What Books to Use: An Overview of The ESL Teaching Materials


hey everybody it's lisa here and i'm super glad to welcome you to the
weekly live stream by itt um if you don't know me yet um
once again my name is lisa and i'm a non-native english teacher from russia
i've been working online primarily since 2020 and today
um i would like to reach out to you and tell you about um some esl course
books uh to pick out for your uh teaching
i'm not going to dig into details i'm just going to briefly present
my approach how i choose the most appropriate materials
but anyways i hope that this topic um will be interesting and helpful so uh stay tuned
uh and um let me know that you hear and see me clearly because
uh right now i i can see that there are seven people watching but i'm not sure if my equipment works
well so uh we've got this comment section uh please feel free to um send a message
there uh and this way i will know that you guys are there and you see and hear
me well okay uh and what's what's next just um yeah
uh also i would really love to know like where uh you guys are from uh
because this is the way we understand that this is a global community and it's
always interesting to uh find out about people from different uh from different locations yeah
hello guys um nice to hear you nice to see you uh not here nice to see
you yeah i can see marina uh from russia nice to see you guys thanks and there is
also court uh where are you from uh so uh let me just change my screen a little
bit let me zoom it in so today's topic is devoted to picking out uh the most exciting
materials for your um teaching uh for your uh classrooms or
maybe one-on-one students and let's just um
let's just go on uh and once again uh this live stream is provided by itttt
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uh all right so court is from greece that's awesome um is it really early in greece now
are you an early bird uh so it's 10 a.m in my place um i'm located
uh in the euro region of russia which is pretty far from moscow
uh so my time zone is two hours ahead of moscow
so um it's it's not that early but it's not uh this usual regular time
where uh when when i go live well anyways um this is how um i'm going to do uh
these live streams uh in the following weeks yeah oh okay so um it's 8 00 a.m
in greece so it's probably the same uh time zone as in moscow okay
nice uh so let's move on and start today's topic start today's presentation um i believe
that it will take approximately 40 minutes or so if you guys have any
questions feel free to um write them down via the comment section i will try my
best to assist you and i'll try my best to help you out
okay um and let's start so when it comes to uh
picking out uh some teaching resources usually um especially if you work
online uh you start searching the net and try to find some
ready-made materials and uh what i noticed is that many teachers
neglect using uh ready made course books i don't know why but
there is this uh trend in the esl community that um it is always better to
take some random materials or create
unique materials by your hands and just not to use this solid and
trustworthy uh course books uh which is i believe um is not correct
uh so it is always better to um pick out something trustworthy
some something really solid and here on this slide uh you can see several publishers
which are 100 um good uh in terms of teaching english
as a second language or as a foreign language uh just because um these
publishers uh they have a long-term basis um of creating materials and
creating courses um curriculums for esl students um so
i believe that you can read this slide but anyways uh i strongly recommend uh
checking out your oxford university press if you haven't already then it's cambridge um
you probably also know pearson or macmillan but i know that not many
people know that national geographic also creates
esl materials and this is probably the most exciting publisher among all of
these ones because um it provides different types of english so they
publish books in um in the british english variant and in the american english
variant so um you can actually choose between uh two types of english
and take that book take that course book which is the most um suitable for your
students uh and they also have uh some other benefits uh i'm going to dwell upon that
a little bit further uh in this presentation so um let's just move on um and i believe that
as for the rest of this uh publishers uh they are pretty well known and
you've probably worked with them already yeah just let me know in the comments
section uh if you have already came acro if you have already come across
uh some of these publishers um let me know if you worked with them okay
and uh when we when we move on to the problem of um picking out
those books um yeah hello guys thanks for tuning in uh we are talking
about picking out uh different um esl materials for english teaching
um and to be more exact we work with uh some different course books today so we
look at different course books okay so um
when it comes to the problem of choosing some specific materials there is
a really challenging issue which stems from
the needs analysis sometimes especially if you work in some public
schools or even in private schools they usually have like their own
curriculum and you can't choose anything you just work with the things they give
