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For teachers

During our road trip we want to meet as many teachers as possible to find out how we can help you in your classes. Sadly, we know there will be a lot of teachers that we won't be able to see. So, we've built a special page here for you.

An image of a teacherWe also have a complete teachers' area on our main site BBC Learning English. On those pages you'll find downloadable lesson plans, audio programmes and quizzes for you to use in the classroom.

There's a discussion page where you can talk to us and to other teachers and you can send in your own lesson plans using materials from our site.

From November, every month we'll be giving one of our famous BBC Learning English prizes to the best contribution from a teacher.

If you would like to share any lesson plans or other materials you have created based on resources on this site then you can send them to us at

In Cambridge, we asked the teachers we met for some tips for new English language teachers. Here are a couple of the things they said:

Top tip 1 - MP3 (95 KB)

Top tip 2 - MP3 (224 KB)

If you would like to comment on any of the following questions and share any of your teaching tips, please use the form below.

  • Have you used any of the content on this site in your teaching?
  • If so, what did you use and how did it go?
  • How could we improve the content on the site to make it more useful for teachers?



Your Comments

Marcel Beleyn
Thank you. BBC LE! We have been making good use of the Words in the News! They are ideal tools for self-study and they provide ample opportunity for skills practice. I cannot help wondering though if the selection of the words in bold, i.e. the words featured in the glossary, is based on frequency counts or anything.It might be a good idea to distinguish between 'core' news vocabulary and less commonly words or collocations.

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Marcel, thanks for the email and your interesting point. With Words in the News we try to provide definitions for those words and phrases that we think will aid the overall comprehension of that particular text. Sometimes this will be individual words and sometimes it will be phrases and collocational chunks. We target the vocabulary at upper intermediate level.

Thanks again for your rich site and may I ask if you ever tried setting up a message board just for teachers - to give them a chance to exchange ideas and materials? I'm a complete beginner in terms of online teaching/learning resources, my teenage students are all computer fans and I am determined to make the most of it, but I need to talk to more experienced people and get some help. I may also be able to share a couple of ideas. Best regards and Merry Christmas to you all. Elena

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Elena, thanks, Merry Christmas to you to. We used to have a message board that was only for teachers however we had to close it a while ago when there were staffing and budget changes. If there seems to be enough demand we will look at the possibility of starting it up again.

Hi there. I am an English teacher for adult students in Japan. I have found some of your lesson plans fantastic, particularly words in the news and David Crystal. The interest articles are usually the most popular with the students, because the information they are receiving is new and tests their comprehension(as opposed to a media issue which has received a lot of attention). My only suggestion is to make the links to the teaching plans easier from the learning english homepage. At the moment I find I have to go through several links before I end up where I want to be! Keep the good work coming! It is a great resource. Thank-you.

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Sarah, thank you for your comments. In the last couple of weeks we've updated the navigation of the teachers' area of the site. You can now get to all of the resources in just one click from the teachers' page and two clicks from the Learning English front page. I'm afraid we don't have space on the front page to put links to all of the resources for teachers, but we hope the new changes help with navigation.

Audio content needs to be in a downloadable format, as an mp3 file for example. Real audio files are of no use at all as they cannot be taken into the classroom. Also, there are teaching comments made in the audio content which make the files useless. The files should just be a conversation or some other authentic piece of English language. A teacher can then stop the audio and make comments as they please. They would not be able to do that with the current files.

From the BBC Learning English team
Hi Mark, thanks for the suggestions. We make as much audio as possible downloadable. Rights issues means we can't make anything with music or lyrics, for example, available in mp3 format.

As for providing teaching content in the audio you make a good point. There are quite a few programmes which do not contain direct teaching comments, mostly in the watch and listen section, however these are not marked as such. Perhaps we can look at marking the downloads to indicate whether it is a standalone feature or whether it does contain teaching comments. The huge majority of our users are students who use the audio for self-study so to remove overt teaching content from everything is probably not something that we would want to do.

I find the site really useful, but I think the site can help teachers around the world if we have more pictures that can be used in teaching in class.Thank you. Huong

From the BBC Learning English team
Thanks for the comments. We would like to be able to make high quality pictures available for teachers as they are a useful resource. However finding suitable copyright free images is not always so easy. It is something we will look at though.

Wow! I´m glad you let those materials available to the teachers! This way I don´t have to prepare classes. Regardless of that, the content is very well done. I think it´s not necessary to buy books anymore. Thank you very much. It´s very hard to find good materials and for free!

From the BBC Learning English team
Thanks Max. Our materials will always be free to access and use.

