The TDSIG Team would like to wish you all a wonderful weekend, with this wonderful post from Anna Musielak.

Anna is a Polish teacher and teacher trainer with a Ph.D. from Silesian University. She has worked at the military unit, at college, teaching British Literature and Culture and as methodology director in a private language school. She has also published articles on literature, culture and language teaching. Currently she cooperates with Oxford University Press Poland and teaches English to young learners and adults.

Anna is interested in using drama, music and literature in ELT. She strongly believes that a lesson carried out with enthusiasm and passion is an unforgettable experience for the learners.

It’s with huge pleasure that we share this post with you all.

Ten books that shaped my teaching 

by Anna Musielak

The books I have chosen inspired me as a student of English and helped me with my teaching career. As it was really tough to obtain books when I was at University, I had to rely on my friends and relatives living abroad. That is why I cherished every book I got! So here is my list of the must-haves.

  1. Gary Larson The Far Side Gallery (Warner Books)

I love the element of fun, absurd and humour on my lessons. I use Larson’s cartoons for so many classroom activities – to prompt discussions, develop stories or even to create drama-based games.

  1. Saki The Best of Saki (Penguin Popular Classics)

I remember being “forced” to read difficult passages of Saki’s stories by my high school tutor. She made me memorise the grammar structures used, lexical chunks and really obsolete words…But the good thing about that was that she always asked me to summarise the story – showing me that cramming words without understanding them and knowing how to use them naturally is pointless. I remember the rewarding feeling of being able to understand the wit and humour of those stories.

  1. Gordon Dryden and Jeannette Vos The Learning Revolution (Polish Edition Moderski and S-ka Ltd)

That book was an obligatory reading at my University. I have to admit that some of its topics (read 4 books a day and learn a new language in 8 weeks) seemed a bit far-fetched to me. But I remember the positive feeling I got after reading the and the realization that I am capable of so much more than I expected.

  1. Charlyn Wessels Drama (OUP)

I have always loved to use drama in the ELT classroom and that book showed me how to incorporate drama not only to improve spoken communication skills but also to teach literature and prepare various performances with my students.

  1. Ken Wilson Drama and Improvisation (OUP)

I think the name of the author speaks for itselfJ It is a must for every drama teacherJ

  1. Małgorzata Zdybiewska 100 Language Games (WSiP)

That’s the book I used to rely on when preparing my first lessons…It is a very useful resource offering a collection of vocabulary, structures and language skills games.

  1. Alan Maley Short and Sweet (Penguin English)

Short and sweet proves that teaching literature does not mean tedious word checking and reading boring texts. It shows teachers how to use short pieces such as headlines, haikus, poems and proverbs to help students develop not only reading skills but also speaking and writing,

  1. Jonathon Green Dictionary of Contemporary Slang (Macmillan)

That book was a present from my friends and what can I say – the knowledge of slang is necessary;)

  1. Penny Ur Grammar Practice Activities (CUP)

I think it is safe to say that not only students but also teachers fear grammar – that is why I find this book very helpful. It shows us how to teach grammar in a meaningful and imaginative way.

  1. William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet

I love this play and I believe that Shakespearean themes are timeless. Romeo and Juliet can be used as a spring board for creating texts, projects, performances, discussion and so much more…