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December 20, 2005

Teaching English Grammar? Some Reader Recommendations

"Grammar, which knows how to control even kings." ~Moliere

Looking for really USEFUL grammar textbook for your ESL lessons?

Dear English Language Teacher-Resource Shoppers, look no further . . .

. . . I don't know if you follow the threads over on ESL Forum, but lately some great discussions have been going on regarding good Grammar books for ELT for native and ESL learners alike. I had posted the one I used this semester in an earlier post, but I thought I'd mention the ones that came from the experiences of posters at ESL Forum.

Have a look at these suggestions I've hotlinked and let me know what you think:

Murphy, Raymond. English Grammar in Use.


Larson-Freeman, Diane, . Authors: Jan Frodesen and Janet Eyring. Grammar Dimensions. Platinum Edition #4.


Murcia, Celce and Diane Larsen-Freeman. The Grammar Book.

And, last but not least, one forum responder recommended a book specific to the Japanese ESL student which is authored by Harriette Gordon Grate

Grate, Harriette Gordon. English Pronunciation Exercises for Japanese Students.

Have any of you used these before? Let us know if you find these resources as useful as your peers did!


Lee Hobbs
ESLemployment.com, Editor-in-Chief

Posted by lhobbs at December 20, 2005 08:10 PM

Readers' Comments:

Don't see any use at all for that Japanese one. Can't understand why you even recommended that one bro. The other ones are kind of pricey but if you say so, ok. I'll stick to "English is Fun" myself.

Posted by: PittsburghPete at December 25, 2005 08:44 PM


Ok, you got me! I majored in English, taught middle school and elementary "English" language arts for more than 34 years, including 15 in ESL situations....I don't want to belabor the point, but the truth of the matter is, textbooks aren't as necessary as one might think - it doesn't matter what textbook one uses - it is truly the methodology and the personality of the teacher and that connection with the students that makes the difference in learning.

I, for one, enjoy using language experience - so instead of reading about Diana in Mexico, I might be talking about Sonja in Oregon. Instead of reading about two friends in Japan, I might be using a telephone to connect two girls in my class....Of course, good literature, and one of the best I've seen are the Illustrated Classics for ESL, is the key to learning only AFTER much verbal practice! Don't forget total physical response - these methodologies do not rely solely on textbooks.

Any questions? Please feel free to email me and I will elaborate or attempt to answer any questions you may have!

Peace and good luck! :)

Dr. Vye

Posted by: Dr. Vye at December 29, 2005 02:16 PM

Note from Lee:

Thanks Dr. Vye for that wonderful insight. 34 years speaks for itself!

Best and Happy New Year!

Posted by: Lee at December 29, 2005 02:26 PM


Have you ever heard of a book called something like 'Grammar Games' that includes different grammar activities for students to practice using the grammar in a fun way?

Nearly every activity has a simple sketch to draw on the board. It's intended to help teachers who don't think they can draw do just that. Students always seem impressed. A colleague of mine introduced the book to me and I found that the students almost always enjoyed the activities- and used the grammar structures they were supposed to.

If anyone knows the name of the book, let me know. I copied the book, but the title page is missing!!


Posted by: Carol at December 29, 2005 11:57 PM

Hi all.

There's some fantastic online resources that help with Grammar too!

Has anyone visited:www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/words/grammar(?)

It has some fun games and multichoice questions on a range of grammar topics as well as printable worksheets.



Posted by: John at January 5, 2006 05:57 AM


I was once given a grammar book in Dubai by a teacher. It was when I was asked to cover his emergency leave period.

He said that he taught the kids all they knew from this book.

But what they knew was not grammar as we know it!

What chance did they have?

I don't need to explain further...the title of the book was:

"English Grammer Made Easy"

(Printed in Pakistan.)

I thought they were once part of the British Commonwealth?


Posted by: jim hollerin at January 5, 2006 11:27 PM


grammar shmammer! The building blocks of English are vocabulary. (hmmm?)

http://www.flocabulary.com (hip-hop)


Posted by: Angie at January 11, 2006 02:01 PM

Note from Lee:

Angie, how so? I couldn't see where the ad for flocabulary answered that postulate about English building-blocks.

Anyone out there know the answer to this one?

Posted by: Lee at January 11, 2006 04:56 PM

Please sir,
I'm writing an M Ed Thesis on Problems faced by students in the learning of english grammar.I don't know if yoiu could be of any help to me

Posted by: Ndem at January 5, 2007 01:49 PM

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