Summer is a great period of time not only for relaxing, recharging and refreshing but also for reading fascinating books. While some teachers challenge themselves by choosing books for professional development, others prefer curling up on the sofa and reading their favourite fiction. Whatever your summer reading preference, we have made a list of both fiction and professional books released recently.
Books on Teaching
One of the greatest obstacles students usually face is speaking. Even if they do know the grammar or the vocabulary, they sometimes feel too shy and lack the confidence to talk. We as teachers must always be ready to implement lots of interesting topics, ask corresponding questions and provide vocabulary lists to help them overcome this obstacle.
In case you teach teens and adults, you will definitely need the book “67 ESL Conversation Topics with Questions, Vocabulary, Writing Prompts & More: For Teenagers and Adults” by Jackie Bolen. The book consists of 67 conversation topics, such as Countries, Dating and Marriage, Communication, Childhood, Clothes and Fashion, with warm-up questions, vocabulary challenges, idioms and phrases. It is quite handy because it saves your time when planning lessons, encourages students to talk about interesting things and improves their English.
This is another interesting book written by the same author where she suggests some fresh, interactive and student-centred ideas to use in your ESL classroom. The activities and games introduced in the book are not time-consuming and are easy to use with teens and adults. In the first part of the book the author shares tips for using interactive games and activities and explains why you should use them in your classroom. The second part focuses on the best games for students of all levels.
As educators of the 21st century, we must be certain that our students gain not only knowledge of the English language but also life skills. Life skills are essential for success. They equip students for their future, support their educational journey and help them to find work. In our previous article you can read about “What life skills should we teach teens?”. If you are searching for techniques to teach life skills to your students, you will definitely find the book Fifty Ways to Teach Life Skills: Tips for ESL/EFL Teachers useful. It provides fifty inspiring, practical tips and activities to enhance students’ social, academic and critical thinking, as well as digital and work skills. This book suggests ideas to incorporate life skills into your ESL classroom.
The previous year has proved that not all teachers are ready for transforming their face-to-face lessons into online courses. Lack of digital and organisational skills led to a mess. To avoid such unpleasant situations in the future and to be well equipped for online classes you will definitely need a timely guide like the book “Teaching in the Online Classroom” by Doug Lemov. It is an essential tool that helps teachers to:
- learn strategies for engaging students more fully online;
- find new techniques to assess student progress from afar;
- discover tools for building online classroom culture and combating online distractions.
This book was released in 2020 by Jocelyn Pollak and Whitney Williams. It provides practical lesson ideas, warm-ups and icebreakers, engaging activities to practise speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
This book is not about teaching, however, it is quite useful for every teacher. It describes ways in which today’s standard British English speech differs from the upper-class accent of the last century, Received Pronunciation, which many now find old-fashioned or even comic.
This is a thriller novel by American author A. J. Finn, published in 2018. Anna Fox suffers from agoraphobia due to a traumatic car accident and lives in New York City. She recently separated from her husband but they still talk frequently on the phone. Anna spends her days drinking too much alcohol, playing online chess and watching old movies. She also spies on her neighbours. One evening, while looking out the window, Anna witnesses her neighbour Jane being stabbed and calls the police. They deny that anything has happened. Another woman claims to be Jane, so the police also don’t believe Anna.
After reading the book, I would strongly recommend watching the recent adaptation on Netflix.
The Giver of Stars is a 2019 historical fiction novel by Jojo Moyes about librarians. It is the story of five extraordinary women and their journey through the mountains of Kentucky. The main character of the book, Alice Wright, marries a handsome American man, Bennett Van Cleve, and moves to Kentucky. But this small town quickly proves claustrophobic, especially living alongside her father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books to people in the mountains of Kentucky during the Great Depression as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new travelling library, Alice agrees immediately.
This book is a masterpiece of contemporary drama and tells an amazing story about the strength of the human spirit to follow their dream. Once a bestselling author, Melissa is now having a quiet life after losing her son. However, when she bought the old house Melissa found a purpose to continue her life. Thus two courageous women turn the loss into reconnection.
What’s on your summer reading list?
Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.