Free Flashcards from MES English

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Earlier this week I wrote about the great flashcards available from ESL Kids, but I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention another valuable site called MES English. If you’re not in the know, this site is a smorgasbord of freebies that include worksheets, worksheet generators, flashcards, flash games, videos, phonics materials, and even its own FREE curriculum which I’ve briefly written about.

But as for the flashcards, there is an enormous variety to choose from.

Flashcard topicsadjectives, animals, bathroom, bedroom, body parts, buildings, chores, Christmas, classroom, clothing, countries, daily routines, days, descriptions, Easter, family, fantasy, feeling/emotions, food/drinks/desserts, fruit, future tense Halloween, health, hobbies, house, insects, kitchen, living room, months, music/instruments, nationalities, nature, numbers, part-time jobs, passive verbs, past tense, people/jobs, phrasal verbs, places, the playground, plural nouns, prepositions of place and movement, pronouns, object and possessive pronouns, question words, recess activities, school building, school subjects, science, the five senses, shapes and colors, signs, sports, St. Patrick’s Day, super powers, Thanksgiving, time, tools, transportation, Valentine’s Day, vegetables, verbs, and weather.

The cards come in the standard A4 size in pdf or powerpoint format, but there are also mini cards that can be used to make games of concentration as well as simple bingo cards. There are student handouts as well.

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Best of all, you can use all these vocabulary words to make your own word search puzzles, crossword puzzles, and board games, as well as listening tests, where students either match, write, or circle the answers.

One drawback, though, is that the flashcards from MES English are not labeled on the front, back, or margins with what the card is supposed to be describing. Mark Cox, the creator of MES English, writes on his site that:

This is a personal preference as my experience has led me to believe it is more of a distraction than a benefit. I want the students to see the images and associate the words they are producing with the concepts or objects they are studying. With the words on the cards, they become reliant on reading as opposed to remembering.

Fair enough, but I would prefer to have the option. In the heat of teaching sometimes you can forget what the flashcards are supposed to be and it can be embarrassing to be umming and ahhing in front of the class, even if only for two or three seconds. But then, maybe that only happens to me.

Now having said all that, I do like the way Mark has included the indefinite article on this set of animal flashcards. It’s obvious to the experienced teacher what a help that could be to a young learner. So maybe Mark has is right after all.

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And if you’re interested, Mark had a podcast called ESL Teacher Talk that ran from 2007 to 2010 which is still available for download from iTunes.

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