The ELT Grammar Book

the ELT Grammar Book - reviewed by Magoosh

Welcome to my review of a book that is very near and dear to me: The ELT Grammar Book. This is not a TOEFL book per se. But this book can help you master English grammar in a way that will benefit you on the TOEFL and beyond!

One of the reasons I’m so fond of this book is because it was written as a teacher’s resource. In fact, the book’s subtitle is “A Teacher-Friendly Resource Guide.” But over the years, I’ve also shared this book with my ESL and TOEFL students. This book really is useful for teachers and learners alike.

How to Use the ELT Grammar Book if You’re a Student

If you’re a student, have no fear: You absolutely do not need to read all 560+ pages of this book. Instead, you can treat this book as a reference resource. Whenever you feel stuck on a grammar concept or have a grammar question, turn to the book’s table of contents or index. There, you should be able to quickly look up any important aspect of English grammar and read all about it. Your reading will be accompanied by exercises, quizzes, and the book’s tradmark “In a Nutshell” summary reviews of different grammar concepts.

Be prepared, though, for some grammar and teaching jargon not found in other more student-oriented books. Specialized terms such as “cloze” (a fancy word for fill-in-the-blank questions) or “genitive” (a fancy word for posessive pronouns and nouns) are used there. But the jargon is always clearly explained.

With that in mind, if you’re a particularly advanced student and you truly want to know every major aspect of English grammar, feel free to read the entire book. I’ve seen a few students of mine do that. But again, that’s not necessary, and you can become perfectly fluent in English without ever reading a book like this cover-to-cover.

How to Use the ELT Grammar Book If You’re a Teacher

Has this ever happened to you? A student will ask a mind-bending grammar question, then look disappointed when you admit that you don’t know the answer. You have to sheepishly tell them that you will research the answer and get back to them. We’ve all been there. And while there’s no way to avoid these awkward moments entirely, this book can help you minimize the amount of times you draw a blank.

Because this book covers so many potential student questions, even really hard ones, I recommend reading The ELT Grammar Book cover-to-cover as a teacher, if you can. That said, I know as well as you that teachers are busy people. So alternatively, you could simply take the time to skim this book and make yourself aware of everything that’s in it. Do that, and you’ll be able to quickly reach for the ELT Grammar Book once you’ve promised a student you’ll research their tough vocabulary question!

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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