Graded Readers in the Language Classroom

Juliana Tavares

Graded Readers have been part of ELT for quite a long time. I have been teaching for eighteen years and I remember they were in the libraries of most language schools I worked at. They were just never used. I often wonder why there are still so many teachers who do not make them part of their teaching programs. Probably some of the reasons are lack of time and simply not knowing how to make the best of them in the classroom. Let’s look at some insights on how to make them a fun part of your classroom.

It all starts with the right choice

Choose titles that will interest your students. However, the most important aspect to bear in mind is to choose titles that are within your students’ language level. Students must understand most of what they are reading when it comes to extensive reading. You can make a selection of titles within students’ level and then ask them to choose from this previous selection made by you.

Make it fun!

Do you want to make your students interested in reading for pleasure? Make it a pleasant activity. Stay away from activities you already do in the classroom, with intensive reading. If you want your students to see reading as fun, work on the fun aspects of reading: discussions, connections, focus on meaning, not on structures, drama, drawing, etc.

Bring them to the classroom

The wider the choice you have available in the classroom, the more likely students will be to take more and more books home. They may not like the first couple of books they take, but if you have a good selection, they can go and get a different one until they find something they like.

Set the good example

It’s like raising a child: when your child sees you reading, they will more likely to read too. If you bring the books you’re reading to class, if you read the graded readers with students and show enthusiasm during discussions, if you share your passion for reading, they will probably want to know what all the fuss is about!

Ask for help

There are many teachers who love to share their great ideas with others. The internet has got many great activities to be inspired by. If you want to go a little deeper in the topic, check out our online course at and learn more about graded readers in the language classroom.

Have fun!