In what ways can I use the Graded readers?

Most teachers only use graded readers in one way – for fluent reading practice. However there are other ways too depending on your aim. Here are some ways teachers can use Graded readers.


For reading fluency, enjoyment, and language consolidation

This is the normal way people use graded readers either as self-selected home or in-class reading, as group reading.

Self-selected home or in-class reading

When self-selecting readers, students select their own readers and read them at home, or in class, if there is enough time. This usually means that each student is reading a different reader. When students select their own readers, they are reading what they want to read, at their own ability level, and at their own pace (How to select their own reader will be discussed in more detail later). This allows the students to enjoy their reading in English, as well as building reading fluency, and consolidating their language knowledge. The main advantage of this method is that it takes very little class time (especially if the reading is done at home) and it adds significantly to the total amount of exposure to English the students get per week. Usually, students exchange readers once a week at the same time (which takes about 10 minutes). Students can complete quizzes and other assessment activities at home, too. If there is a silent reading period in class, the teacher’s role is to give advice to the students about which readers to read and to monitor their reading.

Group reading

When Group-Reading, the students read the same reader(s) together (so teachers need multiple copies of the same reader). The aim of this type of reading is to ensure a deep and thorough understanding of the story, and at the same time work on some of the language as a class. In this mode, teachers read a few pages in each reading class using exercises guide the reading. The benefit of this method is that the teacher can keep a close check on what the students are learning, and how well they understand the reading. However, when group-reading students all read the same reader, and the weaker and stronger students may require different instruction. Therefore, this type of reading should be supplemented with self-selected reading as described above.

To stimulate discussion and writing

Many teachers ask students to write a review of the books they read and to use them for discussion. Reading Circles is a great way to do this.

As language learning  materials

This is the same as Group-reading but using follow-up activities to supplement and consolidate language learned in the reading. For example, the teacher could set comprehension test, work on the language in the graded reader and teach the vocabulary. These exercises can be done in class, or assigned as homework. This type of reading requires the most class time, but is very beneficial to students as it enables them to learn a lot of new language while learning to read.

This table explains some ways you can use Graded readers depending on your aim.


To enjoy reading in English

Practice Reading Mode )

Using the readers for language study

Study Mode )

Reading or Listening



Style Self-selectedreading Group-reading for comprehension and discussion Self-selectedlistening Group-listening Self-study reading with language exercises Group-reading Group-reading with language exercises
Best use Fun individual reading of a story Fun shared (class) reading, and discussing a story Fun individual listening to a story Fun shared (class) listening to, and discussing a story Individual reading and language work Whole class reading and some language work Whole class reading and lots of language work
How? Students read their own readers silently in class (if time), or at home Students work through the same reader led by the teacher. Teacher can use some discussion and comprehension activities Students listen to the CD Audio from their own choice of stories Teacher reads aloud.Students listen to the CD.Teacher can use some discussion and comprehension activities Students read each reader and do the exercises Students read each reader. Teachers go over it Students work through the same reader. Teachers go over it with  exercises
Where? Class / Out of class / Home Class Out of class Class Out of class Class Class / Out of class / Home
Features · Own pace.· At own ability level.· Students select their own reader. · Teacher selects reader.· Good for discussion and careful check of understanding. · Own pace.· At own ability level.· Students select their CD/story. · Teacher selects reader.· Good for discussion and careful check of understanding. · Read each story and check comprehension.· Practice the grammar and vocabulary. · Teacher selects reader.· Good for class check of understanding, and class language work. · Read each story and check comprehension carefully.· Practice the grammar and vocabulary.
Class time needed per week 10-15 minutes to exchange readers, to discuss the reading and assessment (if required.) 5 minutes at the end of a class 2-3 times a week. 10-15 minutes to exchange CDs and to discuss the listening and assessment (if required) 5 minutes at the end of a class 2-3 times a week. Assign out of class work. Need time to check homework. As needed As needed
Assessment choices (see below) · Informal· reader tests  · Informal· reader tests ·  reader tests ·  Informal·  reader tests. · Progress tests· Level tests · reader tests.· Level tests. · Progress tests.· reader tests.· Level tests.
Materials needed · A class library of readers to select from. · Students all have the same reader· · A class library of CDs / Audio Tapes to select from. · The CD Audio Tape for the reader· Lesson Planner. · All the readers at each level· · Students all have the same reader. · Students all have the same readers