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

Book titles (below) link to listings by well known sellers such as Foyles, The Book Depository, Waterstones or Abebooks (if the title is only available "used")


Overview of The English Language

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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language by David Crystal [04/08/2003] - a book I would not do without, which is invaluable for background information, defining terms and exploring the many directions in which people with knowledge of applied linguistics can go in teaching and other professions.


Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language

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The Practice of English Language Teaching (5th Edition) Jeremy Harmer [02/04/2015] book & other media

Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching by Richards, Jack C. and Theodore S. Rodgers [16/06/2014] Cambridge Language Teaching Library

Learning Teaching (3rd Edition) Jim Scrivener [04/05/2011] includes DVD featuring full lesson

Classroom Management Techniques Jim Scrivener [23/02/2012]

A Course in Language Teaching Penny Ur [31/03/2012]

How to Teach English J. Harmer [22/03/2007]

The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages Ronald Carter (Ed.), David Nunan (Ed.) [15/02/2001] pleasingly comprehensive

Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (4th Edition) Jack C. Richards and Richard A. Schmidt [01/07/2010]

A History of English Language Teaching by A.P.R.Howatt with H.G.Widdowson buy new: 2nd Revised edition [2004] or buy used 1st edition [1984]

Fundamental Concepts of Language Teaching: Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Applied Linguistic Research by Stern H.H. [1983] Oxford Applied Linguistics.


Lesson Planning and Classroom Dynamics

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TEFL Lesson Plans for Dummies Michelle M Maxom [05/09/2014]

Five-minute Activities Penny Ur, Andrew Wright [06/02/1992] excellent for pacing and varying lessons

Lessons from Nothing Activities for Language Teaching with Limited Time and Resources - by Bruce Marsland [01/01/1998]


Teaching English Pronunciation

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Learner English Michael Swan (Ed.), Bernard Smith (Ed.) [26/04/2001] covers common phonological & grammatical errors by language background

Learner English: Audio CD

Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th Edition) with CD-ROM [06/10/2011]

Longman Pronunciation Dictionary with interactive CD by John Wells [ 03/04/2008]


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 [10/11/2006]

[L2]-[L4] English Pronunciation in Use Elementary Book with answers and audio [25/01/2007]

[L2]-[L4] Ship or Sheep? (3rd Edition) Student Book (third edition) and 4 audio CDs - by Ann Baker [10/11/2006]

[L3]-[L5] English Pronunciation Illustrated: Student Book John Trim, Peter Kneebone [01/11/1975] amusing drawings + excellent collection of minimal pairs

[L3]-[L5] English Pronunciation in Use Intermediate Book with answers and audio [21/05/2012]

[L3]-[L5] Jazz Chants Old and New Carolyn Graham, Marilyn Rosenthal (Editor) [14/12/2000] 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 [24/04/1988] David Brazil's system of intonation

[L4]-[L6] Intonation in Context: audio CD

[L4]-[L6] English Pronunciation in Use Advanced Book with answers and audio [26/02/2007]


Listening to Spoken English

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Teaching Listening Comprehension Penny Ur [09/02/1984] especially useful for for producing your own materials

Listening to Spoken English Gillian Brown [09/07/1990] shows that there is much more to listening than merely knowing the meaning of the words you hear i.e. stress, intonation, voice quality, gesture. It offers a good analysis as to why many second language users find it difficult to understand native speakers.

Teaching the Spoken Language Gillian Brown, George Yule [01/02/1984] excellent for those essays on the distinctive features of spoken English


Listening Practice for Learners

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[L4]-[L7] Poetry Archive

[L4]-[L7] BBC iPlayer: Radio programmes A to Z


Speaking - resource books for teachers to use with learners

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[L4]-[L7] Discussions That Work Penny Ur [1981] buy used very cheaply on abebooks - good for materials production]


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

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[L3]-[L4] Situational Dialogues: Student Book Michael Ockenden [dated 1972 / 1987] a classic; buy used on abebooks. but hard to find the audio cassettes!


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 and CD-ROM Raymond Murphy [20/09/2010]

[L2]-[L3] Essential Grammar in Use (with Answers and CD-ROM) by Raymond Murphy - Self-study reference & practice book [26/03/2015]

[L3]-[L5] English Grammar in Use (with Answers and Interactive eBook) by Raymond Murphy - Self-study reference & practice book for Intermediate Learners of English [30/07/2015]

[L6]-[L7] Advanced Grammar in Use (with Answers and CD-ROM) by Martin Hewings [18/06/2015]

[L4]-[L7] Practical English Usage, 3rd Edition Michael Swan [ 21/04/2005]

[L6]-[L7] A Practical English Grammar Thomson and Martinet [26/06/1986]


Grammar Activities and Games for teachers to use in the classroom

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[L2]-[L5] Grammar Practice Activities (2nd Revised edition) Penny Ur [27/04/2009] contains wide-ranging examples for teachers wishing to design their own materials - grammar

[L2]-[L5] Games for Language Learning (3rd Edition) Andrew Wright, David Betteridge, Michael Buckby [03/04/2006]


Grammar Teaching

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Grammar for English Language Teachers (2nd Edition) (with Exercises and a Key) Martin Parrot [29/01/2010]

How to Teach Grammar Scott Thornbury [01/10/2000]

Meaning and the English Verb Geoffrey Leech [09/09/2004] a classic, especially helpful for essays relating language function to syntax or form e.g. "what are the main uses of the Present Perfect?"

