Are there course books for ESOL classes?

Are there course books for ESOL classes?

While there are numerous course books for TEFL,  it's not the same for ESOL. In part, this is because a typical ESOL class may be multi-level, multi-nationality and multi-age; it’s just hard to find a course book that fits the typical ESOL class scenario. 

As an ESOL teacher you may also find a wide range of backgrounds in your class, with learners who hold no formal schooling sitting next to graduate-level professionals. It is understandable, then, that many ESOL teachers prefer not to use course books and so end up generating material themselves or use the growing set of materials online. 

That said, there are some occasions where we can use course books and we will outline these in this blog – linking to some handy ESOL book titles and resources along the way. 

1. Teaching in class with a group of approximately the same level

In classes of generally the same level,  then it can be worthwhile using a course book as a guide for lessons, substituting in your own materials where you feel it is appropriate. You will find some super Cambridge books and links to resources specifically designed for ESOL here:

https://www.cambridge.org/elt/esol/recommended-titles.asp

Alternatively, look at this page, which details the Oxford University Press ESOL resources available currently:

https://elt.oup.com/general_content/gb/esol_support/?cc=us&selLanguage=en

The ESOL Handbook, which aims to provide ESOL teachers with a practical 'toolkit' for developing students' language skills, could be particularly useful addition for you, especially if you are running an ESOL programme and supporting a variety of different teachers and groups. 

For learners, consider the ESOL Dictionary. You can find samples pages via this link:

https://elt.oup.com/general_content/gb/esol_support/oxford_esol_dictionary_worksheets?cc=gb&selLanguage=en.

2. Teaching in class with a group with the same focus

If you are teaching a group that needs to pass an exam, such as the Skills for Life qualification to stay in the UK, then there are books and materials targeted specifically for that exam. At the following link, navigate to 'Skills of Life', to see some sample material or view the video for more helpful info on this:

https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/teaching-english/resources-for-teachers/

What about if I am teaching a mixed level group, or if students can’t afford course books?

Practically speaking, a course book is not a good idea here, as the level won't be right for everyone.

In this case, we suggest using materials from the web or ones that you create yourself. There is more about this in our 70 hour Teaching ESOL course and links to a number of free resource websites in our ESOL resources blog.

We hope you find this helpful. If you have an ESOL resource or title to share, tell us more below.

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Are there course books for ESOL classes?