43 Free ESL Worksheets that Enable English Language Learners

ESL Activities That Can Transform Your English Class

43 free esl worksheets
These 43 free ESL worksheets enable English Language Learners to their full potential. They are 100% free to use for your classroom and fun to teach with.
Last Updated: May 22, 2018

Free ESL Worksheets to Engage Students

43 ESL worksheets to help you run your classes masterfully. That’s right.

They’re free to use, easy to get started, and powerful enough to run your class how you want to.

If you like these free ESL worksheets, here’s more activities to engage your students in English.

All are free and can be used for any purpose.

But let’s start with our free list of ESL worksheets to transform your classroom into something special.

1 Emotions in Emoticons

Emotions are a common theme in these ESL worksheets because students have a hard time expressing themselves! This simple ESL activity gets students to match emotions with emoticons.

Emoticon Emotions 01_Emotions Worksheet

2 Pronunciation Pyramid

Start at the top of the pyramid and work your way down. The teacher says a word and the students circle it. Where do you end up at the bottom of the pyramid?

Pronunciation Pyramid 02 Pronunciation Pyramid Worksheet

3 Sounds of English

Of all ESL worksheets, this one gets most surgical for pronunciation showing students exactly where to place their tongue. Place emphasis for each challenging sound.

Sounds of English 03 Sounds of English Worksheet

4 Top 10 Jobs

A Family Feud style ESL worksheet that helps kids reflect their future jobs. Let them guess the top 10 jobs students in North America want to be. They might be surprised.

Top 10 Jobs 04 Top 10 Jobs ESL Worksheets

5 Occupations Match

In the same theme of exploring students future, they associate jobs with pictures in this one.

Occupations Match 05 Jobs Match ESL Worksheet

6 Minimal Pairs

As an ESL teacher, your biggest asset is how well you can pronounce the sounds of English. On this note, have them circle the words you say aloud.

Minimal Pairs Pictures 06 Minimal Pairs Worksheet

7 Rhyme Time

Bring out your stopwatch. In groups, get your students to think of as many rhymes as possible. The group with the most rhymes wins.

Rhyme Time 07 Rhyme Time Worksheet

8 Picture Rhymes

This is one of the funnest ESL worksheets in here. Not only does it help students practice pronunciation, but they also learn to rhyme. Each picture is a rhyme, what is it?

Picture Rhymes 08 Picture Rhymes Worksheet

9 What is Halloween?

It’s October, that means it’s Halloween. Teach your students what Halloween is all about with this ESL worksheet.

What is Halloween? 09 What is Halloween

10 Halloween Emotions

Halloween is a scary, yet fun time. These are two contradicting emotions and there’s no better way to teach them with emotional jack-o-lanterns.

Halloween Pumpkin Emotions 10 Halloween Emotions

11 Christmas Crossword

Some say crosswords are non-educational ESL activities. But I disagree. Not only do students learn to improve their vocabulary, they learn to spell holiday words.

Christmas Crossword Puzzle 11 Christmas Crossword ESL Worksheet

12 Christmas Untangle

A surprisingly difficult activity where students get to decipher words from a bunch of letters. Luckily, we provide answers at the bottom of the ESL activity.

Christmas Untangle 12 Christmas Untangle

13 Jingle Bells Order

Students listen to the classic Christmas song “Jingle Bells” and order sentences when they hear them.

Jingle Bells Order 13 Jingle Bells Song Order

14 What’s the Question?

Moving out of the holiday theme, we get into asking questions. For each word in the list, make a question. Get creative and think of more.

What’s the Question? 14 What's the Question

15 Einstein’s Riddle

THIS is the most difficult of all ESL worksheets. Students have to use logic to solve a riddle that Albert Einstein made at his young age.

Einstein’s Riddle 15 Einstein Riddle ESL Worksheet

16 Your Dream Dog

It’s the memory type of game, where students have to ask questions about something they are thinking of. Who wouldn’t want one of these cute dogs?

Dream Dog 16 Your Dream Dog Worksheet

17 Spot the Differences

Two pictures look identical, but they’re not. Students have to find 10 differences in both scenes.

Spot the Differences 17 Spot the Differences

18 Similar Sentences

How much do your students pay attention to detail? You read one of the sentences and your students circle the one you said. Sounds easy? Not so much for your class.

Similar Sentences 18 Similar Sentences

19 Maze Directions

The blind following the blind? Let’s hope not. A twist on the maze game, where one student closes his or her eyes and the other tells the way using directions. I’d be surprised if anyone got it perfectly, but that’s why this activity is so good. It’s challenging.

Maze Directions Maze Directions

20 Compound Words

A two-word combo in one (compound words) gets students thinking of the origin of English words. Figure out each compound word and then draw one of your own.

Compound Words 20 Compound Words

21 Preposition Practice

Where is the apple? In this ESL worksheet, students practice prepositions by writing down the location of the apple in each scene.

Preposition Practice 21 Preposition Practice

22 Comic Book Creation

Every kid loves comic books. But what if they didn’t have any words in them? Let’s fill in these speech bubbles with an interesting story.

