Which ESL textbook for Low-Level University Students?
A reader question from Jo about which ESL book for university students to use if the students in question don’t actually speak English, as is often the case with first or second year uni students in South Korea. I have a few recommendations.
Four Corners is my favorite 4-skills book because the topics are interesting and the activities are engaging and interactive. It’s focused almost exclusively on real-life communication between students, which is definitely my style. If the teacher-centered lecture style is more your way, you’ll probably hate it. Most foreign teachers don’t teach this way though, so give this one a try. I’m sure you’ll like it–almost all my coworkers loved it the one semester that we used it.
If your students are extremely low-level, World Link Intro will be a good choice for you. It’s extremely simple and the grammar and vocab is presented so that even the lower level students in your classes will get it. The activities are engaging and come from a communicative approach.
Touchstone is very solid and is probably the most popular ESL textbook series in the world, for good reason. It provides a very comprehensive founding in the basics on English and nicely recycles grammar and vocab from level to level. However, be warned! Level 1 might be too difficult for your students if they truly are very low-level, so World Link or Four Corners would be a better choice for you.