ESL Library Suggestions and Selected Book Descriptions

This is not a complete list, but a sampling of the resources available in the Council's library.


ESL A1: General Texts

Emergency English: A Handbook for Tutors

The Emergency English Workbook: Everyday English

Lifeskills 1 Workbook

New Horizons in English


ESL A2: Coping Skills

Foundations: This is a low-beginning textbook with a variety of activities that include matching, crosswords, word searches, and opportunities for students to talk/write about themselves. It could serve as a wonderful supplement when working on such topics as housing, health, emotions, and weather.

Lifelines 1, 2, 3

Looking at American Signs

A New Start


ESL A3: Pronunciation/Intonation

Holiday Jazz Chants: This is the holiday version of the ever-popular Jazz Chants series. These are perfect for breaking routine and introducing an important aspect of American culture. Use them in conjunction with ESL Teacherís Holiday Activities Kit (ESL A9) to create the perfect holiday lesson plan.

Pronunciation Contrasts in English Listening Comprehension

Before Book One: Listening Activities for Pre-Beginning Students of English

Improving Aural Comprehension Listening In and Speaking Out

Whaddaya Say? Guided Practice in Relaxed Spoken English


ESL A5: Grammar

Intermediate Grammar--From Form to Meaning and Use: This text is ideal for students with a good knowledge of grammar, but a need to iron out some of the trickier points. The explanations are clear and easy to understand. Exercises include not only sentence completions, but use reality-based charts and forms to ensure true comprehension of the grammar point. The corresponding teacherís manual offers lesson ideas and includes quizzes and an answer key.

Practicing American English: Pattern Drills for Oral and Written Practice

Side by Side


ESL A6: Writing/Composition

10 Steps: Controlled Composition for Beginning and Intermediate Language Development


ESL A7: ESL Literacy

Read All About It: According to the author, Book 1 is for high-beginning and Book is for high-beginning to low-intermediate. These texts contain interesting readings and a variety of activities to work on all aspects of vocabulary building and reading comprehension.

ESL Literacy Kit--First Steps in Reading and Writing

A Handbook for ESL Literacy Lifeskills 1--First Words

Starting to Read (follows First Words)

In Print--Beginning Literacy Through Cultural Awareness

Language Experience Approach to Reading and Writing

Longman ESL--Literacy Passage to ESL Literacy

Many Literacies--Modules for Training Adult Beginning Readers and Tutors

Sounds Easy series (phonics)


ESL A8: Workplace ESL

English That Works--Work Safely

The Working Experience 1-3


ESL A9: Tutor Resources

English as a Second Language--From Theory to Practice

Games and Butterflies--I Speak English

Teaching Adults--An ESL Resource Book Teacher

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages--A Guide for the Volunteer


ESL A10: English Through Music

If You Feel Like Singing (American folk songs)


ESL A11: Dictionaries/Phrase Books

The New Oxford Picture Dictionary: This new version of an old favorite incorporates grammar and usage on the student page. The teacherís manual holds an abundance of ideas and tipsógreat fun to use. Donít forget to practice using The New Oxford Picture Dictionary Beginning Workbook and the Intermediate Workbook.

Classic Classroom Activities (The New Oxford Picture Dictionary Program): Although these were obviously designed with the classroom in mind, many of these activities can be used one-to-one with minor adjustments. While workbooks provide great practice, they are more structured. Activities like these allow the student to use and manipulate vocabulary and language skills.

What Are Those Crazy Americans Saying? (idioms)


ESL A12: Skills Development by Language Group

Citizenship: Passing the Test. This is a beginning-level introduction to the vocabulary and ideas encountered in the citizenship test. Not intended to fully prepare a student for the test, it is a way to introduce the concepts that will be studied in more detail as a studentsí English skills improve. There is also a corresponding teacherís guide.


ESL A13: Conversation/Vocabulary

Getting Along With Idioms: Unlike many idiom books, which may introduce words in lists or as dictionary entries, this text allows you to readily adapt lessons to the topic you are currently working on with your student. If your student is studying to get a driverís license, for example, there is a lesson specifically addressing that topic with phrases such as run over, back up, and slow down. A dialogue is followed by exercises to reinforce the studentís understanding of the word/phrase and its usage.

Idioms in American Life: Jazz Chants

Live Action English--Picture It

Reply Requested (advanced)


ESL B1: Cross Cultural

American Cultural Encounters

Culture Shock: What It Is and What to Do About It

Culturgrams (culture sheets on 102 countries)


ESL C: Readers/Stories

Coming to America--The Electric Elephant and Other Stories

The Family from Vietnam--Family Life in the USA

The Magic Village (Guatemala)

The Race (Columbia)

The Trip (China)

Personal Stories 1-3--Stories from the Heart

Stories to Tell Our Children

Fitting in Series--Honorable Grandfather (Taiwan)

Woman's Work, Man's Work (Mexico)

Youíre Not My Father (Laos)

Line by Line (correlated in grammar to Side by Side)