Great websites an ESL teacher can use for their reading tasks

Find a perfect article: websites to spice up reading tasks from the textbooks

Find a perfect article: websites to spice up reading tasks from the textbooks


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Raise your hand if you have ever hated the text that a coursebook suggests for reading comprehension but struggled to find a good alternative. We are sure you know this feeling! 

Moreover, we have done everything we can to prevent you from feeling this way in the future. 

Here is our list of websites where you can find articles that suit any topic and taste.

Discover AI-powered tools!

With an emphasis on expert-created educational information for more than 20 years, ThoughtCo is a leading reference website. ThoughtCo supports 13 million people each month in finding the answers to their questions because they believe that great inspiration starts with a question.

Their in-depth articles, written by literature writers, Ph.D. holders, and professional educators, are meant to provide readers with the answers they need in a straightforward, user-friendly way, regardless of whether the question is about science and math, the humanities and religion, or architecture and the arts.

The articles are indeed great and what is even more important are easy to adapt to any lesson. So, if you are looking for a great source of nice texts to spice up your reading tasks, this one should be the first on the list!

Mark Armstrong launched Longreads in 2009 to facilitate the discovery of the greatest online long-form nonfiction storytelling.

Since then, Longreads has  been providing reading recommendations, interviews, in-depth investigative reporting, and writings that are both personal and educational.

Longreads has received recognition for its digital brilliance from the Peabody Awards and the Online News Association, and it has been nominated for four National Magazine Awards. It has also won a Canadian National Magazine Award (Gold). 

All of that, of course, makes Longreads an outstanding source of well-written reading materials on every possible topic.

Use authentic materials effectively!

Pocket / Medium

As for Pocket and Medium, both of them can be defined as tools to work with texts first and foremost.

Pocket is used to save various Internet pages for further offline reading, while Medium helps to easily organize any text in a user-friendly well-organized article.

However, both tools managed to create an impressive community of writers who eagerly share their original pieces on Pocket and Medium. Therefore, you can use these tools to find interesting articles, read them, share and discuss them. 

Needless to say, this is where an ESL teacher can have some benefits. Especially if you are looking for some opinion-based essays on various topics.


Aeon has made a name for itself as a distinctive online publication source since 2012 by sharing some of the most insightful and thought-provoking articles available. 

Leading experts in the fields of philosophy, science, society, and the arts present their most innovative and up-to-date responses to the most important issues we pose.

Therefore, if you are looking for some reading pieces on these topics, Aeon is perfect for you!

Find a perfect short story for any level!


Lifehacker provides trustworthy, reputable science-based guidance on a variety of topics, including professions, home renovation, gardening, food, health, finances, entertainment, parenting, and more.

Every Lifehacker article gives advice on what to do or provides the necessary facts to enable you to make an independent decision

This is how they describe their aim:

“Our goal is to provide you with more than just news coverage; we also want to help you respond to changing events, trends, and technology.”

This attitude only proves that you as an ESL teacher can use these materials every time you need some up-to-date texts on the mentioned topics.

Project Gutenberg

If you want to implement fictional texts into your lesson or are looking for a place with free access to some short stories, this website is for you!

Various fictional works are being digitized and archived by volunteers under Project Gutenberg (PG), which also aims to “encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.”

It is the first digital library, having been established in 1971 by American writer Michael S. Hart.

The majority of the materials in its collection are publicly available full texts of novels or single tales

Open-format files are available for practically any computer and can be viewed for free.

Project Gutenberg's collection of free eBooks has already reached 50,000 titles as of October 3, 2015.

Help students master reading!

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A Beautiful Mess

This is the blog of two inspired sisters whose motto is “stay at home and do something” Their blog is full of interesting and entertaining articles on crafts, DIY, cooking and more.

This content will be especially helpful for an ESL teacher who intends to do a memorable lesson on cooking or DIY.

5 cool short stories for your lessons!

Even in the era of social media, an ESL teacher shouldn’t underestimate the power of a website because there are a lot of hidden gems to find! 

Do you have any favorites that  we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments.

Are there any free sources to get fictional texts?

Article authors & editors
  • Arina Kravchenko

    Arina Kravchenko


    Teacher of General English & IELTS



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