This is the first of a series of guest posts the TDSIG will be publishing, and I was inspired by the list of top 10 books that did the rounds on social media recently, so I’ve invited a few people to share their top 10 teaching books, and invite any of you reading this to get in touch to make your own lists or to add to ours. Our first guest blogger, is a Brazillian teacher trainer and materials designer, who speaks at international conferences regularly. Malu is particularly passionate about creativity in the classroom. You can read more about her here. It’s with huge pleasure that we publish this post:

10 Books that have shaped my teacher training

Malu Sciamarelli

Books can be imposed on you by the course you are attending, suggested by teachers and teacher trainers and (perhaps the most valuable) sought out by you to delve into a topic of interest. Whichever route led me there, some books have shaped my career as a teacher and teacher trainer. It was a hard decision to choose only ten to share, but I think these are the ones that have influenced me the most:

1. Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener.
It is an excellent introduction to the methodology of teaching English as a second language. It covers all the practical information needed to begin the journey as an EFL teacher in a clear and engaging way.


2. An A-Z of ELT by Scott Thornbury.
Every teacher and teacher training should have this book: it is an alphabetical list of key ELT terms and concepts, and their relevance to the field.


3. Sound Foundations by Adrian Underhill.
For me, it is the best book on raising awareness of pronunciation and how to teach it.


4. Practical English Usage by Michael Swan.
It is a must for EFL teachers and non-English speakers. It contains many examples of common grammatical problems which may cause difficulty to foreign learners, and also their explanation with great examples of correct usage.


5. A Course in Language Teaching by Penny Ur.
It is a basic introduction to teaching languages and can be used by groups of teachers working with a trainer, or as a self-study resource. It is a great resource for ideas.


6. English for the Teacher by Mary Spratt.
This is a book that enables teacher to improve their language ability for a number of purposes, but what I like about it is that it invites teachers to comment on the learning value of what they are doing, and thus discuss and reflect on different ways of teaching and learning.


7. Second Language Writing by Barbara Kroll.
It approaches the theory and practice of teaching writing to students of English, and also sets out key issues in second language writing instruction to offer teachers an accessible and authoritative guide to writing instruction.


8. Teaching Children English by David Vale and Anne Feunteun.
It focuses on an activity-based approach to teaching young learners, and examines the educational and linguistic needs of children. It includes stories, rhymes, songs, with practical language tasks.
9. Teaching Unplugged by Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings.
As the book description says, “it challenges not only the way we view teaching, but also the way we view being a teacher”. Dogme, first presented here, has made me see my teaching from a new perspective.


10. The Teacher’s Voice by Alan Maley.
Just recently, I found out how important the voice is for language teachers, and it made aware of the valuable asset that we put to daily use. The expressed aims of the book are: “raise awareness of the importance of the voice in professional and personal contexts; impart practical skills; provide self-help and class activities; offer information on use of the voice.”


I would love to know if you read any of these books, and your opinion about them. And also, the books you would add to my list.