Over the last few years the trend in EFL textbook literature has moved away from dry textbooks towards books which bring the world to life through stories, and introduce students to interesting groups of people from around the world. The aim of these books is to stoke the student’s interest in learning English by engaging them in intellectualy stimulating new material whilst also introducing relevant questions and exercises that encourage real practice of new language.

By studying from these types of books the learner is exposed to the types of ideas and language items that will really help them gain a good score in the IELTS exam. They will also enjoy learning about the world around them and the people that live in it. Of particular interest are the sections on interesting culotural practices from around the world.

One of the best series of books in this mould is Life by National Geographic. The series incudes Elementary to advanced with every level inbetween covered. Each level comes with a teachers book that will give the teacher ideas about how to present each lesson and how to bring the exercises to life. Also included are an audio Cd and a DVD. The exercises from the textbook will be based on interpretation and discussion on the relevant DVD clip and then to enhance learning students will do gap fills, roleplays and interviews based on the characters they encounter in the clips.

Also published by National Geographice is the World English series, which allows learners to engage with Ted Talks and discuss the content and concepts with fellow learners. Their are three books in the series which cater for the different language levels of the leaners.

Below is a list of more titles  which will help students prepare for their IELTS exams, We have divided them by the skills that thye focus on.

Richard Harrison – Better Writing, Garnet Education ISBN: 978-1-85964-702-8
Pronunciation Study Book – Garnet education ISBN: 978-1-85964487-4
Elizabeth Walter and Kate Woodford – Collocations Extra ISBN: 978-0-521-74522-2
Meanings and Metaphors (activities to practice figurative language), Gillian Lazar, Cambridge University Press ISBN: 978-0-521-77436-9
Advanced Skills
Advanced Skills, a resource book of advanced-level skills activities, Simon Haines ISBN: 978-0-521-60848-0
For lower level students: IELTS Introduction Student’s book, Macmillan, 978-0-230-42278-0
For higher level students: aiming for a 6.5 and above. Ready For IELTS, Sam McCarter, ISBN: 978-0-2307-3218-6