The 6 Best Exercise Books for Intermediate learners

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(You’ll find a short vocabulary list at the bottom of this article containing the underlined words. If there are any other words you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask).

Finding the right learning materials

Each year I find myself looking through lists and lists of exercise and textbooks, which are said to be ‘the best of the best’. Publishers tell me that the latest edition of their ‘revolutionary’ book is better than everything else. But how do I know, what truly is the creme-de-la-creme for my students? After all, there are now loads of online materials as well that you can access (often for free).

The problem my students often have

As an English teacher, I have the same problem, because I have to find the right books for the right classes. Students often tell me that they don’t have time to browse shelves in bookshops or lists online for the best books for them. But why? Because the publishers all say their books are perfect! So what can be done? Well, I had to learn the hard and time-consuming way by finding the perfect combination of English-learning materials. I tried lots of different exercise books, texts books and online resources. And below, you’ll find the results.

But what is the fuss about?

The easy answer is that students are told that the first book they choose is the best for them. BUT, that is not always true. Why? Because every student learns in a different way. One student might like to improve their business speaking skills. But on the other hand, another might want to improve their grammar skills.

Best English learning materials

Depending on what sort of learner you are I recommend to you the following list of the best English-learning materials that are on the market, in my opinion. All of the recommendations you will find are perfect for courses and also for self-study because they are very well designed and explained materials. They explain the different language issues very clearly and with top-class examples.

So let’s look at them:

Best Grammar Exercise Book For Intermediate Learners

For any of you who are having problems with English grammar, then I have the perfect book for you. Into its fourth edition, Raymond Murphy’s fantastic book gives you the definitive guide from beginning to end about how to learn English grammar. Vibrant colours and modern examples give you, the learner, the perfect way to solidify your grammar knowledge. This book is also really good because it has an interactive Ebook. The Ebook is perfectly suited to those of you who would like to do extra online learning.

This also comes as an elementary level book. And, most importantly as an advanced book, for when your English level becomes higher.

The Ultimate Business English Book For Intermediate Learners

Ultimate Business English Book

There are many good business English books on the market, but this is one I like the most because it not only uses common business topics like handling calls and making decisions, but it also has chapters about people skills and an additional five ‘management scenarios’ for those of you who might training to become managers or are already managers. Each unit in a chapter is divided so as each language skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking) is practiced equally.

Moreover, you can find this book at an elementary level, pre-intermediate level and, of course, upper-intermediate for those of you with a higher level.

Amazing General English Companion

Amazing General English Companion

If you’re not a business person and you don’t want to learn just grammar, then please check this out humdinger of a book! This is a personal favourite of many of my students, because it includes modern topics for example future society and socialising. It allows for you to learn everyday English. With this book comes a very practical companion – the workbook, which lets you develop the knowledge gained from the students’ book.

Top class workbook to go with your amazing students’ book

Cutting Edge, like many other series of books has different levels: pre-intermediate and upper-intermediate. (Click on any of the links you find to buy these top-class books).

A couple of other companions

Here are a few other books that I would recommend to you:

  1. Matrix Intermediate for those of you who would like to just have a gorgeously written general English book. With topics that are up-to-date for example identity this stands out as a leader for general English books. This is also available at upper-intermediate. I recommend this to anyone who really wants to take their English to the next level!
  2. The Business 2.0 for learners who like to see more structure. Each little part of the chapter is divided nicely so as you always have a reading text, vocabulary, speaking, writing and last but not least a case study about a certain company, which many of my students think is the best part of the books. Also available at pre-intermediate, upper-intermediate and advanced.
  3. How English works: a perfect book if you don’t want to buy Murphy’s English Grammar In Use. All grammar issues are divided into small bite-size pieces to make the grammar easier to understand. I like it because the examples are very easy to follow and some are very tongue-in-cheek. Also includes a basic, intermediate and advanced level tests.
  4. My final recommendation would be for German business native speakers. With various topics such as making reservations, placing orders and my personal favourite topic: telephone calls, this book gives you very clear examples. Furthermore, it is also a book you can put in your bag to take to work with you. Your colleagues and more importantly, your boss, will be very impressed!

Common Questions/FAQs

  1. How do I know which English level I have?
    • The easiest way to find out your level is to this online English test from the British Council.
  2. How do I know which of these books to buy?
    • It depends on the type of learner you are and what you need English for. If you’re a business person, then these two are excellent resources for you:
      • In Company 3.0
      • The Business 2.0 are perfect for you
    • For general English learners:
      • Cutting Edge
      • Matrix
    • And finally for grammar learners, who would like to do extra online work:
      • English Grammar In Use
  3. What can I do if I think that the book is too easy for me?
    • The simple answer to that is to get the next level. Look at another series, if you have done the highest level book from that series.

It’s now time for you to look at the above list of books and buy the correct one for yourself! Tell your friends about these resources and make sure they also buy these books, so as that their learning experience is made easier! If you have any other really good books, then feel free to use the comment box to recommend them!

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