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Thread: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

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    Non Sibi Sed Omnibus Array Umbuku's Avatar
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    Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Does anybody have any suggestions for helpful textbooks that show not just grammar rules but suggest an overall framework for teaching the English language?

    Most book series I have used in schools and language classes follow a similar pattern of instruction.
    Alphabet - Phonics - Vocabulary
    Simple verb to be (am, is, are) - personal pronouns
    Articles a and the - this, that, these and those
    Prepositions of place and time
    Past simple
    Present continuous
    and so on...

    This is where I find that text series tend to diverge in their curricula, eventually ending up with harder concepts like idioms.

    I have several texts on grammar and its use, and on how to teach points of grammar. The most helpful for me has been “Grammar for English Language Teachers" by Martin Parrott, a Cambridge University Press text. Alongside the "Essential Grammar in Use" books by Raymond Murphy I have had no problems learning or dealing with teaching points of grammar.

    I think it would be helpful to read a text not centered on the instruction but on the framework of how the language should be acquired from beginner level to advanced learner.

    Any suggestions?
    Faith, by itself, isn't a good enough reason to believe. Instead, a belief must be defensible through reason, logic, and evidence.
    The idea that faith is somehow justified by the fact that the beliefs cannot be proven is a truly Orwellian position to adopt - not to mention intellectually and ethically dangerous.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    I wish there was a book too. There's so many variables to learning English, access to T.V, computers, to native speakers. Problem for Thailand is so few are taught phonics and therefore can't read their textbooks. For me reading and the skills are the first and most important thing. simple speaking comes at the same time. Next comes verbs, verbs and more verbs followed by the ability to ask questions. Totally depends on your students but for me if they can't read at matayom level, you have to go back and teach them. There are no short cuts.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by peelieorion
    For me reading and the skills are the first and most important thing. simple speaking comes at the same time.
    Yes, phonics is sadly neglected by most foreign teachers and therefore the students reading ability suffers. Most foreigners who come to teach here usually haven't even heard of phonics and were never actually taught it themselves so disregard its importance. I know I was one until my second year here and I observed some P6 students who couldn't even read simple words like 'at' or 'it'.

    There must be some texts based around the methodology of teaching the language.
    What texts do university lecturers use to teach BEd's in ESL or TEFL in our home countries?

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    You might start with reading some of Stephen Krashen's work on the natural approach.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Thanks ks.

    Books and Articles by Stephen D Krashen

    A lot of his essential theories appear to be online too.

    Language acquisition is a subconscious process not unlike the way a child learns language. Language acquirers are not consciously aware of the grammatical rules of the language, but rather develop a "feel" for correctness. "In non-technical language, acquisition is 'picking-up' a language."
    Language learning, on the other hand, refers to the "concious knowledge of a second language, knowing the rules, being aware of them, and being able to talk about them." Thus language learning can be compared to learning about a language.
    Herein is my dilemna and one I believed is shared by a majority of TEFL teachers. We have all learned by acquistion and communicating our knowledge to our students requires us to think in terms of learning.


    I'm looking for texts that will help me later with my BEd studies in Australia as I'm planning to take as many subjects and electives as I can in ESL related fields.


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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    I don't have one of the top of my head, but there is a good list of books that you can sift through on this page.

    Textbooks - Cambridge University Press

    The internet has tons of information related to grammar acquisition.

    This one is quite in-depth and helpful.

    INDEX to the Guide to Grammar and Writing

    These are the books that we used during the CELTA course.

    CELTA Booklist

    I'd recommend using any of the books listed under methodology and grammar.


    I wish you the best of luck!

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    How to Teach English, Jeremy Harmer, Longman, 2002, ISBN: 0582297966
    Learning Teaching (2nd Edition), Jim Scrivener, Heinemann, 2005, ISBN: 1405013990

    The Practice of English Language Teaching (3rd Edition), Jeremy Harmer, Longman, 2001, ISBN: 0582403855

    I've heard of this text from other CELTA graduates before.
    I'll find it and give it a read as I'm thinking of doing a CELTA in the first year back home before starting the full Bachelor programme in 2009.

    Google revealed he is a resident on this forum board as well.

