Top 10 English coursebooks for adult learners.

Let’s face it. Traditional coursebooks can bore your students to death. We already have left behind audio cassettes era but also audio CDs are in twilight of their lives. Today you have to rock your classes with digital materials to keep them attentive, motivated and productive. This is why I have prepared for you the 10 best English student books for adult learners list (general profile language course) which is based solely on my personal experiences. If you feel as if you are one step behind, this list is a perfect starting point for you to look around for the best proactive teaching solutions.

Nowadays people are constantly stimulated by a hectic way of life: always in hurry, inundated with information, doing a couple of things at the same time so there is nothing surprising in fact that they crave for stimulation during your classes as well. They are mainly focused on results – fast! They want to start speaking and thinking in foreign language right here and right now. This is why you should have also focus on technological innovations which make teaching more creative and engaging. To support your passion for teaching, publishers goes at war against another preparing mind blowing digital companions to the student books which focus mainly on interaction. Those digital packages include:

  • increased realism audiovisuals which not only arouse interest and improve language comprehension but also reduce pressure involved in learning process,
  • real-life texts, articles and topics to which students can relate,
  • simulations which reflect use of real language in action,
  • entertaining language learning games,
  • dialogues which can be watched and then practised,
  • photocopiable worksheets and activities,
  • workbook keys etc.

So as you can see all your teaching materials are gathered in one place. Convenient, right? All you need is an interactive whiteboard, computer and data projector or if you conduct one to one English classes, or in small groups, you can simply use your laptop.

The good news for self-starters: all of those resources can be used single handed!

It is worth mentioning that all of those student books, teacher books, workbooks and digital learning materials are demonstrating the power of diversity. They have blurred boundaries between racial and ethnic groups, varied ideological outlooks, gender, disabilities and economic status. But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The list. All of the books presented below go with a comprehensive set of whiteboard materials and MultiROMs. Please note that the products are also supported by publishers’ websites where you can find additional materials, games, grammar activities etc. :

  1. Oxford New English File (my personal favorite) which is available in two versions: American and British. It is filled with authentic material such texts and in-the-street-interviews, documentary videos etc. It is advertised as „the best way to get your students talking” and I must say it really is! There is a good variety of exercise which cover speaking, listening, writing and grammar in well-balanced proportions. It goes with phone and tablet apps.
  2. Cambridge English Unlimited which is an authentic English course that allows it participants to communicate effectively in real life situations. Believe me that this coursebook will lead you by the hand and there is almost unlimited source of additional materials to it which can be easily found online.
  3. Oxford English Result comes with a promise of a „strong focus on student motivation and communicative speaking outcome”. I haven’t been disappointed in this products. It’s very useful. If you have experienced some difficulties with demotivated students, this coursebook is tailored just for you.
  4. Pearson Longman Language Leader „provides a thought-provoking and purposeful approach to learn English.” Personally I found it a widening horizon tool as it contains a massive amount of authentic and extremely mature material on society, engineering, technology, history, environment, medical science etc.
  5. Cambridge Touchstone Blended Learning „the world’s first fully blended four skills English course which allows both class room and on-line learning”. This is great teaching aid that helps everyone to benefit from blended learning environment. Unfortunately it is available only in American English version so please don’t wait for British one as the publisher is being highly reluctant to do so. Nevertheless, there are several fantastic versions published in British English so let be it.
  6. Macmillan Global make even use of social media applications. It is said to „promote critical thinking skills”. My observations? Layout is not cluttered. There is a lot of free space for taking notes. Really put together, stunning work. What is more important about this book is that students are to chew over their learning styles and take responsibility for the whole process. This kind of reflection is highly appreciated by teachers, right?
  7. Pearson Longman Cutting Edge 3rd Edition which is based on „task-learning approach”. Those passages marked as tasks encourage discussion and give times for students to think about what they are going to say. It contains Language Live pages that „show students real-life functional language through DVD or audio clips”. What attract me most there are downloadable audio and video files for mobile phones. Neat.
  8. Oxford English for Life. It is designed for „learner who want to learn for specific purposes or just prefer a much more straightforward approach to learning”. The most appealing for me is that a single page stand for a complete lesson which has just one learning focus. If patience is not one of your students virtue, then you should consider this course.
  9. Oxford Network „harness the power of social networking to help student learn English”. Personally, I love this easy to teach one-page, one-lesson, one-outcome approach. The most intriguing aspect in this series is an interactive teaching tool which helps to track your students’ progress and communicating with them outside the class.
  10. Pearson Longman Face2Face 2nd Edition „places a strong emphasis on reviewing and recycling, helping students to learn more effectively and retain more”. The Get Ready Get it Right section give students a chance to prepare for speaking exercises. What can I say? It really focuses on speaking and listening skills. If you encountered some problems while teaching speaking and listening skills in your class, you will be overjoyed with this book.

Disclaimer: Please note that all of those propositions are dictated solely by my own personal teaching experience and are not intended to advertise any mainstream products. If you want to share with me your thoughts and opinions on those language teaching materials please feel free to use comment box below.

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