ESL Teaching Supplies

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, teachers of English Language Learner (ESL) students will learn about different teaching materials that can help to enhance their instruction and prepare them for a successful school year.


Different groups of students in your classroom may require different types of instructional support materials. English Language Learner students are no exception. When teaching ESL students, you want to include materials that can help support language learning. Let's take a look at some specific materials that can do just that.


It goes without saying that books are an essential part of most educational environments, but ESL students may require some specialized books beyond what you'd see in a typical classroom.


You should have a variety of bilingual dictionaries that are representative of all of the native languages spoken by your students. Bilingual dictionaries will best serve students with at least an intermediate level of English proficiency, as low-proficiency students will have a much harder time with the English vocabulary. Picture dictionaries are also ideal for reinforcing content-area vocabulary with visuals.

Bilingual Books

Having access to bilingual books can really help improve ESL students' motivation to read. This is especially true for beginners, who are often overwhelmed by the sensory input overload they experience during their first few months in an English classroom. Just giving them access to books in their native language can make a big difference in their comfort level and desire to read. As a bonus, being able to compare their native language side by side with English can help improve their vocabulary.

Graphic Novels

When ESL students are learning to read in English, graphic novels can help reinforce the written word with high-interest visuals. This makes graphic novels an excellent supplement to traditional novels in the ESL classroom.

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