The Classic Few items can genuinely be termed "a classic". '57 Chevys and 65 Mustangs, Melville's Moby Dick - and a language teaching textbook? Brown's Principles of Language Learning and Teaching is the classic primer on second language learning -- so much so that it continues to feature in many of the North American MATESL programs. Now in a fourth edition (the first edition was published in 1980), the book has grown with the advancement of studies in Second Language Acquisition. It has undergone significant reorganization and updating in this new edition.
So, can a textbook be a classic? Well, Brown's Principles of Language Learning and Teaching remains the standard after 20 years. For those teachers who haven't taken a course in language learning theory, the readability of this book, along with its stature within the profession, makes it a "first choice" in your next bookshop visit, along with current best sellers and, of course, "literary classics".