About Graded Readers
What are graded readers?Graded readers are books specially prepared for language learners. They are shortened and simplified to make them easier to read and are graded by language level. For a guide to language levels go here:
Some readers are original stories, some adaptations of classics and a few are non-fiction.
Why use graded readers?Reading should be fun and not just 'homework'. For most language learners reading an unsimplified story in English is a slow, boring process. There are too many unfamiliar words and it is very hard to follow the central narrative.
EreadersIn addition to traditional paperback readers there now a variety of ebook readers for tablets etc. You can find a very low cost selection here.
How is a graded reader different?The main difference is that readers are much shorter. They have fewer pages, shorter paragraphs and sentences, and fewer unfamiliar words. They usually have at least some illustrations and the text is presented in a more accessible way. See here for a sample of a new version of the The Prisoner of Zenda.
Who writes graded readers?The text for the best graded readers is written and edited by language specialists. But above all they should appeal in the same way traditional book - through good writing and a great story. This applies equally to classics and original stories.
How do I assess language level?There is a quick self-assessment test here. This should be used as an approximate guide.
Which one do I choose?Choosing a graded reader is like selecting any book. Choose a story you would enjoy in your first language at the appropriate level.
You can find suggested readers at all levels here.
Suggested readers * Main series of graded readers * Sue Leather's tips on writing a reader