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Recommended Books: Teaching English as a Second Language

written by: Khaye Mydette Sy Cardenas Macalinao • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 12/27/2013

Looking for excellent ESL books and resources? Here are some of the best materials available for teaching English as a Second Language. They are the top picks of my co-ESL teachers, and I have included many of them in my own personal collection!

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    The Value of Keeping a Great Collection of ESL Books

    Studying Every resourceful ESL teacher must keep a collection of books of which she can readily use. These books and resources are her treasures. They help her organize lessons and bring out the best in every student.

    Collecting good books means keeping a gold mine of ideas . Excellent books help teachers create engaging and relevant lessons no matter what topic they have to cover. What books should then be on every ESL teacher's bookshelf? Here is the shortlist of the best books on teaching English as a Second Language:

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    Our Top 8 ESL Picks

    291740shxm4h76a 1. Longman Advanced American Dictionary

    Since a dictionary is a must-have on every ESL teacher’s shelf, consider buying the Longman Advanced American Dictionary. This dictionary provides definitions that are commonly used today. It is an excellent resource to use when teaching ESL learners since it has lists of spoken phrases, phrasal verbs with definitions, and a lot of grammar usage notes. It also has a separate section on prepositions, adjectives, idioms, modal verbs, phrasal verbs and articles discussed in a very comprehensible way!

    2. Recipes for Tired Teachers by Christopher Sion

    Recipes for Tired Teachers has lots of instant, fun activities you can use in your classroom. This is the perfect book to add to your collection because it has activities which kids will surely enjoy while learning valuable English language skills. You will love this book's ready-to-use listening, speaking, reading and writing activities.

    3. 101 Bright Ideas by Claire Maria Ford

    Looking for fresh concepts to use in your classroom? This compilation of 101 motivating activities will never leave you struggling when planning for activities to use in class. This book can accommodate all the needs of the students since it has activities for beginning, intermediate and advanced proficiency levels. It also offers engaging activities, reproducible pages, and step-by-step teaching instructions.

    4. Let's Go Series (Third Edition) by E. Cross, R. Nakata, K. Frazier, and B. Hoskins

    It’s time to “get up and go" for English learning! This series is packed with new and exciting ideas that will keep ESL students in the beginning level more and more excited to learn. Easy and enjoyable to use, this must-have series offers a full-color program with a carefully controlled grammatical syllabus that contains functional dialogues, reading skill-building activities, listening tests, pair work exercises, and communicative games!

    5. Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics - An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students by Eric H. Roth

    Do you want to help teach every student learn how to converse in English? Then get this book. This is one of the best books on teaching ESL that will make teachers walk confidently into an advanced ESL classroom with a pocketful of engaging conversations. Great conversation starters such as "Do you prefer to drive in the city or the country? Flat or hills?" will surely hook all students into speaking this second language. This conversation book has 45 chapters which each pose 25 or more questions and include at least a dozen fun quotes. It is a superb resource for "multi-level" ESL classes!

    I have all these books in my mini library and they make my teaching fun and easy! Include these best books on teaching English as a Second Language in your collection and you too will make a great ESL teacher, guaranteed!

    6. Passages by Jack C. Evans and Chuck Sandy

    Are you trying to raise the bar for your ESL learner? This two-level, multi-skills course, takes students of ESL students from the high-intermediate to advanced level. The book focuses on developing students’ communicative competence by providing several drills that develop students’ language fluency and accuracy. It also provides opportunities for students to develop their writing skills through the step by step guide!

    7. Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

    If you are looking for a grammar bible suitable for ESL learners then this is the right one. This book answers all the questions that the advanced learners of ESL might ask about grammar.

    8. Voyager Reading and Writing for Today's Adults with various editions published by New Readers Press

    Voyager: Reading and Writing for Today’s Adults is an engaging and empowering book that ensures active involvement of the students it every topic discussed. This nine-level program combines a contemporary theme-based approach with the best elements from traditional direct instruction.