ESL Textbooks for Adults

Here are my top 4 ESL textbooks for adults, along with my favourite ESL activity book that you can use to supplement your lessons. While these ESL Textbooks for Adults are all 4-skill books, the focus in all of them is primarily on speaking, with a nice variety of communicative activities perfect for beginners to advanced students. They’d all work well with high school or university students and adult ESL learners. Keep reading for my picks for some of the best ESL textbooks for teenagers as well as adults.

The Best ESL Textbooks for Adults

Smart Choice: A Nice Pick for an ESL Textbook

Smart Choice by Ken Wilson is a great choice if you want to make your classes interesting and educational. The pages contain a good mix of information presented in a clear way and practice exercises. The topics are reasonably interesting for university students and there isn’t much in the way of irrelevant or annoying stuff. Overall, I would strongly recommend this series for young adults at the high school or university level. In my opinion, it’s one of the best ESL conversation books for university students or adults.

The only major negative to smart choice is that there isn’t a lot of material on each page. Some teachers may love this, but I often found that there wasn’t really enough to do, especially if you’re in a program where you have to teach a specified number of pages per day. However, the topics are interesting enough and it’s easy enough to supplement with some ESL activities and games.

There is also a Smart Choice 3 Teacher’s Resource Book: with CD-ROM pack and Smart Choice Workbook to go along with the main activity book.

World Link: Another Solid ESL Textbook for Adults

World Link makes an excellent choice for beginner adult students. The World Link Intro in particular is easier than most of the other 4-skills ESL textbooks. This makes it one of my favourite ESL books for total beginners. If you need some ESL activity ideas for this group of students, check out: Top 10 ESL Activities for Total Beginners.

World Link has so many great activities in it that you won’t need to spend a lot of time doing additional prep. They present the grammar and vocabulary sections in a simple way that’s manageable for a single class. The Teacher’s Resources Book and  Teacher’s Edition also come with lots of useful supplementary materials. This fact alone makes it one of the best ESL textbooks. Not a lot of prep? Yes please! I’ll take that in an ESL textbook just about any day.

Although it’s a 4-skills book, the focus is mostly on speaking. This makes it a particularly good choice for an ESL conversation book.

I personally used this book for years and loved it. My university students in South Korea did too-the topics are interesting and the activities are engaging.

Four Corners: The Best New ESL Textbook for Adults

Four Corners is an excellent 4-skills book with a heavy emphasis on communicative spoken activities. This makes it one of my favourite ESL conversation books. The students are active, engaged and interested in the topics and the grammar and vocabulary are nicely presented in a way that’s really easy to understand. A great choice for your high school, university or adult ESL classes.

The best part about this ESL textbook is that there isn’t any fluff. Quite literally, almost every single page in the entire textbook is solid and I’d use it in my classes without hesitation. Compare this to some of the crappy ESL textbooks, where I’d only use about 5-10% of the material in the book.

This is the best new ESL Textbook to come onto the market in years! If you’re serious about communicative, engaging and fun ESL classes that are focused on speaking, then Four Corners is what you need.

Touchstone: The Second Edition is Much Better than the First!

If you’re looking for a 4-skills ESL textbook series that can take students from high-beginner to very advanced, Touchstone is it. There are 4 levels in this series that cover just about all the major grammar and vocabulary points that beginner-high intermediate students could possibly need.

I previously didn’t like Touchstone that much, but Cambridge has really improved the quality of their second version and I now recommend it without hesitation. The second version has lots of solid material and it’s easy to teach from this book without a lot of supplementary materials.

You can easily get the Touchstone series on Amazon. Also check out my Full Review of the Touchstone ESL Textbook Series.

ESL Workbooks

If you’re looking for the ESL workbooks that correspond to each of these ESL textbooks previously mentioned, check out these links which will take you to Amazon:

Smart Choice Workbooks

World Link Workbooks

4 Corners Workbooks

Touchstone Workbooks

ESL Activities and Games for Adults

If you’re looking to supplement your ESL or EFL classes with teenagers, university students or adults, then the book you’ll need is: 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. Tons of fun, engaging and interesting ESL activities to make your classes awesome. Plus, it’ll help save tons of time when planning your lessons.

Maybe you used to spend so much time searching around on the Internet for those one or two ESL activities you could actually use in your classes? No more! Just pull this book down off your shelf and away you go. ESL Awesome!

The Best ESL Textbooks and Workbooks? 

Please comment below and let us know what are the best ESL textbooks that you’ve seen. Or, perhaps the best ESL conversation books.


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