English Language Teaching Books

suggested further reading for english language teacher trainees and teachers

English Language Teaching Books

These books on English language teaching are often on the recommended reading list given to you by many teacher trainers. Some may help with your pre-training tasks set for you by your tutors. We wouldn’t recommend that you devour all of these before your course as you’ll get information overload. Some tutors would also argue that too much reading, without any teaching experience to actually contextualise what you are reading, isn’t such a great idea either. These books however, will be useful as you begin your teaching career, or even to dip back into as a refresher.

Learning Teaching by Jim ScrivenerLearning Teaching, by Jim Scrivener

“Learning Teaching” has been one of the most successful guides to English since it was first published in 1994. Its no-nonsense approach has made it a superb teaching textbook for initial training courses, and also an essential handbook for practising ELT teachers. The third edition has been extensively revised and restructured to take recent developments in ELT into account and now includes a DVD featuring a full lesson being taught as well as demonstrations of practical teaching techniques.”

 

  • Learner-Centredness: Chapters 1, 2, 4
  • Classroom Management: Chapter 3
  • Learner Needs/Differences: Chapter 13
  • Language Clarification: Chapters 5, 7, 8, 11, 12
  • Language Practice: Chapters 2, 7, 8, 12, 15
  • Receptive Skills: Chapters 10, 15
  • Productive Skills: Chapters 9, 15
  • Lesson Planning: Chapters 6, 14
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The Practice of English Language Teaching with DVD (4th Edition) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers)

The Practice of English Language Teaching, by Jeremy Harmer

“This book is a really good reference for English teachers! It is easy for reading and is quite practical even for a new starter like me.” -review

While it doesn’t go deeply into the theories behind the techniques, treat it as an overview that complements training with practical information for new teachers.

 

  • Learner-Centredness: Chapters 3, 4, 5
  • Classroom Management: Chapter 3
  • Learner Needs/Differences: Chapters 5, 7
  • Language Clarification: Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16
  • Language Practice: Chapters 8, 14, 15, 16
  • Receptive Skills: Chapters 17, 18, 19
  • Productive Skills: Chapters 17, 20, 21
  • Lesson Planning: Chapters 11, 12
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Classroom Management Techniques (Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers), by Jim Scrivener

A book full of ideas aimed to make your life in the classroom effective and enjoyable.

  • Classroom Management

“Overall winner of the 2012 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh ESU English Language Book Award, Classroom Management Techniques offers a huge range of practical techniques to help teachers make the most of their teaching space and get students working in more focused ways. It helps teachers anticipate and avoid problems in the classroom, allowing more time to be devoted to meaningful activities. By analysing the classroom from three perspectives: the classroom, the teacher and the learners, this book presents a ground-breaking analysis of 14 kinds of teacher intervention, allowing teachers to examine the way they communicate with learners.”

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Classroom Dynamics, by Jill Hadfield
Classroom Dynamics, by Jill Hadfield

Part of being a teacher is also like being a camp leader. How a group bonds, how they manage cultural difference, and solve problems at a social level really affects your class. Language clarification aside, you need to have techniques, approaches and activities that help develop rapport.

  • Classroom Management

This book deals with how to develop groups and activities that help to develop rapport, trust, confidence and positive group identity. In language teaching, we learn a lot about listening skills and communication, but to be a good communicator or listener, language aside, we need to develop some other social strengths. All this is with the view to create a positive learning environment, which is the best place you want to be!

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Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan

This was the first book I ever bought as a fledgling English teacher. It saved me on many an occasion when I was busy lesson planning and trying to anticipate questions about meaning , form and register. It’s a book for dipping into as needs arise.

As I was preparing to take the TEFL course to teach abroad and inquiring about the different books that the school was suggesting, I was told simply by my son who is also a teacher and the statement was confirmed by both my instructors, “just buy Swan, it’s the bible and it’s all you need”. Practical English Usage is just that. For whatever reason Michael Swan decided to write this book, we are forever grateful. – Review.

  • Language Clarification and Practice
  • Lesson Planning Reference Book
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How to Teach Grammar by Scott Thornbury

How to Teach Grammar, by Scott Thornbury

“I think this book is a must-have. It is systematic and at the end of each section there is a conclusion, like a wrap-up. As much information as you can get on the internet there is nothing like having a book of this kind in your hands as a ready-reckoner. I use this book in my own home school.” -review

  • Language Clarification and Practice
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A Concise Grammar for English Teachers, by Tony Penston

A Concise Grammar for English Teachers, by Tony Penston

I used Tony Penston’s book when I was learning how to teach English as a Foreign Language. I found it really useful then and I still carry it with me for all teaching assignments – and I regularly refer to it for some grammatical point or other. It’s easy to find what you want and nice and concise! It gets straight to the point. Apparently he’s even got a sense of humour too, rarely seen in a grammarian, and a relief to this user. This really good book is useful for all teaching levels. Great value too. I do not hesitate to recommend it to all English language teachers.- Review

  • Language Clarification and Practice
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Grammar for English Teachers by Martin Parrott

Grammar for English Teachers, by Martin Parrott

“An invaluable resource helping teachers at all levels of experience to develop their understanding of English grammar. Grammar for English Language Teachers is designed to help practising and trainee teachers to develop their knowledge of English grammar systems. It encourages teachers to appreciate factors that affect grammatical choices, and evaluates the ‘rules of thumb’ presented to learners in course materials. Consolidation exercises provide an opportunity for teachers to test these rules against real language use and to evaluate classroom and reference materials.”

