TEFL Lesson Ideas – Five-Minute Activities

Five minute activitiesLooking for some TEFL lesson ideas? Five-Minute Activities is a fantastic book with lots of ideas to fill in those gaps at the end of the class, and gives plenty of activities to augment various parts of your lesson.

This book has almost 100 original activities that you can adapt for different levels of learner to help reinforce the language points of your class. The book is best for intermediate levels and above. The activities generally do take a little more than five minutes of class time, on average 10-15 minutes, though preparation time is usually less than five minutes and many activities take no time at all to prepare.

Each activity specifies which language issue it is focused on and there are also examples of different variations of the activities. You can use the book to make a rather dry topic entertaining. Also it can be used to introduce an alternative approach to learning the same material, if the class you are teaching has a set course book for example.

This book is something you will forever be dipping into. It’s a really good book to take to all your classes, as a back up in case you run out of material or as a good way to change to pace of your lesson and wake up the students.

Teaching Tenses – Books for TEFL Teachers

teaching tensesTeaching Tenses by Rosemary Aitken is a handy book for TEFL teachers to use in preparation for introducing tenses to students.

The book is comprehensive and all the different tenses are logically explained. Lots of examples and uses are given to put the rules into context and help the teacher convey the meaning more clearly to the students. Alongside this tables and time lines are included as another way to present and understand the various tenses.

This is a good book for new teachers and those on the TEFL course to get hold of but also one that is going to be used regularly throughout a teachers career. There is a lot of photocopiable material included that can be introduced into classes. This contains helpful drawings that can be used to elicit tenses from students.

Books for your TEFL Course – English Grammar for Dummies

English grammar for dummiesAre you keen to teach English as a foreign language but think your grammar will let you down? Then a good book for your TEFL course would be English Grammar for Dummies.

The book is not written exclusively for TEFL, but is a good starting point for budding teachers who currently have a very poor grasp of grammar or are worried about this aspect of the course. The book starts off explaining very basic concepts and does so in an easy to follow and lighthearted way. There are tons of examples and lots of good advice. As you gain confidence more difficult grammatical concepts are introduced. All aspects of English grammar are covered in a very comprehensive way, from adverbs to adjectives, punctuation to pronouns.

If your grammar is fairly good then I would recommend a more involved grammar book such as English Grammar In Use to start out with.

English Language Teaching Books – Learning Teaching

Learning TeachingIf you are about to start a TEFL course then Learning Teaching: A guidebook for English language teachers by Jim Scrivener should be one of the first English language teaching books to consider purchasing.

It’s got everything you need to help widen your understanding of what being an English language teacher is all about. The book covers both the practicalities and the theory of being an EFL teacher. There is a useful chapter on planning lessons, and then additional chapters on teaching skills such as speaking and listening. There are also ideas on classroom activities to get your students working in pairs or groups. This all helps new teachers put together a structure for their lessons, and gives them guidance in how to fill that structure with useful and engaging learning activities.

Learning Teaching is also strong on providing resources for new teachers who struggle with the theoretical aspects of the English language.  The chapters on lexis, grammar and phonology are a good reference resource for those who want to brush up their understanding in these areas before they embark on a TEFL course.

For novice teachers on their TEFL course or just starting out Learning Teaching is a real EFL bible to help guide you through those nerve racking first few months. It may also become a useful teaching reference book throughout your English teaching career.

Buy the English language teaching book, Learning Teaching here.

TEFL Grammar Books – Practical English Usage

Practical English UsageDo you struggle with English grammar? Do you have demanding students that often catch you out with tricky grammar questions? Practical English Usage by Michael Swan is one of the top TEFL grammar books. It’s a must have reference book for all English Language teachers.

Practical English Usage is well presented and the grammar points are clearly defined. Not only that but the content is well and truly extensive. Every possible grammar query you could face is covered in this text, including slang and taboo words. There is also a useful section on the differences between British and American English.

This text is what can only be described as an encyclopedia of English grammar. Be warned though, it is almost 700 pages long and relatively weighty. It’s not an ideal book to be carrying to and from class everyday! It’s more of a book to reference at home, before or after class to prepare yourself for difficult questions from your students. Also Practical English Usage can be very detailed so if your grammar is completely awful it might be best choosing a more basic guide first.

Buy the TEFL Grammar Book, Practical English Usage here.

TEFL Course Books – English Grammar in Use

English Grammar in UseAlong with How to Teach English, English Grammar In Use by Raymond Murphy is another essential TEFL course book.

