Where can I get free ESL lesson plans?

Anyone who has spent time as a teacher in any capacity will know that having a pre-written lesson plan is an important part of the job, as without one things can go off track very quickly. Once you have gained some experience the amount of effort you need to put into your plans will be reduced, but in the early stages of your teaching career it can sometimes be the difference between an efficient and successful lesson and a complete and utter disaster. A proper lesson plan allows you to lay out your targets for the lesson, organize your timings efficiently, ensure you have all the necessary materials and equipment, and identify any expected problems and how to deal with them. With a solid plan in place you should be able to move through every stage of the lesson on time, without getting flustered or wasting unnecessary time.

Some ESL teachers take great pride in creating every bit of their lesson plans from scratch, using their own creativity and initiative. While this approach is admirable and can work well for some teachers, many others find it is helpful to take advantage of the wealth of resources that are available online. The amount of time saved can be considerable and it also gives you the chance to see what other teachers are doing with their lessons. The following is a list of free online resources that we think are well worth checking out.

Where can I get free ESL lesson plans?

With over 1,000 free lesson plans for ESL teachers this site should certainly be on your radar. The plans can be browsed by language level, theme, or topic and then downloaded in PDF format. Worksheets, games and other activities are often included to ensure the plans are both fun and effective.


As well as the expected collection of very detailed lesson plans that are organized into two main categories, talking point lessons and topic-based lessons, this site also offers a wide range of other useful ideas on how to get the most out of every lesson you deliver to your students.

The British Council

The British Council is one of the most prominent and respected names in the world of ESL teaching and this site certainly lives up to this reputation. It contains some of the best free ESL lesson plans you will find anywhere and they are conveniently organized to make things even easier. Simply browse by age group, i.e, primary, secondary, or adults, and then choose your class level. Downloadable worksheets and activities are also included.

Lanternfish ESL

This site has been around for several years and is one of the main go-to options for thousands of teachers worldwide. You will find a diverse range of lesson plans to choose from, covering every topic you could imagine. Most plans will include all the materials you need to make the lesson work, such as worksheets, game boards, role-play dialogues, flashcards, etc.


This useful resource offers plenty of other interesting articles and information on top of its bank of online lesson plans. You can search for your required topic directly in the search bar and all resulting plans will come with clear aims, instructions, and materials.


With over 17,000 ESL lesson plans and worksheets that are free to download, this site is a must have for any teacher. You can filter your search by categories such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, etc, or search the entire database for plans that match your given topic. Plans are also divided by language level.

English Is a Piece of Cake

Another very useful site that contains a large number of lesson plans separated into categories that include listening, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and business. Simply find the ones you need, download them in PDF format, and away you go. Instructions, worksheets, warm up activities, and any pre-teaching recommendations are all included.

The Internet TESL Journal

This straightforward and easy to use site is home to a large number of lesson plans, activities, and other useful articles. The theme of the plans cover a wide range of subjects and they also include all the materials you need to make them work in the classroom.


This database of lesson plans and other resources is run and maintained by a community of active ESL teachers who are happy to share their own creations with the rest of the teaching world. As they are written by practicing teachers, the materials are typically of a high quality and effective in the classroom.

Online English Expert

On this site the lesson plans are separated into different language levels that are labeled A1, A2, B1, and B2. There is also a section dedicated to grammar topics. Some plans have additional activities at an extra cost, however, the free activities that are included are generally just as useful.


Although this site provides paid memberships for teachers, it also has plenty of free options that can be used in traditional classrooms and online lessons. As well as lesson plans, you will find homework ideas, student assessments, and placement tests that can all be downloaded.

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