CELTA: Key Book Recommendations

By Donna Hutchinson
Newly-qualified TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

As promised, I’m giving you my book tips for surviving your CELTA course. Last week I mentioned that as well as all that lovely teaching, there are also assignments that need to be done. Throughout those four weeks, the help I received from my tutors and my peers was invaluable, but so were the following books:

Good All-rounder
This is your TEFL bible. An all-rounder. It will help you in all aspects:

Grammar
There are plenty of grammar books out there. You will need to use them for your assignments, but they are also infinitely helpful when preparing for lessons.  These two are my favourites:

Another excellent grammar book, which anticipates the problems that students may have and was especially helpful during my CELTA:

Aside from theory-based/academic books, I think it is also an excellent idea to have your own textbook or workbook, so that you can brush up on your English knowledge in the same way that your students would. It is best to get these at an intermediate level. A textbook is better as you can feel out all the aspects of learning English rather than just grammar, for example.

For a textbook I recommend:

(Note: you may also need the teacher’s book for the answers, but some textbooks have them in the back. Make sure to check!)

I’m certain that as with my CELTA course, you will be provided with a reading list. I can safely say though that at least the first four will be in there. As for textbooks and workbooks, these are more down to personal taste, and you will get to feel out which you like and which you don’t; there are many out there!

Aside from being essential for getting me through my CELTA, I have been using all of these books since I’ve been teaching, so I definitely see them as an investment. Most schools will also have their own copies, and I have used exercises straight out of Murphy and Swan & Walters in my lessons.

On your CELTA, you are not expected to have expert knowledge of all the ins and outs and little crevasses of the English language, but you are expected to learn and these books are here to help. Do not underestimate their power. Without Muprhy, I am nothing in a grammar lesson.

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