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Recommended Reading

  • This page is a compilation of reading material that the faculty and students of the TESL program have found to be useful for the classroom, personal growth, and pedagogical enhancement. We hope that you will find something helpful here for your own needs!


Recommended Reading for:

Teaching Methods/Pedagogy

  • Han, Z-H. , & Anderson, A. (2009). Second language reading research and instruction: Crossing the boundaries. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
    This book presents new research on teaching reading in a second language.   Rather than deciding if second language reading instruction should be comprehension-oriented, or if it should be language-oriented, a case is made for reading instruction which improves both comprehension and acquisition.  The authors discuss what elements of language can be learned through reading and present effective reading instruction for English Language Learners.

  • Hedgcock, J.S., & Ferris, D.R. (2009). Teaching readers of English: Students, texts and contexts. New York: Routledge.
    This book brings together current reading theory and research with practical, field-tested strategies for teaching reading to second language learners (L2) on the high school and college levels.  The book covers the features of L2 texts that teachers should understand in order to design reading courses, select materials, and plan instruction.  Practical methods are given for assessing L2 students’ proficiency and progress.  Each chapter includes questions for reflection and application activities.
  • Hudson, T. (2006). Teaching second language reading. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book is recommended to those teachers who want to improve their strategies in teaching second language reading. It is also a good source to understand the reading process. Teachers who grasp the content of this book will be able to be more effective in class and therefore see better results through their teaching.
  • Nation, I.S.P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book gives a detailed survey of research and theory on the teaching and learning of vocabulary.  The author describes what vocabulary learners need to know to be effective learners.  Among the topics covered are the goals of vocabulary learning; knowing a word; teaching and explaining vocabulary; specialized uses of vocabulary; and vocabulary word study strategies.

  • Nation, I.S.P. (2009). Teaching ESL/EFL reading and writing. New York: Routledge.
    This guide for teachers and trainees is a great source of techniques and contains a thorough description of a balanced literacy program for developing the skills necessary for reading and writing. This book explains how to lead extensive reading groups in order to become a faster reader.
  • Savage. J. (2007). Sound it Out! Phonics in a comprehensive reading program. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
    If you are a teacher or trainee who is interested in learning how phonics fits in the process of a child’s learning, Sound It Out is highly recommended. It explains how phonics can be incorporated professionally into an effective classroom reading program. It includes a rich, detailed suggestions for practical classroom applications and it includes many different teaching approaches for reading and spelling.
  • Swan, M. & Smith, B. (Eds.), (2001). Learner English: A teacher’s guide to interference and other problems. (2nd edition). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    “Learner English is a well-established and successful reference book for teachers of British English. This new edition builds on the success of the original book. It has been rewritten and extended to provide information on the typical problems and error-patterns of a wide range of learners of English from particular language backgrounds. It compares the relevant features of the students’ own language with English, helping teachers to predict and understand the problems that students have. Audio CD is available separately. These contain authentic examples of the various accents described in the book.” Cambridge University Press, Apr 26, 2001 
  • Richards, J. C. (1994). Reflective teaching in L2 classrooms. Cambridge U P.
    A wonderful book for teachers to have because it is full of enlightening ways of how to teach and how to make adjustments according to needs. This book also includes resources and activities to help teachers in their work of instruction. 
  • Brown, D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
  • Celce-Murcia, M., & Larson-Freeman, D. (1999). The Grammar Book. (2nd ed.). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
  • Freeman, D.E. & Freeman, Y.S. (1998). ESL/EFL teaching: Principles for success. Heinemann: Portsmouth, N.H.
  • Fu, D., Houser, R., & Huany, A. (2007). A collaboration between ESL and regular classroom: Teachers for ELL students’ literacy development. Changing English, 14(3), 325-342.
  • Hansen-Thomas, H. “Sheltered Instruction: Best Practices for ELLs in the Mainstream.” Kappa Delta Pi Record. Retrieved on April 4, 2010 from
  • Kagan, S. (1995) We Can Talk: Cooperative learning in the elementary ESL classroom. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 382035).
  • Kroll, B. (1991). Teaching writing in the ESL context. In M. Celce-Murcia (ed.). Teaching English as a second or foreign language, 2nd ed. New York: Newbury House.
  • Meek, Margaret. Developing Pedagogies in the Multilingual Classroom: The Writings of Josie Levine. Trentham Books Limited. Stoke-On-Trent, England. 1996
  • Prado-Olmos, P., Szymanski, M. & Smith, M.E. (1993). Students do process: Bilingual students interactions in a small cooperative learning reading group. Bilingual Research Journal, 17, (3), 41-69.
  • T. Odlin (ed.). Perspectives on Pedagogical Grammar. (pp. 229-252). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Towel, Janet and Wink, Joan. Strategies for Monolingual Teachers in Multilingual Classrooms. State of California. Sacremento, CA. 1993.
  • Chamot, A.U. & O’Malley, J.M. (1987). The cognitive academic learning approach: A bridge to the mainstream. In P.A. Richard Amato & M.A. Snow (Eds.). The multicultural classroom reading for content-area teachers. pp 39-57. Reading Addison-Wesley.


