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These 8 Best References for Learning English in the World

NO SECRET anymore, English is one of the international languages ​​that we must master. The rapid development of information technology reinforces the position of English as a global language that cannot be avoided. You could say that English is the language of knowledge because the sources of knowledge in the world, whether in the form of books or encyclopedias, are written in English. This is the importance of ELT (English Language Teaching) for non-native English speakers.

We can access the internet and any field journals in English. The technology giants are mostly located in the United States (US) which is also based on English. Call it Google and Facebook which are accessed every day by the world’s population qq online. Not to mention global IT manufacturers such as Apple and Hewlett Packard which are also headquartered in the US with English as the language of instruction. So being able to speak English is now no longer an advantage but a necessity because so many have mastered it. There is fierce competition in education and jobs using English.


For BBC Mania interested in mastering English in today’s competitive era, the following publishers can be considered as the best and most trusted source of world-class English learning. This means that the syllabus and material they compiled have been tested and adapted to the needs of non-native English speakers. What are the best references to learn English in the world?

1 | Cambridge University Press

Who doesn’t know Cambridge University Press? It is considered as the oldest publishing campus in the world which was founded in 1534 by King Henry VIII. The publishing logo under Cambridge University is very distinctive and we often see it in their published books or on the campus jersey. Their published English books are very comprehensive, ranging from basic education to higher education.

Their English language exam certification is also recognized globally. Apart from ELT books, Cambridge University Press also publishes books on other fields of knowledge, both science and social. For those of you who need learning resources for school or independent needs, their published products are highly recommended. The titles of English books published by Cambridge University Press that are often used in Indonesia include English in Mind and Four Corners.

2 | Oxford University Press

As the second oldest publisher after Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press (OUP) is of course also very famous. Headquartered in the city of Oxford and founded in the 17th century, OUP is one of the largest publications in the world dealing in three main areas: research, education and ELT. English books published by UOP that are widely used in Indonesia for secondary education (SMP and SMA) include Aim High and Headway.

With 6,000 employees worldwide, OUP deserves to be recognized as a publisher of quality ELT books to support the progress of your child or family. Their social media such as Facebook are very up-to-date and offer many valuable resources for learning English. Likewise with their Youtube channel. During a pandemic there are many free webinars that we can take part in.

3 | Pearson English

Pearson English as the parent of Longman is also very well known in the world as a publisher of English learning books. Like Cambridge and Oxford, Pearson Longman’s headquarters are also in England, more precisely in London. It is not surprising that these three major publishers have become the main reference in learning English through their published books. It’s natural to learn English directly from your home country.

Today Pearson has at least 32,000 employees worldwide. Apart from Longman, Pearson also has other publications, one of which is Prentice Hall which is also well known in the academic world. In accordance with their mission, which is to help people achieve progress in life, via email newsletters and their Youtube channel they keep on announcing the programs and progress that we can achieve.

Carrying the tagline “learning without limits”, the English books published by Longman from Pearson that are often used in Indonesia include Backpack (for SD), Opportunities and Snapshot (for SMP), and Cutting Edge (for SMA). Longman also has a great reading series called Keystone.

4 | BBC Learning English

BBC is not a foreign name on the world scene. People may know it better as a trusted broadcast medium as reflected by its acronym British Broadcasting Corporation. Apart from broadcasting news, the BBC also produces films, both series and documentaries. As a form of support for ELT for foreign speakers, the BBC also enlivened English learning through a special website and Youtube channel.

Either through the website or YouTube channel, we can learn English easily. All are available at no cost or free. We can learn grammar and listening from their site, while videos on Youtube will sharpen our speaking skills. Because it is not a publisher, the BBC does not release printed books like the previous three ELT players. BBC Learning English always encourages us to respond in English, especially when leaving comments on Youtube videos.

5 | British Council: Learn English Online

The English learning services provided by the British Council are quite comprehensive, not much different from BBC Learning English. The English that is served tends to be for teenage or adult learners. Four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) are spoken on this portal. There are also Grammar, Vocabulary, Business English and General English compartments, as well as IELTS.

In general, studying at the British Council online is free unless you want to take paid courses or want to take a certification / test. What is clear is that this portal is very useful to encourage us to continue to be enthusiastic about learning English because there are many games, podcasts, and various information available to sharpen our English skills.

6 | National Geographic Learning ELT

In collaboration with Cengage ELT, National Geographic Learning has emerged as a global player in the field of English learning to be reckoned with. The English books published by National Geographic Learning are unique because the learning materials are adapted to the local country context.

National Geographic Learning is indeed committed to bringing the world into classrooms and juggling so that classrooms are always alive. Their English program enables students to learn about the world around them by experiencing them for themselves. No wonder their English books “sell” beautiful photos because their team works closely with National Geographic.

I once came across an English book for junior high school that was used in an international school with the words “Indonesia Edition” on the front cover. On the contents page, pictures / photos and materials adopt typical Indonesian content so that children who learn directly have an attachment according to their daily experiences. For example, a photo of a traditional market showing commodity red curly chilies. The presentation of local content like this is a plus because Indonesian students easily build relationships with the reading text or any material that is displayed compared to the purely foreign material that they have never seen directly.

7 | Macmillan Education ELT

Macmillan Publisher may be better known through its dictionaries, both for the child and adult segments. However, the publisher, founded in 1843 in London, has textbooks that target both elementary and intermediate English learners. In Indonesia, the Macmillan English series which consists of 6 volumes for elementary schools is widely circulated, while for the intermediate level there is Optimization.

Although pioneered in England, Macmillan’s major offices are in New York, United States. Macmillan Education ELT also offers graded reading books according to age or education level in the form of simplified classic novels. Please subscribe to their Youtube channel to get the latest news about featured products or programs.

8 | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This last publisher is no less than the references I mentioned above. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s most recognizable books are thick reading series with diverse themes and attractive presentations for children. The Florida Reading series, for example, comes with fancy packaging and graphics. The stories are unique and rich. This feature has an impact on the price which is quite expensive, but it can be overcome by buying used books.

Another uniqueness of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is that it has a special program or division that releases books to support homeschooler families. So the books are specially designed to meet the homeschool curriculum from kindergarten to high school graduation. Starting from mathematics, science, social fields, and of course languages ​​are provided by this publisher. The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt website is also very comprehensive, providing the information we need. Their social media accounts are always active and up-to-date.

Those are 8 trusted and best references for learning English on a world caliber basis. Please adjust to our needs and economic capabilities to get the best source. Remember that good command of the English language will give us better opportunities in both career and education. Start now by absorbing from prestigious world level sources.