Hello! My name is Marianne and I’m glad you’re here.
This site is for ESL Tutors and Learners of Any Age
New tutors and teachers of English (ESL and TESL): get insider tips and tutorials for learning how to tutor effectively and profitably in my blog, ebooks, courses and articles in which I list the best books and products I have found for teaching English.
Learners of English (any age or level of learning): find great stories in English to read and useto learn English, and you can book classes with me. Free Trial Lesson.
Specifically, on this site you will find:
Articles with useful tips, how to’s and book reviews for teaching and learning English.
Artiicles wih specific recommedations for the best books and products to use to teach English.
Carefully curated lists of great fiction stories that I have personally used that worked extremely well for teaching English to students of various ages and all learning levels.
Access to courses I offer for new tutors and people learning English on the Learn with Marianne page.
I have been tutoring and teaching English in international schools, private language institutes,training centers and as a private tutor on four continents, in seven countries (Thailand, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, China and Mexico) over the past 15 years. I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies and a CELTA teaching designation.
My passion for children’s and YA literature led me to developing entire courses for learning English based on fiction books.
Calling all tutors!
Feeling daunted by the task fo teaching another human the English language?
Don’t worry! I ‘ve got you covered
I remember how overwhelmed I felt when first learning how to teach English. I could speak English, but could I teach it? I would spend hours pouring over textbooks and coursebooks,looking at grammar websites, and combing the bookstores for the best books for teaching activities and games and tips for explaining English grammar and pronunciation.
I’ll be honest. In the beginning, a lot of my lessons did not go well at all, because I didn’t know what to say, how to say it, the order to teach language points in, or I did not know the level of the student before class started. As a result I wasted time preparing lessons my students didn’t need and so, bored them, or hadn’t prepared the foundational instruction they needed in order to succeed at the topics listed on the curriculum.
I was constantly annoyed by coursebooks that promised to be complete and comprehensive that weren’t, with gaping holes in what was included, and minimal exercises that worked will to practise the target language. Most books lack of explanatory notes for teachers, and include poor examples, or not enough examples to attain mastery. Many times the coursebooks I was told by school administrators to use did not match the actual language levels of my students, and I had to scramble to modify them and make my own materials. It took a long time to find the best grammar books that had explanations the students understood quickly and easily and teaching books that were worth the money to buy for their useful activity and game ideas and instructions, and the best workbooks and websites to use for supplemental drill practise.
I quickly realized that you can’t rely solely on gapfill coursebooks and workbooks if you want your students to attain real fluency in a language.
My CELTA teacher training was excellent training for learning how to create an effective and engaging lesson from scratch and how to supplement coursebook materials, but it was a steep learning curve, with much trial and error.
All this changed once I started using fiction stories (complete stories, not just excerpted paragraphs) as the basis of courses, rather than coursebooks. With stories, I found it easy to use the stories as a springboard for teaching reading comprehension, listening, speaking and writing skills.Lessons were much easier to prepare and the context of the story provided any examples I needed to illustrate a grammar point I wanted to teach. Great fiction stories exist for students of all ages. Best of all, I noticed my students fluency and ability to truly communicate with grammatical accuracy in English skyrocketed.
This was it!
I had found what I had been looking for for many years. An easy, engaging and effective way to teach English that the students found memorable and fun, and that did not take a huge amount of additional preparation to do, and that did not rely on a high speed internet connection.
The courses I developed based on books were such a hit with students in China that there as a two year wait list for all my courses at the training centre I worked at after school and on weekends.
In this website I will share insider tips on how you too can succeed at teaching English, quickly and easily, and share the best stories I have found for teaching English at each age (kids, tweens, teens and adults) and learning level (from total beginner to university and near native speaking levels). I also include a ‘tutor’s Starter Kit of core books to buy to aid you as a teacher, to save you time, effort and money in the long run.
I WANT TO HELP YOU MAKE THE BEST DECISION WHEN SHOPPING BOOKS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH
The English Language Teaching Materials marketplace is a hodge podge of books from big publishing houses and independent sellers. The kind of books available for teaching English has changed dramatically over the past few decades, from text-heavy textbooks to books with far less text and explanations, and more flashy images and multimedia support ( videos, audio files and online activities and downloadable additional content on publisher websites). However, I have found the newer coursebooks lacking in grammar and hardly any programs focus on teaching phonics anymore, which is a foundational skillset that helps ESL students immensely.Many of the publisher websites are a nightmare for studnts to navigate and use and the activites are not engaging or what you want the student to spend time doing. Furthermore, the internet connectivity in many countries is not consistently good enough to rely on for teaching a class.Books are a solid and dependable choice and always work and can be easily adapted for any language learning purpose. Books win, hands down, in my opinion.
It’s a jungle of websites and resources for a new tutor to navigate and figure out what they really need and what works best. Some of the best books have fallen off the top of the seller lists because they are older and what is new gets top billing by the publishers so they can make back their money on producing them. I’d like to help you. I have acquired some valuable tips and knowledge about assessing and choosing the best books for teaching English and that students have read and enjoyed and learned English well that I would love to share with you.
Following my recommendations and advice can save you hours of time and effort in preparing your lessons and will greatly increase your chances of success in your lessons, which will lead to retaining students and attracting more, so that you can build a profitable tutoring business.
MY GOAL IS TO HELP YOU BECOME A SUCCESSFUL AND PROSPEROUS TUTOR BY USING GREAT BOOKS AS A BASIS FOR YOUR LESSONS AND LESSON PLANNING.
By comparing books, listing their pros and cons, and the addition of helpful teaching advice (what worked well and pitfalls to avoid), I can assist you in making an educated decision on which is the best, most economical and most effective book for your student, no matter what their age or English ability.
MY ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO HELP PEOPE OF ANY AGE LEARN TO SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND ENGLISH WITH CONFIDENCE, QUICKLY AND IN A FUN AND MEMORABLE WAY.
THis is why I created the lists of fiction stories for learning English. I also will tutor privately and in small classes online, setting up personalized courses for students. FREE TRIAL CLASS to see if we are a good mutual fit. I have had years of teaching success and I love teaching, so I offer my expertise in private classes online.
All the best,