Best ELT Books – What teachers need for their professional development

Professional development books

Looking for the best ELT Books for professional development? Well, you came to the right place. The following are some of the most influential books for English language teachers.

professional development books range from books on theory of language learning to books that highlight the best teaching practices. As a teacher of English you want to get deep insights in theoretical frameworks of language teaching and learning as well as practical day to day tips to help you teach the different language components: vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening , speaking and writing. The following books help do just that.

Best ELT Books

1. An A-Z of ELT by Scott Thorbury

This is a fully cross-referenced, alphabetical ELT resource that defines and explains essential language concepts and terminology from fields including grammar, linguistics, discourse analysis, phonology, and much more…

2. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching by Richards, Jack C.; Rodgers, Theodore S.


A popular book! Richards and Rodgers survey both major and alternative approaches and methods. A must read book!

3. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching by Douglas Brown

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the theoretical framework that has shaped language teaching.
4. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy by Dr. H. Douglas Brown and Dr. Heekyeong Lee

Dr. H. Douglas Brown and Dr. Heekyeong Lee offer a comprehensive survey of practical language teaching options firmly anchored in current research on second language acquisition and pedagogy.

5. Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices by H. Douglas Brown and Priyanvada Abeywickrama


Thus book provides teachers with a clear presentation of the essentials for assessing second language learning fairly and effectively

6. Learning teaching by Jim Scrivener

This is one of the best ELT resources.  It is a fantastic teaching textbook for initial training courses, and also an essential handbook for practising ELT teachers.

7. Practice of English Language Teaching (with DVD)

The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Hammer is a must read ELT book. It covers practically all the topics related to English language teaching.

8. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language

This is a comprehensive ELT resource, that provide both new and experienced ESL/ELT teachers the theoretical background and practical applications they need to decide which approaches, materials, and resources can and should be used in their classrooms.

9. A Course in English Language Teaching by Penny Ur

A comprehensive resource fo ELT teachers that introduces various English language teaching topics.

10. Planning Lessons and Courses: Designing Sequences of Work for the Language Classroom

Planning Lessons and Courses by Tessa Woodward
As a practical guide, this book deals with the kinds of everyday questions working teachers face as they plan lessons and courses.

The book not only highlights some relevant issues about teaching English but also includes an analysis of the issue under discussion, as well as practical principles and sample activities.

Each chapter is a mine of practical knowledge for ESL and EFL teachers.

11. How To Teach English (with DVD) by Jeremy Harmer

How To Teach English is an introduction to the teaching of English. Its focuses on practical issues. It is an appropriate resource for self-study. The first chapters are related to topics such as as “how can we be good teachers?”, “what makes a good learner?” and “how can teachers make classes better?” In the next chapters, the book looks at specific practical teaching methods, particularly in relation to the four skills, as well as offering ideas on textbook use, lesson planning and coping with the unpredictable events in the classroom.

For each chapter a range of tasks is provided to stimulate debate and further thought.

12. How to teach grammar by Scott Thornbury


This book describes methods for presenting and practicing a variety of grammar points. It also covers a wide range of other related topics, such as dealing with errors, and integrating grammar instruction into general methodologies such as task-based learning.

13. How to teach vocabulary bu Scot Thornbury

A very inspiring book about teaching vocabulary that is both accessible and content-rich.

14. How to teach writing by Jeremy Harmer

This book contains an uncomplicated analysis of the nature of writing, particularly in terms of process, product, and genre.

15. Five-Minute Activities: A Resource Book of Short Activities by Penny Ur and Andrew Wright

Five-Minute Activities is a collection of over 100 ideas for the foreign language classroom.  It is an invaluable source of ideas for language teachers that provides short activities for the language classroom. These activities are designed to combine learning value with interest and enjoyment. Most of them can be adapted to suit classes of different levels of ability, and in many cases there are additional suggestions for variations or extensions of the basic activity. Almost all the activities can be student-led.

16. Designing Language Courses: A Guide for Teachers

Designing Language Courses is a guide for teachers  to design course.

In addition to being a clear and comprehensive overview of course design, Designing Language Courses provides a practical guide to designing language courses by encouraging teachers to explore ways of planning and organizing content, and evaluating materials.

Another practical book!

17. Practical English Language Teaching (A Course in English Language Teaching) by David Nunan

Practical English Language Teaching offers a complete andpractical overview of language-teaching strategies and methodology for newer teachers seeking background and guidance, and for experienced professionals looking for refreshing new ideas.

The book provides an overall introduction to key aspects of language-teaching methodology in an accessible, non-trivial way

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