Ted Power
ELT book recommendations [UK]

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Click on any topic below to see my recommendations for published resources:
  1. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language
  2. Lesson Planning and Classroom Dynamics
  3. Teaching English Pronunciation
  4. Pronunciation Practice for learners
  5. Listening to Spoken English
  6. Listening Practice for learners
  7. Speaking - resource books for teachers to use with learners
  8. Speaking - resource books + audio recordings for learners to use independently
  9. Grammar Practice for learners
  10. Grammar Activities and Games for teachers to use in the classroom
  11. Grammar Teaching
  12. Vocabulary Teaching
  13. Vocabulary Practice for learners
  14. Vocabulary Games for the classroom
  15. Simple reading and writing tasks
  16. Writing essays and reports
  17. Developing reading tasks for intermediate to higher levels
  18. Handwriting practice materials for basic literacy
  19. Britain: British habits, culture, humour, history and travel

Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language

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A Course in Language Teaching Penny Ur [*****] [British based]
The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages Ronald Carter (Ed.), David Nunan (Ed.) [*****]
[Nunan is from Australia, but is currently based in Hong Kong]
Learning Teaching Jim Scrivener
How to Teach English J. Harmer
The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th Edition) (With DVD) (Longman Handbooks for Language Teachers)
A Training Course for TEFL Peter Hubbard
Practical Techniques Michael Lewis and Jimmie Hill [easy overview for trainees embarking on CELTA courses]
Wilga Rivers, Mary Temperley [an American based classic of its time]

Lesson Planning and Classroom Dynamics

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Planning Lessons and Courses Tessa Woodward [****]
Five-minute Activities Penny Ur, Andrew Wright [excellent for pacing and varying lessons] [*****]
Lessons from Nothing Activities for Language Teaching with Limited Time and Resources - by Bruce Marsland
Resource Books for Teacher: Classroom Dynamics Jill Hadfield [*****] [excellent advice for teachers on how to motivate learners]
Teaching Practice Handbook Roger Gower, et al

Teaching English Pronunciation

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Learner English Michael Swan (Ed.), Bernard Smith (Ed.) [*****] [covers common phonological & grammatical errors by language background]
Learner English: Audio Cassette
Learner English: Audio CD
Phonetics for Learners of English Pronunciation (book and audio CD) by Marianne Jordan
Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th Edition) (With CD-ROM) [*****]
Longman Pronunciation Dictionary with interactive CD [*****]
Pronunciation Dalton, Seidlhofer, Candlin, Widdowson
The Communicative Value of Intonation in English David Brazil (Ed.) et al [Brazil's system for describing how intonation works]
Teaching English Pronunciation Joanne Kenworthy #excellent and practical.

Pronunciation Practice for learners

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[L1]-[L2] Tree or Three? : Student Book (2nd Edition) and 3 audio CDs - by Ann Baker, Leslie Marshall [****]
[L2]-[L4] English Pronunciation in Use Elementary Book with Answers, 5 Audio CDs and CD-ROM [*****]
[L2]-[L4] Ship or Sheep? Student Book (third edition) and 4 audio CDs - by Ann Baker [*****]
[L3]-[L5] English Pronunciation Illustrated: Student Book John Trim, Peter Kneebone [*****][excellent collection of minimal pairs]
[L3]-[L5] English Pronunciation Illustrated: Cassette
[L3]-[L5] English Pronunciation in Use Intermediate Book with Answers, Audio CDs and CD-ROM [*****]
[L3]-[L5] Elements of Pronunciation Colin Mortimer [*****] [covers consonant clusters, link up, contractions, weak forms, stress patterns]
[L3]-[L5] Elements of Pronunciation Set of 4 Cassettes
[L3]-[L5] Jazz Chants Old and New Carolyn Graham, Marilyn Rosenthal (Editor) [*****] [American English, though widely in UK language schools as fun resource for practising rhythm and intonation]
[L3]-[L5] Jazz Chants Old and New CD Carolyn Graham, Marilyn Rosenthal (Editor)
[L4]-[L6] Intonation in Context: Student's Book Barbara Bradford, David Brazil (Ed.)
[L4]-[L6] Intonation in Context: Teacher's Book [Brazil's system of intonation]
[L4]-[L6] Intonation in Context: Cassette
[L4]-[L6] English Pronunciation in Use Advanced Book with Answers, 5 Audio CDs and CD-ROM [*****]

