Should I Use Course Books to Learn English?

January 29, 2018 - Priscila Pereira

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Million-dollar-question: Use coursebooks or not?

If you study alone, you often catch yourself wondering: Do I need to use those cool coursebooks from Oxford or Cambridge? How about Grammar in Use from Raymond? Do I need to do all those lessons?

Now, if you are like a bird that enjoys freedom, you probably hate coursebooks, don’t you? However, deep inside you may question yourself too; is it cool if I don’t use books at all?What will happen if I use them?

Hi, friends! I hope you are having an awesome day!

I get this question all the time! Even my clients ask me that. Many English students shiver at the thought of using coursebooks. Most say: They are so long! They have way too many exercises! The listening exercises are too easy! The vocabulary is poor!They are too expensive!And I could go on and on.

The problem is in the question

It is not whether you should use coursebooks or not, but rather HOW you use coursebooks. Gotcha! right?

Yep! The biggest challenge many of you have is to understand how you use these kinds of coursebooks. Even if you have the “teacher’s book” with all the instructions, you still need to know HOW to use these books, so that you don’t get bored to death!

I use coursebooks with most my clients. What do I like about them? The subjects. Most of the times, students come to me and say: Priscila, I want to speak about different things. Books can help you with that. They will give you ideas of what to talk about and consequently the vocabulary and structure you need to make that happen!

Doing all the pages, everything, 100%. Is that it?

No!!!! Not at all! You need to do what is good for you. What will help you learn? Most of the times, I spend 15 to 20 minutes of my class using a page (yes a single page) of a coursebook with my clients and the rest of the class is focused on speaking. We speak about the subjects the book suggests and even more! The subject works like an icebreaker, it is just to help students get started.

If you are studying alone, it is even better. You can get inspired by a subject from the book and based on that, find videos on YouTube or even podcasts that are about the subject you found in the book. With grammar books, I recommend using them when you are having trouble talking about a subject or understanding a video. For instance, let’s say that you are using a lesson from a book that talks about unreal situations. You read the book, you watched some YouTubers talking about this, but you are still struggling to understand the structure. You can use the book. This will be an amazing opportunity for you to connect relevant subjects to a grammar point.

It is all about balance!

As I always say, every minute matters! The more resources you use effectively, the better. Coursebooks can be a wonderful resource, especially for people who study English alone. I am positive you can benefit from these materials. You just gotta balance it with other activities and remember, you can do as many pages as you like. The book is just another resource.

I hope you enjoy this post. Share this post on your social media! Next week I will bring another cool post for you!

Teacher Prix



Priscila Pereira

Starbucks and TV Series lover: juggling with teaching, blogging, and a YouTube life! I’m teacher Prix and I want to help you talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime in English! This blog is for English speakers who are looking for an effective blog. Get inspired by hundreds of different posts for all English levels, so that you can finally learn English easily and effectively on the internet.

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