K-6 – Literature

  •  Shea, P. D., Riggio, A., & Yang, Y. (1996). The Whispering Cloth: a Refugee’s Story. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  • Gunning, M., & Pedlar, E. (2004). A Shelter in Our Car. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
    This is a story book that portrays the hardship that a mother and daughter go through when the mother is trying to find a job to save money for an apartment. Because they are living in their car, the story covers the theme of homelessness, bullying, and immigration (as they have recently arrived from Jamaica). This a book that teaches awareness of the many problems suffered by many families and the true love between a mom and daughter. This is a good book to use in approaching social stratification while teaching the students to be more sensitive to suffering, or in this case, love and suffering.
  • Bunting, E., & Himler, R. (2004). Fly Away Home. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
    Fly Away Home is a fiction book that talks about a homeless boy and his father who live in airport terminals. They travel from terminal to terminal to avoid being noticed. The boy’s hope is enlightened when a trapped bird escapes his trap. This is a good book to be used to teach sensitivity towards homelessness. It also sheds light on others’ problems and helps students gain appreciation of what they already have.
  • Napoli, D. J., & Nelson, K. (2010). Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
    This is a great book full of color in the illustrations and it is inspiring others to make environmental changes even if they appear minimal. In this case a woman planting trees that later become a powerful example to others.  
  • Bunting, E., & Shed, G. (2001). Dandelions. San Diego: Harcourt.
    This is a story about a father who is full of hope for a new life in a new place, which is Nebraska. It took them weeks to get there. To the place that the father had claimed some time ago. How did he claim it? He put signs on his territory.  The signs had their name “Bolton” in it.  During their journey they slept and cooked in the open. 
  • Bunting, E., & Himler, R. (1997). A day’s work. New York: Clarion Books.
    A beautifully told fiction story that takes place in California. It is about a Mexican boy who has to translate for his abuelo (grandfather) so he can get a job even if it is only for a day. This book shows the reality of some immigrants’ life. 
  • Bunting, E. (1992). The Wall. Sandpiper.
    This is a patriotic book that shows the sacrifices many people made during the Vietnam War, to the point of losing their lives. It also shows how the lost children suffered when they couldn’t enjoy their father’s love and guidance. 
  • Smith, L. (2011). Grandpa Green. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
    A boy walks through a garden with topiary sculptures that his great grandpa has made.  Each creation tells the story of his life from his birth to the present day.  The gardens help grandpa remember all “the important stuff” and lets the boy share in the memories of his long life. The book expresses the importance of family and at the end, the boy honors his grandpa by making a topiary in his image.  The pictures perfectly illustrate each line of the simple text. Students will enjoy retelling the story through the pictures.  Another project could be creating their own book about an important family member. 