Listening to Spoken English

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Teaching Listening Comprehension Penny Ur [*****] [the bible for materials production - listening]
Teaching the Spoken Language Gillian Brown, George Yule [*****] [excellent for those essays on the characteristics of spoken English]

Listening Practice for Learners

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[L3]-[L4] Task Listening: Student's Book Lesley Blundell, Jacqueline Stokes [*****] [British English]
[L3]-[L4] Task Listening: Cassette
[L3]-[L4] Task Listening: Teacher's Book
[L3]-[L4] Listening Tasks: Student's Book [****] [American English]
[L3]-[L4] Listening Tasks: Cassette
[L3]-[L4] Listening Tasks: Teacher's Manual and Answer Key
[L4]-[L5] How to Listen : An Intermediate Course on Listening Skills [***]
[L4]-[L7] Poetry Archive
[L4]-[L7] BBC Radio 4 Listen Again

Speaking - resource books for teachers to use with learners

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[L1]-[L2] Beginner's Communication Games Jill Hadfield [*****]
[L2]-[L3] Elementary Communication Games Jill Hadfield [*****]
[L3]-[L5] Intermediate Communication Games Jill Hadfield [*****]
[L5]-[L6] Advanced Communication Games Jill Hadfield [*****]
[L4]-[L7] Discussions That Work Penny Ur [*****] [the bible for materials production - speaking]

Speaking - resource books + audio recordings for learners to use independently

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[L3]-[L4] Situational Dialogues: Student Book Michael Ockenden [*****] [dated, but a classic]
[L3]-[L4] Situational Dialogues: Cassette

Grammar Practice for learners

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for independent study, self-access centre or occasional class use

[L1]-[L2] Basic Grammar in Use with Answers Raymond Murphy [*****]
[L2]-[L3] Essential Grammar in Use (with Answers and CD-ROM) by Raymond Murphy - Self-study reference & practice book [*****]
[L3]-[L5] English Grammar in Use (with Answers and CD-ROM) by Raymond Murphy - Self-study reference & practice book [*****]
[L6]-[L7] Advanced Grammar in Use (with Answers and CD-ROM) by Martin Hewings
[L4]-[L6] i>How English Works: a Grammar Practice Book: With Key Michael Swan, Catherine Walter [****]
[L4]-[L7] Practical English Usage, 3rd Edition Michael Swan [*****]
[L6]-[L7] A Practical English Grammar Thomson and Martinet [*****]

Grammar Activities and Games for teachers to use in the classroom

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[L2]-[L3] Elementary Grammar Games Jill Hadfield [*****]
[L2]-[L5] Grammar Practice Activities Penny Ur [*****] [the bible for materials production - grammar]
[L3]-[L4] Grammar Games Mario Rinvolucri
[L3]-[L4] More Grammar Games Mario Rinvolucri, Paul Davis

Grammar Teaching

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Teaching Tenses: Ideas for Presenting and Practising Tenses in English (Paperback) by Rosemary Aitken
Grammar for English Language Teachers With Exercises and a Key (Paperback) - by Martin Parrot
How to Teach Grammar Scott Thornbury
Meaning and the English Verb Geoffrey Leech [*****] [excellent for those essays on the uses of the Present Perfect]
A Communicative Grammar of English Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik [*****] [handy for those explanations of grammar with reference to meaning]
The English Verb Michael Lewis [covers similar territory to Geoffrey Leech's classic]

Vocabulary Teaching

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Vocabulary : Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy Norbert Schmitt (Ed.), Michael McCarthy (Ed.)
Vocabulary, Semantics and Language Education Evelyn Hatch, Cheryl Brown
Specialist English Dictionaries for ESP/EAP (occupational &/or academic purposes) some with vocabulary workbooks

