Top 10 Books to Teach English as a Foreign Language
TEFL Teach English as a foreign Language.
With the rise of alternate careers booming in the last 2 decades. Online jobs are the most lucrative as we have stepped into the pandemic. As much as one can be a TEFL teacher in another country and step out of the mundane 9 to 5 job. Online teachers are very sort after.
If you are looking at the TEFL Henry Harvin offers a brilliant TEFL course
However, even if you choose to study on your own here are a list of the top 10 teaching English as a foreign language texts for your perusal.
In today’s world, multilingualism is becoming more and more important. In addition to opening up employment opportunities, being able to speak a foreign language helps to make a real connection with people and to know more about diverse cultures, places and lifestyles. The more proficient you are, the better you can express yourself.
Out of the so called 6500 spoken languages in the world today, why should you choose to teach English? English is third most widely spoken language in the world, it is widely spoken and taught in over 118 countries and is mostly used around the world as a trade language or diplomatic language. It is the language used in science, aviation, diplomacy and tourism. It is the least to say, English is the language of international communication, the media and the internet.
Whether it be professional or personal reasons, understanding the importance of English language will help you reach your goals. I came across this brilliant TED talk by a Puertorican teacher. If you wanna be a teacher he is a great example.
Some Acronyms you should know
Here are some of the acronyms used popularly and which can leave you pretty confused.
Even those who are in the teaching profession may not be clear on the difference between the acronyms that have surfaced to describe their jobs. When I first heard about this profession of teaching English to speakers of other languages, I heard it as “ESL.” There have been quite a few other acronyms that have popped up (e.g., EFL, ESOL, and ELL) that are essentially meaning the same thing, but these are used with the intention of providing more distinction between the different learning environments of learning and teaching.
ESL: English as a Second Language is learning English in a country by those who are not a native. Where English is dominantly spoken or is the official language. For example, students from China or Cambodia who come to the U.S. or Canada for an extended period of time learn English as a Second Language. They need to acquire English as a means to communicate in the dominant language spoken in the community where they have chosen to reside permanently or for long period of time.
EFL: English as a Foreign Language is to learn English in a non-English-speaking country. Again for example, students in China who are learning English are considered as EFL students because English is not the official language of the country. But if these same students were in the U.S. or UK learning English, they would be considered as ESL students.
ESOL: The meaning of the acronym ESOL is English to Speakers of Other Languages. It applies to both, ESL and EFL in context. The reason why this term was created is because some argue that when students are learning English in a native English-speaking country (ESL), these students are not learning a second language. It could very well be that they are learning a third or fourth language. ESL, then, is limiting and not comprehensive in its description.
ELL : The term English Language Learners is commonly used in K-12 ( kindergarten to 12 the standard ) environments, however some school districts prefer to use the term ESOL English Speakers of Other Languages to describe the student population. This may very well be be a preference issue.
ESP : English for Special Purposes. This includes students who are learning English in context of a certain field, profession, or a topic of study. For example, when one can be teaching legal English in China, in context of law to students who are were English in preparation for studying law through an American university where the professors are native to the English language.
Here are some pearls of wisdom before you go ahead and grab the books.
“The Textbook Doesn’t Make the Teacher”
These books that you are about to read are fantastic but they’re nothing without a good teacher. Make sure you as a teacher, that the textbook is only used as a reference and isn’t too heavily depended on to teach the students!
You are the change factor. Supplemental Exercises are Important in all forms of teaching.
Be brave to mix and match textbooks with other supplemental materials. Like Listening activities and activities using TV shows and movies,movies are always great way to keep students engaged and learning. Be on the top of your game, take the help of a good app! It’s the 21st century isn’t it?!
The Gyaan is not over. So why should you feel inspired to teach English.
Language of International communication.
- English is not just the most spoken language in the world, but it is the official language in 50 odd countries and is spoken as a first language by 400 million people worldwide. Not to mention, it is also the most common second language in the world. According to an assessment by the British Council, by 2020 about two billion people in the world will be studying English.
- Therefore, it is very probable that if you meet someone from another country, you will both be able to converse in English. It opens doors to the world and helps you communicate with global citizens.
- Access to entertainment and Information.
Many films, TV shows, books and music are getting published and produced in English. By studying English, you won’t need to rely on translations and subtitles anymore. This makes you as teacher a very integral part of this chain. By accessing these media, students will also continuously improve their English listening and reading skills.
