A lot of trainers and teachers I work with often ask me for recommendations for books to help them with materials writing, activities, methodology, research and general professional development. I can suggest titles by the dozens but they are often not really affordable.
So here’s a list of sites where you can get free education related books.
There are loads here but my favourites in no particular order include the following:
- Tell it Again! The Storytelling Handbook for Primary English Language Teachers
- Teaching in low-resource classrooms: voices of experience
- Crazy animals and other activities for teaching young learners
- Teaching and technology: case studies from India
- Maximizing learning in large classes
- Warmers and fillers
- Creative Ways
- Starter Teachers: A methodology course for the classroom
- Mobile pedagogy: a guide for teachers
- Projects in materials design
- Continuing Professional Development: Lessons from India
- Creating an inclusive learning experience for English language learners with specific needs
- Intercultural resources pack for Latin America
- Equal Opportunity and Diversity: The Handbook for Teachers of English
- A handbook for exploratory action research
Games, simulations and role-playing (a bit dated but good ideas nonetheless!)
A veritable treasure trove. I could spend a year rummaging through all the free stuff and not even make a dent. Note that many of the files are articles or excerpts. However, the complete version of Effective Learning in Classrooms is available as a free download. This is a very accessible book for getting started on the journey to reflective teaching. I also found Classrooms as Learning Communities very inspiring.
This site currently hosts three free books: The image in English Language Teaching by (Ed. Kieran Donaghy and Daniel Xerri) -definitely worth a dekko, Creativity in English Language Teaching and The Learning ELT Professional.
4. Quick Cups of COCA by Mura Nava
If you’ve started using corpora, explore Mura’s useful little book on different searches you can run in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (CoCA). You can read my review of this book here.
Nik is always giving away free stuff. While the publications he’s well known for such as Digital Tools for Teachers aren’t free, he often offers huge discounts on these books and you might end up paying something between ₹50 and ₹100 which is an absolute steal for a book stuffed with practical ideas. You can get updates about discounts and free goodies from his Edtech & ELT Newsletter – to subscribe, go to his blog, scroll down and enter your email address in the box on the right that says “My free newsletter”.
6. 50 tips for ELT materials writers by ITDI (ed. Katherine Bilsborough)
7. You are the coursebook – Lesson plans by Matt Purland
8. Phil Wade’s books on SmashWords – Lots of ESP and Business English booklets.
9. Free chapters by Zoltan Dornyei has written in a range of books. Dornyei is well known for his writing on motivation and dynamics in the language classroom.
10. Contributions to Creative Classrooms – a collection of activities put together by teachers who attended an ELTA-British Council workshop in Serbia.
11. Enjoying books together: a guide for teachers on the use of books in the classroom by Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly – a beautifully illustrated book from the Rwandan Children’s Initiative
12. Publications from IATEFL’s Research Special Interest Group – I found Developing as an EFL Researcher: Stories from the field particularly interesting.
14. The Lexical Approach by Dave Ellis thanks to the University of Birmingham.
15. Books by Stephen Krashen including The Natural Approach, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, Principles and Practice
in Second Language Acquisition and Summer Reading program and evidence. Many thanks to Marisa Constantinides for sharing these links.
16. Some free books on management and leadership from OReilly – potentially useful for Business English and ESP trainers. There are two titles – The secret behind great one-to-one meetings and Build to lead: how Lego bricks can make you a better leader, which might be interesting for a wider audience.
17. Teaching and Learning Languages: a guide is a free ebook funded by the Australian Department of Education.
18. Flipping the System is a free book from Routledge that explores ways of replacing top-down accountability with bottom-up support for teachers.
19. Getting started with Virtual Reality Guide by Monica Burns, the founder of ClassTechTips.com
Suggestions for additions to my list are highly appreciated as long as they are related to ELT or education and of course legitimately free!
Image attribution: Free by Foomandoonian – Flickr – CC BY-NC-SA 2.0