Comic Book Creation 22 Comic Book Creation

23 Charades for Kids

Charades only works when you have outgoing students. But in groups of two, they feel a bit more comfortable and less stressed out. Go through the worksheet with more words to act out.

Charades for Kids 23 Charades

24 Emotions Spin

Of all ESL worksheets, this is the most in-depth vocabulary for emotions. Because students always need help explaining how they feel, their arsenal of emotions will at least triple with this ESL activity.

Emotions Spin 24 Emotions Spin

25 Word Chain

In pairs, connect the last letter of a word by thinking of a word that starts with that letter. It’s the English version of Karuta – a popular Japanese game.

Word Chain (Shritori) 25 Letter Connect

26 Teacher Quiz

If you want to get your students out of their chairs in your first class, then this should be your go-to activity. Find clues around the class, and match answers with the clues.

Teacher Quiz 26 Teacher Quiz ESL Worksheet

27 How’s the Weather?

In this ESL activity, students remember the weather for the past couple of days. You can pair them up talk as a large group.

How’s the Weather? 27 How is the Weather

28 Why Learn English?

There are tons of benefits to learn English. As the true language of globalization, how can English help them in the future?

Why Learn English? 28 Why Learn English

29 Your Superhero

If you’re in Asia, it’s almost like every one of your students have a hidden talent as an incredible artist. This activity is good for superlatives and classes with mostly boys, what would be your ideal superhero?

Your Superhero 29 Your Superhero

30 Text Message Translations

From their native tongue to English, translate a typical text message they would send with their friends. Or better yet, make it up if you don’t feel comfortable sharing.

Text Message Translations 30 Text Message Translations

31 Pizza Recipe

Have you ever made a pizza? Which ingredients would you add? Practice imperatives and transition words as they explain step-by-step their pizza creation.

Pizza Recipe 31 Pizza Recipe

32 Valentine’s Day Cards

Who knew rhymes could be so much fun? Finish the rhyme of the classic poem “Roses are red, violets are blue…”. I love Valentine’s day and so will your kids with this ESL activity sheet.

Valentine’s Day Cards 32 Valentines Day

33 Phone Emoticons

Kids use a ridiculous amount of emoticons in phone conversation nowadays. What do they all mean? How do you associate an emoticon to an emotion? Cut out a select few, and use them in a written conversation.

Phone Emoticons 33 Phone Emoticons

34 Birthday Match

Get your students off their feet to search for clues around the classroom. The detectives pass the information to the secretary and match birthdays with some of the most prolific figures in the history.

Download 34 Birthday Match

35 The Obstacle Course

One blindfolded student gets directed where to go in a classroom obstacle course. The blind leading the blind? I don’t think so, as they improve directions in real-time.

The Obstacle Course<[/su_button] 35 The Obstacle Course

36 Cultural Differences

The fine line between culture across the globe is thinning because of globalization. However, some key cultural differences still remain. What are they?

Cultural Differences 36 Cultural Differences

37 Country Outlines

I love geography. Who doesn’t? Match the country with its outline, then draw a country. How close are you to the real thing? One of my brightest students always loved drawing country outlines for fun so I dedicate this one to him.

Country Outlines 37 Country Outlines

38 Your Satisfaction Level

Explore your innermost satisfaction. What makes you happy and sad? A lot of ESL worksheets focus on feelings. And this one registers at all levels extreme happiness to sadness.

Your Satisfaction Level 38 Satisfaction Level

39 Connect the Dots

If you are empty-handed with 5 minutes to spare, this is a time filler for the end of a kids class, Admittedly, not much value here for English, it’s your desperation move that runs parallel to tic-tac-toe in terms of beneficial value.

Connect the Dots 39 Connect the Dots ESL Worksheets

40 Minimal Pairs Listening Test

Test your students listening skills with these minimal pairs. Can they differentiate some of the sounds unique to English? Mix up the minimal pairs five times each and correct their papers.

Minimal Pairs Listening Test 40 Listening Test ESL Worksheets

41 Alphabet Story

Create your own story with consecutive letters from A to Z. For some of these letters, this will challenge their ability to formulate sentences… But that’s OK.

Alphabet Story 41 Alphabet Story

42 Halloween Bingo

Get your students to put the Halloween vocabulary anywhere in the Bingo sheet. As you read any word in the sheet, they cross it off. The first one who gets a line wins.

Halloween Bingo 42 Halloween Bingo

43 Simon Says

Practice imperatives with “Simon says”. Or better yet, get one of your students to lead giving instructions to the class if they are familiar.

Simon Says 43 Simon Says

What’s in your free ESL Worksheet arsenal?

We’ve shared our ESL resources. 100% free to use when you teach English abroad.

Now, it’s time for you to put on your thinking caps.

Which ESL activities work in your classes? Is it a wide range of ESL discussion topics?

Let us know with a comment below.

All of our worksheets are free to use for any purpose and ready to print for your classroom.

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