The Best Books to Read to Learn English

In the 21st century, learning English is no longer just a good idea, but an essential requirement for anyone who wants to study or work in an international community. Although there are several ways to learn English, nothing beats an outdated, high-quality textbook. With that in mind, check out our collection of some of the best books to read to learn English. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (OALD), by Hornby A., is the first on our list.

The OALD offers much more than any other dictionary on the market, and includes synonym descriptions and placements in English so that you can speak and write more fluently. There's even a digital app you can download that responds to verbal communication. So, if you know how to say the word, but don't know how to spell it (a common problem with many English words), the app will intuitively find exactly what you're looking for. Learning a new word can be very difficult.

First you need to learn what it means, then you should familiarize yourself with the pronunciation, spelling, and then understand its purpose in a sentence. And perhaps, what could be even more difficult? Learn to use the word naturally, as if you were a native speaker. Fortunately, the University of Cambridge has created an excellent series of books that can provide you with some of the most common phrases in English, as well as the most difficult sentences to learn. They're perfect for intermediate students, as they use your established vocabulary to teach you how words work together fluently.

If you want to expand your vocabulary even more, they also have similar books that help you learn idioms and compound verbs in English. Research suggests that one of the fastest ways to learn the English language (or any other language, in fact) is through the use of images. After all, a large part of our brain (the visual cortex) is dedicated to processing visual information. In fact, it's how we all learn our first words.

They see an image of a tiger, hear others use the word “tiger” and then they learn to say that exact word when they want to talk about tigers. For language learners, there are plenty of illustrated learning books available, full of the objects, places and all the other things you might need to know when you travel to an English-speaking country. One of the best is DK's English for All book series, which includes more than 3000 words, phrases and images of common objects, activities and situations. There are even additional sections for learning common grammatical rules, idioms and, for those of you looking to expand your future career opportunities, a section on business phrases. Another great addition to the University of Cambridge's collection of English as a Foreign Language books is English Grammar in Use. It is one of the most popular grammar books in the world, with simple explanations, lots of examples and practice questions.

When you finish the book, there's even a test you can take to identify the areas of English grammar that you can spend more time focusing on. Created by language expert Michael Swan from Oxford University, Practical English Usage answers some of the most frequently asked questions about English grammar and vocabulary, backed by simple definitions and identifiable examples. Designed for people with an intermediate to advanced level of English, this book aims to take them away from simply reading and understanding English to being able to speak fluently and understand what people are saying instantly. In addition, it includes a free audio version that you can download to your smartphone, perfect for those who find it easier to learn through listening. One of the best books on the market to improve your English speaking skills is Ship or Sheep?, an accessible pronunciation course for intermediate English language students. Focusing specifically on how different words sound depending on the letters used to construct them, each unit focuses on a specific sound which includes the 24 consonants of English and 19 different vowel sounds. This way it's designed so that you can explore the areas where you think you need to improve the most which is great if you know what areas you want to focus on specifically.

There are also some examples of conversations exercises and games that you can play with your study partner to mix your learning and make it more entertaining. Another great book that will help you master real-life conversations and speak English more fluently is Practice Makes Perfect: English Conversation. In addition there is also an audio component that is available for download in your application which allows you to listen to the conversations that are included in the book. Well the last book on our list may not be strictly about learning the English language but it's an essential book that you should read to stay motivated on your language learning journey. As good as books are at providing you with basic language skills needed; the best way to excel is by testing your knowledge of English. Join us for one of our English as a Foreign Language courses next summer and get ready for a learning experience like no other. By studying in historic city of Oxford; you'll have plenty of opportunities hone your speaking reading and writing skills while exploring cultural sights networking with locals and enjoying interactive communication-based learning. In addition our English courses are accredited by British Council so you can be sure that you are studying with leading academic provider.

To learn more about our English as a Foreign Language courses visit....

Douglas Sybounheuan
Douglas Sybounheuan

My passion is to help everyone Learn English Online through simple vocabulary words, sentence practice, and free online audio.

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