8 Tips to Help You Choose an ESL Coursebook for Your Class

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Finding the right coursebook is one of the most important tasks a teacher needs to undertake. This quick guide will help you in your decision-making process and point you to some of the resources on this site that can help you find the right coursebooks and supplementary materials for your course.


  1. Evaluate the makeup of your class. Important considerations include the age, final course (are the students going to take a test?), objectives, and whether the class is made up of students learning for work purposes or for a hobby.
  2. If you are teaching a standard test course (TOEFL, First Certificate, IELTS, etc.) you will need to choose a coursebook that specifically for these tests. In this case, make sure to choose the coursebook based on the age of the class. Don't choose a book that prepares for another test as these tests are very different in construction and objectives.
  3. If you are not teaching a standard test course, are you going to teach a standard syllabus or do you want to focus on a specific area such as conversation or making presentations?
  4. Standard syllabuses require books that will cover grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
  5. If you are teaching a non-standard syllabus class, maybe focusing on one skill set, you'll need to get some resource books for your classroom work.
  6. If you would like to take a different, non-grammar based, approach then take a look at either the lexical approach (focusing on building language skills from vocabulary and linguistic forms) or the Brain friendly approach (focusing on bringing a wide variety of learning types into play).
  7. If you are going to teach a Business English or ESP (English for Specific Purposes) course you will need to not only find a standard special English book but also use the Internet as a means of finding specific information and content related to the industry.
  8. You may also want to consider using the software as a means of extending the possibilities in the classroom.
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Beare, Kenneth. "8 Tips to Help You Choose an ESL Coursebook for Your Class." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/how-to-choose-a-coursebook-1209072. Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 27). 8 Tips to Help You Choose an ESL Coursebook for Your Class. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-choose-a-coursebook-1209072 Beare, Kenneth. "8 Tips to Help You Choose an ESL Coursebook for Your Class." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-choose-a-coursebook-1209072 (accessed May 29, 2023).