English is currently used as the language of the internet. An estimated of 566 million people use the internet every day and about 55% of the world’s most visited websites are displayed in English. Therefore, learning this language brings access to over half the content of the internet, which might otherwise not be available. Whether it is for fun or for work, if you understand English, you will be able to exchange information with more people online and use many more materials.
- Travel made easy by learning English
As mentioned before, since English is spoken as a first language in 50 odd countries and as a second language in 118 countries and counting, learning English makes it much easier to travel the globe. Indeed most airport announcements, train timetables, emergency information and street signs are often read in English. It goes without saying that, when you are travelling to a country where you don’t speak the language, you are guaranteed to find someone who understands or speaks at least some English. The world is more accessible with the English language.
- Learning English can make you Smart.
Learning a new language enhances your cognitive and analytical abilities. Learning a foreign language can be difficult and it involves a lot of mental exercises. Researches from a 2012 Swiss Study shows that learning a new language changes the brain structures and the way the neutrons transmit information, impacting the parts of the brain responsible for memory, conscious thought and it can ignite your creative geniuses. n the long term, bilingualism or being a polyglot, can keep the brain strong and healthy into old age and it supports concentration and memory skills. An individual development, it improves personality and increases the sense of self-worth. In simple words, learning a foreign language makes the brain stronger and more versatile.
Now that we covered all the perks of learning the English language, lets look at some cool English text books that can help you.
1. The Foundations of Teaching English as a foreign language
This is introductory textbook that assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics or a second language acquisition, this book presents a very comprehensive overview of the theoretical foundations, methods and practices of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) for pre-service or online teachers. Lennon, covers the theoretical bases for TEFL and addresses second language-acquisition research of the past and present EFL teaching methodology, as well as psychological and social approaches to individual language-learning variation. Further chapters provide you with extensive yet accessible coverage on essential foundational topics, including chapters on tenses, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, literature and to finish it a proficiency test. This English teaching book Offers a socio-cultural approach in which the teacher is seen as a facilitator and supporter for the students’ self-directed learning, this text provides the prospective teacher, which is you, with the knowledge and skills to be an effective educator in the EFL classroom online or physical.
The targeted approach of the EFL focus makes this book ideal for pre-service teachers and for teacher training programs around the globe. Each chapter includes a formidable Food for Thought section with questions for reflection and a Reading list.
Available at – Amazon
2. The CELTA Course(Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults)
The CELTA Course study book is the only CELTA preparation endorsed by Cambridge ESOL.
It provides you a full insight of the CELTA syllabus in a ready-to-use course.
The CELTA Course is divided into user-friendly sections:
Written assignments & tutorials
The Trainee Book includes a range of material to be used in input sessions or language awareness, helpful advice on the course, and a wealth of useful reference and resource material.
An absolute essential text for all CELTA trainees!
Available at -Amazon
3. ‘Learning Teaching ‘Grammar For English Language Teachers
Learning Teaching has been one of the most popular guides to English since it was first published in 1994. It is a no-nonsense guide that has made it a superb teaching textbook for initial training courses, and also an essential handbook for practicing English language tutors. The third edition of this textbook has been extensively revised and restructured to take recent developments in ELT into account and now includes a DVD featuring all the lessons being taught as well as demonstrations of practical teaching techniques for the tutor.
I found this amazing video on a tutor, who presents a PPT on grammar.
4. “ESL Classroom Activities for Teens and Adults” by Shelley Ann Vernon
Synopsis : Classroom activities are they just for kids? this book shows that they’re for adults too! Just like young learners, teens and adults learn better and more effectively when they’re involved, interested and the activity is fun. This book is focusing on fluency and grammar, the pages are jam packed with activities and exercises that have been specifically formulated for mature students.
The key thing you’ll notice about this book is the wide variety of exercises and games which would be overwhelming, but they are so perfectly organized. In the introduction the author gives detailed advice about taking into account the students’ ethnic and cultural backgrounds, personalities and different learning abilities. It even gives different activities specific to those differently abled students!
• Hands down, the best part of this book has to be its creative writing prompts and games that it offers while working with advanced students. There is interesting material that’s flexible and challenging or simple as it needs to be depending on the student in the class.
Here is a classic example.
◦ Call My Bluff : In this game, students write three varied definitions for a word that they look up in the dictionary. Two of the definitions are to be true and one of them should be fake. Once every student in the class has done this, students take turns reading their definitions aloud while the other students try and figure out which is the fake definition.
