I always find it so funny that my blog is so varied. One minute I’m talking about the sunrise over the hill in Benidorm, then it’s a fragrance, then it’s a splash of travel and now it’s books that enrich English learning, specifically ESL children.
I’ve been teaching English for just over 18 months now and it’s incredible at how fast that time flies. They say to do a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. They make a point. Even on some days when it’s hard and it drags, there are moments where it all makes it worthwhile. Sometimes, they just say a word that you taught them weeks ago or maybe it’s understanding that little bit every time and sometimes it’s when they come running in to give you a hug and say how much they love you. Don’t kids say the most ridiculous things! haha.
Well, children whether ESL or not love reading picture books. It’s the same when they’re learning a second language. Sure, they don’t necessarily understand every word, but they get the story. The pictures help to tell the tale. Children love books so I thought I’d share with you some of the best books to encourage English learning.
Usborne English Readers
I recently did a post reviewing the collection of Usborne English Readers and they are absolutely fantastic. They come with vibrant pictures, small quizzes and even a digital audio reading in both American English and British English. Kids love when the characters come to life and the fact that they know it isn’t me reading makes them listen even harder.
It’s a cracking collection of books that start from Level 1 and progress through to Level 3, following the European Common Language Framework. The collection literally grows with the child and they are wonderful for reading 1:1 or in small groups. The tasks at the end are great for testing their knowledge.
The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet
What gets kids more interested, amused and globally entertained more than poops and farts? Less amusing for me, but absolutely hysterical for them. Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, best known for being in the band McFly have really created something special in their children’s books.
Although not specifically targetted at ESL children, it’s definitely a great one to entertain them and encourage fluency. They adored looking at the colourful illustrations and the rhyming aspect is perfect for ESL children. They were able to follow the rhythm of the book and pronounce words that they wouldn’t have been able to before, purely because it rhymed with one they did know how to pronounce.
The kids will want you to read this book over and over and over and over…
A very special thank you to Delfin Dublin School who kindly sent us a copy of The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet. The Delfin English School offers courses for expat students in Dublin and London. They help students with the whole experience, providing accommodation, intensive classes, extra activities and support to make the unique experience to learn a language abroad as valuable as possible.
If I could only ever own one book for my child, it would be this one. Alex isn’t much of a reader, he’s more of a digital, movie, music kind of person. But, considering this was a child’s book, even he was flicking through it saying how lovely it is. If you only buy one book this year, whether it’s for your own children or your class, make it be this one. Seriously.
The illustrations are seriously beautiful and if travel is something you want to incorporate in your family values, then this one is one you need. The message is to encourage children to dream big and with Willpower, they can achieve anything. Willow loves planes and flying, so her mother takes her to the aviation museum, where she discovers Amelia Earhart – she then dreams of flying around the world. Willow wants to be a pilot and travel the world. This girl can.
It’s an enriching, inspiring book that contains beautiful illustrations of famous landmarks. Even better still, the book is produced eco-friendly: Vegan Ink, 100% Recycling paper with the Blue Angel, Vegan Ink and Carbon-neutral Production with renewable energy. Ethical and Exceptional.
The book sparks conversation about children’s previous travels and where they want to go. It’s fantastic for incorporating in a lesson about world travel or in a geography lesson with young children. It’s also great for exploring the future and past tense, such as “I have been to…” or “I want to go to…”.
A very special thank you to Sarah Cannata for sending me out a copy of Willow Willpower to review. We will certainly be treasuring this book for future! Get your copy here: https://blooturtle.com/product/willow-willpower/ (12,95€)
Animals Actually is a lovely collection of books which encourages children to eat healthily, get active and be kind to animals. All ethics that we want to instil in children, whether ESL or not. Cher Chevalier has created an inspiring collection that encourages children to be the best they can be. Each book is a letter from the alphabet, incorporating different characters with that letter. It’s a great way to encourage alphabet learning and animal vocabulary.
The ESL children found the videos, music and games a lot easier to access and understand than the books. The pictures in the books don’t alter much between pages so the story is hard to follow if you’re not able to understand the level of English required. They did, however, love dancing around to the music!
Short information books are a great tool for learning English. They can pull out bits of key information and use the knowledge they already have in their own language to try and add further points. As it’s all targeted vocabulary, it can be easier to grasp and retain than fiction.
*the books mentioned above were all gifted to me to review*
Happy learning! Hasta luego,