The future of online TEFL/ESL supplementary resources through intelligent handout matching

Another phenomenal guest piece by Will Pearson, this time using his own as inspiration.

Intelligent handout matching, where an online database of TEFL/ESL handouts are matched for use with leading English course books, is where TEFL/ESL supplementation is heading in the future. This article highlights the case study of Handout Hub, which matches over one thousand grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation handouts to over fifty prominent course books.

Supplementation of TEFL/ESL lessons has always been a time-consuming process, eating into teachers’ precious planning and preparation time. In many language schools around the world, teachers are faced with two starkly opposite supplementation situations. Either they face re-inventing the wheel every lesson with their own self-made handouts and worksheets, or must stare at a whole wall of supplementary books and resource packs looking for the appropriate worksheet. Schools similarly face challenges in what materials from the plethora available to invest their limited budgets in.

The future of supplementation in English classes surely lies online. This is primarily for three reasons. Firstly, the budgets of language schools are being squeezed owing to the high costs of paper-based supplementary resources. A single copy of a grammar resource book containing photocopiable materials is usually between 20-50 US dollars. Secondly, more and more schools have access to computers, the Internet, printers and photocopiers, opening up the online sphere for quality TEFL/ESL handouts. Thirdly, one site, has piloted intelligent handout matching, whereby the site matches the chapter numbers and pages of common TEFL/ESL course books with handouts on its large database, cutting teacher planning time massively.

This is a huge step for the online market for downloadable supplementary TEFL/ESL resources. There can be no denying that this sphere has been severely underdeveloped until this. Simply searching ‘tefl handouts’ on any search engine reveals the flaws in the much of the current market. For one, many sights promise free resources such as grammar activities, which turn out not to be downloadable. Online grammar activities embedded in websites offer little to no benefit to classroom teachers who need paper handouts. Furthermore, the market for subscription handouts is nascent, and arguably cornered by the publishers – providing limited supplementation to their own printed books. What subscription sites that have existed either do not contain enough handouts, offer poor quality handouts in relation to their paper competitors, or offer handouts that do not supplement, but in fact replace course book material.

The way forward is undeniably intelligent handout matching, pioneered by Handout Hub. After many months of research and development, I, the founder, came upon the idea that most major TEFL/ESL language chains operate with the same course books, and in most institutions, teachers need worksheets targeted to these books. For a fee competitive to paper-resource books, schools and teachers can therefore subscribe to download handouts matched exactly to the lesson/grammar they want to teach. For example, browsing Cutting Edge Intermediate on and clicking on chapter 9 ‘Future Society’, the website returns eleven different handouts teachers can use depending on what page they are teaching; from language for future predictions to phrases with ‘make’.

The question of why is intelligent handout matching so beneficial to teachers of English must be asked. Quite simply, every school dreams of having a resource bank where handouts can be accessed that are relevant and targeted to the language focus at hand. The unique selling point of Handout Hub is that it matches handouts from its database of over one thousand to a wide range of leading TEFL/ESL course books such as New English File, New Cutting Edge, New Headway etc. All teachers must do is browse the book lists for the chapter/page they are teaching and download the applicable handouts. The benefits of saved time, pedagogically-sound supplementation, and intuitive resource planning for entry-level professionals who are inexperienced are obvious.

The benefits to schools are equally impressive. Schools primarily cut costs in these challenging economic times where students, concerned with their personal finances, may cut back on English classes. Schools also obtain access to a large database of TEFL/ESL worksheets which they do not have to devote time to managing. The hegemony of a number of English course books that the majority of schools use also results in successful intelligent matching, as teachers are using books indexed to handouts in the Handout Hub.

In conclusion, it is clear from the increasing global supply and demand for English that greater quality and innovation is required in the realm of downloadable supplementary TEFL/ESL resources. The inevitability of purse-string tightening experienced during the recession has brought online supplementation forward through the launch of Handout Hub. Its revolutionary, intuitive, and cost-effective approach to TEFL/ESL handout supplementation gives online handouts a bright future in the world of teaching English as a foreign language.

About the Author

Having been an English teacher for three years in various destinations such as Russia, the UK and Singapore, I developed a keen interest in TEFL/ESL resource development and management. I’ve established and run my own TEFL/ESL supplementary handouts website, an Internet database of over 1000 downloadable supplementary handouts.

Related Articles:

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
This entry was posted in Lead articles, future of english and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The future of online TEFL/ESL supplementary resources through intelligent handout matching

  1. Pingback: The Future of Online TEFL/ESL Supplementary Resources through … « Business Resource

  2. Awesome article as usual, thank you for writing so much informative content on a regular basis.

  3. Pingback: Great Teach&travel Jakarta & Bogor, Tropical Indonesia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>