Wonderopolis – The Greatest ESL/EFL Site EVER, Without Even Trying

So… just outside my bedroom window there’s this beehive that sprung up during the summer. As you can imagine, it’s a real pain in the ass since bees get into the house – and I really hate bees. I had been taking steps to get rid of the hive but my wife told me to let the poor things be (the pun was probably unintentional).

Fortunately for them I got busy with other stuff and sort of forgot about the hive for a while. But just a half hour ago my wife brought up the subject of the bees and after peering out the window, I noticed that they were gone. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone since the weather is cooling off pretty quickly here in South Korea.

But then she asked: Where do bees go in the winter?

Having never actually thought of that before I of course Googled her question verbatim and lo and behold I found the answer while at the same time striking ELT gold.

Wonderopolis is like one of those really, really good-looking people you knew from school or work who honestly didn’t realize how good looking they were and it just made you sick with jealousy. The site has more than ten thousand articles on any number of subjects perfect for class discussions including such gems as:

What’s more, the articles can easily be printed or downloaded for free as PDFs, there are audio recordings, and the highlighted vocabulary words in the texts provide definitions when you move the mouse over them.

There are sites like Breaking News English and Dreamreader that try really hard to be the essential EFL site (and do a pretty good job at it too) but Wonderopolis does it without even realizing it. The downside of course is that the site doesn’t come with the comprehension questions or vocabulary exercises that teachers would normally want, but hey, it’s still pretty cool. Check it out.


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