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How to Choose the Best ESL Curriculum for Your Needs

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Trying to figure out the best ESL curriculum for your online students? We can help!

Unless you’re an all-knowing superhuman with copious amounts of free time to make your own custom ESL lessons from scratch every day, what you need is a good ESL curriculum.

We should know. At the Tutor Resource, we’ve been teaching English since well before 2020 made online teaching trendy. What can we say, we’re trendsetters! 😎

A great ESL curriculum can be a wonderful asset to help maximize class time and minimize out-of-class prep time. It can even help you brainstorm effective activities and set up games, or even better…provide them for you! 

This sounds great, right? If so, you might be having the best kind of problem: too many options.

Between Amazon, message boards, and never-ending resource rooms, it can be hard to decide on just one or two of the best ESL curriculums to use. And we know that teachers have to make money go the distance.

Not to worry! We’ve compiled a list of some of the very best ESL curriculum options for you to use in your online classroom. Whether you’re teaching kids or adults, beginners or more advanced students, these curriculums will help you make the most of your class time.

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But first, let’s talk about how to choose the best ESL curriculum for your needs.

Tips for Choosing the Best ESL Curriculum

When you’re looking for an ESL curriculum, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are some tips to help you choose the best curriculum for your needs:

Age Group and Level of Students

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the age group and level of students you’ll be teaching. Different curriculums are geared towards different age groups and levels.

For example, some curriculums are best for young learners while others are best for adults. And within those age groups, you’ll find beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. Different curriculums will have different levels available.

So make sure to choose a curriculum that’s appropriate for the age group and level of students you’ll be teaching.

Your Teaching Approach

Another important thing to consider is your teaching approach. Are you a more traditional teacher who likes to stick to ESL textbooks? Or are you a more creative teacher who likes to mix things up with games and activities?

The best ESL curriculum for you will be one that matches your teaching style. If you’re a traditional teacher, then a book-based curriculum will probably work best for you. But if you’re a more creative teacher, then you might prefer a curriculum that’s more activity-based.

What’s important is that you choose a curriculum that you feel comfortable using. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, then your students probably won’t either.

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Of course, you’ll also want to consider prices when choosing an ESL curriculum. Some curriculums can be quite expensive, while others are more affordable. The priciest, big-name curriculums aren’t always the best, regardless of what their marketing team says.

It’s important to find a balance between quality and price. You don’t want to spend too much on a curriculum, but you also don’t want to skimp too much and end up with a low-quality product.

To find the best balance, it’s a good idea to read reviews of different curriculums before making your final decision. That way, you can see what other teachers might think about the quality of different products.

If they don’t feel that a lesson concept is crystal clear to a student, then you may want to choose a different one.

Creator Background

What sort of experience does the curriculum creator have? While it’s nice to have a big name curriculum with teams of instructional designers, an experienced online teacher who is actually doing the work for which they’re creating currently is also a benefit.

There are pros and cons to each type of creator. It’s important that the creator has some sort of expertise in online teaching, whether they’re currently doing it or have done it in the past.

That way, you know that they understand the challenges and opportunities that come with teaching online. And as a result, their curriculum will be better suited for online teaching.

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Curriculum Supplementals

When you’re looking at different curriculums, pay attention to the supplemental materials that are available. Some curriculums come with a wealth of supporting materials, including ESL lesson plans, activity sheets, and more.

Others don’t have as many supplemental materials available. If you’re a new teacher, then it’s probably best to choose a curriculum that comes with more supporting materials.

But if you’re an experienced teacher, then you might not need as many supplementals. It really depends on your level of experience and comfort with creating your own materials.


Finally, you’ll want to consider how flexible the curriculum is. Some curriculums are very rigid and have a specific way that they need to be taught. Others are more flexible and can be adapted to fit your own teaching style.

If you’re a more experienced teacher, then you probably don’t need a very rigid curriculum. But if you’re new to teaching, then a more flexible curriculum might be best so that you can adapt it to your own teaching style.

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Trial Period

Most curriculums will offer some sort of trial period, either free or highly discounted, so that you can try out the materials before you commit to buying them. This is a great way to see if a particular curriculum is a good fit for you and your students.

If the curriculum doesn’t offer a trial period, then it’s probably best to avoid it. There’s no reason to buy something sight unseen when you could just as easily try it out first. Each of the Tutor Resource’s curriculums offer a trial period either for free or for just $1!

These are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing an ESL curriculum. By considering all of these factors, you’ll be able to choose the best ESL curriculum for your needs.

What are the Benefits of Using an ESL Curriculum?

