Resources and Recommendations

Internet pages, videos, DVDs and books, ELT and linguistic literature

As already mentioned in some of the posts about individual web pages, there is loads of stuff on the internet for language learners and teachers alike (see post on BBC webpage, and Macmillan dictionary).

The BBC Learning section has been overhauled and is a great place to go not only for extra language practice. Also highly recommendable for those (but not only) with little time: BBC Six Minute English. Here you can listen to a current topic being discussed or talked about. Additionally you can read and follow by reading the script.

One internet page for teachers is onestopenglish. It is not for free; the subscription costs around 30 Euro a year, but I believe you get a lot for your money, among other things free copiable material. You find whole lessons with pre-reading and follow-up exercises related to articles under Guardian Weekly, for instance, collected in archives going back several years.

I frequently visit the website of the New York Times. For more intermediate learners of English Voice of America could be interesting. VOA provides simplified versions of current news both in written and audio form.

Youtube has evolved from being a forum for private videos to a platform where all kinds of institutions publish their visual material. Here one of my favorites is TED and the series How it’s made

I always recommend listening to as much in English as you can. Here I prefer TV series to feature films, as in many TV series you have more conversation. Movies often have a lot of white noise that obstructs comprehension and good films, being creative pieces of art, often emphasize visualizations more than conversations. Nevertheless, watch your favorite movies in the original and if you have the DVDs, switch on the English subtitles.

If you’re into cooking, Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie at Home’ series is also something to watch in the original. Though Jamie Oliver has a strong regional accent (Essex), since everything he says is a comment on what he is doing in the kitchen or the garden, I believe you can learn to understand him after a while. However, if you get the original UK version, you also find English subtitles (the German version provides only German subtitles and a German voice over – I would strongly recommend the English original.)

Publications specifically for German learners of English:

World and Press and Read On: Both are collections of articles from selected newspapers, mainly British and US. They cover different topics ranging from current political affairs and economics to science, history, lifestyle and various topics of social interest.

Spotlight Magazine

Business Spotlight

There will be loads more in single posts. See especially the post ‘Great Links’ and the category ‘websites to see’. Eventually, I will try to bring all together, but so far things are still developing.


The following are recommendations for teachers of English, and/or literature I have referred to in posts. I will gradually add to the list.

Patsy M. Lightbown & Nina Spada, How Languages are Learned, Oxford 1999

Ronald Carter, David Nunan (eds.) The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages, Cambridge: 2001

Colin Baker, Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Clevedon: 1996

Michael Lewis, The English Verb, LTP: 1986 (latest edition Thomson/Heinle 2002)

R.A. Close, A Teachers’ Grammar, LTP: 1992

One of the leading linguists who has written many books on language, also for non-specialists or a more general audience is David Crystal. A great introduction into the study of language is his Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (1996).

Celce-Murcia, Maranne and Diane Larsen-Freeman, The Grammar Book: An ESL/EFL Teacher’s Course;  Newbury House publishers – Row (1983); Heinle and Heinle (1998)

Chalker, Sylvia and Edmund Weiner, The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar, 1994, Sylvia Chalker, Oxford University Press


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