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If you are learning English, there are so many resources available that it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Maybe you’ve already decided that a book is a good choice for you (and you wouldn’t be wrong!). We’ve compiled some of the best books to learn English that can benefit any type of learner. No matter what your level or language goals are, you’re sure to find something that’s a good fit for you.
Best Books to Learn English
English has become the lingua franca for international communication. It’s a necessity for business, travel, and even specialized interests like gaming, music, and many more. With 1.425 billion speakers, it has become the most spoken language in the world. Not because it has the most native speakers, but because so many people now speak it as a second or third language.
Even if you don’t plan on living in an English-speaking country, learning English can have many benefits. One of the most common reasons people learn this language is for career opportunities. Companies are more global than ever and employ people from all over the world. Several large corporations that are based outside of an English-speaking country, including Nokia, Renault, and Samsung, have made English their common corporate language.
English is also the language of the internet. 52% of websites are displayed in English. Speaking the language will allow you to access many websites and more information than ever. And if you enjoy gaming, manyparticipants of multi-player video games communicate in English so they can play with users from anywhere in the world.
To find the best books to learn English, I searched the internet to find popular options for English language learners around the world. I reviewed each book, looking at what it does well and what readers thought of it. Then, I compiled the list below, showing the strengths of each book and who can benefit from using it.
Below you’ll find the best books to learn English. Scroll down to learn more about each one.
|Best Overall English Book||English for Everyone|
|Best for Self-Study||Learning English as a Foreign Language for Dummies|
|Best for Advanced English Learners||Practical English Usage|
|Best for English Collocations||English Collocations in Use|
|Best for Vocabulary||The Vocabulary Builder Workbook|
|Best for Reading||Short Stories in English for Beginners|
|Best for Writing||ESL Intermediate/Advanced Writing|
|Best for American English||Advanced English Conversation Dialogues|
|Best for Phrasal Verbs||100 Phrasal Verbs to Learn for Life|
English for Everyone is the best overall book to learn English because anyone can use it. The book is entirely in English, but the material is presented with pictures, diagrams, and color-coded explanations so the instructions and examples are clear. The book has easy-to-follow units, along with a practice book to reinforce what you learn.
The box set includes both the level 1 & 2 coursebook and practice book. If you are a more advanced learner, English for Everyone also has an Intermediate to Advanced box set. There are audio tracks available on the website and through an app. Reviewers who purchased the book liked the teaching method used and also thought the accompanying audio was very useful. See what you think about the book here.
- Coursebook and practice book for levels 1 & 2
- Visual representation of grammar and vocabulary
- Audio available on website and app
Learning English as a Foreign Language for Dummies is an excellent option if you want to self-study the language. All the instruction is written in English, so it’s best if you have had some exposure to English. In fact, the first chapter is called “You already know a little English.” Each chapter of the book teaches vocabulary and grammar to will help you get around in everyday situations.
There are also pronunciation tips as well as common, useful phrases. The appendices include necessary phrasal verbs and lists of irregular verbs. This book is a great choice if you want to learn at your own pace or if you are preparing to travel to an English-speaking country. Many reviewers bought the book for a family member that wanted to learn English at home. See what others had to say about the book here.
- Learn grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and more
- Focus on communication in everyday situations
- Sections that teach common phrases, phrasal verbs, irregular verbs, and more
Practical English Usage is a reference book that is best for advanced English learners or those preparing for a certification test. It’s divided into 2 parts: grammar and vocabulary. It provides detailed grammar descriptions of topics that students often struggle with. The second part is dedicated to the nuances of certain vocabulary words.
Many students use the book to study for the TEFL or CELTA exam among others. It’s important to note that this is a reference book to help answer questions about advanced topics. It’s not meant to be a stand-alone course or practice book. Many people who purchased this book were recommended this book from a friend or a learning institution. You can see what they thought about the book here.
- Divided into 2 parts: grammar and vocabulary
- Detailed descriptions
- Useful for TEFL, CELTA, and other exam prep
English Collocations in Use teaches those tricky phrases that native speakers know but can be difficult for English learners. Collocations are words that are often grouped together. Sometimes there is no rule as to why it is said that way, but it just sounds “right.” For example, someone can “burst into tears.” Taken literally, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s a common expression that is used.
English Collocations in Use teaches phrases like this one in a fun and interesting way. It includes some of the best phrases you can learn if you want to sound like a native speaker. It’s also an excellent resource for students preparing for the Cambridge or IELTS exam. Reviewers thought the book was an interesting book, but aimed toward adults, not children. See what you think about the book here.
- Learn common English collocations/phrases
- Excellent for intermediate level (B1-B2)
- Sound more like a native speaker
The Vocabulary Builder Workbook was created for native English speakers looking to improve their vocabulary for test prep. But it’s also a useful tool for ESL students that have reached an advanced level and need to learn new vocabulary for writing or professional purposes.
