Learning English

While new refugees are oftentimes enrolled in free ESL classes, it is extremely helpful for them to continue to practice English in the home with native or fluent English speakers.

Below we have compiled some resources for you to use to help your refugee family learn English.

ESL General Tips

  1. Discuss with the family why it is important to learn English.
  2. If the family does not already know, make sure they know how to write and say their address and phone number in English.
  3. Help your friends learn to take the RTD bus to the refugee’s ESL class.
  4. Check out an Oxford English Picture Dictionary at the library. Begin teaching words to the family.
  5. Cook a meal together using English ingredients, measurements, cooking utensils, etc. The meal can be either American cuisine or food the family eats. Make sure to learn some of the family’s language as well!
  6. Go somewhere (a park, a shopping center, the zoo, around the block, etc.) and use it as an opportunity to teach about the surroundings and practice speaking in real-life situations.


The Internet is a wonderful place! Below we have listed links to other websites that we think are helpful for learning English. Feel free to browse through these websites and pick what you think you need.​

  1. The Spring Institute: This website has multiple PDFs that give you information on how to teach ESL, as well as more specific information on refugees and ESL. We recommend looking at the ABC’s for Tutors PDF.
  2. Karin’s ESL Partyland: This website offers in-depth explanations on all things grammar, and additionally provides lists of quizzes and activities that you can do.
  3. ESL America: This website provides a variety of tools to help you with all elements of ESL including grammar, conversation, life skills, and holidays. It is very thorough and specific, and provides a wide range of activities that you can do for each subject.
  4. 5 Minute English: This website offers activities and instructions on grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, and slangs/ idioms. An interesting part of this website is the Q&A area.
  5. Teach ABC English: This website is specifically for refugees and the pictures in the readers are of refugee families. It is free to download and use.