you but if it's not your case you would probably
have to start from the needs analysis uh what is um the needs analysis
uh it's actually a pretty um wide notion um
so but um just in in um
brief words briefly describing neet's analysis consists of um the student's age
skills and interests so before you start working with someone or with a group for
example uh you have to consider how old they are and what are their skills
in english and then you look at their interests so as for me when i start working with
new students before going to actual teaching and
before having those first lessons with new students um i usually give them a questionary
uh and ask about their background uh things so um
for sure um i i try to um [Music] um i try to understand uh at what
level they are and what are their interests but you know sometimes um i don't know
why but people don't want to share these things and in some
countries i know that the topic of age might be really um
private and people also don't want to um say like uh how old they
are so it's it's really funny but um yeah it's it's how it works um
i'm not sure why uh it's actually happening but uh as a teacher uh you can always um
explain your uh prospective students that uh you uh have to uh
get this information uh because you want to create a really unique and individual
program so um for the needs analysis just make sure that you understand
what age is your student um so from from what age group they are
um especially it's also important when you work with um large groups as
well um when they are not adults obviously but when they are maybe
teens or even children so age is still important because um it helps you out
on the further um stages of picking out different materials
then as for the skills parts i usually give them
a test a placement test just to find out what they already know and
uh what are some challenges uh and it it is actually really helpful
because um sometimes students say like oh i don't need any grammar i don't need
any vocabulary i'm pretty good with about it but when it comes to this placement test
i kind of find out that actually they do have some problems and this is
uh what we will look at um of course uh you can be
also um you can work with this problem in
different ways and different directions some students especially some adult
students they don't want you to actually like teach them
they want you to be a kind of a guide or a mentor for them so um
you you can just give them some individual approach
but at the same time teach them in this usual way
if you know what i mean i hope that you know if if not just let me know that um
something isn't clear uh in my explanation uh because sometimes you know uh in my
head it sounds pretty obvious but um it might sound um not that clear
to the listeners to the audience so uh after the skills analysis after
the skills uh investigation uh you would probably need to understand some basic interests
like if they enjoy doing sports or i don't know what what else um
taking music lessons whatever so you need to understand your students even if
there are a lot of them um i know that working with groups is
[Music] a tougher question is a tougher issue but anyways um
step by step you get to know uh more and more people uh from your group and this is the way
you find out about their interests so after doing this
initial needs analysis uh you can actually move on to the to the
next step where you pick out um those materials pick out those course books and start
creating your um individual lesson plan individual um curriculum
uh for those specific students okay and um i uh
here on this slide i would like to uh explain briefly how to work
with those publishers and how to choose between like uh how to choose among hundreds of
course books of nice course books uh those ones which you um would really
benefit from i'm not sure if you see this slide
clearly but hopefully uh let me just change the screen
this way so so um every publisher when you go
on their websites they have this different types of catalogs uh and
it's it's pretty convenient uh in terms of um choosing books
um on the basis of skills or on the basis of age groups for
example so on the left here um there are just two two examples uh so on the left there is
this oxford uh publisher uh oxford uh university publisher um oxford
university press yeah and on the right uh there is mcmillan
i believe um i don't actually remember but anyways so if you compare these two
types of catalogues you would probably notice that uh oxford press uh they
prefer to structure they prefer to list their materials according to skills
so um as a teacher after taking this needs analysis
you already have information uh on your students skills and this is the
way you can pick out um the most appropriate course course book
um so yeah like this uh if you for example understand
that uh your students um need to get prepared for some i don't know
some professional uh things for example for a business
trip or something related to their work you would you would be
able to pick out some books which are uh targeted at those specific
needs um and this is the way you should work with your um catalog
on the other hand uh if uh you believe that age group is more important
you can go to um you can go to find um the most appropriate
um workbooks or course books um listed according to the
