Must-Read Series: Seven Books on ELT Methodology

Dr. Laxman Gnawali

When it comes to teaching of English, the pedagogy takes the centre stage. Every teacher asks: how shall I teach English? And they further ask: which is really a good book? I say there is not one single book which is good, there are several of them. Each book is good and useful in its own way.   So, if we want to teach English effectively and also in a way we do not burn out, we need to select some really good books.

I share this list with you. They are some of the key books: some of the must-read books. And I have got questions for you. Once you have gone through this list, please see the questions below the list. Then, respond to the questions in the comments section.

1. Learning Teaching – Jim Scrivener

LEARNING TEACHING, that’s what it is all about. We want to learn teaching and we can learn teaching if we have this book: Learning Teaching. This book is meant both for initial trainees and practising teachers. Jim does not just give theoretical ideas, he presents very practical tips. Read to believe me.

2. How Children Learn – John Holt

Here is why this book is worth reading for the educators to understand HOW CHILDREN LEARN, I just second to what Holt says, “When we better understand the ways, conditions, and spirit in which children do their best learning, and are able to make school into a place where they can use and improve the style of thinking and learning natural to them, we may be able to prevent (much of this) failure.” John Holt

3. Breaking Rules – John F. Fanselow

We can’t be innovative teachers if we just follow the rules that are given to us. So, how do we innovate? It’s by BREAKING RULES. And breaking rules should be our way of life. As Fanslow says. “Only by engaging in the generation and exploration of alternatives will we be able to see. And then we will see that we must continue to look.” Love this book to learn how to break rules.

4. The Practice of English Language Teaching – Jeremy Harmer

Want a comprehensive book on the best PRACTICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING? Here is the book by Harmer. Just go through this book and you will find a review of global English, ideas to help you continue your professional development alone or with others, methodology for teaching all the skill sectors in ELT. Your practice will definitely improve.

5. How to Teach Speaking – Scott Thornbury

Teachers who practise communicate language teaching in the EFL classes sometimes wonder how to develop students’ speaking skills help them overcome their hesitation. Are you one of them? Here is something you shouldn’t miss? Great ideas to learn HOW TO TEACH SPEAKING. Ideas for teaching English inside the class as well as well as ideas for developing confidence in using English outside the classroom.

6. A Course in English Language Teaching – Penny Ur

You may be an EFL teacher or a teacher educator or both. You may be looking for a comprehensive reference book on ELT methodology. Covering all language skills and aspects and extending to the syllabus design and teacher development, Ur presents this COURSE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING that answers any methodology related questions you may have.

7. Laughing Matters: Humor in the Language Classroom – Peter Medgyes

You want to teach English in a fun way? You want to use humour in the English? You want to see your students as active in the end as in the beginning of the class? You want to have LAUGHING MATTERS to use in your English class? Just go for it. As someone said, “It provides over 120 activities which will inject some light-hearted fun into lessons whilst still being grounded in respected educational theory.”

Here are my questions for you:

Do you have these books? Do you use them? Would you recommend them to other teachers? Which one(s)?

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