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ESL textbook recommendations for beginner adult learners


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I've started volunteering as an English teacher for Chinese-speakers at my local senior center in the US. Most of the students have only a very basic English ability. I've searched online for textbook ideas, but I would like to hear your recommendations too if you've taught similar students.

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What textbook are you using now? Don’t they give you one? 


I can’t really recommend a textbook for students BUT a book to help you teach students would be;


Teaching English a grammar: what to teach and how to teach it by Jim Scrivener. 


It was an invaluable book when I taught English and can be found on Amazon.

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3 minutes ago, ChTTay said:

What textbook are you using now? Don’t they give you one? 


I'm not using a textbook currently. For the first few classes I've been winging it. They don't have a formal ESL program, so there isn't a particular textbook I have to use.


Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

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I've only used a few different textbooks, but this one was recommended to me by someone who has used many books: Side by Side


I found teaching it to be really straight forward and if you can also get the teacher book it does a really good job of laying out what to teach, how to teach, and the necessary background knowledge to teach each section. I'll PM you a link to my google drive that might have some useful documents.


The content looks quite kid-friendly, but I imagine seniors might get a kick out of the role-playing. I've always found the elderly to be way less self-conscious with tasks like that. Try to make it as relevant to their lives as possible, too. Swap out a few words for something they can use since the textbook assumes a classroom setting and that might not be applicable to seniors.



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