ESL & English Teaching Resources

To visit my current English course website go here: Mrs. Carreiro’s English

There you will find my current course documents used at ISHCMC American Academy including syllabi, handouts, grading rubrics, and reading assignments.

During my three years in Pakistan, I worked as:

  • an ESL instructor
  • a middle school English and ESL teacher
  • a lecturer in Linguistics for the MA TESOL program at Lahore College for Women
  • an MA TESOL thesis research advisor
  • a teacher trainer
  • a curriculum developer/English faculty advisor at the Ali Institute of Education

  • I’ve also spent two semesters teaching ESL to adult learners at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where my course subjects ranged from intermediate conversational skills to advanced pronunciation, and I am a licensed secondary English teacher in the state of Massachusetts.

    The following lesson plans, tips and resource lists come from these teaching experiences, and all of the games and lesson plans are ones that I have used in my own classes and workshops. Before starting the ExpatHeather site, I published them on Associated Content (now Yahoo Voices) so they would be readily available to my teacher trainee students in Pakistan.

    Teacher trainees in Pakistan
    Photo: Some of my students in the B.Ed program at Ali Institute of Education

    Unfortunately, since publishing the content the site has been sold and is now under new ownership. I’m in the process of republishing the plans and articles I own the rights to on ExpatHeather, but as you can see, there are dozens (along with hundreds of articles about expat life and travel in Pakistan) and it will take me some time to transfer everything over.

    I’ve started with Integrated Lessons and Group Games, as these have been consistently some of my most popular activities with ESL students and teacher trainees who have used the games in their own classes. I’d love to hear about your experience with any of these games and lessons and how you adapt them to fit in different educational and cultural contexts. Feel free to contact me with any testimonies, and I may feature your story in a blog post!

    Integrated Lessons and Group Games

    1. ESL Lesson Game: Greetings and Introductions
    Get students out of their seats with this great game for the first day of an ESL class.

    2. ESL Lesson Game: Trouble on the Train
    Practice greetings and small talk with this interactive group game.

    3. ESL Group Activity: The Dating Game
    Outrageously fun group game for beginner to intermediate ESL students

    4. ESL Classroom Game: The Price is Right
    Based on the popular game show, this ESL game will help students practice using numbers and discussing products.

    5. ESL Lesson Plan Game: Secret Vocabulary
    A fun way for beginner through advanced students to review vocabulary

    6. ESL Lesson Plan: Learning Description Through an Interactive Group Game
    Complete one-hour lesson plan for describing people

    7. Student Learning Game: Rhyme Race
    Fun word game that’s good for teaching poetry or ESL students

    Grammar Lessons

    1. ESL Lesson Plan: Comparatives & Superlatives
    Have fun teaching adjectives with this interactive lesson.

    2. ESL Reading and Speaking Activity: Comparatives & Superlatives
    Students read about and discuss 5 young world record holders as a reading exercise.

    3. ESL Lesson Game: Action with Adverbs
    An interactive group game to practice adverbs. Great for ESL students or native speakers learning grammar.

    4. Lesson Plan: Make Narrative Exciting with Adverbs
    A lesson plan to integrate grammar with writing skills

    5. ESL Lesson Game: My Amazing Imaginary Life
    This creative activity will help students master the use of perfect tenses

    6. Lesson Plan: Fun with Verb Tenses
    This interactive and fast-paced group game will help students review simple and perfect tenses. It can be adjusted for use with any other tenses as well.

    7. Lesson Plan: Perfect Tenses
    Presentation material for teaching present perfect, past perfect and future perfect

    8. Lesson Plan: Verbs Daily Routine
    Adjustable lesson plan to practice different verb tenses by filling in the daily planner of a superhero


    1. Public Speaking
    A detailed lesson plan for the first day of a public speaking class.

    2. Writing Clear & Catchy Speech Introductions
    Learn how to get and keep your listeners’ attention in 30 seconds. Tips for speakers or a great lesson plan layout for English teachers.

    3. Resources for Teaching and Learning English Pronunciation
    Want to know where to find the best English pronunciation sites on the web? Here they are!

    4. Speaking with Fluency Part 1
    Recognizing and using features of natural spoken English

    5. Speaking with Fluency Part 2
    Introduction to fluency and informal versus formal speech

    6. Tips for Planning Successful ESL Speaking Activities
    Essential tips for planning and running speaking activities in your English language class

    Literary Devices

    1. Teaching English Literature: Metaphor
    Complete lesson plan and activity ideas for teaching and practicing metaphor

    2. Bulletin Board Ideas for Teaching Metaphor
    Example of a bulletin board for figurative language

    3. Teaching English Literature: Simile
    Complete lesson plan for teaching and practicing figurative writing


    1. Lesson Plan: Preparing Students to Write Restaurant Reviews
    A fun way to teach descriptive writing is to have students write restaurant reviews. Practice using adjectives by describing food!

    2. Lesson Plan: Making Story Outlines
    Complete presentation and activity material for teaching genre, setting, characters, plot and outline

    3. Creative Writing – Show Rather Than Tell
    Lesson plan for descriptive writing, Grade 6+

    Teacher Training

    1. Teacher Tips: How to Keep Student Attention
    Five tips to keep your students from nodding off during lectures

    2. How to Teach Creative Writing
    Basic guide for teachers and teacher trainers about teaching creative writing

    3.Creative Course course page and look under the “unit handouts” subheadings.

    4. Classroom Procedure Tips: How to Use Peer Review in Your Classroom
    This article explains the peer review process for student writing

    Expat Heather’s Online Resource List

    50 Resources for ESL Teachers – Excellent round up of ESL resources from Guide to Online Schools

    30 FREE Online Resources for ESL Teachers & Learners – Varied list of free resources from ESL teacher in Korea, Anne Merritt

    Pikfriends – Free online penpal program for secondary students

    Idioms4You – Site with hundreds of English idioms, including audio files so you can hear each one pronounced

    Matador’s Teaching ESL Focus Page – Collection of informative articles and testimonies about teaching ESL abroad and at home.

    Some of my favorites include Reflections of an ESL Teacher: My Teaching A-Ha! Moment, 5 Tips to Create Positive Vibes in Your ESL Classroom, and Classroom Experiences: ESL and the American Dream.