5 of the Best Books for Teaching English to Adults
Posted by UNI-Prep Institute - 14 Feb. 2018 - Teaching Articles

Teaching adults comes with its own unique differences, goals and joys. Being able to relate to your students on a personal level is fantastic and helps you understand their motivations, ambitions and targets. Generally speaking, adults are more focused and motivated than children and teens due to different learning goals. Whether it be to learn quickly in order to improve their chances of gaining advanced employment, as a hobby or for current employment specifications, normally they are there because they want to be. Developing the neural pathways of language can also take a little more time with adults which is why they may suffer frustration in a shorter time period. Fun, engaging, interesting topics and exercises help combat this and keep them motivated.
From teachers just starting out to skilled teachers with decades of experience, this book makes every teacher’s job easier. Written by a professional in this field, there are hundreds of ideas, helpful hints, games, quizzes and activities to engage even the most shy or anxious of students. Injecting fun and laughter to your classroom, it also frees up your time to engage with your students more. Pair work, group work and solo activities cover everything from directions to talking about peoples likes and dislikes. It also helps with uniquely adult dilemma’s like unpredictable class attendance due to work or family commitments.

REA's English the American Way: A Fun ESL Guide to Language & Culture in the U.S. with Audio CD + MP3

A fun guide to everything American for the English language learner!

The warm and witty authors of Celebrate the American Way: A Fun ESL Guide to Language and Culture in the U.S. get you started on your ESL journey with English the American Way: A Fun ESL Guide to Language & Culture in the U.S.

English the American Way is your companion to everyday life in the United States. Engaging, easy-to-follow chapters highlight important topics in American culture, such as: making friends, getting around, dining out, dealing with money, buying a home, what to do in an emergency, visiting the doctor, handling a job interview, and more.

Our ESL author experts (Sheila MacKechnie Murtha and Jane Airey O'Connor) give English language learners must-know vocabulary, commonly used phrases, wacky idioms, and sample dialogues that illustrate everyday American life. You'll have fun along the way as you improve your English language and grammar skills with sentence completions, quizzes, and helpful tips.

Practice speaking English like an American until you're perfect! Improve your listening and speaking skills with the dialogues included on our audio CD and MP3 download.

English the American Way is an excellent resource for ESL students and teachers, English language learners, and professionals of all ages and all nationalities.

If you're looking for a fun and easy way to improve your English language skills, this is the book for you!

Don't miss the second book in the series… Celebrate the American Way: A Fun ESL Guide to English Language and Culture in the U.S.

Designed for someone who has never written in English or only written a little, this is an excellent reference and teaching tool for beginners all the way through to advanced students. Covering the essentials of writing, how to write in English and practice exercises to put this into practice helps them quickly gain confidence in their writing skills. Extensively cross referenced with other sections of the book, it reinforces what has been learnt and boosts confidence quickly. Students can also work self-paced with answers to the exercises provided in the back of the book. Perfect for budding writers, journalist and those just looking to improve their writing skills.

Compelling Conversations is perfect for conversation clubs, private tutors, and conversation courses!

This innovative English as a Second Language (ESL) textbook helps advanced English Language Learners develop conversation skills and improve fluency by sharing experiences, reflecting on their lives, and discussing proverbs and quotations. The ESL book includes 45 thematic chapters, over 1,350 questions, 500 vocabulary words, 250 proverbs and American idioms, and 500 quotations. Designed for both adult education and intensive English language students, the conversations deepen critical thinking skills and speaking skills essential to success in community college and university programs. Compelling Conversations has been used in classrooms in over 40 countries, is recommended by English Teaching Professional magazine, and enjoyed by thousands of English students.

About the authors

Eric H Roth teaches international students the pleasures of writing and public speaking in English at the University of Southern California. He has also taught various ESL courses at Santa Monica College, UCLA Extension, and Cal State-Long Beach. Roth also taught university students in France and Spain and directed the summer program at APU International High School in Vietnam.

Toni Aberson taught English and supervised English teachers for 35 years, and believes that a lively classroom is the optimal learning environment.

User reviews

Compelling Conversations' topics are timely, meaningful, and presented in such a way as to stimulate immediate class participation. Marc Yablonka, Author & ESL Teacher, LAUSD Adult Education

The students I tutor are well-educated adults, reich in culture and experiences. This book allows them to produce natural conversations using what is most intimate to them: their lives and their culture. Patricia Schulze, ESL Tutor

Book reviews

English Teaching Professional, January 2009 

Compelling Conversations is a recommended resource for teachers who want to make their conversation classes more learner-centered. It should be especially appealing to those who wish to escape the confines of the Presentation-Practice-Production approach and do without a formal grammatical or functional syllabus. It reflects the authors' considerable professional experience, and would be a notable addition to any English teacher's bookshelf. - Hall Houston


This outstanding resource (Compelling Conversations) allows teachers to confidently walk into an advanced ESL classroom with self-contained, engaging conversation lessons... I wish I would have had that book in my old adult/university classes. A great book for adult education teachers, university instructors, and private tutors!" - Eric Busch

Santa Monica Daily Press, 1/16/2009 

Have you been looking for a good ESL manual? If you have, I think Compelling Conversations is one to consider. ...This manual will go best with the advanced ESL student or even at coffee shop conversation clubs. It will bring about authentic, not stilted communication, which should be the purpose of an ESL course. It is easier for a person to learn a language through conversation rather than by a given list of vocabulary words. That is what makes this a welcome addition to the material which can be used for the immigrant who must learn English to advance in the world. - Dane Robert Swanson

Teaching Adult ESL is the first comprehensive yet practical overview of adult ESL teaching methodology for teachers and teachers in preparation.

Young learners (ages 1-4),
General English,

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