There are many benefits to using an ESL curriculum instead of making it up as you go. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it saves you time.

With a curriculum, all of the planning and prep work is already done for you. All you have to do is follow the lessons and deliver them to your students.

Another benefit of using a curriculum is that it ensures that you cover all of the necessary material. When you’re making up your own lessons, it’s easy to forget important topics or to skip over material that your students may need to know.

But with a curriculum, you can be confident that you’re covering everything that your students need to learn.

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Finally, using a curriculum can also help you to improve your teaching. With a good curriculum, you can learn new teaching methods and strategies that you might not have thought of on your own.

And as you become more familiar with the curriculum, you can start to adapt and customize it to better suit your students’ needs.

So if you’re looking for a way to save time, ensure that you’re covering all the necessary material, and improve your teaching, then using an ESL curriculum is a great option.

What Are the Best ESL Curriculums?

With the above tips in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ESL curriculums available.

Teachers Together English

Teachers Together English is a multi-level ESL curriculum geared toward kids, from total newbies to English language learning to more advanced students. It’s built by current online ESL teachers, for online ESL teachers.

As such, it includes a lot of interactive materials to help you engage your students and teach effectively online. You can also read more about it here.

Plus, it is flexible enough to be adapted to your own teaching style with a variety of optional bonus slides. And best of all, it offers a free lesson trial so that you can try out the materials before you commit to buying them.

Teachers Together English is one of the best ESL curriculums.

Blue Cherry English

If you have more advanced students or those studying for the IELTS test, then this is the curriculum for you. It’s designed to help students improve their English proficiency by teaching them English grammar, vocabulary, and more.

Blue Cherry equips ESL/ELL teachers with the tools necessary to work with online students. Its aim is to set up these students for success in an English-speaking world using a curriculum featuring communicative competence as a primary focus.

The lessons are designed to be taught online, in real-time with face-to-face interaction through the use of screen-sharing type software. The lessons work well with class sizes ranging from one-on-one to one-on-four.

Blue Cherry English is one of the best ESL curriculums.

Wonderful Kindergarten

Inspired by Wonders, this ESL curriculum is great for new and emerging English learners. Come have fun with your students using Tutoring Made Fun’s Wonderful Kindergarten curriculum.

Each lesson has between 30 minutes and 3 hours of online English teaching materials, and includes vocabulary, phonics, reading, and more. Plus, there’s a free trial lesson option so you can try before you buy!

Wonderful Kindergarten is one of the best ESL curriculums.

Brian’s ESL Corner

All the lessons in the Brian’s ESL Corner curriculum are catered towards upper-intermediate as well as advanced students. It’s a pros and cons, conversation-based program that requires critical thinking as well as discussion.  

Every lesson in the pros and cons curriculum has been tested with multiple students. These lessons were made based on actual parent expectations: conversation-based, maximizing student output, open-ended questions, and something along the lines of debate.

Brian's ESL Teaching Corner is one of the best ESL curriculums.

Let’s Talk Together

If you’re seeking a more flexible option for mid- to high-level English speakers, consider a free talk curriculum like Let’s Talk Together. This program offers a variety of structured conversation prompts that are centered around a variety of themes.

From animals and technology to hobbies and culture, this curriculum covers a lot of different materials that can suit a variety of skill levels.

Let's Talk Together is one of the best ESL curriculums.

Real Life English

Real Life English is a small but mighty and growing free talk curriculum centered around life activities, such as going to the beach and daily routines. They introduce new vocabulary words and provide lots of question prompts and conversation starters.

This program is geared toward early-level English speakers, to help build confidence and conversational skill at the same time.

Real Life English is one of the best ESL curriculums.

Final Thoughts on the Best ESL Curriculum

When you’re looking for the best ESL curriculum, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Make sure to choose a curriculum that matches your teaching style, is affordable, and comes with plenty of supplemental materials.

And be sure to take advantage of trial periods so that you can try out different curriculums before you buy them. With a little bit of research, you’re sure to find the perfect ESL curriculum for you and your students.

Online teachers need a robust curriculum with many ESL teaching resources to help them effectively reach all students. Oftentimes, finding such material is difficult and time-consuming.

Our website offers a one-stop shop for these tools so that you don’t have to waste your valuable time worrying about where to find quality online English teaching materials.

You need a curriculum that is affordable because, most likely, you are paying for it out of your own pocket because of your desire to do what’s best for your kids who are learning English. We provide a wide range of ESL curriculums in one place.

These are tried-and-true programs developed by teachers and loved by their pupils. This allows you to concentrate on the tasks that are most essential to you: being a teacher.

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