Teachers always tell their students that one of the best ways to improve their English is to read as much as possible. It’s great advice, but there’s one small problem with this advice. It can be very difficult to find something to read in English that isn’t intended for a native speaker. Newspapers and novels are often too hard for students to understand, and cereal boxes won’t hold your attention for very long. It’s not easy to strike the balance between something that is interesting to read, and something that is accessible for a person who is learning the language. Here’s the solution: Graded Readers!
What is a Graded Reader?
English is a rich and beautiful language. English literature; its books, plays, and poems; is also rich and beautiful. There are so many great books to explore and fall in love with, that it’s impossible to know where to start. If you love mystery and detective stories, English can offer you the Sherlock Holmes books to challenge your logic and reason. If adventure is more your style, then famous novels like Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island will excite you and stimulate your imagination. Or maybe you prefer a good love story. Well, classics like Sense and Sensibility or Gone with the Wind will keep you sighing for your long lost love and dreaming about romance.
Great publishers, like Pearson and Penguin, don’t want people who are learning English to miss out on all of this great English literature. They had the great idea of publishing many of these famous novels, and other great titles, in a reduced and simplified form. These are Graded Readers. You can still enjoy all of the mystery of Sherlock Holmes, or the excitement of Treasure Island, but at an A2 or B1 level, rather than in its original form.
How can Graded Readers benefit me?
Seeing a language on paper, focusing on how people communicate with each other and how a good, proper sentence is formed is a great way to learn and improve your English. Trying to read a normal book, though, can be very challenging. If you’re learning English, you might have to stop every line in a novel and look up a word in the dictionary, or translate it into your language. This will prevent you from enjoying the book, and make it boring and uninteresting. With Graded Readers, though, you can choose the level of English of the book. This means that you get all of the benefits of reading without feeling lost and confused. Graded Readers also have activities for students at the back of the book, so that after reading you can test yourself to see if you have understood what you read. These are questions about comprehension and vocabulary that will help you stretch and improve your English!
Where can I find Graded Readers?
If you’ve never heard of Graded Readers, it’s ok. They aren’t difficult to find. If you don’t want to leave your house, you can find Graded Readers online at places like Amazon or eBay. If you love bookshops, most have Graded Readers in stock. At Ingla, we have a selection of Graded Readers that our students can borrow free of charge. It’s part of our policy to add richness and colour to Inglans’ lives and give them as many opportunities to improve their English as possible. If you’re ever in North London and you want something good to read, pop into Ingla and ask for a Graded Reader. You’ll have to sign up for a class first, though!