ELT Book and Product Reviews

Here you will find recommendations for tutors about the best materials to use for teaching English based on my experience using many books in seven different countries around the world.

Let me save you a lot of time and money by giving you my top recommendations of a ‘starter pack’ of must-have books for tutoring, based on my experience trying out close to a hundred teaching books, textbooks and teaching resources. Below are the book that I keep coming back to, because they are so well written and truly effective.

Below are my top picks for books to get you started teaching English well:

  1. Best Grammar Reference and Workbooks
  2. Best Games and Activity Books


Over the years I have tried many different grammar workbooks and reference books. It’s surprising how grammar books have changed over the years, adding more images and losing a lot of detailed grammar instruction.

Below are my favourites that have worked very well for students of mine.

Essential Grammar in Use – With Answers, For Elementary Students, by Raymond Murphy

Top Pick FOr Beginner Level Students

Essential Grammar in Use

with Answers by Raymond Murphy (4th Edition)

A great book to have on hand for quick grammar explanations and practise exercises that methodically take students through the affirmative, negative, question forms and exceptions for the most common langauge points beginning learners need to know. Includes images students easily relate to.

2. Grammar in Use Intermediate with Answer Key by Raymond Murphy et al.

Top Pick for Intermediate StudentS
Grammar in Use Intermediate

Grammar in Use Intermediate

with Answers, by Raymond Murphy et al.

This book contains the language points that many intermediate learners to struggle with. A handy reference for explanations and ready made examples to use in a lesson.

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Optional Pick

Advanced Grammar in Use

with Answers, 2nd Edition, by Martin Hewings

This book is a good reference of the finer points of English, for preparation for University and for ESL students already attending University and Post Doc students. It can be very handy to have on hand to look up how to explain complex sentence structures and more complicated grammar points..

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Top Pick For All Levels

Pictures for Language Learning by Andrew Wright (1989)

I have found this book to be an indispensible guide for making lesson to teaching all possible language points in the English Language. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone back to this book to look up activities and ways to use picutres,and how to draw easy stick images. Very frequently you will find internet connections unreliable in various countries and schools,so if you buy only one book to help you teach English, let this be it!

As they say, an image says a thousand words. One image can be used in so many ways. The activities described in this book are easy to do, and spark the imagination, leading to higher langauge retention.

Perfect for whiteboard drawings in a pinch.

The organization tips for storing printed photos and images really work and will save you hours in prep and and a lot of money compared to constantly printing out images. The ideas for physically organizing images translate well to the digital realm.

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