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How much time do you spend digging through  bookstores and websites to find the perfect English teaching or ESL textbooks for your students?
Hours, right? I know how you feel.
In fact, I do this in September every year. I hang out in Come On In, Barcelona’s expensive, yet probably most comprehensive,  English teaching bookstore for a few hours. Usually, I’m there until the shop assistants look at me like I’m a little TOO concerned about which books I use.
Maybe I’m just  picky, but it takes me quite a bit of time to find books I think my students  will love all year, that cover grammar but also have authentic audio-visual materials.
If you want to know more about how I use the books, be sure you have access to my free printables library full of resources for teachers.
Free Printables Library
So, to save you hours of digging, I’ve put together a list of my Top 10 favourite ESLbooks/series of books. Ten is kind of a small number. Since I like brief lists, though, I’ve highlighted one kids, one teen and one adults book, a couple exam prep series and left the rest as more general ESL help.

Top 10 Amazing English Books For Your ESL Class

 

Now, it’s hard to find a textbook that’s perfect, so I’ve listed The Good, The Bad, and the Fabulous for each one. (You thought  I was going to say “and the ugly”, right? Let’s be more positive than that ? )
Of course you can pick any of them up on Amazon by clicking the title or links.

1. Adults: English File 3rd Edition

The Good: Great organization, interesting topics, levels advance well, important grammar rules, stress and rhythm patterns
The Bad: The pictures and video, especially  vocabulary pictures. I supplement with Ted Talks.
The Fabulous:  Unit review pages, topics relevant for both adults and teens, great audio, Social English phrases.  There is even an online version of these books on Amazon!

 2. Teens: Citizen Z B1

The Good:  Interesting and useful topics, Layout, Colours
The Bad: Audio files purchased spearately.  Haven’t  to the new scannable QR App pages to work yet
The Fabulous: Phrases for fluency with realistic roleplays/ dialogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Cambridge Advanced Trainer

The Good: Training section before official exams; inccorect answers fully explained
The Bad: no images (I’m struggling to find something here!)
The Fabulous: photocopies easily, great for homework, expandable topics, writing tips specific to the exam, work with idioms included

4 . FCE and CAE Official Exam Books

The Good: Explanation  of exam format, timed practice
The Bad: Check version to be sure it comes with a CD. Only 4 exams are included This is the only book that uses the new FCE format and has a higher price tag than most.
The Fabulous: Oficial actual exams will help your students learn!

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Check your FCE Vocabulary 

The Good: Word lists  by topic that are easily photocopiable
The Bad: Only a few pages per concept, random sentences not connected to a studentbook (this is a workbook).
The Fabulous: Great topics that are  easily expandable for discussiona and speaking practice

6.  Keynote TED Talks

The Good: TED TALKS on 12 interesting topics; TED TALKs come on CD, too.
The Bad: Only 12 themes covered; one topic per theme
The Fabulous: Broad themes that are easily expandable with other content. Includes worksheets with grammar and vocabulary pertaining to the theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Oxford Discover

The Good: Colourful pages, cartoon stories to keep younger kids interested.
The Bad: All audio and video come separately. Very high price if you use all the resources.
The Fabulous: Grammar introduced in a fun way using stories and characters (for younger children).
 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Face to Face

 
The Good:  Great workbook activities, good topics, suitable for adults or teens
The Bad: Video and audio (listening) come separately, making price quite high.for whole package.
The Fabulous: Great sections on phrasal verbs and useful phrases for fluency that include phrasal verbs in each chapter

 

 

 

 

 

9. Dominant Los Phrasal Verbs

 
The Good: : Contains 60 very useful phrasal verbs. Low price!
The Bad: It’s half in Spanish  (but this is a plus point for Spanish native speakers!). Lengthy explanations, but miss some uses of the phrasal verbs
The Fabulous: Great explanation on types of phrasal verbs, uses visual icons throughout the book to help gauge whether a phrasal verb is separable or inseparable
I made my Ultimate Phrasal Verbs Game using this book for inspiration!
 

 

 

 

 

10. Perfect Phrases series

The Good:  Useful essay writing phrases; split into sections on speaking and writing so students know which are most appropriate in each situation.
The Bad: Focus on writing for the TOEFL (American ESL) exam. However, it can be easily applied to the CAE or other Cambridge Exams
The Fabulous:  This is a serious of “Phrases For” books, which can be useful in many speaking activities!

 

So, apparently this week’s theme was short posts with lists! Don’t worry, the detailed goodies (and the vlogging) I’ve promised is coming up soon.  In fact, I’m already super excited to share it with you even though I haven’t written it down yet.
Which ESL textbooks are your  favourites?
 I’d love to hear your recommendations!
Happy Teaching!
Sapna
 P.S. Photo lovers, today’s main image is simply a pile of my favourite ESL textbooks (that are usually in my bookshelf!)

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