Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The top 5 books for ESL teachers

If you are starting your career in ESL, here are the top five books that I think you need to know about:

1) Practical English Usage
Michael Swan
This is the go-to grammar book for most new teachers.  If you need a reference that is easy-to-use and complete enough to all of your grammar questions, this is it.  Keep it around when doing your lessons plans.

2) English Grammar In Use with Answers and CD ROM: A Self-study Reference and Practice Book for Intermediate Students of English
Raymond Murphy
If you need to recommend a practice book for students, this is the one most often chosen.   This book does teach spoken style over academic style in some parts but it is a very clear and concise way to introduce your students to over 100 different grammar points.

3) Learner English: A Teacher's Guide to Interference and other Problems (Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers)
Michael Swan, Bernard Smith
This is my recommendation for those of you who are travelling overseas to teach in a country that you have never been.  This book talks about the learner language of 20 different languages.  It is a good way to quickly get accustomed to the differences between the learner’s language and English. 

4) Second Language Learning Theories
Mitchell, R. & Myles, F.
A book that looks at the various different theories in ESL.  It is often used as a text for post-graduate university courses.  It is a tough read but well worth it.

5) Games for Language Learning (Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers)
Andrew Wright, David Betteridge, Michael Buckby
This is a book that I haven’t used myself but I know that it is quite popular and everyone I speak to swears by it.  Let me know your opinion if you have used it (or read it).

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