for English language learners

ELT Readers Guide

Graded Readers are books specially prepared for language learners. Some are original stories and some adaptations of classics.

Here is a short guide to some of main series.

Macmillan Readers

A wide range of titles - some original and some simplified - from modern and classic novels, and designed to appeal to all age-groups, tastes and cultures.

The books are divided into five levels: Starter Level, with about 300 basic words; Beginner Level (600 basic words); Elementary Level (1100); Intermediate Level (1600); and Upper Level (2200). Some of the titles are also available on cassette.

ESL Reading recommends:

Love by Design: Elementary (Macmillan Reader)
  • Love by Design is a romantic story of high drama and young love. It's funny, too! First published in 1992 it's a popular choice for young adults

Rebecca (Macmillan ELT Reader & CD Pack)
  • 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again ... '
  • Classic romantic tale of mystery, passion, secrets and betrayal. Upper Intermediate

Oxford Bookworms

This series of readers is aimed at students at six levels from elementary to advanced. Most are retellings of classic stories using a vocabulary appropriate for English language learners. All stages have exercises for classroom or private use, plus a glossary to help with vocabulary.

ESL Reading recommends:

WASHINGTON SQUARE: 1400 Headwords (Oxford Bookworms Library)

Cambridge English Readers

Cambridge English Readers is series of original fiction, specially written for learners of English. Graded into six levels - from elementary to advanced - the stories in this series provide easy and enjoyable reading on a wide range of contemporary topics and themes.

The Amsterdam Connection Level 4 (Cambridge English Readers)

A Tangled Web Level 5 Upper Intermediate Book with Audio CDs (3) Pack (Cambridge English Readers)

Oxford Progressive English Readers

This popular series of readers has now been completely revised and updated, using a new syllabus and new word structure lists.

Readability has been ensured by means of specially designed computer software. Words that are above level but essential to the story are explained within the text, illustrated, and then reused for maximum reinforcement.

Oxford Storyland Readers

A primary reading series for young learners. Carefully graded according to twelve levels of reading ability and controlled using especially designed computer software. These original stories promote language development and a sense of achievement in young learners. -

Each reader in the series includes puzzles every four pages which provide reinforcement of the content. Comprehension-type questions are provided at the end of the book and these are designed to check the learners' global and specific understanding of the story.

The books at levels 7-12 are more factual pieces. The aim of this is to relate to the learners' own experience and encourage a genuine interest in reading.

Rain Man (Penguin Readers, Level 3)
The Wave (Penguin Readers)
Danger at Sea (Heinemann)

Beginner/Elementary/Pre-Intermediate/ Intermediate/Advanced