Celebrating The Brazilian Teacher’s Day – My Top Ten ELT Books

My passion for reading books began since I was a child. I was encouraged to read mainly by my dad who used to buy collections of books and by my mom who used to be a primary teacher. At school we had that amazing library where I used to go and read those fantastic, beautiful and expensive books my parents couldn’t afford.  No surprise I became a teacher.

I grew up reading a lot and when I met my husband I was even more encouraged to read as he’s also an avid reader and storyteller.  Being together for 37 years, we are surrounded by books.  We read for pleasure and for work.

I read because I love and I read ELT books because I’ve learned a lot from them and they are great sources for research.  I’ve written about professional development before and I remember saying we are those mainly responsible for your own PD. And it involves reading resource books for teachers.

In addition:

  • They help my Personal and Professional Growth
  • They enhance my communication Skills – Widens my expertise use in writing articles, essays,   online blogging and when I prepare presentations.
  • And I learning from the Best – Learning from respectful authors and authentic language of very good quality.

See below my top ten resource books for ENGLISH Language teachers ( there’s no order of preference)


Roseli books

1. Learning Teaching: By Jimmy Scrivener has been one of the most successful guides to English since it was first published in 1994. Not only a superb textbook for initial training courses, it is also a no-nonsense handbook for practising ELT teachers, helping you to succeed from class to class, from week to week and from year to year. This book will help you to deepen your understanding of what happens – and of what is possible – in the language classroom. But Jim Scrivener’s approach is not merely theoretical: Learning Teaching is packed with practical – and immediately useable – activities.

2. Working with Images by Ben Goldstein contains over 75 practical teaching ideas for the language classroom. Activities involve the use of both low-tech and high-tech images and are suitable for a very wide variety of teaching contexts: young learners and adults; specialised and general English; richly- or minimally-equipped classrooms. Activities can be used in any order, at any point in a course. In addition, the design of the activities allows teachers to adapt and apply the ideas to other topics. The accompanying CD-ROM contains a bank of images, ready for immediate classroom use.

3. Speaking (Language Teaching) – by Martin Bygate -How do learners learn to speak a foreign language? What different approaches have been developed to teach this important skill? Speaking deals with both these questions, providing clear explanations of recent research and developments in methodology. In the final section the author suggests practical ways in which teachers can gain a better understanding of the role of oral classroom activities.

4. Professional Development for Language Teachers: Strategies for Teacher Learning by Jack C. Richards  & Thomas S. C. Farrell (Author). This much-needed text provides a coherent and strategic approach to teacher development Teacher Development for Language Teachers examines ten different approaches for facilitating professional development in language teaching: self-monitoring, support groups, journal writing, classroom observation, teaching portfolios, analysis of critical incidents, case analysis, peer coaching, team teaching, and action research. The introductory chapter provides a conceptual framework. All chapters contain practical examples and reflection questions to help readers apply the approach in their own teaching context.

5. A Course in English Language Teaching by Penny Ur  -T his book provides a comprehensive introduction to English language teaching, and is suitable for teachers in a variety of educational settings, including compulsory education. It has been completely revised and updated to include essential new topics for the modern English language teacher, including English as an international language, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and using digital materials. It is ideal for initial teacher training and as a reference guide for practising teachers. The book combines theory and practice, with each unit containing tasks that encourage reflection and discussion, plus action tasks such as classroom observation and practice.

6. Grammar for English Language Teachers by Martin Parrot -An invaluable resource helping teachers at all levels of experience to develop their understanding of English grammar. Grammar for English Language Teachers is designed to help practising and trainee teachers to develop their knowledge of English grammar systems. It encourages teachers to appreciate factors that affect grammatical choices, and evaluates the ‘rules of thumb’ presented to learners in course materials. Consolidation exercises provide an opportunity for teachers to test these rules against real language use and to evaluate classroom and reference materials.

7. Teaching Tenses  by Rosemary Aitken – Teaching Tenses is a teacher’s resource book with ideas for presenting tenses and verb patterns clearly and in a meaningful context. It is an ideal resource for new teachers who need to build their language awareness and practical guidance in how to teach grammar – Each section of Teaching Tenses consists of a comprehensive analysis of form and function, suggestions for presentation and practice of structures in context and a review of common learner errors. Teaching Tenses also contains a resource bank of photocopiable material for practicing structures in the classroom.

8. How Languages Are Learned  by Patsy M. Lightbown & Nina Spada –  This book is a comprehensive and readable introduction to how languages are learned. It presents the main theories of first and second language acquisition, and, with the help of activities and questionnaires, discusses their practical implications for language teaching.

Roseli books 2

9. Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics – by Jack C. Richards and Richard W. Schmidt  -This best-selling dictionary is specifically written for  teachers and students of language teaching and applied linguistics and  has become an indispensable resource for those engaged in courses in TEFL, TESOL, applied linguistics and introductory courses in general linguistics.

10. Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice by Jack C. Richards  (Editor), Willy A. Renandya (Editor) -. This book provides an overview of current approaches, issues, and practices in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. The anthology offers a comprehensive overview to the teaching of English and illustrates the complexity underlying many of the practical planning and instructional activities it involves. Organized into 16 sections, the book contains 41 seminal articles by well-known teacher trainers and researchers. Also included are two sets of discussion questions – a pre-reading background set and a post-reading reflection set. This anthology serves as an important resource for teachers wishing to design a basic course in methodology.


Enjoy your reading, enjoy your teaching and Happy Teachers’ Day!



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Roseli Serra

Roseli is an enthusiastic educator in Brazil. Graduated in English and Portuguese, she works as an ELT consultant, teacher trainer, materials writer, Cambridge examiner and e-moderator. She's a member of the IATEFL LT (Learning Technologies) subcommittee and works, teaches and trains professionals in the area of TD and LT. She’s also a psychologist, a mentor and a coach certified by SLAC (Sociedade Latino Americana de Coaching). She has a post-graduate degree in Applied Linguistics and is now doing her MA studies in Science of Languages at UNICAP (Universidade Católica de Pernambuco). She truly believes in life-long learning and teacher development.

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