Useful Sites

All these sites are useful for teachers. Some can also be used independently by learners. It all depends on the learner level. See also the two ERF sites, and Online Reading for Fluency.

1. ERF Youtube Channel

An archive of talks concerning ER from past events.

2. ERD Facebook Page

For announcements and discussion.


This is a complete site, with free reading and listening texts from those for absolute beginners, to a few with 8000 headwords. This is great news for teachers who are searching for texts to bridge the gap between most graded readers and texts for native speakers. Most GR series end at around 3000 headwords.  Teachers can track their students’ reading progress and there are optional quizzes. Very useful.

4. Elllo (Online Listening)

This is an excellent site, which, as its title suggests, focuses on listening, but there are transcripts of the listenings provided. Useful graded material for teachers on a myriad of topics, with comprehension and vocabulary exercises too, but learners can use it independently, or as advised by their teachers.

5. ER

Travis Past and Jose Camino are compiling an incredible set of podcasts with leaders in Extensive Reading.

6. Bilingual Kidspot — Free Online Books for Kids

7. New York Times Learning Network (Reading)

Another excellent site, focusing on current events and concerns. There are pages for teachers and learners, but because of the level of English, weaker learners would benefit from teacher guidance.

8. Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab (Listening)

There are a large number of listenings on all sorts of topics, with quizzes and pre and post listening exercises. Very user friendly for students and teachers could use it too. As all the voices I have heard so far seem to be American, as are the situations, most useful for overseas students in the US or who plan to go there.

9. Many Things

Links of Interest to Teachers and Students of English as a Second Language. A wide variety of topics including famous American speeches. Not graded. One or two don’t actually work.

10. BBC Learning English

A series of little playlets and dialogues introducing specific vocabulary for particular situations; the first one is about keeping secrets. This time the situations and accents are British. Graded.

11. Time for Kids

The articles on this site are graded by U.S. elementary school grade levels, but each specific article has a dropdown menu with three choices of reading level, as measured in Lexiles. These samples were extracted from “Kids of Kakuma” for grades 3 & 4, dated April 20, 2018. The current articles are free, but there is a subscription service that offers a weekly print edition and access to the Time archives.

L540 — KAKUMA, Kenya — Wild animals roamed at night. But Rose Peter still slept outside. So did the 19 other children she was with.

L660 — KAKUMA, Kenya — Wild animals roamed at night. But Rose Peter and the 19 other children she was with still slept outside.

L800 — KAKUMA, Kenya — Wild animals roamed at night, but Rose Peter and the 19 other children she was with still managed to sleep in the bush.

12. ReadTheory

ReadTheory is a free site targeted to American native speaking learners. The site is “adaptive” displaying texts to the students at whatever level they are at, and increments their level slowly. Each short reading has a single multiple choice comprehension question.  The site now allows teachers to register classes and track their activity.

13. Wikipedia in Simple English

 Many of the articles are written using the 850-word restricted vocabulary of “Basic English”, while others appear to be written simply by the author’s intuitive feeling of what is “simple”. Thus the articles are not finely graded but rather ‘laundered’ to remove difficult words and syntax. Here is a site where teachers like you can actually contribute new texts!

 14. Project Gutenberg

This project was founded in 1971, and since then the project has grown from around 100 texts to over 56,000 according to their current top page. The texts are in the original language, so do not meet some of the criteria for graded, usable ER texts. Nevertheless, they are copyright free, so teachers can download and adopt them at will, perhaps employing ER-Central’s Text Helper <> tool to hunt out and simplify the difficult vocabulary.

15. Getting the most from Graded Readers
An article by Sue Leather, an ERF Board member.

16. (Pay site) Raz-Kids $109.95 per class.

Readings are set at 29 levels. A class can have up to 36 students. You can swap students in and out at will, although this would complicate the record-keeping function. There is a 14-day free trial. Many of the readings repeat at higher levels with more complex language.

17. (Pay site) XReading

Xreading is relatively inexpensive paid service that provides digital graded readers from many major publishers. The site provides a tracking function that allows teachers to see their current word count, their reading speed and how well they did on their post-reading quiz. Audio is also available for most titles.

18.  (Pay site) ReadOasis

ReadOasis presents about 2,000 stories in 10 CEFR levels. All stories work with high quality AI audio. Students can do all their extensive reading with ReadOasis stories, and they can track word counts for graded readers and texts they read on the Internet. The site has a LMS for teachers for managing classes, tracking word counts, reading speed, NGSL and story quizzes. Large discounts are available for classes and school students, making the site an effective and affordable ER solution.

For publishers

Download your Language Learner Literature Award Logos here.

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