  • Language Clarification and Practice
  • Lesson Planning Reference: Classroom Materials Evaluation Skills
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How to Teach Vocabulary by Jeremy Harmer and Scott Thornbury

How to Teach Vocabulary, by Jeremy Harmer and Scott Thornbury

All about teaching vocabulary: Details on the characteristics of words, how they are learned and memorized, and the best ways to teach them are all covered. This book deals with vocabulary learning with the challenges of today’s classrooms.

  • Language Clarification and Practice
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Teaching Tenses, by Rosemary AikenTeaching Tenses, by Rosemary Aiken

Good overall reference for teachers with clear explanation on timelines for tenses. However, one reviewer is clearly not happy! It’s hard to agree on tenses and when and where to use them, as there are American and UK differences – especially the perfect tenses. Keep that in mind and consider your learners’ contexts.

  • Language Clarification and Practice
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Essential Phonetics by Tony Penston

Essential Phonetics, by Tony Penston

“Essential Phonetics is a great book. It is very comprehensive and concise at the same time. It deals with pronunciation problems we always face in multicultural classes, and gives us teachers easy, straightforward phonetic input, enabling us to help our students. The illustrations are very helpful, showing how to produce particularly difficult sounds. Essential Phonetics is a short guide that even busy teachers can manage to read.
I strongly recommend this book for both experienced teachers and trainees. Every English language teacher should have it.” – review

 

Emma’s interview with Tony Penston:

“The founder of TP Publications, author of “Essential Phonetics for English Language Teachers”, and of “A Concise Grammar for English Language Teachers”  gives us his views on embedding pronunciation correction successfully in a lesson.” … Continue reading

  • Language Clarification and Practice
  • Productive Skills: Speaking
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How to Teach Pronunciation, by Gerald KellyHow to Teach Pronunciation, by Gerald Kelly

From the “How to” series by Pearson Longman.

  • Language Clarification and Practice
  • Productive Skills: Speaking
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How to Teach Listening, by J J WilsonHow to Teach Listening, by J J Wilson

“How to Teach Listening is a practical guide to the theory of listening in the language classroom. It includes: * key topics such as authenticity, testing, and using technology for listening * practical ideas for conducting an effective listening lesson * strategies to ensure the long term development of students’ listening skills * an audio CD of stress samples, sound bites and lesson ideas.”

  • Receptive Skills: Listening
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How to Teach Speaking, by Scott ThornburyHow to Teach Speaking, by Scott Thornbury

“How to Teach Speaking will increase a teacher’s knowledge on this crucial subject and provide ideas to take and use in class.”

  • Productive Skills: Speaking
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Simple Writing Activities, by Jill Hadfield, Charles HadfieldSimple Writing Activities (Oxford Basics), by Jill Hadfield and Charles Hadfield

“…as a teacher I can pick, choose and adapt a variety of ideas/activities from this book as well as the other Oxford Basics books.” – review

  • Productive Skills: Writing

The Hadfields have produced a series of these Oxford Basics that cover all the skills: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking Activities, as well a Presenting New Language.

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How to Teach Writing, by Jeremy HarmerHow to Teach Writing, by Jeremy Harmer

“This new series entry delivers an uncomplicated analysis of the nature of writing, particularly in terms of process, product, and genre. Descriptions of a broad range of writing tasks enable teachers to select those that will be most effective in developing students’ writing skills.”

  • Productive Skills: Writing
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How to Write a Lesson Plan: Introduction to Basic Lesson Design and the 8 Keys to Good Planning, by Lynn Melby Gordon How to Write a Lesson Plan: Introduction to Basic Lesson Design and the 8 Keys to Good Planning, by Lynn Melby Gordon

In this short ebook, learn how to write a lesson objective and draft a practical lesson plan using a classic and adaptable lesson plan outline. Eight key elements related to good lesson design are reviewed:

  1. Motivation,
  2. Explaining the objective,
  3. Input, examples, and multiple representations
  4. Modeling,
  5. Checking for understanding,
  6. Guided practice,
  7. Independent practice,
  8. Formal assessment or informal evaluation of the objective.

Includes a blank lesson plan template, a sample written lesson plan, and a list of verbs to help you write precise performance objectives. (Article: 10,224 words)

  • Lesson Planning
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The Art of Lesson Planning: A Handbook for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Kindle Edition/ebook, by Mike CattlinThe Art of Lesson Planning: A Handbook for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Kindle Edition/ebook, by Mike Cattlin

This is intended as a handbook for English language teachers at various stages of their career. Buyer beware: check which version of kindle this is compatible with. Update: Currently under review. Watch this space.

  • Lesson Planning
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Film in Action Kieren DonaghyFilm in Action, by Kieran Donaghy

Forget just putting on a video on a Friday or at the end of the school year! Make it meaningful!

“The book invites teachers to experiment with film, and provides: insights into how learners can engage with film; it includes over 100 activities for teachers to bring film into the language class; and it also includes steps for teachers and learners to create their own moving images.”

By teacher, teacher trainer, international conference presenter and writer Kieren Donaghy, based in Barcelona Spain. Kieran is the founder of the Image Conference and Visual Arts Circle as well as the man behind

www.film-english.com

www.kierendonaghy.com

 

  • Activities
  • Technology in the classroom
  • Create your own moving images
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Video Telling, by Jamie Keddie

 

Available from January 20, 2017.

Following on from Jamies talks and videos, a book version of his approach to using short videos in the classroom

http://videotelling.com/

Jamie Keddie Youtube Channel

  • Activities
  • Technology in the classroom
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500 Activities for the Primary Classroom: Immediate Ideas and Solutions, by Carol Read

500 Activities for the Primary Classroom” is the answer to that perennial question of “What on earth am I going to do with my class tomorrow?” Aimed at teachers of children between the ages of 3-12, this is a lively, varied compendium of ideas and classroom activities.

www.carolread.com

 

  • Activities
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