Friday, September 4, 2009

What are good EFL/ESL lesson plan, activity, game, resource books for teaching English in a Korean high school? - Here's my list.

pdate: I just added a few more titles but have yet to add why they're good--look for that later today or tomorrow.

I've been asked by foreign teachers to suggest EFL/ESL book titles for teaching Korean high school students, Korean English teacher conversation/speaking/teacher training English classes, and Korean NON-English teacher conversation/speaking/English classes . . .

I started this project a week ago but have been in the process of moving into my new apartment, unpacking, and settling into my new school so things haven't quite progressed as much as I'd hoped for.

Since many, if not all, foreign English teachers begin classes next week I'm going to post my list with bare bones point form commentary and intend to add more/edit it later.

I also have a few more titles I want to add to this post--but unfortunately I am running out of time.

I hope the titles help.

The teacher dinner party is starting--time to go!


EFL/ESL Speaking Lesson Titles

1. - good for high school teachers that may not have a co-teacher in the classroom with them
- vocabulary page has English and Korean next to it, eliminating need for dictionaries and/or co-teacher for help with explaining vocabulary meanings
- use the vocab page, and then the next two pages of guided question and answer with a blank line for students to write out their own answers (prepare to speak)
- this book can be used for regular high school classes and/or Korean English teacher classes (don't use them for both)
- each unit in the book is 6 pages and it's not possible to complete an entire unit in 50 minute class
- after completing the book there are two board games in the back of the book that can be used for review
- in the back of the book are excellent vocabulary lists, and also five pages of conversation starter-cards that Korean students love

- this book would likely be good for using in a vocational/trade high school with false-beginner to low-intermediate students
- it could also be used for Korean NON-English teacher conversation/speaking classes, and also for very low level Korean English co-teacher conversation/speaking classes

- this is a great book that is a lesson and handout combined into one to two page units
- I like this book because it facilitates teaching language with STRATEGIES for using the language
- this book could be used with intermediate to advanced Korean high school students
- this book could also be used with Korean English teacher conversation/speaking classes
- while the book is expensive I think it's worth the investment if you look at it and think your personality and teaching style are compatible with the lesson designs, content, and concepts

- this book is good for foreign teachers who have to work/teach without a co-teacher in the classroom
- the English content is paired up with Korean definitions
- pictures are fairly up to date and good looking/interesting
- this book provides ready made handouts that experienced teachers may or may not need to write out a lesson outline; new teachers will need to plan what they will do and how

EFL/ESL Games and Activities Titles

- this book is the best EFL/ESL games book I've found in Korea
- in the introduction section it explains the differenes between games and activities, etc ( I don't have the book in front of me right now or I'd write a bit more about it)
- the table of contents is the best designed I've ever seen in terms of ease of access/finding what you need for EFL teachers when making lesson plans
- games are divided by concept and compatibility with type of language skill that's being taught

- I bought this book at the 2007 KOTESOL conference after seeing Andrew Wright demo the book and explain how to use it
- while it might seem to be too juvenile in content for use in high schools I think that the game types and concepts are applicable to high school level content and language goals, they just have to be modified
- there are pages in the back with photocopyable handouts and props ready for copying that students can cut, glue and make for example dice, or coloring pages and board games for use with lessons/games

- this book is awesome for small projects that can be done in one to two lessons
- this book is really awesome for summer and winter camps where you need to produce 20 hours/classes worth of lesson plans
- there is a fantasy island mulit-lesson-project unit in the back of the book that could be used for high school task-based lesson camps
- again, just modify vocabulary and language goals to be appropriate to high school students

- this book is one that helps new foreign teachers get a feel for common topics students need to learn
- the game/activity concepts can be modified to be more exciting and the degree of difficulty to be appropriate for high school students
- change the content and language goals but keep the core activity concept

High-Intermediate to Advanced High School Students, and Korean English Teacher Classes/Courses

- this book is fantasic for teaching conversation/speaking lessons for high school and Korean English teachers
- high school students need to be at least at an intermediate level of English ability or they may struggle with the content
- this book is NOT for vocational/trade high schools
- this book has great conversation strategies and cultural background info integrated into its lessons

- this book is a dream come true for foreign teachers who want to address the common errors that many Korean stuents make when using the basics of everyday English
- this book can be used for Korean high school students with an intermediate level or higher
- this book can be used for Korean English teachers with an intermediate level or higher
- there are one page cultural reading pages in each unit that are also useful for generating discussions about cultural differences

