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Reading Recommendations for Your Low-Intermediate Students

February 23, 2022

When I was an ESL teacher, students often asked me what they could do to practice their reading outside of class.

This question was particularly hard to answer for lower-level students since I knew it would likely be difficult to read an entire English novel with a language level lower than B1.

My answer for those eager lower-level students was usually the same: Try reading children’s books!

Even for older students, children’s books can be a great resource for learning basic vocabulary and getting used to seeing English in context. 

Reading Recommendations Your Low-Intermediate Students Will Love

Here are a few go-to reading recommendations from the Middle Grade (MG) category:

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan
  • They Called Us Enemy (graphic novel) by George Takei
  • Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  • Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega


Reading Resources for Elementary-Level Students

Another great reading resource is the Helbling Readers Red Series, which contains books written for elementary-level students (CEFR A1–A2). You'll find original titles, some of which are illustrated to help with comprehension, as well as classics adapted for lower levels.

Here are a few of the available titles:

  • The Time Detectives (series) by Martyn Hobbs
  • Sherlock Holmes (series) by Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by Maria Cleary
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, adapted by Jennifer Gascoigne
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, adapted by Scott Lauder and Walter McGregor
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Geraldine Sweeney
  • The Westbourne Kids (graphic novel series) by Martyn Hobbs

Students will find that a little bit of extracurricular reading every day goes a long way. Likewise, sharing what they’ve read recently with the class provides them with an opportunity to practice speaking. In short, extracurricular reading is full of benefits and has virtually no drawbacks. 

Got any other recommendations for low-intermediate reading resources to add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!

More Fun Ways to Get Them to Practice Their Reading

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Comments (5)

Deep S.(Teacher)

Could you kindly recommend reading lessons for adult literacy students.
Thank you!

Reply to Comment

Lara Henerson(Ellii Staff)

Hi, Deep! Actually, I recommend that adults read children's books as well. The content may not be as interesting for them, but these books contain valuable and essential vocabulary that everyone should learn. It's important to start with the basics for all low level students, regardless of age. However, stay tuned for future blog posts, because I'll be posting book recommendations for Intermediate and Advanced students too in the coming months!

Hasan H.(Teacher)

Hey there,
Any reading recommendations for A1 and A2 teenagers which are available as part of the digital assignment here in ellii? Looking forward to them. Thank you in advance.

Reply to Comment

Tara Benwell(Author)

Hi Hasan!
You may want to look at Easy Readers, Grammar Stories, and True Grammar Stories. There are also a small selection of beginner-level and low-intermediate topics your teenagers might be interested in Famous People and Famous Things. Another place to look is in the True Stories category of Real-World Reading, which we're just getting started on!
I hope these are useful!

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