Published 2nd March 2016

As a teacher teaching English as a Foreign Language, there are many resources we have at our disposal. There are tons of different coursebooks, reference books, photocopiable activity books and other lesson materials available to us to make use of in the classroom.

However, it is important not to forget about our own development as teachers. Only focussing on materials for your lessons means you will be ignoring the amazing material dedicated to you, the teacher. There are loads of really good (and loads of not-really-good!) books written to help TEFL teachers keep up-to-date with the research on theories and methodologies of teaching and also give you insight into the work behind the lessons.

From questions like Why do my Spanish students confuse embarrassed with pregnant? to How can I teach my students to listen better?, there are books available which can answer any of your questions and help you deal with any of your concerns. So without further ado, here are our top TEFL books for your bookshelf (in no particular order):

Books on methodology

These books will give you an overview of different teaching methods and the theories behind them. They are easy-to-read and can be dipped into when you are confused or would like to read more about a specific point.

Learning Teaching – Jim Scrivener

The Practice of English Language Teaching – Jeremy Harmer

How to Teach series – Scott Thornbury

Books on grammar

Even TEFL teachers need grammar reference books. This book provides TEFL teachers with answers to questions they predict their students will ask them or to their own language questions they might come up with.

Practical English Usage – Michael Swan

Books on activities

These books will provide you with loads of teaching games and activities. Some of them are materials-light while others are photocopiable.

Grammar Games – Mario Rinvolucri

700 Classroom Activities – David Seymour and Maria Popova

Speaking/ Reading/ Writing/ Listening Extra series – various authors, by Cambridge University Press

Always bear in mind when you are starting a new job that you can never be sure what resources will be available for you when you get there. Spending a bit of money to buy these books can be the best investment you can make in your TEFL career, as they will save you tons of time if you are stuck without resources or teaching ideas.