    ELT Forum - An interview with Jeremy Harmer


    Jim Scrivener looks good as well.


    Cheers pb!

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbuku
    Thanks ks.
    NP's Umbers
    you might also want to check out some of Trd Powers work; English language learning and teaching

    He has done some nice stuff on typical L1 interference patterns amongst L2 learners.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    From Ted Powers
    Published course and suppplementary materials for TEFL

    A Course in Language Teaching Penny Ur [*****] [British based]
    The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages Ronald Carter (Ed.), David Nunan (Ed.) [*****]
    [Nunan is from Australia, but is currently based in Hong Kong]
    Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language Marianne Celce (Editor) [*****] [N. American based]
    Learning Teaching Jim Scrivener
    How to Teach English J. Harmer
    The Practice of English Language Teaching J. Harmer
    A Training Course for TEFL Peter Hubbard
    Practical Techniques Michael Lewis and Jimmie Hill [easy overview for trainees embarking on CELTA courses]
    A Practical Guide to the Teaching of English Wilga Rivers, Mary Temperley [an American based classic of its time]

    More gold.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Do you mean a textbook to help you plan...or...a textbook for purchase and use by the students? The English in Mind series is ok for classes...considering most textbooks here are TESL and not TEFL.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbuku

    I'm looking for texts that will help me later with my BEd studies in Australia as I'm planning to take as many subjects and electives as I can in ESL related fields.

    Some names to also look up
    Jean Lave
    Etrienne Wenger
    Howard Gardner
    Bob Moon
    Jenny Leech
    M Halladay
    Michael Breen
    Vygotsky try looking here Soviet Psychology: The Vygotsky Internet Archive
    Piaget
    Chomsky

    Man the list is endless, but google sometimes turns up some torrents.

    However I would suggest that you try to get hold of the reading list for the degree you plan doing.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    I can't imagine even entering a classroom in Thailand without Vygotsky and Chomsky by my side.



    Neither have anything to do with how to teach structure as far as I remember, though.



    Piaget I particularly recommend.

    Always important to know what time it is.

    Last edited by Cyrille; 9th November 2007 at 23:07.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrille
    I can't imagine even entering a classroom in Thailand without Vygotsky and Chomsky by my side.
    Do you know Dave at TEFL International Ban Phe by any chance?

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    umbuku, not as learned or up to date with good theories or books but I'm sure most books assume the learner can read english. where they can't I have the answers that have in 18 months taught kids from without the alphabet to be able to read fluently. this has worked for 90% of my 175 Isaan kids from 6-13. they learn for 3 hours a week and virtually none learn at the weekend. Not sure if this is any use but pm me if you want more info. I thnk this is the area that causes Thailand the biggest headache. The vast majority of kids I meet at 10-12 years old can't use a dictionary, can't read simple words, have never been taught phonics, do not understand even simple question words. this having studeied English for 4 years. i was recently asked to asssess a local schools m3 students. this school achieved number 4 out of 22 schools inthe local area in the M3 exams. Of the 37 students at least 12 had the reading age of my P3. Only 4 knew 15+ of the 20 most common verbs in English. the problem for me is most here are teaching the grammar and tenses to kids who's basic english skills are virtully zero. i'm not blaming the ferrangs here who are teaching to a set curriculum but i'm nt in the slightest suprised that Thais copy. for me its not laziness, its because they don't have any or virtualy no reatined english. If we were given a thai book we couldn't read and a thai teacher who jabbered on without a word of english, i'm not sure any of us would retain much either.

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    Re: Teachers’ books for English Language Structure

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiling
    Do you mean a textbook to help you plan
    Yes, plan lessons and also plan curricula for EPs.

    Quote Originally Posted by kidneystone
    I would suggest that you try to get hold of the reading list for the degree you plan doing
    I will but I have a year free before starting the degree, for establishing my family and setting up a good house and routines. In that time I'd like to read around the field a bit so I'm not walking into the subjects blind to the materials already out there. I will read summaries and overviews of many books and cherrypick those that seem to be the most respected by the academic community or interesting to me.

    I thought this list might also be very useful to others who want to expand their knowledge of English teaching methodologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by peelieorion
    pm me if you want more info
    PM sent.

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