An Unkempt Garden of

TESL resources: Supplementary Books for students

articles: A, An, The

The Article Book: Practice toward Mastering a, an, and the - "A comprehensive guide and workbook for improving ESL/EFL students' understanding of English articles, The Article Book can be used as either a supplement to any ESL/EFL core text or as a self-study tool for intermediate through advanced learners. Cole involves students in "learning by doing" through an integrated approach to skill acquisition that includes other grammar structures, reading, vocabulary, and speaking." Reviews include - "However, too many of the example sentences used in the book are decidedly unnatural. Also, some of the rules are too dogmatic - English is rather more flexible than the author allows."; "I found this book is very helpful. Although it did not explain why, it provides a lot of useful rules and the exercises corresponding to the rules are very helpful. I recommend this book."

Three Little Words: A, An, and The (A Foreign Student's Guide to English Articles) - (an older book) Reviews include: "It chronicles all the nuances of article usage beyond count vs. noncount nouns...some ailments take an article while others don't...This book answers that and many more."


Practice Makes Perfect: English Pronouns and Prepositions - 128 pages; * Details all aspects of English pronoun and preposition usage * Clarifies the subtleties of usage that often escape ESL learners * Employs practical, high-frequency vocabulary throughout " Reviews include: "It is a great help. I use it all the time!..."

The Ins and Outs of Prepositions - reviews say: '[has] rules as to why something is used a certain way [and] which preposition is correct without the history of the English language tagging along... [has 60+] prepositions ...alphabetically, with simplified models and words grouped together that suit that preposition.'; 'must for anyone... confused by ... "about the house" [vs] "I will go see her about that."'; 'typical noun and verbs used with specific preposition patterns; but the verbs ... are really a minimum list.'

The Preposition Book: Practice toward Mastering English Prepositions - 264 pages; "intended as a thorough guide and workbook to address students' questions and misconceptions regarding English prepositions and improve their ability to use prepositions fluently. The book comprehensively covers prepositions and also provides opportunities to practice many other essential points of English grammar and usage practice...A Comprehensive Test appears at the end of each chapter."


Idiomatic American English: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Learning Everyday American Expressions - Reviews include: "Some of the phrases are a bit outdated, and the sample conversations are sometimes awkward, simply because 10 idioms are squeezed into 4 or 5 lines of dialogue. But it is a comprehensive and understandable collection of those weird phrases, like 'I'm broke', that we use so commonly. Very helpful!"


English Collocations in Use Intermediate (there is an advanced book available too) - reviews say: "...I prefer to deal with vocabulary/phrases and the usage of as they come. This book, although well thought out, leads you through such a large range of examples that I am not sure there is sufficient time to consolidate and actually remember.... for the motivated learner with a high level of meta-awareness of how they learn this may not be the case....such learners, metacognitively aware, will be better off heading to an online concordancer."; "...well designed for those who are not from English-speaking countries."


Vocabulary in Use - Upper intermediate, With Answers - This looks like a very useful book. Other levels are available, too.

2,000+ Essential English Verbs - almost an inch thick; conjugations; 125 reference charts including all major tenses, with both regular and irregular forms; Thousands of example sentences showing verbs in action; 40 lessons with clear explanations of tenses, modals, phrasal verbs, and more; 80 practice exercises; An easy-to-use format for both quick reference and in-depth study

advanced writing

Writing Better English for ESL Learners, Second Edition - looks good, but definitely for advanced learners.