EFL/ESL Listening Titles

Summary: The Oxford Basics series is excellent. It has ready to go lesson plansfor 20 to 30 minute classes. It is extremely useful for elementary and middle school teachers. The basic lesson plans can be expanded and altered according to each teacher’s needs, and there are no special supplies or equipment needed to do the lessons.
NOTE: It can also be used by high school teachers--take the lesson concept and modify it to have level appropriate vocabulary and langauge goals. Jazz it up a little by using your imagination to add degrees of difficulty and fun. More than likely this would be used by foreign teachers at a vocational/trade high school. Just make sure you change the vocabulary and content to be a little higher and more interesting.

EFL/ESL Teaching Methodology Titles

I'd suggest new foreign English teachers check out the following methodolgy books and choose one to buy and read. Look at the table of contents and see if it has topics you are interested in reading/learning about. Check out the writing style of the author/s by reading the first few pages and see if you like the style of writing. Look in the backs of the books to see what additional resources are offered.

I still can't make up my mind whether I like Thornbury's book better or Bailey's below.

I will say that Bailey's book has the 'better' table of contents and overall organization of content in the book. I really like how there are sections that focus on specific levels of languager learners and teaching methods (i.e. children vs. adult, etc).

This book is great for helping foreign teachers to do what they need to do and then get out of the way (of course facilitating and monitoring, etc) and let the students practice and use the language of the lesson. Also, this is the book for introverted and shy foreign teachers, though you don't have to have that type of teacher personality to like task-based learning. I think Korean students really like this style of teaching and learning . . .

Here are a few other titles that I haven't had time to get the book covers and table of contents online.

Everyday Survival English, Karl Nordvall.

2005 Compass Publishing

Summary: This is an excellent book that is a lesson and handout combined on one page. Some teachers might want to make a brief outline of how they will teach the single page, but others may not feel it is necessary. This book is good for middle school students, especiallywhen a co-teacher is not present, or for extra conversation classes. It is also good for Non-English Korean teacher classes, and if you have one,Community Korean Adult classes. I also used it for my extra 1st level and 2nd level mixed class at my high school (as you teach the material you can add relevant words, expressions, etc that are not on the page). This book is good for giving new English teachers a sense ofhow much vocabulary to put into a lesson, and how much material can be covered in one class. The only thing missing is a game or activity for middle school level students;--this can be added by the teacher.

700 Classroom Activities, David Seymour & Maria Popova

Macmillan, 2005.

Summary: This book is a fantastic resource for ideas on activities and exercises for different lessons. It is divided into four categories: Conversations, Functions, Grammar, and Vocabulary. Some of the activities/exercises are suitable for advanced level middle school students, and can be modified by the teacher to suit the level and interests of the students. This book can be used for intermediate level or higher high school students, Korean English teacher trainees, and intermediate level or higher community adult English classes.


emsoo said...

Thanks for posting all these books Jason. Much appreciate :D

Anonymous said...

Where can we get these books?

Jason said...

Where can you get the books?

I think all of them except "Conversation Strategies" can be found at Bandi & Lunis or Kyobo bookstores.

Conversation Strategies may have to be ordered. I don't know why it's not a big seller, but maybe after more people check it out they'll stock it more. I'd check Kyobo for it first, but am not sure that it's there.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the clues re: english books in Busan. I am having a tough few days teaching high schoolers who hate english and likely have no use for neither me nor the language. Will try to use soem resources to make this class more interestign and less torture for them.

Jason said...


Take a look at the Jazz English books, and if those look too difficult (they shouldn't be, but might be) then check out the Projects for Young Learners and maybe do something with that--just modify the vocab and language goals for each lesson to be level appropriate.

The Basics in Speaking by Rost might also be good.

Good luck,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the book list. But, what about vocational high schools? My school's English levels are in terrible shape. They range from Mid level Middle school all the way down to Kindergarten. And none of em have a firm understanding of the basics. They don't know what nouns, adjectives, or verbs are. Either by writing it down or speaking them.

I'm having an extremely difficult time coming up with lesson plans. Because most of the games and activities that are appropriate for their level are not appropriate for their age.

Jason said...

Hi winterfall,

Try the Basics in Speaking book--might be too difficult but I don't know your students. That being said I think it could work for the levels you describe. Only bugger is when the students reach high school age and haven't mastered the basics of English getting them to behave and pay attention is a challenge.

