Recommended Books


Just wondering what books you’d recommend to give a general overview of teaching methodology and practice. I’m not a beginner but don’t have any teacher training so something about classroom managment, presentation techniques etc should fit the bill.

Also, could you recommend a good grammar “bible”.


For teaching, especially in classroom management: Harry Wong’s The First Days of School

For grammar: Practical English Usage by Michael Swan

Here are a few titles that I really like:

A Course in Language Teaching by Penny UR

Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener

Preparing Lessons and Courses by Tessa Woodward

Diane Larsen Freeman has written a very good book introducing various methodologies. It’s called Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching and should be available at Caves. Other than that, I’d suggest looking around the teachers’ resources area at Caves or Crane and looking for something that addresses your particular interests. Addresses for these stores are easily located on this site or the Net.

In terms of grammar, I’d recommed Azar’s Understanding and Using English Grammar (the blue version). Caves sells it.

As a fun aside, I recently met Betty, and she told me she taught herself English grammar by writing the book. :wink:

I really liked:
Teaching Language in Context

It’s kind of old by now, but it does a good job on ramming home its thesis.

not trying to be a prick, but if you are looking for this book, look under the name penny (u-r). it seems the auto-thingamajig shanges this to y-o-u-r.

larson-freeman is a good intro to various methods/approaches.

brown also has a pair of books available at caves - “teaching by principles” and another one (it’s purple). he’s quite popular as well.

for a more “uk” version, try harmer’s “the practice of english language teaching”.

yes, that’s right U-R, not your…thanks for the correction

I just bought David Paul’s book Teaching English to Children in Asia. From what I’ve skimmed it looks incredibly useful if you’re teaching the young 'uns. It has one chapter plus on Classroom Management.

ImaniOU recommended Michael Swan’s “Practical English Usage”. It’s available from Caves now. I don’t think they sold it before, at least not in Taichung.

This is a really useful book. It contains guidance on many of the usage questions that come up. It uses statistical analysis to find out how people actually use the language, but it also tells you if a usage is considered incorrect according to prescriptive rules.

It has information on register, on differences between written and spoken English, and on the differences between Brit. and Am. Eng. usage.

Caves is selling the third edition which has more examples drawn from corpora, more information about writing/speech usage differences, and is overall an even heftier book than the last edition. Not sure about the price but I imagine it’s somewhere around the 1000NT mark, which may sound a lot but it’s worth it for any serious teacher.

Practical English Usage was $888 when I bought it for my CELTA course in 2003. I keep it in my classroom where I teach 2nd and 4th grade and have had several occasions to use it, albeit simplifying the reasons so an elementary student can understand why one thing works in grammar, but not something else.

The First Days of School (How to Be an Effective Teacher) was $1,211 or so at Page One. I had suggested to them to order more copies since they were down to one and I had told a number of people about it. They might have listened to me, but if not, they’ll order it for you - it’s how I got them to carry it in the first place. There are sections on achieving positive expectations from students, good classroom management, effective lesson planning, and increasing student mastery. It’s geared toward certified teachers working in an North American school system, but if you are truly serious about teaching effectively, you can apply a lot of what Harry Wong has to say in his book. Even in a buxiban atmosphere. Even if you’ve never taught before.