Britain for Learners of English as a Foreign Language

How to Use Graded Readers to Improve Your English

How to Use Graded Readers to Improve Your English

Reading books in English might seem like a very difficult thing to do. If you choose a book which is for a native reader of English, you might find lots of words which are difficult. Every time you try and read it, you will have to keep stopping to look up the meaning of new words. One good way to avoid this problem is by using graded readers.

What are Graded Readers?
Graded Readers are books that have had the level of the language made easier so that learners can understand them. Books are graded for vocabulary, grammar and the number of words used. You can get graded readers at different levels, from beginner to advanced.

How to Use Graded Readers

  • Choose a book that is right for your level. Look inside the book and try reading the first page. If it isn’t too difficult, it’s probably a good book for you to try.
  • Get a book that looks interesting. If you enjoy reading the book, you are more likely to keep reading. There are many different types of books that you can get. Fiction books include romance, horror, science fiction and crime stories.
  • Read about real life. As well as stories, there are also plenty of non-fiction books you can read.
  • Read regularly. Spend a little time every day.
  • Listen to the book. Some graded readers come with CDs or MP3 files, which you can listen to as you read. That will help you with your pronunciation.
  • Do the activities. A lot of the books have activities that you can do before and after you read the book.

Here are some suggestions for books to try:

Books for Elementary Learners [A1]
London
Room 13 and Other Ghost Stories
Anne of Green Gables
The Mark of Zorro
Love By Design

Books for Pre-Intermediate Learners [A2]
England
Bill Gates: The Road Ahead
Robin Hood
The Wizard of Oz
I, Robot

Books for Intermediate Learners [B1]
1984
The Mummy
One Day
Live and Let Die
Oliver Twist
Meet Me in Istanbul

Books for Upper Intermediate Learners [B2]
The Talented Mr Ripley
The War of the Worlds
The Murder at the Vicarage

Picture: Vladimir Pustovit via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0

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