Resources and Recommendations

Internet pages, EFL/ELT and linguistic literature

I started this blog in 2013, wrote most in the following three years, my page on the Verb Structure Circle being my most important project at the time.

Due to the pandemic, all classes went online and my blog gained new significance for my teaching practice. Some of the recommendations I made in 2013, feel somehow outdated in light of how much has changed digitally. However, many of the old recommendations and links are still valid today.

I have gone through the list and updated where necessary.

More recent recommendations can now be found in my newest posts written during the last two years, here especially under Useful Lesson Links. In the beginning of the pandemic and our online teaching, I just listed all the things found and used by myself, some colleagues and course participants. In the mean time, I am trying to transform as many as possible into more practical lesson plans.

ESL/EFL Resources

Linguahouse has interesting material for teachers and students alike

Breaking news great resource for news related shorter lessons and loads of exercises

(old entry from 2013)

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.

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.

Note 2020: In the mean time, we are living in the age of Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. and subtitles are provided. The subtitles of youtube videos are often computer generated and need to be taken with a grain of salt.

If you’re into cooking, Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie at Home’ series is something to watch in the original. Though Jamie Oliver has a strong regional accent (Essex), everything he says is a comment on what he is doing in the kitchen or the garden, so 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.)

Some notes on TED: Ted Talks have been growing and becoming quite numerous. This adds to one of the problems of our times – too many choices. Here I recommend going to “playlist”. If you are new to TED talks, go to The 25 Best Talks. Jamie Oliver’s talk is also among them.

Update 2022

I have written a post on TED talks in which I list and comment on those talks I have shown and discussed in classes

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


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

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

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

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

Close, Richard A., 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).

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

Lightbown, Patsy M. & Nina Spada, How Languages are Learned, Oxford 1999. There is a newer, updated edition from one of the best and most essential books on the topic. Here a link to an interview Nina Spada and Patsy Lightbown gave.

Nation, Paul, How Vocabulary is Learned and What should an EFL Teacher Know?

On Paul Nation’s website, you find a vocabulary size quiz. Try it out and don’t cheat 😉






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