The Best Books for English as a Second Language (ESL) Self-Study

shelved under Education

As a professional ESL teacher, I feel these are the best books out there for an ESL student, whether he or she is learning in a classroom environment or at home.

Also, these books are not only for students, but for any teacher, manager, or family member of an ESL learner.

Fundamentals of English Grammar (with Answers)

Fundamentals of English Grammar (with Answers)

by Betty Schrampfer Azar

Flashlight Worthy says:

  • For beginner or low intermediate students
  • Book includes an answer key
  • Book is organized clearly by grammar point
  • Information is presented in useful, simple charts
  • Sample sentences use natural-sounding idiomatic North American English
  • Exercises follow the presentation of each grammar point, for learner practice.

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Understanding and Using English Grammar (with Answers)

Understanding and Using English Grammar (with Answers)

by Betty Schrampfer Azar

Flashlight Worthy says:

  • For intermediate or advanced students
  • Book includes an answer key
  • Book is organized clearly by grammar point
  • Information is presented in useful, simple charts
  • Sample sentences use natural-sounding idiomatic North American English
  • Exercises follow the presentation of each grammar point, for learner practice.

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Basic Vocabulary in Use (with Answers)

Basic Vocabulary in Use (with Answers)

by Felicity O'Dell, Michael McCarthy

Flashlight Worthy says:

  • Book includes an answer key
  • Book includes useful strategies for memorizing vocabulary
  • Vocabulary terms are organized by subject matter (work, sports, education, the media, etc.) and also by lexical type (uncountable nouns, discourse markers, common compounds, etc.)
  • Sample sentences use natural-sounding idiomatic North American English
  • Exercises after each topic allow students to do self-study, with answer key

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Vocabulary in Use: Intermediate (without Answers)

Vocabulary in Use: Intermediate (without Answers)

by Ellen Shaw, Stuart Redman

Flashlight Worthy says:

  • Book does NOT include an answer key (the edition that includes answers seems to be out of print. It can be purchased from other sellers here.
  • Book includes useful strategies for memorizing vocabulary
  • Vocabulary terms are organized by subject matter (work, sports, education, the media, etc.) and also by lexical type (uncountable nouns, discourse markers, common compounds, etc.)
  • Sample sentences use natural-sounding idiomatic North American English
  • Exercises after each topic allow students to do self-study, with answer key

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English Vocabulary in Use: Upper-Intermediate (with Answers)

English Vocabulary in Use: Upper-Intermediate (with Answers)

by Felicity O'Dell, Michael McCarthy

Flashlight Worthy says:

  • Book includes an answer key
  • Book includes useful strategies for memorizing vocabulary
  • Vocabulary terms are organized by subject matter (work, sports, education, the media, etc.) and also by lexical type (uncountable nouns, discourse markers, common compounds, etc.)
  • Sample sentences use natural-sounding idiomatic North American English
  • Exercises after each topic allow students to do self-study, with answer key

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Vocabulary in Use: Advanced (with Answers & CD-ROM)

Vocabulary in Use: Advanced (with Answers & CD-ROM)

by Felicity O'Dell, Michael McCarthy

Flashlight Worthy says:

  • Book includes an answer key AND a CD-ROM
  • Book includes useful strategies for memorizing vocabulary
  • Vocabulary terms are organized by subject matter (work, sports, education, the media, etc.) and also by lexical type (uncountable nouns, discourse markers, common compounds, etc.)
  • Sample sentences use natural-sounding idiomatic North American English
  • Exercises after each topic allow students to do self-study, with answer key

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Essential Idioms in English: Phrasal Verbs and Collocations

Essential Idioms in English: Phrasal Verbs and Collocations

by Robert J. Dixson

Flashlight Worthy says:
This book is arranged by level of commonality/difficulty from “at last” to “give him a big hand.” It also includes many phrasal verbs and collocations. It has lots of practice exercises, is perfect for self-study and has a useful dictionary skills section at the end. As a bonus, there's an appendix that offers translations of all the entries into Spanish, French and Portuguese.

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Focus on Pronunciation 1, Beginning

Focus on Pronunciation 1, Beginning

by Linda Lane

Flashlight Worthy says:
This book comes with a listening CD and includes mouth diagrams and practice exercises.

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Focus on Pronunciation 2, Intermediate

Focus on Pronunciation 2, Intermediate

by Linda Lane

Flashlight Worthy says:
This book comes with a listening CD and includes mouth diagrams and practice exercises.

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Focus on Pronunciation 3, High-Intermediate to Advanced

Focus on Pronunciation 3, High-Intermediate to Advanced

by Linda Lane

Flashlight Worthy says:
This book comes with a listening CD and includes mouth diagrams and practice exercises.

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