These are my favorite English language learning books with all the titles and authors on one page. Published print materials that often used in colleges or language schools may be more reliable than websites because of the research that publishing houses like Cambridge, Pearson, Oxford, Macmillan put into them. Ask me specifically which books, sections or chapters would be best for your purposes. Please consider getting copies of these books. I can help you prioritize which ones to start with.
(1) The Canadian) Oxford Picture Dictionary This is a comprehensive resource meant for newcomers to Canada and includes drawings of every object and place in daily life with all the vocabulary for little items, tools, utensils. This is an amazing resource for CELPIP, and for anyone who lives in Canada now.
(2) Oxford Word Skills Intermediate | Gairns and Redman
(3) Oxford Word Skills Advanced | Gairns and Redman
(4) Elementary Vocabulary | BJ Thomas
(5) Intermediate Vocabulary | BJ Thomas
(6) Advanced Vocabulary | BJ Thomas
(7) Collocations in Use Intermediate | McCarthy and O’Dell
(8) Collocations in Use Advanced | McCarthy and O’Dell
(9) Phrasal Verbs in Use Intermediate | McCarthy and O’Dell
(10) Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced | McCarthy and O’Dell
(1) Collins Speaking for IELTS (for Band 6 / covers exam-related lexical resource and structures) by Karen Kovacs
(1) IELTS Advantage Writing Skills 6.5 ~ 7 by Richard Brown and Lewis Richards
How to organize essays. Teaches the phrases you need, in a systematic way.
(2) Writing for IELTS with Answer Key 6.0 ~ 7.5 by Stephanie Dimond-Bayir and Macmillan Presents vocabulary and grammatical structures for describing graphs.
(3) Barron’s Writing for the IELTS by Dr. Lin Lougheed
A good book for improving accuracy in sentences, for learning cohesion, to learn ways to ‘tackle’ different types of prompts. It includes ten Task 1 model letters and ten Task 2 model essays at the back of the book.
(4) Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS The writing section (pages 91 to 132) and eight practice exams have sample writing tests at the back that are worth looking at.
IELTS ACADEMIC WRITING TASK 1 GRAPHS, TABLES AND INFOGRAPHICS
(1) Writing about Graphs and Visuals by Gabi Duigu A unique e-book resource compiled by a teacher that specifically deals with how to write reports on simple graphs, charts and diagrams.
IELTS PRACTICE EXAMS
(1) Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS The Definitive Guide | Cullen, French, Jakeman Highly recommended / a must-have!
(2) Cambridge 14,13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 Practice Tests (with answers! You’ll need the book that comes with answers and the audio!)
(3) Barron’s IELTS Practice Exams (6 GT practice tests and 6 AC practice tests)
(4) Kaplan 6 Practice Tests for the IELTS Very good!
(5) Collins Practice Tests for IELTS 1 and 2 (four academic practice tests per book)
The example Task 2 essays are good.
(6) McGraw-Hill’s IELTS | (1 GT practice test and 4 AC practice tests)
(1) IELTS Advantage Reading Skills 6.5 ~ 7 by Richard Brown and Lewis Richards
(1) Barron’s Essential Words for IELTS | Bands 5.0 to 6.5 (10 units of three reading topics, organized by theme. The units provide practice in all four skills areas. The reading questions resemble the reading questions on the exam. The best feature of this book are the exercises on word families.
ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES
(1) Academic English in Use | McCarthy and O’Dell | This book is GREAT. Can’t recommend this unique book enough.
(2) Oxford EAP: Course in English for Academic Purposes Upper-Intermediate B2 by Edward de Chazel & Sam McCarter
Make sure you get the CD. This is for serious keeners who are planning to study at universities overseas and want help with listening to lectures, writing reviews of articles, writing major essays, giving presentations. It’s dense, good for first year college or university students planning to do undergraduate studies in English. I bought my copy at the bookstore of a college in Toronto.
(1) Upstream Proficiency (CEFR C1+ | IELTS 7+) Student Book and Workbook | Virginia Evans and Jenny Dooley
The table of contents connects grammar with readings with vocabulary so you’re covering writing skills and C1+ level grammar in context. The workbook is very thorough and substantive. The problem is the age of articles; you’ll read about life in the 1980s and 1990s. Some students (not many but a few) LOVED this series because there is a student book that presents grammar points, with a student with plentiful specific practice for that grammar point.
GRAMMAR REFERENCE — INTERMEDIATE (B2)
(1) How English Works by Michael Swan This is my ‘go to’ book for my classes because the explanations and exercises are so clearly contexualised.
(2) Collins COBUILD Intermediate English Grammar by Willis
(3) Grammar in Use Intermediate by Murphy
(4) Grammar in Use Upper-Intermediate by Murphy
GRAMMAR REFERENCE — ADVANCED (C1)
(1) Practical English Usage by Michael Swan
(2) Collins COBUILD English Usage
(3) Grammar in Use Advanced by Hewings
(4) Grammar Scan Diagnostic Tests for Practical English Usage by Michael Swan & David Bakee. Take one of three diagnostic tests (Upper Intermediate, Advanced or Expert) and see your results. For each mistake, you are directed to the section of Practical English Usage Third Edition to clarify the concept and see examples in use.
OTHER GOOD STUFF
(1) Teaching Tenses Rosemary Aitken (includes comprehensive details for the form, meaning and use of tenses, active and passive voice, modals, conditionals)
(2) The English Verb | Michael Lewis (for advanced learners, reveals the limits of prescriptive, pedagogical grammar ‘rules’)
(3) What do you need to know to learn a foreign language? by Paul Nation, a linguist in New Zealand. An easy read with evidence-based ideas for how to organize your learning and what to prioritize.
(4) Barron’s The Ins and Outs of Prepositions Second Edition by Jean Yates (a reference book that lists all the uses of each preposition, with common phrasal verbs and expressions for each, not so user-friendly but a unique, in-depth resource)
(5) Academic Listening Strategies | Julia Salehzadeh (pages 28 to 38 about how spoken language is very different from written language and how understanding this helps listening) If you study in a pre-university EAP program in an English-speaking country, this is the kind of textbook you’d have for a course on Academic Listening Skills. This is a unique resource.
(6) Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler. The authors present some unique ways to get through tough conversations assertively. Their company, Vital Smarts, has some informative videos on youtube.