  • Davies, N.  (2001).  One tiny turtle.  (2004).  Somerville, MA:  Candlewick Press.
    This book describes the journey of a female loggerhead turtle from hatching until she returns some thirty years later to lay her own eggs at the very spot where she was born.  Beautiful Illustrations and poetic language enhance the story.  Some pages contain small, curves of Print which gives more information about the turtle.  Children will love this book.  Students can illustrate the life cycle of a turtle, act out the journey, and write their own personal narrative.  This book was an International Reading Association Teachers’ Choice Award Winner.  It is part of the Read and Wonder series of award-winning books that combine narrative stories with fascinating facts about the natural world.  There are seventeen titles with topics ranging from the life cycle of frogs, night habits of bats, to the world of sharks.  These stories have a strong appeal for children who are curious about their world.
  • Martin, B. & Archambault, J.  (1989).  Chicka chicka boom boom.  New York, NY:  Simon & Schuster.
    Children quickly learn to recite and move to this fun alphabet chant.  The colorful letters trying to climb the coconut tree bring the story to life.  Children can be given a letter and act out the part as the story is read.  It would be fun to bring in a real coconut and have the students describe a coconut using all their senses.
  • Geisel, T.S.  (1968).  The foot book:  Dr. Seuss’s wacky book of opposites.  New York, NY: Random House.
    The words are few and easy and and  have a catchy rhythm.  The silly pictures help students understand the vocabulary.  After a few readings, children will be able to read the book on their own.  As an extended activity, students can create their own book of opposites.  They could draw their own illustrations or cut out pictures from magazines.
  • Wood, Audrey.  (1999). Silly Sally. Orlando, FL:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 
    This a great read-aloud book…”Silly Sally went to town, walking backward, upside down.” Sally and her friends come into town, doing all kinds of silly things.  The book is filled with rhymes and alliteration.  Children can share times when they acted silly, or create pictures of Their own silly animals for a classroom book.
  • Cowley, Joy.  (1998).  Gracias, the Thanksgiving turkey.  New York, NY:  Scholastic.
    Miguel is a young Puerto Rican boy who lives in a New York City apartment with his aunt and grandparents while his father is on the road, driving a truck.  His father sends him a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving.  Miguel quickly becomes attached to the turkey he nicknames Gracias and the two become inseparable; Gracias even goes to church with Miguel.  Miguel worries about his friend’s fate and gets help from family and neighbors.  Beginning Spanish vocabulary is included in the text.  This book is a delightful alternative to traditional Thanksgiving stories.
  • Anno, M.  (1977).  Anno’s counting book.  New York, NY:  Harper Collins.
    This is a beautifully illustrated wordless counting book for the numbers 0-12.  The book begins with an empty, snowy landscape depicting the number zero.  Each page features a new number with the corresponding number of objects.  Children will enjoy counting and naming the objects for each number.  Because there are no words, children can use their imaginations and make up their own stories about the little village and the people who live there.  Children also learn about the passage of time through the seasons and months of the year.  Anno is the author and illustrator of many other wordless story books that can be used with ELLs.
  • Dorros, A.  (1997).  Abuela.  New York, NY:  Penquin Group.
    Rosalba is in the park with her abuela (grandmother) and imagines that they’re flying all over the skies of Manhattan.  They fly over the skyscrapers, over buses, over the docks, and  over the Statue of Liberty.  Along the way, Abuela shares memories of her life.  The city really comes to life in the illustrations and students can talk about many of the details. The narrative flows simply and conveys the close relationship between the two characters. Spanish words and phrases are interwoven into the narrative.
  • Brown, M.W.  (1947).  Goodnight moon.  New York, NY:  HarperCollins.
    The classic bedtime story written in rhyme.  A bunny says goodnight to everything around the room:  “Goodnight room.  Goodnight moon.  Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.” Children will discover more and more details in the illustrations with each reading.  They soon will be reciting and reading the book on their own.
  • Aarderna, V. (1976) Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears. Illustrated by Dillon, D. and Dillon L. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.
  • English, K. (1998) Just Right Stew. Illustrated by Rich, A. Hornesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  • Haskins, J. (1990) Count your way through India. Illustrated by Benner Dodson, L. Minneapolis, MN: Carol Rhoda Books.
  • Ho, M. (1990). Hush!Illustrated by Meade, H. New York, NY: Orchard Books.

6-12 – Literature

  • Getz, T. R., & Clarke, L. (2012). Abina and the Important Men: a Graphic History. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Cronin, D., & Lewin, B. (2006). Duck for President. New York, NY: National Braille Press.
    Can you imagine a duck running for president? Not just any president, but the president of the United States President. He tries one job, then another, and then another but none of them make him happy so he decides to run for president and follow his dream.  This is not only a funny story but, it teaches you not to give up.  
  • Bates, K. L., Boyers, S. J., & Thiebaud, W. (1994). O beautiful for spacious skies. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
  • Hesse, K. (1999). Out of the dust. New York: Scholastic Press.
    The author presents an entire fictional narrative in a series of poems that portrays the agricultural effects of the droughts in the 1930s. In the prairies of the US, severe droughts caused massive dust storms that blew away the topsoil leaving barren unfertile land. Those that live in this area called it the Dust Bowl and  witnessed unprecedented famine due to unsuccessful crops. Out of the Dust is the story of a girl living in the Dust Bowl during this time. It speaks about her family, her life, her feelings, and her resolve to stay and help cultivate the land instead of moving away like most people did. The poems vary in length but all are accessible to ESL students in the Intermediate level of English. Each poem can become its own lesson in the mechanics of poetry, vocabulary, history, etc.
  • Bunting, E., & Himler, R. (1997). A day’s work. New York: Clarion Books.
  • Bunting, E. (1992). The Wall. Sandpiper.
  • Smith, L. (2010). It’s a book. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
    “Smith (Madam President) addresses e-literacy in his irreverent style, casting a donkey in the role of digital junkie and a gorilla as a literary type. The donkey fiddles with a laptop while the gorilla holds a novel. “What do you have there?” asks the techie, whose words are printed in ice blue, sans serif letters suggestive of a chat room. “It’s a book,” the ape answers, in a stately orange serif font. The donkey tests the gorilla’s patience: “Can it text? Tweet? Wi-Fi?” (When he asks, “Where’s your mouse?” a real one pops from beneath the gorilla’s porkpie hat.) After the gorilla hands over Treasure Island, the donkey gripes, “Too many letters,” and converts the scene to emoticons before getting hooked on the story. “I’ll charge it up when I’m done!” he promises, at which the mouse squeaks, “It’s a book, jackass.” This smart-aleck retort, arguably justified because the donkey is a jackass in any sense of the word, urges readers to side with the scholarly gorilla. Meanwhile, Smith has the best of both worlds: his stylish drawings, sleek typography, and kid-friendly humor combine old media and new.” Editorial Review 


