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English Teaching Materials, Games and Activities

December 22, 2009

ESL printables


Where do ideas for creating teaching materials come from? Sometimes they seem to come from thin air, they just appear in your consciousness as if they've been there, hiding away in some dark corner, all the time. These ideas I like very much as they seem to take so little effort. Most of the time creating new materials is more akin to writers block, so when this happens to me I visit my favourite web site, ESL printables, and gain inspiration from the thousands of creative teachers who inhabit this wonderful online world. I've been an active member for over a year. It has over 280,000 members and there are a little over 6000 members in Japan, but less than 10% have ever uploaded a worksheet and probably only 1% could be considered active; the rest of the world membership is similar.

ESL printables is a site set up by a teacher for teachers. We share our materials with each other. These materials always remain the property of their creator, but by putting them up on the website we give permission to other members to use them freely with their own students. This means they are welcome to use them in their own schools but since the material is not shareware, it should not be distributed, nor sold, to anyone else. If used in the classroom, they should be given to the students (the students shouldn't pay money for them).


Many people join and find that they don't have the ability to create their own materials so they steal materials on the Internet and from fellow members and upload those in the hope of gaining some miserable points, which will allow them to download materials. This is a big problem for this site and there is an active moderators list of volunteers to help deal with this daily and growing problem.

More recently a bigger problem arose. A member of ESL printables a publisher for a publishing company (AFS Yayincilik, also known as AFS English) in Turkey has illegally published some books full of worksheets belonging to ESL printables members. He even invented some fictitious authors and illustrators to make his books seem genuine. The owner of the ESL printables site, Victor Gayol lives in Spain, he reminds me of David Paul somewhat in that he doesn't usually get involved unless absolutely necessary, and now he is trying very hard, along with many other members of ESL printables, to right this wrong. He recently started a Blog to campaign against this "illegal and unethical behaviour". I have great respect for his efforts because the individual teacher can do so little when the problem lies on the other side of the world.

I write about this problem in my column in support of teachers around the world. Please visit Victor's Blog to read more about this problem.

David Lisgo
ESL printables member

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I was looking for a way to email you and couldnt find it. I would love to have your alphabet tracks emailed to me. I have some students who could really benefit from them.
Thank you!
Amanda Shepard

I do agree with you the worksheets we create should be used only for the kids in school. We share our creativity and give the children an opportunity to experience the joy of working and learning through the worksheets. It is unfortunate to find people that too teachers who take this opportunity as earning . We should all give support to Victor and hope to meet again to share the teaching creativity for our children.

Any idea what's up with eslprintables? I haven't been able to connect to the site nor to Victor's blog?

I am an english teacher at a vocasional school in Denpasar-Bali .I hope we as ESLteachers could have the materials free without sharing any materials becousesome of us can't make any materials using ppt but we need it for making our sts enjoylearning english .tq

Dear Lisgo,
How dare such a publisher? You have said that this publisher is already a member at, which means that he has agreed on the rules and instructions of the site, true? Thus, Victor has alegitimate right to sue the publishing company, and I think that it is all European journalists' responsibility - and duty - to take legal action immediately...

Im an English teacher and I have been uploading tons of worksheets on ESL Printables Website. I have no idea why but they simply cancelled my account and I cant get on the website anymore!
How can they do such a thing???
I have been uploading stuff for years and now I simply cant use all my points????
Hope someone can help me!

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