What is there to know about Dave’s ESL Café?

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is a rewarding, but challenging career. Luckily there are many online resources which can help ESL teachers to make connections, search for new opportunities and develop their teaching abilities. Dave’s ESL café is one such resource and is renowned among ESL teachers across the globe.

Creator of the website, Dave Sperling, spent over ten years teaching ESL in Japan and Thailand. He released Dave’s ESL café in 1995 after returning to Los Angeles and beginning a new career as an author and multimedia consultant. Dave’s ESL café is visited by millions of users monthly as both ESL teachers and students use the website to connect and share information with one another.

At a quick glance, Dave’s ESL café offers users:
  • Lesson planning materials
  • Forums for discussions
  • Job boards
  • Teaching resources

Now, let’s take a look in more detail at some of the ways educators can get the most from Dave’s ESL café…

ESL jobs

If you are looking for a new teaching opportunity abroad, Dave’s ESL café has a dedicated job seeking area. Users can browse daily international job postings or search specifically by areas, such as by job vacancies in Korea or China. If the right position isn’t yet advertised, teachers can upload their CV for potential employers to view.

Job seeking can be a confusing and time-consuming process, Dave’s ESL café simplifies this process and even gives job seekers a forum to discuss job opportunities and offer one another support.

Building your ESL PLN

You may be wondering, why is it important that ESL teachers can connect with one another?

It is through connecting that teachers can collaborate and discuss ideas to ensure they are providing the best teaching experience possible for their students. Dave’s ESL Café not only has forums for teachers to network but has a live chat feature so teachers can connect instantly. Through connecting with one another, teachers are able to build a unique PLN (professional learning network) which improves their teaching resources and expertise, for example, teachers can share useful textbooks or technical tips and build their PLN.

DAve’s ESL café professional development

Perhaps due to his background as a multimedia consultant, Dave carefully diversifies the content available on Dave’s ESL Café to ensure there are resources that can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone. For example, Dave hosts his own podcast and offers both audio and video resources for teachers to use.

Video resources can help provide an invaluable insight into teaching abroad, as teachers can record and share their experiences of ESL and how they overcame certain challenges, like not speaking the same native language as their students.

Lesson planning

Dave’s ESL café cookbook is not a collection of cooking recipes, rather it is a selection of recipes for success. The idea cookbook is a contents page that organizes ESL resources to ensure teachers have all the ingredients needed to plan the perfect lesson.

Some of the topics featured include:
  • Ideas about how to get students excited about writing
  • Games that are both fun and educational
  • Innovative ways to include music in the classroom
  • How to help students actively listen in class
  • Ice breakers to help new students

There is a section dedicated to one-on-one teaching which is particularly beneficial for private tutors or ESL teaching assistants.

Student Resources

Not just for teachers, Dave’s ESL café has resources and a help center dedicated just for students. Students can test their knowledge by taking quizzes or find answers to any queries they may have in the student forums. Dave’s ESL café provides a great platform for English language learners to connect with one another and practice their written English.

To conclude, Dave’s ESL Café is so much more than a free online resource for teachers. It is a website that offers teachers the opportunity to build real connections and develop innovative ideas together. Dave’s humor and personality can be seen in all elements of the website, making it an engaging and enjoyable platform for ESL teachers and students to collaborate.


If you are interested in collaborating and supporting teachers in your community, check out Classful today.