The Best TEFL Books For The TEFL Teacher
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As English teachers, we always tell our students: one of the best ways to learn English is by reading it. Amiright? And guess what? The same goes for us English teachers: one of the best ways to learn about teaching English is by reading about it!
So let’s get to it. Let’s look at a few of the best TEFL books for the TEFL teacher.
The best TEFL books for the wannabe TEFL teacher
New to teaching English as a foreign language? Not sure if doing a TEFL course is the right choice for you? Reading a few books will introduce you to the realities of the field.
Besides, a bit of reading before your TEFL course is never a bad idea.
It’s not an easy course and you need to be dedicated and motivated in order to fulfill all the course requirements. A basic understanding of the basic concepts will stand you in good stead for the course – and your career.
For the soon-to-be TEFL teachers, these books will help you find your feet in the TEFL classroom.
Read more: Is TEFL Hard To Pass & Is It Worth It?
So here are a few of our favourite TEFL books to introduce you to the field.
How Languages Are Learned – Patsy M. Lightbown and Nina Spada
This book is both interesting and informative. It provides information on language acquisition theory while also relating it to learning in the classroom and teaching techniques. It’s a practical guide but it’ll give you a glimpse into the realities of teaching English as a foreign language.
Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson
An excellent book for those who want an easy read. It’s an introduction to the English language and all its idiosyncracies, written with such humour you’ll be laughing out loud while you read.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation – Lynne Truss
A page-turner for anyone with an interest in the English language. With chapters on apostrophes, commas, colons and semi-colons, among other punctuation marks, you might be surprised to know this book was an international bestseller – but it’s that good.
The best TEFL books for the newbie TEFL teacher
As a newbie TEFL teacher, you’re probably looking for some tips and tricks to help you in the classroom. Or maybe you want to explore teaching methodologies or theories of learning and build on your new knowledge.
Here are a few good TEFL books to help you get started teaching until you get the hang of it.
You may have heard of a very popular grammar reference book called English Grammar in Use. While we still believe that’s a great reference grammar book, the Oxford English Grammar Course is a newer book. With clear, simple grammar explanations it helps you understand even the most complex grammar point. What’s more, the explanations are suitable for you to use with your students.
Learning Teaching – Jim Scrivener
This book is a great tool for teachers who want to refresh themselves on the content of their TEFL course and who would like to hone their skills further. A very readable book with notes on methodology as well as teaching ideas and lesson activities.
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.
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.
The best TEFL books for the experienced TEFL teacher
Now that you have a bit of experience under your belt, you should be thinking about upskilling yourself even further. It’s not possible to cover every concept of TEFL during the TEFL course. And the field of TEFL and our understanding of teaching and learning is expanding all the time.
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.
Teaching Unplugged – Luke Meddings and Scott Thornbury
Once you’ve spent some time in the classroom you should be brave enough to branch out and try a few new teaching methods.
Teaching Unplugged gives you a ton of activities you can use in your classroom. The difference is, these activities propose the paperless teaching methodology. That’s right – activities which don’t use materials of any kind. It might be a scary thought but it can truly make magic happen in the classroom.
Why Don’t Students Like School? By Daniel Willingham
Not confined to teaching English as a Foreign Language, this book takes a closer look at the reasons many students are not overly enthusiastic (to put it politely!) about being in the classroom. Cognitive science is used to relate to the classroom and ideas are given on how to make the classroom a more inviting space for our learners.
Make It Stick by Peter C Brown, Henry L Roediger and Mark A McDaniel
Another book which is useful for all teachers. This book outlines practices which are proven to be effective when it comes to learning. If you are interested in spaced learning and techniques which can help your students become better learners, then you should read this book.
How ELT Publishing Works – Janet Aitchison
After you’ve been teaching for a while, you might find yourself coming up with your own ideas for lesson plans and teaching materials. This is where this book comes in. How ELT Publishing Works is an ebook from the ELT Teacher 2 Writer series. The book provides an overview of the publishing process in the ELT field and offers tips on both writing, development and publishing.
There you have it. Just a few ideas of the best TEFL books to keep you entertained and informed, no matter where you are on your TEFL journey.
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