Available at –Amazon
5. “Compelling Conversations” by Eric H. Roth
Synopsis : The biggest differences in teaching kids and teaching adults is that adults need to do more than try learning the English language, they need to also be able to converse effectively with other English speaking adults. In the book, the author helps students to improve their proficiency and conversation skills by showing them how to share their life experiences and reflections. This book focuses mainly on the speaking and oral aspects of learning
Key components :
• This book features everything about critical thinking. One of the best part of the book is that it has thematic chapters filled with proverbs and popular quotations to fuel discussion in the classroom.
• Each chapter has a different theme ranging from daily habits to pet peeves.
• After each activity, there is an activity prompted it says“the conversation continues” section with a list of quotations pertaining to the relevant subject matter.
Here is a classic example quotes
“Conversation is being able to disagree and still continue the conversation.” – Dwight MacDonald
“Keep it light, bright and polite.” – English Proverb
“Do what you can, with what you have where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Available at -Amazon
6. Teaching Tenses
Tenses are a collective analysis of form and function, with suggestions for presentation as well as practice of structures in context and a review of learner errors for each tense. Contains printable material.
What it prompts :
• The form and function of a tense
• Suggested contexts with which to introduce a tense
• A list of problems that foreign students often stumble on
• Methods of solving these hurdles
• A large set of photocopiable drawings to explain tenses from students.
This is the one TEFL book you should not be without.
Available at –Amazon
7. Business Benchmark Pre-Intermediate
Business Benchmark Second edition is an official Cambridge English preparation course for Cambridge English:
This Teacher’s Resource Book or training guide includes a wide range of supplementary printable material with answers, including complete extra lessons and case studies for the students. There is information about how the activities in each lesson relate to the Business Preliminary exam and BULATS test. The notes on each unit with advice and suggestions for alternative treatments and information about this course and how it corresponds to the CEF, with a checklist of a ‘can do’ statement at the end of it .
A complete answer to both the Business Preliminary and BULATS versions of the Student’s Book is provided as well as complete information of the listening material with answers underlined.
This book becomes relevant when you are preparing your students to be part of an institute or corporate.
You can also use this information if you are teaching or training new employees who are hired from different ethnicity.
Available at- Amazon
8. ESL Activities and Mini-Books for Every Classroom
Synopsis : This textbook is packed with activities and other fun resources that teachers can use to better liven up their classrooms. Whether you’re working with students that need to brush up on their English skills or students that are new to the language, there is an activity in here that will benefit all levels and learning styles!
• One of the features about this book is the not-so-mini collection of mini-books that it comes with. Accompanying each chapter of the textbook are mini-books or worksheets to help assist students in the early stages of learning. These mini-books are, predictable and loaded with content that coincides with the chapter’s thematic content.
• This book comes with a useful section that has advice on how to run the first week of class. The ice breaker lesson. This section shares insight on how to make students feel welcome and help students into the English language learning process.
Available at- Amazon
9. “Children’s ESL Curriculum: Learning English with Laughter”
Synopsis : Laughter as we know is a universal language. Who doesn’t love this? In this text, the authors know the power of a good laugh. And they use it to help kids and young adults learn! This set of books is comprised of a student book, a practice work book and a teacher’s manual. All of it is put together for kids that have never been introduced to the English language before. This set is filled with exercises and activities that are designed to let kids have fun while learning.
Key points :
• A great feature about this book is the way it is formatted. The fonts are very large in order to suit younger learners. Inside the book are lots of tracing work papers to help guide younger learners through writing their first English words.
• Because this book focuses on younger learners, it comes with a lot of fun worksheets that have oral directions to help students with listening skills to the English language along the way. For example, a color worksheet might have specific directions that the teacher reads aloud to students.
Available at –Amazon
10. 700 activities
This book, is as expected as the cover says does exactly what it says. It provides a huge instant repertoire of teaching ideas – including both classroom classics that all ELT teachers, have come to know and love, fresh new activities at a range of levels from elementary to upper intermediate. The clear and organized format of the book makes it easy to cross-refer and supplement your course book or curriculum. All the activities has been tried and tested in the classroom.
What makes a good teacher is not the number of degrees you have. Your journey into teaching docent start here, it is a part of who you have been all this while. If nurturing others and helping them reach their goals is what your IKIGAI is then you are in the right profession. These are tools that help get you better. Teaching is a powerful vocation, and Teaching English as a foreign language is an adventure waiting to be taken. You no more have to bore yourself with a 9-5, this career can take you across the globe. Allow your passport to run out off pages. Take a chance on your life and get started on Teaching English as a foreign language.
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