Adelyn Agregado
Congratulations! You've done such a great job. I'm an English teacher here in Philippines.Downloadable audio materials help so much in my Phonetics class.I am so impressed with the results when in terms of my students' performance in English! Thank you so much BBC Learning English Team.Quizzes are awesome and I can download the latest and newest word of the English language.God Bless! Adelyn

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Adelyn, many thanks for the comments :-)

climate change

nice presentation same tired old systems:
"brainstorm" - how many lessons have i observed where the teacher follows the instructions and attempts to create interest in the topic? "ask the students ....." same as most of the books - just a different font!

"true or false?" wow! what an original idea! at least have the decency to try T/F/not enough information.

if it is any consolation, the guardian's attempts to create exciting lessons from current affairs are a complete waste of time.

sorry to be negative but the best thing bbc ever did for ELT was Muzzy and you have, presumably, censored it [females fat or beautiful, males strong or brave ... now we can't have that sort of thing from the bbc, can we darlings?] Muzzy was great. Sad to hear that the voice of Muzzy can never be re-recorded.

From the BBC Learning English team
Thanks for your email. Sorry you're not very happy with our material. If you would like to send us a lesson plan we'd be more than happy to share it on the site and perhaps it will help to freshen up others' teaching. As for Muzzy, you can now get the Muzzy series on DVD from a number of sources. Here's a link to the Muzzy page of the BBC shop - Muzzy

Richard Gilby
I am director of a private school in rural Mexico. We teach students from 3 to 18 years old. But on Wednesday afternoons I run a free course for English teachers in government secondary schools. The course focusses on methodology and on improving the teachers' own English skills. The phoneme section of your site is invaluable and with the audio chart they can practice at home. We also use the news section with help in Spanish. Congratulations it is a marvellous site. Richard Gilby

From the BBC Learning English team
Thanks for the comments Richard :-)

Mr Kapteijns
As a teacher of English at secondary level in Holland I'd like to copy audio-materials for using them while reading. Perhaps I haven't looked carefully enough, but would you mind telling me how to copy audio, if possible.

From the BBC Learning English team
Thanks for your email. For legal reasons we are not allowed to make a lot of the audio on the site downloadable. However, there are a number of ways to copy any audio that can be played on your computer. A quick internet seach might help with that.

As a teacher of English, I find this site immensely useful. I should congratulate you for the good work you are doing. I would like to have a few downloadable audio files with scripts (of native English speakers) for use in the class room. In this connection I would like to appreciate the contribution you have been making through the other sites such as, London Life, Weekender, Entertainment, etc. Thank you. Akilan

From the BBC Learning English team
Thank you Akilan, glad you find the material useful.

Ken Morgan
My students just introduced me to your site and I am really impressed. One thing I immediately tried was saving your flash presentation of phoneme pronunciations so I could have students use it without an internet connection. It didn't work. Is there some way to save this?

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Ken, an interesting question. We'll look at this and if it's possible we'll put instructions on the site.

Neil Hicks
Hello there, Great site and I do love it. However I would love to be able to download the audio scripts onto my mp3 so I can play them in class. In class I don´t have internet and anyway it is usually to slow to rely on when using "live". Thanks!

From BBC Learning English
Thank you for writing Neil. A lot of the audio on our site is now downloadable in mp3 format and we are adding more all the time. Soon, for example, all of the Flatmates episodes will be available to download. You can find links to the previous seven days' downloads on the Downloads Page.

Hall Jackson
I'm a JET ALT (Japanese Exchange Teacher - Assistant Language Teacher) at a Japanese high school. I use Flatmates in my first year classes to integrate oral/listening and grammer (they are taught as two separate subjects here). The kids love it as it's like Manga, they relate to Helen and they enjoy the romantic storylines (even the boys). I make up work sheets based on the language point - then I just hook my laptop up to the projector and away we go. Later I hope they can start to write their own Flatmate scripts to act out. Thanks so much for providing such a stimulating resource.

From the BBC Learning English team
Thank you for the comments Hall, the Flatmates is a popular resource for teachers and students. Getting students to write their own episodes and act them out is a really good idea. If you would like to share any of your worksheets with other teachers please email them to us and we will put them on this site.

Francoise Devos, Belgium
I have been using your website for more than a year now. It is a very enriching experience... Lately I have been reading the article about Speed dating with my classes and we have organised a "live" speed dating session in class, followed by a discussion.Everybody had fun, including me!! It was an excellent lesson, thanks to your material. Thanks a lot for your help and your amazing work.

From the BBC Learning English team
Thank you Francoise, glad to know you find the material useful and that sounds like it was an interesting lesson on speed dating.

