Best Books to Help You Learn English in 2023

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Though thousands of books are available online, it can be challenging for ESL students to find the most helpful ones. However, as ESL teachers, we regularly review books of different categories that can make our students’ English learning journey smooth and pleasant.

The ESL team at ESL Advice has reviewed hundreds of books and come up with the following list. The list covers books related to speaking, listening, writing, reading, grammar, vocabulary, etc. We strongly believe that these recommended books will be able to offer our learners the easiest way to learn English.

Table of Contents

Two Books for Integrated Language Skills

If you are a beginner interested in developing your overall English language skills, you must look for something very compact and complete. After checking so many books, I’ve found a great book set that can help you to learn almost anything regarding English.

English for Everyone is a series of guides and practice books that supports English learning for adults from a beginner level to intermediate and advanced practical English. Offering an easy-to-follow format that offers guidance for both teaching English as a foreign language and a self-study approach with resources available to improve English speaking, reading, and writing.

The English for Everyone: Beginner Box Set – Levels 1 & 2 (Amazon link) is a great bundle of supportive reference guides and practice books to introduce English for beginners, including key language skills, grammar, and vocabulary. 

The book applies visual teaching methods to introduce the English language, reinforced through a variety of exercises and examples when used alongside the bundled Practice Books. the key features of the book are:

  • Sample language using clear, illustrated, and color-coded explanations
  • Extensive English-speaking audio materials are integrated into every unit, giving vital oral and listening practice
  • Easy-to-follow units, mirrored in both the Course and Practice Books for easy referencing and teaching
  • Visual breakdowns of English grammar in use, showing learners how to recreate even complex English sentences
  • Lists of useful English words and common phrases with visual aids are available throughout the book
  • Personalized learning

However, the English for Everyone: Intermediate to Advanced Box Set – Levels 3 & 4 (Amazon link) is also a great bundle of supportive reference guides and practice books to introduce English language rules, grammar, and vocabulary at an advanced level.

Two Books to Master the Listening & Speaking Skills

As we know, the primary purpose of learning English is to be able to speak the language. While in a conversation, you must listen to the other person and respond accordingly. There it’s crucial to focus on both listening and speaking skills.

If you want to improve your spoken English from home by learning real-world conversations, I suggest you try 101 Conversations in Simple English: Short Natural Dialogues (Amazon link). This book will put you into a real-world story that unfolds between six characters, told by the people themselves in 101 authentic conversations.

Also, by learning over 15,000 words of real English from this book, you’ll immerse yourself in a gripping drama and get an education in natural English in the process. However, there are some other features that you must consider before you buy the book.

  • 101 conversations in simple English
  • Over 15,000 words of dialogue
  • Real, daily spoken English throughout
  • Situational dialogues from typical daily circumstances
  • Conversations that are carefully written to be accessible for beginners (A2-B1 on the CEFR)
  • Each conversation is limited to around 15 lines of dialogue (150 words)
  • Summaries of each conversation

There are some other books of a similar kind that may help you to practice conversations. Practice Makes Perfect: English Conversation (Amazon link) can help you build the skills to communicate in English with confidence. The book is packed with crystal-clear explanations, numerous realistic examples, and dozens of engaging exercises to help you hone your conversation skills.

You’ll learn how to introduce yourself, make appointments, strike up conversations, and much more. The book is organized around 14 units that present specific conversational situations and common everyday scenarios.

Two Books to Improve Vocabulary

A rich vocabulary is crucial to use a language proficiently. Therefore, besides improving all the other language skills, you must focus on enriching your word stock. The Word Power Made Easy: The Complete Handbook for Building a Superior Vocabulary (Amazon link) is considered the most effective English language vocabulary builder available.

This is a great source of learning words that has already helped millions of ESL speakers in business, the classroom, and in life. Here are some amazing features that all ESL speakers consider while collecting this time-tested classic.

  • Step-by-step method
  • Arranged in thematic sections
  • Written in a lively, accessible, and often humorous style
  • Etymology to decode unfamiliar words
  • Phonetic pronunciations
  • Helpful reviews, progress checks, and quizzes

Another exclusive book of this kind is Merriam-Webster’s Everyday Language Reference Set (Amazon link). This is a very attractive and affordable boxed reference set featuring best-selling references to help build vocabulary and improve language skills. The boxed set includes the following:

  • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary ― over 75,000 definitions for the words you need today
  • The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus ― over 150,000 word choices, plus usage guidance
  • Merriam-Webster’s Vocabulary Builder ― learn 3,200 words with quizzes and root words―perfect for any test prep!

Three Books to Learn Grammar

No one can ignore the importance of grammar, especially when it comes to writing. Therefore, we have listed the world’s best grammar books available online in this category.

Raymond Murphy’s English Grammar in Use: A Self-Study Reference and Practice Book (Amazon link) is the first choice for intermediate (B1-B2) learners and covers all the grammatical items you will need at this level.

This book with answers has clear explanations and practice exercises that have helped millions of people around the world improve their English. It is perfect for self-study and can also be used by teachers as a supplementary book in classrooms.

There are two other grammar books I would like to recommend to all my students. One of them is The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing (Amazon link).

Regardless of your current skill level, this book has all the essential grammar elements that you need to learn, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, tenses, and beyond. Then, you’ll apply what you’ve learned to everyday situations you could encounter at school, at work, social situations, creative writing, online, and more.

This book can also help improve your writing fluency so you can gain confidence while crafting emails, cover letters, and conducting daily business and personal correspondence.

The other one is The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment (Amazon link). This book is the ideal resource for everyone who wants to produce writing that is clear, concise, and grammatically excellent.

Whether you create perfect professional documents, spectacular school papers, or effective personal letters, you will find this handbook very helpful. From word choice to punctuation to organization, English teacher Susan Thurman guides you through getting your thoughts on paper with polish.

A Book to Improve Your Overall Communication Skills

Communication is the key to success nowadays. In our social, personal, and professional life, communication is crucial to building networks and solving problems. Therefore, we have tried many books available online to help you with the best picks on communication.

The book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It is written by a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. The book offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations, whether in the boardroom or at home.

In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles, counterintuitive tactics, and strategies. By learning them, you can become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

In conclusion

I hope the recommendations will help you make your English language learning journey smooth and exciting. The books are tested by our team members, who are experts in different ESL skills.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

Leave a Comment