age group yeah like like here for example uh if you want to address uh the needs
of your very young learners who are like five years old or six years old
uh you can go to um this listing and find all the materials
uh there so this is the general uh idea of how to
pick out the most appropriate course books and uh last but not least uh what
i would like to share with you is my personal choice uh so i usually
uh look at the age groups um i don't usually distinguish um
by skills because i know that um skills are usually uh
strongly connected with the age groups so for example when i work with younger
children um i use um something like uh fun or power up by
cambridge um also th these books uh can be accumulated to the needs of
any students but because i work with exam preparation i pick out
those books which gradually prepare students for taking one of the
cambridge exams for example fun or power up
those are the books which are designed to prepare for early
learners young learners exam exams by cambridge like uh
movers um yeah starters movers and flyers there are three uh general
uh english tests for young learners by cambridge then power
up for example is also uh designed to prepare for more advanced exams like
um key uh and what else uh preliminary yeah so b1 tests
uh but these course books uh are primarily for children
uh be for children from six not probably from seven to
twelve years um if you choose uh fun or power up for your uh 13 years olds
they would probably consider those books as books for children and they won't be
really engaged engaged and interested so make sure you pick out um
the most appropriate book uh according to the age as well because like um if you work with
children you you probably know the difference between 10 years
10 year olds and 13 year olds the gap between those age groups is
really huge so it is extremely important to choose
an appropriate course book um and as for teens um i
really like this series called english in mind it is also by cambridge
and it is structured to prepare students um to teach students some general
english skills like reading listening speaking and writing
it is really solid uh it's one of those oldest um series by cambridge
um so i i really like this course book because all
topics are quite um familiar
and anyone can relate to them and another series which i constantly
use with my preliminary exam students
is this complete by cambridge there is another course book which is also suitable for
this exam preparation uh it is called uh prepare and i believe
that it is actually pretty similar to complete uh but complete is probably based
on a more uh general approach versus prepare because
different books by cambridge or any other publishers
they are also designed using some specific methodology um
for example complete uh is more uh general like um it is not i can't say
that uh it's a grammar translation approach uh not for sure
but it's like a mix of lexical approach and grammatical approach
probably um yeah like that and uh now um let's have a look over
these last points uh young adults and adults so there are three
uh nice course books yeah three nice course books in total by
national geographic and i would probably um i would probably say that
those books are just super cool especially if you enjoy this
lexical approach and you work with students uh who are interested in everything
happening around them in everything happening in this world because
national geographic creates beautiful materials they also have
a lot of additional materials except those course books but
they are just really awesome and um as you can see they are also created
with the help of ted talks so um when it comes to
perspectives or uh to keynote uh those books are based on different
ted talks so uh each topic starts uh with something leading to
watching that one of those videos and the choice of videos is just perfect
uh so if it is something that you've been doing like i know that many
teachers create their own materials based on ted talks and if it is something that you have
done already probably you spent a lot of time and you spent a lot of energy which is
actually really good because um you are a motivated person who wants to give
um the best to students but um there is those there are those books uh
which are really helpful and they are uh already based on tech ted talks
um and it's a great idea to choose um this or that book
based on your students age and just use it and
give this value to students and yeah as i have already mentioned
those books like perspectives or keynotes and outcomes as well they have a lot of
additional materials and if you buy um course books um you would probably have
a special code uh which you will be able to use on their website
and download uh some additional materials like posters what else some um
some additional videos um audios and whatsoever so
um i strongly recommend checking out those uh course books they are called
perspectives keynote and outcomes
outcomes um are not designed uh using the ted talks however they are
still really engaging and they are nice uh to be used with some adult
students um with business students probably as well because uh topics are really um advanced
um and what what what i would like to mention as well is that
uh these course books are full of interesting vocabulary of proficient