Daniel Barroso
Greetings from Costa Rica. I’ve been looking at your web site and I love the lessons that I’ve have found. I noticed that most of then are for levels intermediate and above, so I will like to know if there is any chance to get any basic level material available. Thank you for this great resource. Daniel from Guanacaste, Costa Rica

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Daniel, thanks for your comments. Most of the material on the site is indeed aimed at intermediate and above levels. Although teachers can adapt materials for lower levels at the present time we do not have specifically targetted resources for beginners.

Lorna Campbell
I am teaching 2 boys English in Denmark. They are 10 and 12 years old. They want to learn about the news in England because they will go to live there in 2 years' time. But, the news in the Learning English site seems to be directed more towards adults. The language level is also a little too advanced. Can anyone suggest a good site for children/teenagers where we can get some UK/world news with which to make lesson plans and use for conversation?Thank you!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Lorna, the material on our site is intended for older students but you may find the following site useful. It's the BBC Newsround site for children. I don't think it has lesson plans but it has news and features aimed at a younger audience.

Hi, I've just come away from your presentation in Cambridge - full of energy and enthusiasm for your site! I'd stumbled across the BBC Learning English site before of course, but had no idea it was so huge and comprehensive. And tonight's introduction to Flatmates was great - I can't wait to start following the soap in class with my students! All I need now is to get myself an MP3 and learn how to download material! Thanks again for an eye-opening evening. Marcus - from The New School of English, Cambridge

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Marcus, thanks for the comments - have fun using the Flatmates, hope your students enjoy it.

Andrew Wilson
Great site and relevant material. Is there any chance you could catagorize the archive of lessons plans by grammatical structure / skill and or student level, as this would make trawling through the plans much simpler! Thanks!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hi Andrew, thanks for your comments. It's an excellent idea you suggest and one that we are looking at closely. As the number of lesson plans increases we will certainly need some way of categorising them and sorting them to make it a more teacher-friendly list.

Simon Foster
A question - does anyone have any good materials to explain the rules for how -ed sounds at the end of different verbs. I've come across some materials in the National Curriculum looking at arrived (d), finished (t) and started (id) and I'm looking for a definitive explanation that is easily explainable to students. Thanks

From the BBC Learning English team
Hi Simon, the secret to this is connected with voiced and unvoiced sounds. You can find an answer to this question in our 'Ask about English section'. Here is the link: Past tense endings. Hope that helps!

Simon also kindly sent in his top teaching tip. Here it is:
Listen to Simon's teaching tip

Simon Foster
Following a presentation in Birmingham this week by your team, I thought I'd try using some of the resources in the lessons. Songlines is a good resource, but the sound files don't appear to be downloadable (unless I'm doing something wrong!) So my feedback would be, can you make the sound file downloadable, so we can use this in classes without internet access? Many thanks.

From the BBC Learning English team
Hi Simon, thanks for your comment. I'm afraid that for reasons of music copyright we are not allowed to make Songlines (or other programmes with music) downloadable. There are ways for users to download the audio, a quick search on the internet should offer a number of solutions, but we we couldn't possibly recommend any of these methods ;)

I started using Flatmates this summer with students and found it great. I have made out questions and answers so it can be used as an aural exercise too. If anyone wants the stuff I'd be delighted to sent it on (I'm up to 40) I'm also doing out the Quiz in paper form so that it can be used by those without access to the internet.

From BBC Learning English team
Hello Gemma, thank you very much. We'd be very happy to put your worksheets on the site to share! You can send anything to us at

Barbara Race
I am intending to use the lesson by David Crystal on GM in Up to date English. It would help me if it were possible to download it as a word file, not PDF. It would then be possible to alter it - in terms of arranging the exercises I want to use for my students and omitting those I don't intend to use. This would save on photocopying as well as computer memory. I realise this may be deliberate, so modifications are not possible. I will let you know how the lesson goes.

From the Learning English team
Hello Barbara, thank you for your message. We use pdfs so that they will look consistent to everybody who downloads them and because the software to read them is free. What you can do with the free adobe acrobat player is choose 'save as text' from the file menu. This creates a new plain text file which you can then alter and use as you wish.

Leen Broodcoorens
Hi, I'm a Belgian teacher, I teach Dutch, French and next week for the first time I'll teach English.

I'm already looking forward to using tips and materials from your site. I used it while I was still studying and I found it most interesting and fun !

From the BBC Learning English team
Thanks Leen. Good luck with your English teaching. We hope you find the materials as useful for teaching as you found them for studying.