Adult ASL Learners

  • Bloem, P. and Padak, N. (1996) Picture books, young adult books, and adult literacy learners. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 40. (1) 48-53.
  • Escobar-Haskins. (2004). Latinos in Mercer County: A Reflection of the Changing Latino population in the Northeast. United Way of Greater Mercer County, Trenton, NJ.
  • Holt, Grace Massey, California Department of Education, January 1995. Teaching Low-Level Adult ESL Learners. Center for Adult English Language Acquisition.
  • Massey-Holt, G. (1995). Teaching low level adult ESL learners. ERIC Digest. Washington D.C.: National Clearinghouse for Literacy Education.
  • Mosteller, Lee, and Bobbi Paul. Survival English, English through conversations. Prentice Hall Regents, White Plains, NJ. 1994 second edition, book 1.
  • The Casas System (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System): Formula for Success,
  • Yang, Yi. March 2005. Teaching Adult ESL Learners. The Internet TESL Journal. March 2007.



Conversation Analysis

  • Corder, S.O. (1981). Error analysis in interlanguage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Lee, N. Notions of ‘error’ and appropriate corrective treatment. Hongkong Papers in Linguistics and Language Teaching. v. 14, p.55-70, 1991.
  • Mizuno, H. How to analyze interlanguage errors. Journal of Psychology & Education. n.9. pp 3-22, Mar. 1991. Kanagawa University.


Second Language Acquisition

  • Bialystok, E. & Hakuta, K. (1994). In other words: The science and psychology of second language acquisition. New York: Basic Books.
  • Crookes, G. (1989). Planning and interlanguage variation. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 11, 367-383.
  • Ellis, R. (1997). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford University Press.
  • Gardner, R.C., and Clément, R. 1990. Social psychological perspectives on second language acquisition. In Handbook of language and social psychology, ed. H. Giles and W.P Robinson. New York: Wiley.
  • Gardner, R.C., and Lambert, W.C. 1972. Attitudes and motivation in second language learning. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
  • Giles, H., & Byren, j.L. (1982). An intergroup approach to second language acquisition. In Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural development, 17-40.
  • Krashen, S.D., M.A. Long, and R.C. Scarcella. “Age, Rate and Eventual Attainment in Second Language Acquisition.” Tesol Quarterly 13 (1979): 573-582.
  • Krashen, S.D. (1981). Second language learning and second language acquisition. New York: Pergamon Press.
  • Schumann, J.H. (1975). Affective factors and the problem of age in second language acquisition. Language Learning, 25, 209-235.
  • Sims, W. (1989). Fossilization and Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquistion, 11, 367-383.
  • Slavoff, G. R., & Johnson, J. S. (1995). The Effects of Age on the Rate of Learning a Second Language. Studies In Second Language Acquisition, 17(1), 1-16.
  • Walter, G. (2001). ESL Policy and Practice: A Linguistic Human Rights Perspective. The Clearinghouse, 74(6), 296-299.


