Published 4th March 2020

Top TEFL Books for TEFL Teachers

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As a teacher who teaches English as a Foreign Language, you’re probably already a bit of a bookworm. Hopefully your love of books extends to TEFL books! From books on teaching methodologies and teaching ideas to EFL-related studies and teaching tips, there are books that can help you with any aspect of your Continuous Professional Development that you need. With World Book Day on 23 March, we thought we’d take a minute to talk about the top TEFL books for TEFL teachers which can help you on your TEFL journey and in the TEFL classroom. So we’re not going to tell you about the latest Jodi Picoult or Jeffrey Archer but we will give you a sneak peek of what’s on our TEFL bookshelf. Here are the top TEFL books for TEFL teachers.

Teaching Unplugged – Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings

Though we seem to be moving more towards paperless classrooms than ever before, in some places there is still a tendency to work strictly from the coursebook and the corresponding photocopiable resources. Teaching Unplugged offers loads of tips and activities for your classroom which don’t require any materials. Though there are quite a few similar books, this is the original and provides a good introduction to paperless teaching. 

An A-Z of ELT – Scott Thornbury

The only ELT dictionary you’ll ever need. This book provides entries for all the confusing TEFL jargon we are not sure of. Each entry is short and sweet so it’s the perfect book to turn to when you’re not sure of a particular term, technique or method.

Practical English Usage – Michael Swan

We all need a grammar reference book and this should be it. Simple, understandable explanations of grammar points will ensure that you’re able to teach your language point effectively and easily. 

The How to Teach series – Jeremy Harmer, Scott Thornbury and others

From How to Teach English to How to Teach Grammar to How to Teach for Exams to How to Teach English with Technology, this is an awesome series which covers every aspect of teaching English as a Foreign Language. Each book is simply written and easily readable and provides all the information you need for each component.

Top TEFL Books for TEFL Teachers

How Languages are Learned – Patsy M, Lightbown, Nina Spada

An introduction to the theories of first and second language learning, this easy-to-read book is perfect for TEFL teachers who are interested in learning more about the theories behind the learning. It’s not too academic and it assumes no prior knowledge, which makes it an interesting and accessible read. 

Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language – Bill Bryson

History buffs look no further. This entertaining and humorous look at the fascinating history of the English language will give you greater insight into the language we teach. 

For Who the Bell Tolls: The Essential and Entertaining Guide to Grammar – David Marsh

Another one to tickle your funny bone, this book provides an overview of the English grammar we should all know, like the difference between your s*** and you’re s***, and the importance of capital letters in sentences like I helped my Uncle Jack off his horse. 

Ok, so we could go on for quite a while talking about our favourite books but we’re going to leave it at that. This selection of books is exactly what you need to make sure you stay on top of your TEFL game. So go on, make a cup of tea, get comfortable and happy reading!

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