A Communicative Grammar of English Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik [06/01/2003] should appeal to teachers or learners requiring explanations of grammar in the context of meaning


Vocabulary Teaching

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Vocabulary : Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy Norbert Schmitt (Ed.), Michael McCarthy (Ed.) [01/02/2012]

Vocabulary, Semantics and Language Education Evelyn Hatch, Cheryl Brown [27/10/1995]

Vocabulary: A Scheme for Teacher Education by Michael McCarthy [01/12/1990]

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 [11/03/2010]

[L2]-[L3] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Elementary [11/03/2010]

[L3]-[L4] English Vocabulary in Use Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate with Answers and CD-ROM by Stuart Redman [21/07/2011]

[L3]-[L4] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Pre-Intermediate & Intermediate [14/07/2011]

[L3]-[L5] English Vocabulary in Use Upper-Intermediate with Answers and CD-ROM by Michael McCarthy and Felicity O'Dell [14/06/2012]

[L4]-[L5] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Upper-Intermediate [23/08/2012]

[L4]-[L5] The LTP Dictionary of Selected Collocations Jimmie Hill (Ed.), Michael Lewis (Ed.) [01/01/1997]

[L4]-[L5] Idioms Organiser Jon Wright [01/01/1999]

[L5]-[L6] English Vocabulary in Use Advanced (2nd Edition) with Answers and CD-ROM by Michael McCarthy & Felicity O'Dell [19/12/2013]

[L5]-[L6] Test your English Vocabulary in Use Advanced (2nd Edition) [01/03/2014]

[L5]-[L7] Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary on DVD and online with iSpeaker and iWriter [22/01/2015]

[L5-{l7] Academic Vocabulary in Use with Answers [03/01/2008]

[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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Games for Vocabulary Practice Interactive Vocabulary Activities for all Levels (Spiral spine)[02/10/2003]

Practice Makes Perfect - Advanced English Vocabulary Games [01/11/2014]


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 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:

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] buy used on Abebooks
  2. Basic Handwriting in English - suitable for Arabic language backgrounds - Bernard Hartley & Peter Viney [62 pages: Nelson 1982] buy used on Abebooks
  3. Collins Good Punctuation - Graham King [192 pages: Collins 2004] buy used on Abebooks

For young learners (aged 12 to 16)

  1. English Punctuation (Usborne Better) - well illustrated rules and practice for young learners aged 12 to 16 [32 pages: Usborne 2003] buy used on Abebooks

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

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[L2]-[L4] Welcome to Britain [01/01/1990]

[L2]-[L4] Fitting In by Jimmie Hill [1983] buy used on Abebooks

[L3]-[L5] Mrs Joyce Hoover's How Do You Do?: A Quick 'n' Easy Guide to Britain and the British [2009] buy used on Abebooks

[L3]-[L5] Mrs. Joyce Hoover's How to be British: An Impractical Guide to the Country, Language and People [1994] buy used on Abebooks

[L4]-[L7] Cassell Dictionary of Modern Britain [1995] buy used very cheaply on Abebooks

[L5]-[L7] Britain: Pack (with Workbook): An Up-to-Date Guide to Britain, its Culture, History, and People, for Learners of English, Second Edition [30/04/2009]

[L5]-[L7] Life in the United Kingdom: Official Study Guide HMSO / Jenny Wales (Paperback)

[L5]-[L7] Life in the United Kingdom: Handbook: A Guide for New Residents The Home Office [28/01/2013]

[L5]-[L7] The Making of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr [09/07/2010]

[L5]-[L7] Brewing in Britain: An Illustrated History Paperback [14/04/2016]

[L5]-[L7] The History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr [03/06/2009]

[L5]-[L7] The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain paperback [12/03/2009]

[L5]-[L7] The Penguin Illustrated History of Britain and Ireland: From Earliest Times to the Present Day Paperback [25/03/2004]

[L5]-[L7] An Illustrated History of Britain [20/02/1989]

[L5]-[L7] The Rough Guide to Britain (Rough Guide Travel Guides) [01/06/2015]

[L5]-[L7] The Most Amazing Places to Visit in Britain Readers Digest) [27/04/2012]

[L5]-[L7] Britain from the Air [19/09/2006]


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


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