9 Citizen Science Projects for ELLs

Our  students can use the Internet to learn English in exciting ways with people around the world. Recently we conducted a webinar about Citizen Science Projects for ELLs.  Citizen science is scientific work conducted by the general public often in collaboration with or guided by professional scientists and institutions. Citizen science projects aren’t only about science. Some are about language, dictionaries, human behavior, psychology, and other topics. Students enhance their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills while doing digital research. More importantly, students see their learning make a real impact on the world. Below are free citizen science projects specifically helpful for ELLs. Find more by searching SciStarter and Zooniverse.

To learn more about integrating technology to support English language learners, attend our free Friday webinars.


  • OVER– Help specify the semantics of the preposition over by answering survey questions.
  • Gameswithwords.org/quizzes– Take 3 (Vocabulary, listening, and which English) quizzes to help contribute to research.
  • Small World of Words– Contribute to this large-scale scientific study that aims to build a mental dictionary or lexicon in the major languages of the world.
  • Lingscape (iOS/Android App)- Lingscape is an app for researching linguistic landscapes all over the world by collecting photos of signs and lettering on an interactive map.
  • Verb Corner-Play a game to help scientists answer- Why are the rules of grammar the way they are? What do words and sentences mean?
  • Hungry Mindlab moo-Q iOS App– Allows you to monitor your mood and brainpower by recording your positive and negative affects, memory ability, and processing speed.
  • Project Describe– Volunteers to help the American Museum of Natural History create descriptions for over 30,000 images on their website.
  • Mark2cure.org and Asknature.org are projects in which students are asked to read small passes and answer questions related to the reading passages.

Check out the Teaching with Technology Certification course we offer online.

Live TESOL webinars are presented every Friday at 4 PM EST or New York time with Shelly Terrell. TESOL Lectures are open to the public, so feel free to invite a friend. To enter a TESOL Webinar, click here https://americantesol.adobeconnect.com/terrell/. Next, click Enter as a Guest, type your name, and click Enter Room.

Picture from Pixabay!