Dear ELTABB, thank you for stocking my bookshelf with some fresh teaching resources!
I recently received €150 from ELTABB to purchase ten new books for my teaching library. My goals: to find material that would serve as quick resources for classroom activities and to find ways to further develop my teaching methodology. Which of these books did I find successful in accomplishing this? Here’s my review…
5 Books for quick access teaching ideas (in order of favourites)
1. 39 No-Prep/Low prep ESL Speaking Activities – Jackie Bolen
I love having warm up, filler and closing activities in my lessons. 39 No-Prep/Low Prep ESL Speaking Activities has been one of my go-tos since I got it. If you are at a loss for ideas of how to start your class or need something extra for your lessons, try this one out.
I’ve also been able to adjust activities so they’re suitable for any language level. What’s more, the book is easy to fit into your teaching bag and comes at a great price (under €10).
2. ESL Classroom Activities for Teens and Adults – Shelley Ann Vernon
Shelley Ann Vernon’s ESL Classroom Activities for Teens and Adults is quickly becoming my other book of choice. I had to get used to the strange way that activities are organized in the book (there’s no page index for the activities), but once I did, I found loads of interesting and creative ways to enhance my lessons.
This book definitely meets my needs of having fun and fresh classroom ideas at my fingertips.
3. ESL Classroom Games: 180 Educational Games and Activities for Teaching ESL EFL Students – Denise Scott
ESL Classroom Games: 180 Educational Games and Activities for Teaching ESL EFL Students also has some superb supplementary lesson content. What I found annoying however (yet again!), is that there is no clear index for how to find the activities. The author only has activities listed under language level headings (no page numbers). Once I started flipping through the book, it was furthermore hard to find activities because of the layout.
However, there’s lots of useful material and the book doesn’t cost much to buy.
4. The Ultimate Book for Busy English Teachers – Marc Roche
Looking for new content for your conversation courses? The Ultimate Book for Busy English Teachers will give you lots of material for upper-intermediate to advanced students. On occasion, you can also use this book for pre-intermediate classes if you adjust the language.
Marc Roche gives you an array of topics and discussion questions which require little to no preparation, yet lead to engaging and lengthy conversation from your students. There’s also a great section in the final part of the book about phrasal verbs.
I’ll be using this book a lot!
5. 39 ESL Vocabulary Activities – Jackie Bolen and Jennifer Booker Smith
Last on my list is 39 ESL Vocabulary Activities. I’ve looked through the book, but I haven’t found as many activities I’d like to use for my classes…yet. However, if you are looking for ways to practice and build vocabulary in your courses, I think this book is a great one to have on hand.
Books to improve teaching skills: My 5 picks
I’m excited to bring Andromeda Jones’ text book free lesson methodology to my classrooms:
1. The Ultimate ESL teaching Manual – Andromeda Jones
2. The Ultimate Teaching ESL Online Manual – Andromeda Jones
3. The Ultimate ESL Vocabulary Manual – Andromeda Jones
Jones’ Manuals can be used to either to design fully text book free courses or to provide you with extra material for already text book established courses. These books will not only enable you to have fantastic lessons, they will also help you to become all around better teachers.
I’m planning on taking some time this semester to read them all in order to ‘up my teaching game’.
4. The Drama Book – Alice Savage
Alice Savage’s The Drama Book is also going to be an interesting one for me to try in classes this year. Being a performing artist myself, I love incorporating role play work in my lessons. Theatre is fun and gives learners a more realistic arena to practice language.
Included in the book are things such as warm ups, pronunciation practice, sketches, scripts and script writing activities…and much more.
5. Word Order in English Sentences – Phil Williams
And lastly…Word Order In English Sentences by Phil Williams. Despite it being last on my list, it’s a good one. Are your students making silly mistakes with sentence structures? Do you need some brushing up on explaining word order to them? Take this book out and do a few exercises with them! You can even assign small sections of the book as homework.
My students are already having lots of fun with the material from these books and my teaching preparation has been made much easier. ELTABB, thank you for helping me to accomplish my goals through the scholarship funds!
With best wishes,
All books can be purchased on https://www.goodreads.com.
Vanessa Lanch is a Berlin-based English language teacher with over ten years of teaching experience in both Germany and Austria. Aside from teaching, She’s also a professional opera singer and has performed in various theaters and festivals including the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. Vanessa looks forward to many more years of providing students with entertaining and meaningful language learning.