With this book, you’ll learn 1,400 essential words. As the name says, it’s a workbook so there are activities and practice questions to help you learn the word in a natural context and remember it. People who purchased the book liked the layout and the definitions of the words and practice quizzes. Learn more about the book here.
- Learn 1,400 advanced vocabulary words
- Practice exercises to help with retention
- Great for test prep
Short Stories in English for Beginners includes 8 stories to introduce you to reading in English. The stories cover different genres and are entertaining to read. They focus on the most commonly used words and have natural-sounding dialogue so you can see how people speak English.
Each story has a word list, plot summary, and comprehension questions to check for understanding. In addition to the beginner-level book, there is also an option for intermediate learners. People who bought the book thought the stories were interesting and a fun way to practice English. You can read what other people thought of the book here.
- 8 stories from a variety of genres
- Plot summary of each story
- Comprehension questions to check understanding
ESL Intermediate/Advanced Writing is an excellent resource to take your writing to the next level. The book includes lessons with thorough explanations as well as example sentences and practice drills. In addition to the lessons, there is also a glossary of key terms, practice essay topics, and more.
This book is an effective way to improve writing in preparation for the TOEFL exam, which has two separate writing tasks. It’s also useful for someone who works in an international company and needs to have correct correspondence with colleagues. Reviewers agreed that it’s useful for test prep as well as general ESL learning. See if this book is right for you here.
- Detailed lessons that explain advanced grammar and writing topics
- Practice drills and essay topics
- Useful for TOEFL test prep
Advanced English Conversation Dialogues is designed to take your speaking and understanding to the next level. The book includes many useful idioms and phrases that native speakers know, but English learners may struggle with. There are 30 dialogues that show how to naturally use the key phrases.
The best part of the book is that each dialogue comes with an explanation of the vocabulary words and phrases that were included as well as fill-in-the-blank exercises to practice understanding. Reviewers thought that the book was a fun and entertaining way to improve their spoken English. You can learn more about the book here.
- Learn common idioms and phrases
- Definitions of new words and phrases
- Practice activities
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that phrasal verbs are a necessary part of learning English. How else can you naturally say “turn on” a light? If studying a long list of phrasal verbs isn’t right for you, this book is a better option. 100 Phrasal Verbs to Learn for Life focuses on the most frequently used verbs so you’re not wasting your time memorizing thousands of low-frequency words.
The phrasal verbs are grouped by topic to make it easier to remember them. Each one has an average of 15 example sentences taken from authentic English material. There are also practice exercises available in the book and online to reinforce what you learn. Many reviewers said that this book is a “must-have” for both the independent learner and for an ESL class. See what you think about the book here.
- Learn 100 of the most commonly used phrasal verbs
- Many example sentences for each verb
- Practice quizzes to check understanding
Books are one of the best ways to learn English because they are convenient and budget-friendly. Instead of paying for a monthly subscription, you can use a book for life. And since they don’t require technology, you can take a book and study anywhere. Books are more comprehensive than other ways to study and provide detailed explanations and examples. And now there are many options for self-study so you can learn without a teacher.
To ensure progress, one of the most effective ways to learn English is to study using a book on a regular basis. You should create a language learning plan and aim to stick to it by scheduling study sessions multiple times during the week, or better yet, every day. This will enable you to learn and retain information more easily.
It’s also a good idea to use other study methods in addition to books, such as an English language app or an online course. Books are a useful tool for learning vocabulary and grammar, but an app or course might help you improve your speaking and listening more.
If you’re looking for a great book to learn English, there are plenty of options available. Depending on your goals and learning style, you can find books that focus on grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, or even cultural insights about the language. Before buying any book, be sure to read online reviews from other users – this will help you decide if it’s the right fit for your needs. With the right book in hand, you’ll be well on your way to mastering English faster than ever!
The best way to learn English as a second language depends on how you learn most effectively and the reasons why you are learning the language. If you want a fun and engaging way, an app like Rocket English or Babbel can help you learn. But if you want to dive deeper into the language, a comprehensive textbook or online classes with an English teacher are more effective.
English for Everyone is an excellent book to help learners of any level improve their English. The book is entirely in English, but the material is presented with pictures, diagrams, and color-coded explanations so the instructions and examples are clear. The book has easy-to-follow units, along with a practice book to reinforce what you learn.
Learning English as a Foreign Language for Dummies is a useful choice for beginners who want to self-study the language. Each chapter of the book teaches English vocabulary and grammar to help you navigate everyday situations. There are also pronunciation tips available as well as useful phrases, and more.
You can improve your English by reading books. What book you read depends on your level. Beginners can benefit from using a guided self-study textbook that includes explanations, tips, and practice exercises. Once you reach an intermediate or advanced level, you can read stories or non-fiction from English authors to develop stronger reading and writing skills.
Realistically, in 3 months you can reach a basic conversational level of English. But it’s not enough time to become fluent. To reach an intermediate or advanced level, you need much more time to practice, both individually and conversationally.