Library Resources for Teaching English in the Classroom

Over the past two decades, the number of non-native English speakers in the United States school system has more than doubled.i These demographic changes have put greater emphasis on the challenges involved in teaching English language Learners (ELLs), which range from issues in communication among teachers, students and parents, and the pace of lessons in the classroom, to the tendency to view English language instruction as a single course of study, lacking school-wide policies for application across all subject disciplines. According to the National Education Association, teachers often “lack practical, research-based information, resources, and strategies needed to teach, evaluate, and nurture ELL students, whether those students were born in this country or elsewhere.”ii

As teachers must find creative new ways to meet the academic needs of ELLs, librarians in schools, public libraries and teacher training institutions continue to play significant roles in ESL education by working closely with educators to provide supplementary materials that support the achievement of students learning English. Available through the Teachers College Library and online, the resources listed below cover a wide range of topics in English language instruction, from best practices, models and applied teaching strategies, to methods of assessment, and research into the evaluation of English-language instruction programs in the K-12 setting.

Books on Teaching Strategies and Best Practices

50 strategies for teaching English language learners / Adrienne L. Herrell, Michael Jordan, Stacks Oversize PE1128.A2 H467 2012
“Fifty Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners, Fourth Edition, by Adrienne Herrell and Michael Jordan, includes a rich assortment of practical strategies aligned to TESOL standards which have been field-tested in diverse classrooms. Each strategy includes a brief explanation, step-by-step instructions on how to plan and use the strategy, and two classroom scenarios demonstrating how the strategy can be adapted for different grade levels and content areas.”

500 tips for TESOL : (teaching English to speakers of other languages) / Sue Wharton & Phil Race, Stacks PE1128.A2 W437 1999
Useful guide for teachers near the beginning of their careers focused on language work in the classroom.

Academic literacy for English learners : high-quality instruction across content areas / Cynthia Brock … [et al.] ; foreword by Douglas Fisher, New TCPress, Reserve & Stacks (Oversize) PE1128.A2 A212 2009
“Looking for innovative new strategies to support English learners? The authors of this practical guide delve into the social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds of America’s school children to discover how today’s teachers can tap into their students strengths and background knowledge. Each chapter provides examples from real classrooms where first- through fifth-grade teachers are working to serve students from a wide variety of backgrounds. This powerful guide shows how to integrate best practices across the content areas of science, mathematics, and social studies, while fostering high levels of academic proficiency.”

Balanced literacy for English language learners, K-2 / Linda Chen, Eugenia Mora-Flores, Reserve & Stacks (Oversize) PE1128.A2 C446 2006
Explores the classroom literacy methods and practices that can be used to ensure that ELLs develop reading and writing abilities.

Making content comprehensible for elementary English Learners : the SIOP model / Jana Echevarría, MaryEllen Vogt, Deborah J. Short, Oversize PE1128.A2 E248 2010
Based on the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP), this resource offers practical suggestions and techniques for teachers of English language learners across a variety of content areas and grade levels.

Books on Teacher Training & Program Evaluation

Evaluating teacher effectiveness in ESL/EFL contexts, Stacks PE1128.A2 E828 2007
“This volume was written by language teachers for language teachers and administrators and reflects the growing interest in teacher evaluation and appraisal.”

Program evaluation in language education / Richard Kiely and Pauline Rea-Dickins, Stacks P53.63 .K54 2005
This book explores the way evaluation is practiced among language programs, with case studies exploring a diversity of contexts.

Evaluation in ELT / Cyril Weir and Jon Roberts
“This book equips readers to deal with the types of evaluation they may be involved in during their professional lives, as agents of insider or outsider evaluations or as subjects of evaluation. It provides a framework of the field, a series of case studies illustrating types of evaluation, guidance on essential evaluation procedures, and a comprehensive bibliography.”

Directory of professional preparation programs in TESOL in the United States, Stacks REF PE1128.A2 .T4543
Lists all programs geared to teaching English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the United States and Canada at the undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral levels.

Audio Visual Teaching Aids

Connect with English [videorecording] / Annenberg/CPB Collection ; associate producer, Julia Haslett ; co-producers, Roberto Rodriguez, Olivia Tappan, CURR PE1128 .C664 1997 Videocassette

Going graphic : comics at work in the multilingual classroom / Stephen Cary, Stacks PE1128.A2 C36 2004
A guide to using comics effectively in the multilingual classroom, especially in TESL/TEFL settings.

Hard to learn that English as a second language blues: Songs for learning English as a second language. [Sound recording] [Lyrics and music by Laurie Wellman and Donald R. H. Byrd], Stacks PE1128 .W46

Techniques for teachers [videorecording] : a guide for non-native speakers of English / from English as a Second Language Department, University of Washington Extension ; prepared and presented by Ann K. Wennerstrom, Closed Stacks PE1128 .T42 1988 Videocassette

Online Materials

Bibliography of English Language Learners Resource Books by the National Education Association

Dave’s ESL Café Idea Cookbook

Databases available at Gottesman Library

The ERIC database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and provides extensive access to education-related literature. Try the descriptor “English (Second Language).”

Education Full Text
“Education Full Text features content on a wide array of subject areas including adult education, comparative education, government funding, higher education, school administration, teacher evaluation and much, much more.” Try the following descriptors:
English language — Study & teaching — Foreign speakers
English Language – Study & teaching (Elementary) – Foreign Speakers
English language — Study & teaching (Higher) — Foreign speakers
English language — Study & teaching (Middle school) — Foreign speakers


[1] Dennis Van Roekel. (2008). English language learners face unique challenges. An NEA Policy Brief, Retrieved from

[2] Ibid.