Reading Programs

  • Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A.  (2005).  The comprehensive toolkit.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.
    This program was designed by two veteran teachers.  Specific comprehension instruction helps students understand the information and concepts found in nonfiction texts.  The lessons focus on developing students’ strategic  thinking  through reading, writing, talking, listening, and investigating.  Lessons are designed for large or small groups, guided reading, and individual conferences.  A bibliography of trade books for ELL students is provided.
  • Fountas, I. C., & Pinnell, G.S. (2008).  Benchmark assessment system.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.
    The Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) provides individual reading assessments to determine students’ instructional and independent reading levels.  Students are then placed on the corresponding “F & P Text Level Gradient” for guided reading (Levels A-Z).  The gradient examines the text at each level to understand what skills the reader needs to have at  each level in order to read with accuracy, understanding, and fluency.  There is a Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) kit for struggling readers.
  • Freeman, D.E., Freeman, Y.S., Gottlieb, M., Marzano, R., McClokey, M.L., Stack, L……Garcia, A.C.  (2010).  On our way to English.  Orlando, FL:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
    Oral language proficiency is developed with science and social studies content units.  Leveled readers are written specifically for ELL students.  Materials include Manipulative Charts, Chant Posters, Concept Posters, Newcomer Books, Language Learner Masters, Big Books, and Audio CDs.  Instruction is based on research in language acquisition.
  • Blachowicz, C.L.Z., Leu, D.J., Juel, C., Pearson, P.D., Paratore, J.R., Sebesta, S.L.,…… Kame’enui, E.J.  (2008).  Scott Foresman reading street.  Lebanon, IN:  Pearson Education.
    Reading instruction program for Grades K-6.  Students learn to read through interesting literature.  Emphasis on differentiated instruction with on-going progress-monitoring and small group instruction.  Leveled readers include below-level, on-level, and advanced.


Grammar and Non-Conventional Language Use

  • Austin, J. L. (1975). How to do things with words. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Celce-Murcia, M., Larsen-Freeman, D., & Williams, H. A. (1999). The grammar book: an ESL/EFL teacher’s course. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.



Expanding your own cultural literacy

  • Fadiman, A. (1997). The spirit catches you and you fall down: a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
  • Boutte, Gloria S. and Christine McCormick. (1992). “Authentic Multicultural Activities: Avoiding Pseudomulticulturalism.” Childhood Education 68, 140-144.
  • Cummins, J. (2001). Empowering minority students: A framework for instruction. Harvard Educational Review. vol.71, Iss.4; p.649.
  • Dauber, S.L., & Epstein, J.L. (1993). Parents’ attitude and practices of involvement in inner-city elementary and middle school. In N. Chabkin (Ed.), Families and Schools in a Pluralistic Society (pp. 53-720, Albany State University of New York Press).
  • Nieto, S. (1996). Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, Second Edition. USA: Longman Publishers.
  • Tollefson, J.W. (Ed.) (1995). Power and inequality in language education. Cambridge University Press.


Peer Reviewed Journals

Other Journals

  • The Internet TESL Journal
For Teachers of English as a Second Language
    The Internet TESL Journal published articles from 1995 through 2010. Articles, research papers, lessons plans, classroom handouts, teaching Ideas & links.
  • The English Language Gazette
    The English Language Gazette is a subscription-based monthly printed newspaper. Distributed in over 100 countries, the Gazette has been the English language teaching industry leading newspaper for 25 years.
  • ESL Lesson Plans
    If you are looking for something to do in class tomorrow try our free instant ESL lesson plans. Each month we have a special downloadable resource page comprising a single instant lesson which you can just print out and use in class with second language learners, (don’t worry they are suitable for English as a Foreign Language and Tesol too!).
    Specially written by experienced EFL teachers, each lesson plan is a full 60 minute lesson complete with ESL exercises, grammar points, discussion activities, reading texts, pictures – everything you need for your next ESL class. Many of the lesson plans are based on published materials produced by major English language teaching publishers – some from ELT coursebooks you may already be using. All you have to do is download the ESL lesson plan, photocopy and hand it out in class – completely free of charge.
    Every month we offer a different instant lesson on a different topic ranging from exam practice for tests like Toefl, Toeic and Ielts to color-in materials for kids at elementary level.
    All the lesson plans are completely copyright free – even those which incorporate copyright material from the major English language teaching publishers. So you can download as many as you like, use them as often as you like or even e-mail the ESL lesson plan to your friends.
    Free downloads of lesson plans, quizzes, five minute filler ideas, etc.
  • Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)
    The online component of Essential Teacher magazine TESOL’s Mission: To advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide. Resources for teachers grants and scholarships membership required
  • Language Learning and Technology Journal
    Language Learning and Technology Journal – a refereed journal for second and foreign language educators. LLT publishes articles that report on original research or present an original framework that links second language acquisition theory, previous research, and language learning, teaching, and testing practices that utilize technology. Since 2007, LLT has been ranked in the top 20 Education Journals and in the top 20 Linguistics Journals