As well as providing an invaluable resource for teachers helping intermediate and above students with grammar problems, this book is also a very useful English grammar reference for teachers themselves. For most teachers embarking on a CELTA or Trinity TESOL course a lack of English grammar knowledge is a major weakness. During the course it is imperative to have reliable resource to brush up on any areas of weakness, a revision aid for grammar tests and materials to teach grammar points in your classes. As a TEFL course book English Grammar in Use fulfills all these criteria. Also most teachers don’t become experts in English grammar straight after the tefl course either. It’s mastery is an ongoing process and that’s why having a great reference tool such as English Grammar in Use is so important.

The text is well written and all the grammar points are explained in detail using a number of examples. The book is laid out in such a way that each grammar point is explained using two pages of text. On the left-hand side of the page the grammar point is introduced, examples are given to put it into the context of everyday English and any irregularities are pointed out. On the right-hand side practice exercises are given for use in class with your students. The layout works very well, and the coverage of grammar points is extremely comprehensive. That’s why this book is so essential not only as a TEFL course book but one that will be in constant use during your teaching career.

Buy the TEFL course book English Grammar in Use here.

TEFL Course Book – How to Teach English

How to teach EnglishThinking of doing a TEFL course or starting out as an English as a second language teacher? Want to know more about the practicalities first? Unsure about which TEFL course books to buy?

How to Teach English by Jeremy Harmer is an ideal TEFL course companion. It is also a good TEFL book for those interested in starting a career in the field but wanting to find out more first.

The book is simple to follow and logically arranged. The chapters cover all the areas every new TEFL teacher needs to think about when stepping into the classroom. Harmer rationalises well the “how and the why” methodologies to teaching English as a second language.

The book contains obvious themes such as “How to be a Good Teacher” and chapters on the best techniques to use when teaching the main skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). There are plenty of real examples from textbooks which help bring the theories to life.

Another useful section of this TEFL book is the “What if” chapter. This is particularly reassuring for those nervous about taking charge of a classroom for the first time. Hypothetical what if questions are asked based on less than positive scenarios when dealing with and motivating your students. Useful strategies are then offered to try and turn those situations on their head.

Overall, this is a good TEFL book to buy before the CELTA course and to reference when doing the course.

Click here to buy this TEFL book.

Tefl Lesson Plans – Games For Language Learning

Games for Language LearningHaving trouble with your TEFL lesson plans? Short on ideas for icebreakers, fillers and fun activities for students?

I recommend the textbook Games for Language Learning by Andrew Wright and David Betteridge. It is packed full of icebreakers and games that will help put that extra sparkle into your classes. Not only are the activities fun and engaging for the students, but the book is very logically set out which is very useful for the teacher.

There is an initial chapter on icebreakers and warmers, then the text carries on by diving the games by chapter depending on the type of skills you want to focus on in your lesson. These being: Speaking, Listening, Writing, Reading, Vocabulary and Spelling, and Grammar. That way, not only can you bring in some fun activities into the classroom but you can do it in a really targeted way depending on which areas you feel your students need most help.

There is also a chapter at the end which gives you some ideas for solo activities, great for 1-1 classes.

This text is really broad in its appeal as the games can be tailored and modified depending on the level of your students and the structure of your lesson plan. It really is an essential book to add to your TEFL teaching resource library.

See for yourself: Games for Language Learning

Best TEFL Book for lesson ideas and activities – 700 Classroom Activities

700 Classroom ActivitiesIf your looking for some great classroom activities then 700 Classroom Activities is a great TEFL book to get started and the best TEFL book for lesson ideas and activities.

The activities are separated into four sections making it easy to use:

  1. Conversation
  2. Functions
  3. Grammar
  4. Vocabulary

The activities are easily adapted into different learner levels and needs.

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 TEFL teachers come to know and love and fresh, new activities at a range of levels from elementary to upper intermediate.

The clear organization 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.

For more information on the book or to buy it click on: 700 Classroom Activities

Teaching English as a Foreign Language for Dummies Book Review

Teaching English as a Foreign Language for DummiesAre you new to TEFL? Then why not try one of many available books to help get you started. Here is one for beginners:

Teaching English as a Foreign Language for Dummies

Learn to:

  • Put an EFL course programme together from scratch
  • Let your students loose in skill classes from reading to listening
  • Deliver grammar lessons in a logical and intuitive way
  • Cope with different age groups and capabilities