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Best Book(s) For Newbies

 
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nighthawk



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 60
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 3:11 pm    Post subject: Best Book(s) For Newbies Reply with quote

I'm starting my first teaching English abroad gig in Mexico at the end of the summer. I have a B.A., I'm American, I was a foreign language major, I've lived abroad before, I'm taking an intro intensive Spanish class this summer, and I don't have much teaching experience. I'm not taking one of those 4 week CELTA type course things because doing so isn't necessary for me to get hired by a language school in the city where I'm going. I've been reading books from the library to help prepare myself, but I will need some books handy once I get down there, so I'm trying to figure out what books I should buy.

What is the best TEFL book/what are the best TEFL books for a newbie like me?

Obviously, the book or books I'm looking for will need to do the following:
1) address language teaching methodology
2) have ideas for how to structure a class (course planning)
3) have speaking, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar activities
4) will refresh my grammar, and
5) will discuss adapting to life abroad, especially in Latin America/Mexico, seeing that that is where I'll be.

Also, where can I get this book/these books at the best (cheapest) price? Online from the publisher? Amazon.com? Borders? Barnes and Noble? I've noticed such books can be quite expensive, so I want to get my dollar's worth. Muchos gracias.
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Mike_2003



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but doing any course which involves some practical classroom training is worth any number of books. If I told you I wanted to drive but didn't want to take driving lessons and asked you to recommend a good book before I hit the motorway, how would you respond? It might not be a requirement for your school, but it would be eye-opening. I really had no idea what I didn't know until I learnt what I didn't know. Any, I'm sure you don't want a lecture Smile

If you really don't have the time then here are the names of some of the books I had when I got started:

"An Intro to English Language Teaching" (John Haycraft - Longman): A small book that throws up a few starting points. Actually had a couple of interesting points about culture-shock.
"The Practice of English Language Teaching" (Jeremy Harmer - Longman): Covers some topics such as how to teach the various skills, classroom management and planning lessons.
"Teaching Practice Handbook" (Gower, Phillips, Walters - Heinemann): More of the same.

For brushing up your grammar I'd recommend "English Grammar in Use" and "Advanced Grammar in Use" both published by Cambridge. They are very useful for reference, invaluable. There are many similar books on the market and every teacher has his/her favourites.

Can't help you with S. Am. specifics, sorry...

Best of luck,

Mike
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 6:42 pm    Post subject: What this newbie likes Reply with quote

Nighthawk:

Mike_2003 makes a persuasive pitch for doing a short program that gives you a chance to practice teach so I won't bore you with mine. However, may I suggest another option? You might look around in your area for volunteer opportunities. I did this a few years back and really enjoyed it. The organization I worked with was supportive and, terrible as I was, it gave me a feel for the classroom. Worth a look.

Now I'll add my favorite book to the list: The ESL Miscellany published by Pro Lingua Associates. The authors are Raymond C. Clark, Patrick R. Moran, and Arthur A. Burrows. I got mine through my university bookstore for $18 and some change. It's 286 pages' worth of material geared toward North American English for people who must teach a little bit of everything. Includes cultural material as well as grammar points and has many checklists you can photocopy for use in class. Having just begun my practice teaching, I find this book very practical and easy to use.

Suerte!
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bible of English grammar these days seems to be Practical English Usage, by Michael Swan. Terrific reference!

Books for large classroom situations are those written by Penny Ur.
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2003 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many TEFL training courses use The Practice of English Language Teaching by J. Harmer. I think that this is a really good all purpose how to book for new EFL teachers. To refresh your own grammar, Swan's is good, as Glenski said. I also like the Azar book Understanding and Using English Grammar. For reading, I really like Stories we Brought with us by Kasser and Silverman

If I had to get one book for teaching pronunciation and listening, I would probably recommend Pronunciation Pairs I can't remember the name of the author, though.

Finally, you will probably want an all purpose activity book to complement your grammar/reading and listening/ pronunciation classes. I would suggest the Communication Games series by Jill Hadfield. (The elementary and intermediate books will be all you'll need. If you can only buy one of them, get the elementary one.)

TEFL books are generally expensive. I have not found any discount sources for them. Try your local university or community college bookstore. If they have them in stock, it might be nice for you to have a look at them before you buy. Amazon has average prices, and will probably have everything in stock.
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MoggIntellect



Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Posts: 173
Location: Chengdu, P.R.China

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm doing my CELTA training right now and it is a nightmare! Shocked I guess I am having fun and all but there is so much stuff I didn't know, that I could not fathom diving right into teaching. Especially to clue you in on modern teaching methods and how to teach students more effectivly.

For this course we have been using Learning Teaching by Scriviner. This is published in the UK so you should be able to get it at a hefty price, but I find it very thorough and explains a lot of methodology.

I thought I wanted to be an EFL/ESL teacher, but then I began CELTA and now I'm not so sure. I thought teaching English was something different... so I really suggest you try before you go to your first job.
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andrea



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2003 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey mogg, you say you're not so sure you want to teach english anymore since starting your celta course...may I ask why? i'm planning on taking a celta course this summer then starting teaching in the fall...ecuador probably. just wondering what about the course is making you second guess your english teaching plans...just curious...
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2003 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I thought I wanted to be an EFL/ESL teacher, but then I began CELTA and now I'm not so sure. I thought teaching English was something different... so I really suggest you try before you go to your first job.


Mogg, quite mind fuuckking yourself and the other new users on this board and just get your self over here or there and start DOING it.

Go easy with the CELTA b.s. because No teacher is perfect and you learn through trial and error in class in many cases.

However, Good luck in your course!
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2003 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mogg- Are you in Vancouver? My husband did his CELTA at Columbia College in Vancouver (the one month full time course) and one of the instructors was particularly negative and he felt quite discouraged at the time. The thing that really kept him going was that he already had 3 years experience teaching EFL in Vancouver and Korea, and he had gotten excellent reviews and references from all of his employers. The CELTA people seem to like to make a blank slate of their trainees and then rebuild them in the CELTA mold. Unfortunately some trainers try to make you into a blank slate by being condescending and insulting.
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nighthawk



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 60
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 8:05 pm    Post subject: Which one? Reply with quote

Celeste wrote:
Quote:
Finally, you will probably want an all purpose activity book to complement your grammar/reading and listening/ pronunciation classes. I would suggest the Communication Games series by Jill Hadfield. (The elementary and intermediate books will be all you'll need. If you can only buy one of them, get the elementary one.)


Celeste, I believe I'm going to be teaching mostly adults in a Mexican language school or two. I'm assuming most of them will be at an intermediate level. Would you still recommend the elementary book over the intermediate one if I can only buy one of them? Thanks, and thanks to everyone who's responded.
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would still recommend the elementary book. The intermediate one is fairly difficult, and when I used it with my adult students in Vancouver, it really only suited those who were upper intermediate to advanced. Many of the activities in the intermediate book require the students to read a paragraph or two before they can use the activity. For most of my students (many of them from Mexico) this was quite laborious and took too long. My advanced students enjoyed this book, however.
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