Students Website

This web page contains instructions for teachers who are interested in contributing to the website.

The Internet TESL Journal's Submission Policy

The Internet TESL Journal is always looking for materials that are of immediate practical use to ESL/EFL teachers. This journal is aimed at teachers who are currently teaching. Teachers who are interested in contributing should read our submission policy for more information.

This article was originally published in Using IT to Improve Language Teaching, Collected Papers of the 2002 JALT Kyoto Chapter Annual Conference

You can download the original ariticle as a PDF file from

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 2003