Recommended Reading for TEFL Students

When you sign up for a TEFL Org course you’ll be provided with everything you need to complete it – there are no hidden fees with us – but we are often asked by students if we can recommend any books for further study.

No course could cover everything there is to know about EFL and the learning certainly doesn’t stop after you’re TEFL qualified – see our post about further learning for EFL teachers for some great tips and ideas!

Some of these books are excellent reference books that you’ll keep by your side for the duration of your career as an EFL teacher, some are very accessible reads that will help you get your head around grammar in a way that is far from dry, and others will find themselves a place on your bedside table.

The below is just a selection of books listed in our newly-launched TEFL Org shop where you can find a range of titles, all thoughtfully selected and recommended by our qualified and experienced tutors!

For Who the Bell Tolls, David Marsh

Learning about grammar doesn’t need to be boring! Entertaining and informative, Marsh’s very readable book makes English grammar accessible and interesting. If you’ve struggled with the dryness of other grammar books then this is for you!

For Who the Bell Tolls is a book that explains the grammar that people really need to know, such as the fact that an apostrophe is the difference between a company that knows its s*** and a company that knows it’s s***, or the importance of capital letters to avoid ambiguity in such sentences as ‘I helped my Uncle Jack off his horse.’

David Marsh’s lifelong mission has been to create order out of chaos. For four decades, he has worked for newspapers, from the Sun to the Financial Times, from local weeklies that sold a few thousand copies to the Guardian, with its global readership of nine million, turning the sow’s ear of rough-and-ready reportage into a passable imitation of a silk purse.

English Grammar in Use, Raymond Murphy 

English Grammar in Use is considered by many EFL teachers to be an essential resource. It’s full of clear explanations, examples, and lots of exercises for students. It’s both an excellent reference book for teachers when they need to brush up on certain aspects of grammar and a great resource for lesson planning.

English Grammar in Use Fourth edition is an updated version of the world’s best-selling grammar title. It has a fresh, appealing new design and clear layout, with revised and updated examples, but retains all the key features of clarity and accessibility that have made the book popular with millions of learners and teachers around the world.

Ship or Sheep?, Ann Baker

A great one to have at hand when it comes to teaching pronunciation to your students. This book and the accompanying CDs is specifically for British English.

This is a comprehensive pronunciation course for intermediate students of English. It provides systematic practice of English pronunciation, stress and intonation through a wide variety of interesting exercises and activities. The course is accompanied by a recording of all the practice material on three cassettes. The book and the recordings are both designed for use in class and by students working alone.

700 Classroom Activities, David Seymour and Maria Popova

Referred to by some EFL teachers as the bible for lesson planning, you’ll never be left short of ideas with this book! The activities can be adapted for all kinds of classes and levels, from beginners to advanced, children to adults, and it’s ideal if you have limited resources at hand in your classroom as most activities require none. This is a very worthwhile investment that you will make use of throughout your entire teaching career!

This is a book which does exactly what it says on the cover. It provides a huge instant repertoire of teaching ideas – including both classroom classics that all ELT teachers come to know and love – and fresh new activities at a range of levels from elementary to upper intermediate. The clear organisation of the book makes it easy to cross-refer and supplement your course book or syllabus. All the activities have been classroom-tested – and none of them require photocopying.

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

If you’re interested in the history of the English language then Bill Bryson’s book is the perfect place to start. It traces the origins of English and its evolution in that wonderfully accessible and humorous style Bryson is renowned for.

Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its mongrel origins to its status as the world’s most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its deceptive complexity; its vibrant swearing to its uncertain spelling and pronunciation, Bryson covers all this as well as the many curious eccentricities that make it as maddening to learn as it is flexible to use. Bill Bryson’s classic Mother Tongue is a highly readable and hilarious tale of how English came to be the world’s language.

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