Stefan, Poland
welcome, yes, I have used especially audio lessons and it did great, I used it at the beginning of school term when pupils did not have their books yet. My suggestion is to make more available 'SOUND LIBRARY ARCHIVES' and to group it according to subjects they are about. Love to all, u r doing great job!!!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Stefan and thank you for your comments and suggestion. We are planning to add more pages soon which will have direct links to downloadable content that is found throughout the site.

Anna Stowers, Düsseldorf
The BBC is my answer to blended learning / e-learning - it's available 24/7, constantly updated, nearly 100% accurate, inspiring, excellent for all levels with a massive variety of different activities on different subjects covering all skills. THANK YOU BBC!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Anna, thank you for your comments. We'll work on the accuracy :-)

Delhase P
My students are expected to listen at home to listen to a selection of stories from "words in the news" on a weekly basis. Then I play the tape once in front of the class and they do a fill-in exercise and answer some questions. They hate to admit it, but they love it! Could you just add a device to make it possible to hide the script as they listen? Since I started with my class, I have convinced many colleagues of all the advantages of the exercise, and I can proudly say that around 300 students use that section of your website every week.

From the BBC Learning English team
Thank you very much Delhase for spreading the news! It's a very good suggestion to provide the option of listening without the text being visible. We will take a close look at the practicalities of doing this within the publishing systems that we use.

Borjana Gorup
I'm not the teacher, but maybe you can use my suggestion: Business English pages are the same all the time. Maybe you could add something which is similar to Weekender or London Life, but with business topics. Some financial reports, interesting events in business life, maybe organization chart of some successful company, interview with successful owner of a small business, etc. Thanks in advance, Borjana Gorup

From the BBC Learning English team
Hi Borjana, you may be happy to hear that in October we will be launching a major new series in the Business section and another new series is in development for the near future.

Ruth Spiteri Bezzina, Malta.
Surely the best resource site an English teacher could have! Thanks dears!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Ruth, thank you for the glowing tribute - you made us blush!

Jancy Rani
Hello, I am an English teacher. I find this site very informative and interesting. It really helps me in my teaching. Queries are quite informative. Thank you B.B.C. English

From the BBC Learning English team
You're welcome Jancy! The Question and Answer section is one of the most popular areas of the site.

Verónica de la Encina
As a teacher of adult students, I really find it very useful to work on this site. Specially because it gives the students the chance to listen to the story, thus developing not only the reading but also the listening skills.!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hello Verónica, thank you for writing in. We are keen to provide as much listening material as possible. These days you can find many more audio downloads on the site, though copyright restrictions mean we can't make everything downloadable.

Jeong-hui Kim
Hi, I am an English teacher and also Mom in South Korea. I use this every day for my kids and for my students and even for me. I love Flat Mates, Watch and listen, and news English. This is amazing. This gives us vivid vocabularies, British accent, Grammar and valuable information. In the classroom I sometimes think if you show us many more images it will be helpful for them. Students can concentrate on my lesson with BBC. Thank you.

From the BBC Learning English team
Thank you Jeong-hui, glad you find the material useful. Over the years we have gradually put more and bigger images on the site and I'm sure this will continue as internet connection speeds around the world continue to get faster.

Meher Shaik
I have used some of the complete lessons posted on Wednesdays. They were wonderful! What a treat it is to have a lot of exercises and listening clips all done and ready to go. In my "advanced" ESL class which is really at an intermediate level, the Wednesday lessons worked well. However, my TOEFL students would find the level (of Wednesday lessons) too easy.

As a teacher preparing ESL students for proficiency tests, I would like more higher level material, done as TOEFL or IELTS exercises. There are enough news stories especially in Science and Technology and Health sections of BBC which could be written up as higher level comprehension exercises.

I really thank you all at BBC LearningEnglish with all my heart. Keep up the good work! Meher!

From the BBC Learning English Team
Hello Meher, thank you for your comments. It's an interesting point about the level of the Words in the News lesson plans. We'll look at maybe making some more of them more challenging for higher level students.

Tatyana Kuznetsova
Thank you very much for your site, as a secondary school teacher I've been using it for years. The site is very informative and interesting. We made a project based on David Crystal's lectures on new words. Special thank for ready made lessons, it's so convenient to come into the classroom with ready materials. I use grammar and vocabulary, entertainment and weekender, and I also recommend my students to explore the site. Best wishes. Tatyana Kuznetsova, Russia.!

From the BBC Learning English team
Hi Tatyana, thank you for your comments and for continuing to use the site for so long. It's always useful to get feedback and to know that the material is being used!