Vocabulary Practice for learners

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[L2]-[L3] English Vocabulary in Use: Elementary with Answers and CD-ROM by Michael McCarthy, Felicity O'Dell, Geraldine Mark [*****]
[L2]-[L3] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Elementary
[L2]-[L3] Elementary Vocabulary B. J. Thomas [*****]
[L3]-[L4] English Vocabulary in Use Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate with Answers and CD-ROM by Stuart Redman and Lynda Edwards [*****]
[L3]-[L4] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Pre-Intermediate & Intermediate
[L3]-[L4] Intermediate Vocabulary B. J. Thomas [*****]
[L4]-[L5] English Vocabulary in Use: Upper Intermediate with Answers and CD-ROM by Michael McCarthy, Felicity O'Dell [*****]
[L4]-[L5] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Upper-Intermediate
[L4]-[L5] The LTP Dictionary of Selected Collocations Jimmie Hill (Ed.), Michael Lewis (Ed.) [Popular with learners preparing for FCE]
[L4]-[L5] Idioms Organiser Jon Wright [Popular with learners preparing for FCE]
[L5]-[L6] English Vocabulary in Use Advanced with Answers and CD-ROM by Michael McCarthy & Felicity O'Dell [*****]
[L5]-[L6] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Advanced
[L5]-[L6] Advanced Vocabulary and Idiom B. J. Thomas [*****]
[L5]-[L7] Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary: CD-ROM Pack (Paperback and CD) [*****]
[L5]-[L7] Specialist English Dictionaries over 25 subject areas - occupational &/or academic (some with dedicated vocabulary workbooks)

Vocabulary Games for the classroom

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Elementary Vocabulary Games: Teacher's Resource Book Jill Hadfield [*****]
Intermediate Vocabulary Games: Teacher's Resource Book Jill Hadfield [*****]

Simple reading and writing tasks

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The following materials were written with children in mind, though the tasks are functional and can easily be adapted to the needs of other age groups.

Many books about teaching writing focus on "what?" and "how?". Jill and Charles Hadfield believe that in order to encourage children or adults to write, lesson tasks should emphasize "who for?" and "why?".

    Simple Reading Activities - by Charles & Jill Hadfield [ 72 pages: Oxford Basics 2000]
    30 activities at elementary level, complete with ideas for boardwork and pictures teachers can copy. All the activities are simple and adaptable. They are particularly well-suited to classrooms where there are few resources apart from a board, paper, and pens - and of course the teacher and the learners themselves.
  1. Simple Writing Activities - by Charles & Jill Hadfield [ 72 pages: Oxford Basics 2001]
    The two Oxford Basics books (above) are organised into 30 useful topic areas eg. numbers, food and drink, describing people. Each book has the same format with units clearly laid out in the form of an actual lesson plan giving ideas for activities, checking comprehension, pronunciation points and follow-up activities.
  2. Reading Games - Photocopiable ELT Games and Activities by Charles & Jill Hadfield [114 pages: Longman Nelson 1995]
    pairwork, small group and whole class games and activities, using reading texts from newspapers, magazines, notes, maps etc.
  3. Writing Games - Photocopiable ELT Games and Activities by Charles & Jill Hadfield [116 pages: Longman Nelson 1997]
    contains descriptions, brainstorming, poems, story writing, postcard exchanges

Writing essays & reports

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  1. Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students by Stephen Bailey for learners who need to write essays and reports for exams and coursework.

  2. From Paragraph to Essay: Developing Composition Writing by Maurice L. Imhoof and Herman Hudson - an old book, but one of the best I have seen for providing examples of topic development and methods of organising a paragraph.

  3. Academic Writing Practice for IELTS by Sam McCarter.

  4. Writing A Report 9e by John Bowden - provides the basics for most kinds of report writing. Not a subject which is always well covered in schools.