vocabulary uh and um as for me so
i work with my uh b2 plus students with a group of b2 plus students and we
work using outcomes um for b2
and vocabulary there um sometimes looks like um the same
vocabulary for the c1 or even c2 level uh in some different series of books
for example um i have been preparing for the cpe exam and i have been using
objective this this series called objective
objective proficiency and um vocabulary in this objective proficiency
course book is pretty similar to the outcomes b2
so uh probably i would say that materials by national geographic are more advanced
and um at the same time the language there is super um modern
so i know that like in some places in some schools um uh
course books are pretty old-fashioned and they are outdated so if you pick out national
geographic you would probably guarantee your students this quality and this um
modern approach and modern language so that that is um what i wanted to
tell you about my favorites and yeah that is actually all um
um what i wanted to share with you um related to picking out different
materials and um yeah this is the last stage where i would like to mention that um we have
this uh qr code if you scan it um you can get um a 30 discount
of uh any tefl courses um and by the way if you want
to learn um a little bit more about uh this needs analysis um
this is uh what we actually have in the course so um if it's some something interesting
to you uh just feel free to follow this link from the chat box or scan the qr code
and right now guys if you have any questions related to today's topic let me just
change the slide um so that everyone could see the topic yeah here we go
uh if you have any questions related to today's problem to today's topic yeah
feel free to ask me um i will try my best to help you out and the last point to mention
um i have a facebook group for esl teachers and for this networking
if you have any further questions a little bit later you can reach me out via this link from
the chat box or you can contact me directly on facebook so um if you want to add me as a friend i
would be super glad because uh i really like to uh meet other motivated people who are
interested in english uh and in teaching english so just feel free to um follow those
links and um that's it and if you have any questions
right now just feel free to uh to ask feel free to send them in your
[Music] comment section and now let me see um some some comments from the previous
um yeah some previous comments yeah i see that there are people from so many
different countries so here is gift from thailand
i love thailand and um germany alina nice to see you
okay here is min min p from myanmar i hope um i pronounced your
name correctly um i'm sorry if not
and sri lanka so so nice to see this many people from um all different
parts of the world thanks a lot for coming and there is
a question by cheat uh so could you teach in zoom yeah this is
actually uh my primary way of teaching
i work using zoom from time to time i have some students who prefer
skype but they are really rare zoom is probably the most convenient way
but apart from zoom i would also recommend you um this service called discord
some people really enjoy discord uh because it's more convenient there
are different options how to uh organize group uh chats uh and as far as i know
uh chord is absolutely for free um comparing to
what comparing to zoom so uh if you are looking for
the most convenient service to stream your lessons to um to create lessons yeah to deliver
lessons discord might be um a great alternative
yeah so uh cheat is also from myanmar nice i would really love to visit this
country um i haven't had an opportunity in in the past
but uh i used to live in thailand and in china so i
i should say that i really love asia and i would i would love to come back one
day and to travel around those countries especially in the south east asia
because the weather there is so nice and people are always smiling you know it's so
pleasant to see um smiles every day
so if you have any further questions yeah you can actually ask me about
online teaching if you are interested in this topic uh or if you have questions related to
tefl t-soul whatsoever feel free to ask feel free to
send your messages in the comments and um i'll try my best to help yeah
so oh uh by the way i actually wanted to ask you um about the ways uh you look for your
students um do you have any problems with that or uh you have found your best recipe
how to find students how to start teaching students
and also let me know if you work um one-on-one or if you teach
groups so let's let's have this talk right now uh
i i'm really curious about the mode of teaching you prefer uh so as for me i'm an
online esl teacher i work with international students from different uh
parts of the world uh we work using zoom but sometimes we
also work on skype um what else i choose um i i also teach
um i also prepare for um cambridge exams and aisles uh so this is how
my work is organized and um the way i look for students is
usually um the word of the mouth so sometimes my students recommend myself to somebody
else and um also what um
also i use my social media to um say my friends and uh their
their friends that i'm teaching and this is the other way how students find me
yeah okay uh rumah says that they are struggling
