How To Teach Online Using ESL Lesson Plans

Speaking is the key

There’s no need to complicate things when it comes to teaching English. Most (adult) students want to learn how to communicate in the language, or put simply, how to have a conversation with anyone.

Today, grammar, writing, listening or reading are often side-lined because there are abundant ways to learn these alone. Speaking is not. The art of conversation is also arguably the most important language skill. 

So how can you use this as a teacher? It’s simple, focus on getting your students to talk as much as they can during the private or group lesson with you and help them work on their speaking skills. 

This is also where our plans come in. They are designed to maximise speaking, while incorporating other language skills into the lesson but linking each skill back to speaking, i.e. let’s listen to a video and then talk about it. 

Simplify your life

We’ve done it all for you. Each ESL lesson plan we’ve designed is a self-contained lesson. It doesn’t require any extra work from you. Once you get familiar with the overall structure of our plans you won’t even need to check the content ahead of the lesson (not that we recommend it, of course 😅). 

Below is a video explainer on how to use the plan during the lesson. All you need is a computer and one of the free apps we’ve listed below.

Step 1

Use a program which will allow you to edit PDFs by applying text or writing on them. A few examples of such programs:



Open Board

Adobe Acrobat

We find OneNote to be the most intuitive and easy to use. 

Step 2

Let’s stay with OneNote as an example. Load the plan using Insert -> file. Out of the three options choose ‘insert as printout‘. And voilà! Ready to use 😄

Step 3

During the (online) lesson share the open window with your student so they can see this plan open on their screen. 

Step 4

Conduct the lesson while editing the plan in OneNote (or a similar app):

  • add vocabulary
  • highlight phrases
  • draw elements
  • colour-code the text



Step 5

At the end of the lesson save the document to PDF and share it with your student. That way they’ll be able to access the lesson and your notes any time they want. 

Press on the three dots in the right upper corner and choose print. Next, in the print window choose the option ‘Microsoft Print to PDF‘. 

A good option is creating a Google Drive folder for you and your student where you store all the finished lessons. 

And that's how you do it 😉

We invite you to check out our full online ESL lesson plans library here.

And if you’re also a classroom teacher we have a separate library dedicated to directing classroom lessons. Check it out here.

There’s also plenty of helpful articles on our page which could give you some unique ideas for games and exercises. Check out our blog here.