The other book I'd try is Oxford's Speaking Activities. You just have to spice it up and modify it a bit so the guys aren't bored.

The only thing I can suggest is don't try to do developmental, building up on each previous lesson type curriculum over the semester. I'd make self-contained lessons that don't rely upon previous knowledge because the school schedules usually destroy that type of curriculum with our classes being cancelled for tests, and other stuff.

The only other thing I can suggest is that your first lesson priority should be that it's fun, exciting, and engaging for the students, and that during the class as long as the students are happy and using/speaking SOME English, and they learn ONE thing (regardless of how simple or small) that that makes for a successful class.

Good luck.

Robin Hudson said...

You get a bonus with the new edition of Jazz English . . . ME! I'm the female voice on the CD. :D

Jason said...

Robyn--that is very very SHINY!

I had no idea. I LOVE the Jazz books and have used them a billion times.

I haven't, however, listened to the CDs--now I'll have to, lol.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason, thanks for the advice. I've been in denial about their potential. I'm very sad to admit most em won't be going to college because they can't enough points on the English Section.

About 1/5th of the freshman are much lower than the rest. They cannot read, write, speak, or understand English. I need to talk to my department about them but, it seems like they've got no hope unless they do some serious studying.

jenny99 said...

Thanks a million for sharing great books~!
Are there any books to recommand for elemantary schoolers?
My students have variety abilities and they've got large gap about english skills. i'm in a comma these days....can u help me?
Have a lovely day~

Jason said...

I would check out these titles and choose the books that suit your teaching style and personality.

Good luck,

Oxford Basics: Simple Speaking Activities.
Jill Hadfield and Charles Hadfield. Oxford, 1999.
W5, 800

Oxford Basics: Presenting New Language.
Jill Hadfield and Charles Hadfield. Oxford, 1999.
W5, 800

Oxford Basics: Vocabulary Activities.
Slattery, Mary. Oxford, 2004.
W5, 800

Oxford Basics: Cross-curricular Activities.
Svecova, Hana. Oxford, 2003.
W5, 800

Storytelling With Children.
Wright, Andrew. Oxford, 1995.
Resource Books for Teachers, Series Editor Alan Maley.
W26 000

Very Young Learners.
Vanessa Reilly & Sheila M. Ward. Oxford, 1997.
Resource Books for Teachers, Series Editor Alan Maley.
W26 000

Games For Children.
Gordon Lewis and Gunther Bedson. Oxford, 1999.
Resource Books for Teachers, Series Editor Alan Maley.
W26 000

Drama With Children.
Phillips, Sarah. Oxford, 1999.
Resource Books for Teachers, Series Editor Alan Maley
W26 000

Art and Crafts With Children.
Wright, Andrew. Oxford, 2001.
W26 000

Projects With Young Learners.
Diane Phillips, Sarah Burwood & Helen Dunford. Oxford, 1999.
Resource Books for Teachers, Series Editor Alan Maley
W26 000

Art and Crafts with Children
Andrew Wright
Oxford University Press

Creating Chants and Songs
Carolyn Graham
Oxford University Press

Writing with Children
Jackie Reilly and Vanessa Reilly
Oxford University Press

Drama with Children
Sarah Phillips
Oxford University Press

Oxford Basics: Simple Listening Activities.
Jill Hadfield and Charles Hadfield. Oxford, 1999.
W5, 800

Oxford Basics: Simple Reading Activities.
Jill Hadfield and Charles Hadfield. Oxford, 2000.
W5, 800

jenny99 said...

what a tremendous books!!
Thanks a million~

acturally i'm really active and love to play game with students.

but they also should study english to enter international school and theis parents really want their english ability better.

As you recognize me, i'm korean english teacher.

When you have also any questions about teahcing, ask me, i'll answer as many as i can do.

good luck~!

Jason said...

Hi Jenny99,

I'm glad my suggestions for book titles helped you.

I don't know if I'll have too many questions for you about teaching, though, lol . . . you may not know this but I've worked as a teacher trainer for Korean English teachers at a national university of education, and also taught Korean English teachers in the 6 month teach English in English program that is offered all over Korea.

But thank you for the offer, it was cute.

Take care,

Patrick said...


Do you think the Oxford series(speaking,listening) would be suitable for middle school learners?