Someone on our post-CELTA support group asked the question the other day… Did anyone have suggestions on how to spend a £500 budget (!) on books for the staffroom for those teaching young learners?
These would be my suggestions, with the cash left over being spent on giving each teacher their own personal copy of the first…
A skill you can teach yourself…
First a supremely useful skill, which will entertain and teach your young learners, and will save you ever again having to waste your life stealing pictures from Google-is-Evil:
- 1000+ Pictures for Teachers to Copy, Andrew Wright (Longman): Unquestionably my first choice, this book gave me the most useful skill I've learnt in nearly 30 years in teaching [Amazon]
A bit of theory…
Then a bit of theory, with plenty of practical ideas in these three books too:
- Teaching Languages to Young Learners, Lynne Cameron (CUP): Essential background reading, you don't want to teach young learners without being familiar with what's in this book [Amazon]
- Teaching Teenagers, Herbert Puchta and Michael Schratz (Longman): Definitely my next choice. In my experience, one of the vital things about teaching kids is your attitude to them: this book changed my attitude to kids, radically so [Amazon]
- How Languages Are Learned, Patsy Lightbown and Nina Spada (OUP): One that all language teachers should read [Amazon]
Books full of practical classroom ideas…
And then five great resource books in the superb Oxford series:
- Drama with Children, Sarah Phillips (OUP), [Amazon]
- Storytelling with Children, Andrew Wright (OUP), [Amazon]
- Art and Crafts with Children, Andrew Wright (OUP) [Amazon]
- The Internet and Young Learners, Gordon Lewis (OUP) [Amazon]
- Writing with Children, Jackie Reilly and Vanessa Reily (OUP) [Amazon]
I put drama and storytelling first in my list there deliberately, with arts and crafts next. One of the most frequently asked questions on our support group is "Can anyone suggest games for young learners?".
But, at least in my own experience, I've found that drama and stories and making things are often in the end more engaging, more entertaining and more language-rich than most "games".
Oh, go on then, there's also a Games for Children in the same Oxford series…