  5. Developing reading tasks for intermediate to higher levels

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    Production of your own materials is time-consuming, but learners are most likely to be encouraged to read if practice texts and tasks reflect their needs i.e. their likely reasons for reading. In this way, the reading lesson can emphasize who for?" and "why?" as well as what?" and "how?". The following book saved me considerable time by providing an index of exercise-types and numerous model texts and tasks:

    • Developing Reading Skills - by Françoise Grellet [ 256 pages: Cambridge 1981]

    In order to consider a wide range of reasons for reading, teachers producing their own materials should be aware of the many different reading techniques (corresponding with "what" and "why" we read), different aims and functions within reading texts, and the different exercise-types needed to serve the full development of reading skills. Developing Reading Skills contains a most accessible 23-page introduction which highlights all these points. It is followed by numerous examples of texts and exercise-types, providing helpful models for teachers wishing to tune reading texts and tasks to their learners' needs. Most of texts used in the examples assume a certain level of literacy, though there is no reason why most of the exercise-types could not be used with texts which are less demanding linguistically. Françoise Grellet's classic should be compulsory reading on all CELTA and DELTA TEFL courses and should also prove invaluable for anybody planning to develop literacy materials beyond the basic level of decoding the letters of the alphabet. The key to producing motivating reading lesson materials is an interesting and appropriate text and an interesting and appropriate task.

    Handwriting practice materials for basic literacy

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    For adults (also suitable for most teenagers)

    1. Start By Writing - suitable for Arabic language backgrounds - John Naunton [88 pages: Longman 1985]
    2. Basic Handwriting in English - suitable for Arabic language backgrounds - Bernard Hartley & Peter Viney [62 pages: Nelson 1982]
    3. Handwriting: Work Book - Bright and Piggot [32 pages: Cambridge 1976]
    4. Handwriting: Teachers Book - Bright and Piggot [34 pages: Cambridge 1976]
    5. Practical Punctuation - Ian Gordon [80 pages Heinemann 1978]
    6. Collins Good Punctuation - Graham King [192 pages: Collins 2004]

    For young learners (aged 12 to 16)

    1. Rainbow 2000: Beginning Handwriting Skills - young learners within an Arabic-world context [24 pages: Macmillan ELT 1991]
    2. English Punctuation (Usborne Better) - well illustrated rules and practice for young learners aged 12 to 16 [32 pages: Usborne 2003]

    Britain: British habits, culture, humour, history and travel

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    [L2]-[L4] Welcome to Britain
    [L3]-[L5] Mrs Joyce Hoover's How Do You Do?: A Quick 'n' Easy Guide to Britain and the British
    [L3]-[L5] Mrs. Joyce Hoover's How to be British: An Impractical Guide to the Country, Language and People
    [L4]-[L7] A Dictionary of Modern Britain (ELT)
    [L5]-[L7] Britain, Second Edition: Britain, Second Edition Pack (with Workbook)
    [L5]-[L7] Britain: The Country and its People - An Introduction for Learners of English
    [L5]-[L7] An Illustrated History of Britain (Longman Background Books)
    [L5]-[L7] The Rough Guide to Britain (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
    [L5]-[L7] The Great Britain Guide (AA Illustrated Reference Books)
    [L5]-[L7] The Most Amazing Places to Visit in Britain (Readers Digest)
    [L5]-[L7] Britain from the Air


    Key to symbols showing resources for learners to use (or for teachers to use with learners)

    [L1] Beginners, though learners will already have basic literacy in the Roman Alphabet
    [L2] Elementary and Post Elementary
    [L3] Lower intermediate and Intermediate
    [L4] Intermediate and Higher intermediate
    [L5] Higher Intermediate at Cambridge First Certificate
    [L6] Advanced at Cambridge Advanced
    [L7] Advanced at Cambridge Proficiency
    [*****] five stars means highly-rated; I do not list items I judge to be poor.


    --rss webfeed--Ted Power's recommendations: Published resources for English language learning and teaching: This feed is intended for learners/teachers/Directors of Studies wishing to review or select books/CDs/CD-ROMs on English language learning and teaching including areas such as teacher training, pronunciation, listening to spoken English, oral fluency, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing (including handwriting & basic literacy).

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