The appeal of graded readers is all about encouraging foreign language learners to fall in love with reading and learning through reading. Like reading in one’s native language, reading in a foreign language helps us become more comfortable with the words and grammatical rules that enable us to express our own thoughts. Here are some reasons why foreign language teachers find graded readers attractive:
Unlike authentic reading materials, which can often be too challenging for lower-level students, graded readers carefully introduce learners to new vocabulary in context. This allows students to infer the meaning of new words without having to reach for a dictionary.
Graded readers also help students revise and practice level-appropriate lexis, reinforcing what they already know. By exposing students to the right level of challenge, readers help students expand and bolster their vocabulary and learn to express themselves more clearly.
Graded readers are made for everyone. These high-quality adaptations for English-language learners are not only written for their educational value, but they also keep the entertainment value of the original piece.
What’s more, there’s no need to force students to read books they would never choose for themselves; whether they enjoy comedies, thrillers, horror stories or classic novels, they’ll be able to find a book and a genre to suits their tastes. You can be sure they will keep students hooked, page after page.
Improving language skills
The best way to hone any skill is through consistent practice. Graded readers are short and focused, which means learners don’t lose interest and are able to complete the book, giving them a real sense of achievement. The books also come with additional exercises and vocabulary lists.
Encouraging students to read in their own time also helps them learn independently – an essential skill for anyone learning a language.
Supporting exam preparation
Reading is an excellent, low-pressure way to supplement students’ exam preparation. Students tend to enjoy reading more than doing grammar exercises, so they are far more likely to do it in their free time, and complete the exercises you set for them. Graded readers are also an excellent resource for students, as it helps them review key language in a natural context.
Bringing the outside world in
Non-fiction graded readers also appeal to students because they are full of interesting facts and insights about the world around them.
Graded readers can be used as great starting points for topic-based projects and to capture students’ interest about themes you want to touch on in class. They can also be used as source material for presentations and other collaborative activities.
Providing additional resources and practice opportunities
They may also come with downloadable resources for every book and teachers can also use the comprehensive Teacher’s Notes, extra activities, worksheets and tests that come with each title. Audiobooks may also available for most of the readers, and these provide clear models for pronunciation.