to teach introverted students do you mean you have troubles working with those
students who are pretty close uh closed and who don't want to open up
uh could you give me some more details please okay so um if if
this is the problem um um i would say that the the best approach
uh to work with such students would be uh to
uh make sure that you connect with them and that you build
um this report early on um so usually uh
it's a great idea when you start working with someone and you realize uh that they are
introverted they don't want to communicate that much
it's always a great idea to have some activities related to sharing
your experience and their experience for example uh recently i started working with a new
student and um the first lesson was devoted to um to meeting each other to getting to
know each other uh and i had several activities
related to sharing my story and i um motivated him to
share his story as well uh so there would be the first game would be
uh to truth i know um one truth and two lies some something
like that um so i uh wanted him to understand where i lied and
uh what was um real uh and he really got excited he got
really excited um and then he quickly shared uh his um lies and his truth
uh so that was a moment of bounding um so my general recommendation
would be uh try to uh come up with several activities
uh to build this relationships so if it's um one of the first lessons
it's crucial uh if it is further on um and you still work with those
students who don't want to open up uh try try to give them some warmers
some activities uh to share their stories uh to open up um another problem
might be that those students are unaware of their english skills
and they don't want to talk with uh to you uh because they are doubting if they
speak correctly if they make mistakes or so something like that
um for this occasion it is um super important uh to let your
your students know that you are not just a regular teaching from a public
school classroom you don't you are not going to assess them you are
not going to evaluate them you are just going to be
a guide in english and if you do so if you explain
that your work is different from the work of a classroom teacher they
would probably um trust you a little bit more and gradually
step by step they will also open up okay all right
all right so uh alina says that they are having difficulties uh to deliver
classes um in english to young students
well uh so that was my problem when i worked in china um so um the
general idea of teaching in english only is that especially with young younger
learners is that you create this um atmosphere you create this
environment so uh try to um
well try to put yourself on um native speakers of a native speaker
mother's uh place some something like that you know like
when you start teaching your child english or another language
you don't give them anything super hard anything super challenging you just
start gradually and this is probably the best way to
also get this communication and get this relationships
simply because younger students they they don't have um this awareness of their own language
of their mother tongue so make sure you give something
uh easy something something challenging but easy and at
the same time you should create this wow effect you want to give something
exciting and engaging so probably but the choice of materials must be really
concise um so make sure you try different um techniques and
if you see that students don't respond to some material some cards for example
just try to replace them try to pick something else and if you work online
it's a great idea to use puppets probably because
it helps to grab this attention yeah and also i know that on some
uh online teaching services which provide services which provide lessons to
young learners they have long pretty long lessons like um
let me think like 25 or 30 minutes with youngest students it might be too
long so probably it's also a great idea to recommend parents or to recommend your i don't
know supervisors that it is better to shorten lessons with um this or that student with some
particular students because they just can't comprehend and can't um
pay attention for a long period of time yep
yeah uh videos are really nice uh but with younger students
you would probably need to um level that up because if you use too
many cartoons for example it's also not not that good um probably you could vary
audios and videos yeah that's right but at the same time reading strategies
are crucial for younger students so probably choosing some books some story
books would be a better idea
all right guys so uh that was a really interesting conversation
um i would really love to see you sometime again and as i have already
mentioned i have this group for teachers
on facebook um if you would love to communicate with me a little bit later
uh if you want to ask any questions related to teaching i don't know tefl tesol whatever feel
free to join my group uh and add me as a friend um i will try my best to help you out
and i believe that uh today's topic um it was
really engaging and interesting uh if you have any requests for
this further live streams feel free to suggest me as well
and as for now thank you so much for coming to today's session
uh i would really love to see you next time next week so um have a great day
and see you next time see you next week bye bye guys