English Banana : English and Drama Resources For Students and Teachers

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Hello, my lovely visitors 🙂 I’m back here to do a review [again] about one more wonderful website that I’ve just found. It is English Banana.com.

This is a popular ESL teaching resource website, offering reams of free material for ESL teachers, from audio lessons to lesson plans, printable worksheets and even free downloadable books.

English Banana.com is a British publisher of educational materials for teaching and learning English. All of the materials are freely available to download from this site, and also from Scribd, CNET, and iTunes. Its unique free licences allow anybody to make a profit with the materials – without paying any commission or fees!

The following video will show you about the short introduction of the aims of English Banana.com that is presented by its own founder, Matt Purland.

 

Now, let me tell you about how this website started 🙂

Matt Purland started working on English Banana.com in December 2002. He had been working for about a year on his first site, Channel Z Television, and felt that he wanted to make a site that was a bit more interactive than just a lot of text. It first went online on the free Lycos Tripod server as part of the same domain as Channel Z (members.lycos.co.uk/mattpurland/). The first ever index page had a nice picture of a tree on a windswept moor on it, until a student pointed out that this was ‘boring’ and suggested that there should be pictures of people on the front page, rather than a moor.

The original plan was for the site to be interactive and offer something of value to students and teachers of English and Drama. He wanted it to appeal mainly to adults, but realised that some of the material could be useful to teenagers and children. He also wanted the site to be a bit more compact and user-friendly than the rambling mass of pages over at Channel Z. That’s why he designed a template page that could be used again and again, with the same main links on it. Although the site now comprises over 1,100 pages, the first set of material on the site was fairly scant – just the collection of descriptions of classroom games and some interactive quizzes, along with links and a title page. He found some entertaining games on the Net and added them to the games home page. The site really began to take off though once he invested in Adobe’s Acrobat software, which enabled him to start adding printable worksheets as PDF files that could be downloaded and used freely. He learned the important lesson that traffic goes up once he start giving free stuff away!

The worksheets started to build up slowly, from 50 to 100, then 150, then 200 and so on. He had excellent support from the Sites For Teachers website and he quickly realised that it was necessary to integrate links to them into the key pages of his site. He added a new set of sub-heading links to all his main pages, including basic stuff like a facility to ‘set as homepage’, ‘bookmark this site’ and other peripherals like a polls page, tell a friend, guestbook and awards pages. He had an early boost when his site was added to the now defunct Yahooligans (in February ’03), and also when the site won Site of the Month at English Club (in March ’03).

Matt kept plugging away at building up the resources on the site – worksheets, quizzes and games – and the monthly traffic continued to grow steadily. It wasn’t until September 2003 that the site started getting above 1000 page views every day, with 38,164 pages viewed in total in that month. After that things just started getting plain silly, with 61,188 in October ’03 and 91,353 page views in November ’03. Currently he get over 1.2 million page views per month. He enjoys writing the worksheets and the books. He is privileged to have an audience of willing victims at work for him to test out ideas on. He certainly plans to continue adding more resources to the site as fast as time and inspiration will allow. He hopes that the visitors will enjoy accessing the site and using the resources.

So much free stuff available on English Banana.com 🙂

The materials exist to be used, and ESOL or English teachers and students are always hunting for fresh meat. Matt is aiming to keep the site can be used freely. Because it’s considered better than paying for it. There’s nothing worse than seeing a site with great educational materials, getting all excited about using them, and then getting disappointed because you have to go to any online web stores. That you can only access one page, or you have to sign up to receive something. As the result, Matt believes that the best stuff on the Net is free. Some of the web tools and games that he use on this site are completely free to use, and fantastic too.

Well, guys. I’m sure that you love this website! It’s full of educational contents and free in getting them. What a kind site! 😀 And I do believe that all of us are very fond of such free material resources. So this is the best choice! Let yourself learn English more from English Banana.com!

“Like any writer, I want my work to be read, and also to be useful. I believe that it’s far better for many people to use the materials for free, than for a handful of people to use them and pay.” ~Matt Purland, Founder and Writer, English Banana.com

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Mustarini Bella Vitiara

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