About Us…

“The best way to improve your knowledge of a foreign language is to go and live among its speakers; the next best way is to read extensively in it.”

bookwormWith so many good quality EFL websites now available on the Internet, it is hard to believe that there could be anything to do with learning English that is not already fully covered. Recent studies have shown that is one of the best ways to develop fluency in English. However, there are very few websites that provide free Extensive Reading material for lower level learners.

We plan to provide as much interesting Extensive Reading material as we can in “Simplified English” suitable for learners at the Beginner (400 Word Level), (800 Word Level), (1200 Word Level), and (1800 Word Level) stages of learning. Over time we hope to include enough stories for learners to be able build their reading ability all the way from Beginner to Intermediate level without the need to buy any books.

“When second language learners read for pleasure, they can continue to improve in the second language without classes, without teachers, without study and even without people to converse with.”

bremen town musiciansMuch of our website is made up of Children’s Stories and Folktales from around the world. These are not just for children. They are an excellent way for older learners starting out with English to develop their and reading skills. They cover a wide range of interesting situations, and use spoken rather than literary language.

“Good things happen to students who read a great deal in the new language. Research studies show they become better and more confident readers, they write better, their listening and speaking abilities improve, and their vocabularies get richer.”

shakespeareFor Pre-Intermediate level learners, we also have some children’s stories based on famous Shakespeare plays. Our main source for these is a book written over a hundred years ago. The purpose of the book was to present Shakespeare’s plays in a way that was both entertaining and easy to understand for young children. To learn more, check out one of our stories.

“Language programs that do not have an extensive reading or graded reading component…. will hold back their learners.”

stack of booksMany book publishers produce English s based on English stories. These are an excellent tool for Extensive Reading, and you will find that the stories in the lower level sections of our website are similar. A negative side to Graded Readers is that we see little of the writing style that made the original stories famous. As Graded Readers are designed to make money, publishers often cut out parts of the story and change the words so that their books are more entertaining and require less thought in reading.

For Intermediate level learners, we have chosen to produce Simplified English versions of well-known Short Stories which follow the original story and writing style as closely as is possible. This means not cutting out or changing examples of s unless it is absolutely necessary for understanding. We hope that this will help more advanced EFL learners to understand and better appreciate some of the great English writers.

“…reading results not only in the acquisition of the meaning of words, but also correct grammar. There are limits in using consciously learned words in sentences, whereas words can easily be used when they are subconsciously acquired through reading.”

audiobooksWhere possible, we will also provide a page where learners can read and listen to the original s of our stories, as well as links to videos and other more advanced material. These should be useful for higher level learners wanting to build their fluency to international university standard.

“Reading… must be developed, and can only be developed, by means of extensive and continual practice. People learn to read, and to read better, by reading.”

Extensive reading is exactly the same kind of reading that a learner would normally do for enjoyment in their own language – but in English and at a level where he/she can easily understand what they read. It requires reading long conversations and passages in English without using a dictionary. Much as in real life, being able to understand the overall meaning of what you read is more important than understanding every word.

(adj: elementary) Basic and simple; easy and not difficult". 6000
(n: elementary school) 1. A school for the first four to eight years of a child's formal education, often including kindergarten. 2. The first four to eight years of a child's formal education. Also called grade school, grammar school, primary school.

(adj: pre-intermediate) The prefix 'Pre' means before (ก่อน). This is the stage of learning English between Elementary level and Intermediate level where users are able to communicate independently about most known situations but still have not developed full fluency.

(adj: intermediate) In the middle of or between two things, stages etc. 5000
In learning English, an Intermediate learner will be able to communicate fluently in most situations, and around half-way to becoming an expert user of the language.

(n: vocabulary pl vocabularies) 1. Words in general. (ประมวลศัพท์) 2. The words known and used in something [such as a language, by one person, within a particular group or profession, in a story or article, etc.]. (กลุ่มคำศัพท์) 4000

(n: Graded Reader) A book that has had the language simplified to help second language learners read and understand it. The language is graded for different levels of learner based on vocabulary, difficulty of grammar and the number of words.

(adj: classic) Used to describe something that has been popular for a long time and has come to be thought of as one of the best of its kind. 3000

In literature, a method used to express meaning through the use of special forms of language. Most authors don't simply come out and say things plainly in their works. They use literary techniques to communicate meaning in different ways and make their stories or poems more interesting.

version(n: version pl versions) 1. A story or description that is different in some way from another person's story or description. The boy gave his version of what had happened. (เรื่องราว) 2. A form of something (such as a product) that is different in some way from other forms. A new version of the software should be available soon. (รุ่น) 2000

Christine Nuttall, former teacher and teacher trainer with The British Council in her book ‘Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language’, Macmillan ELT
Dr Stephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor of Education and former Professor of Linguistics, University of Southern California (in his book ‘The Power Of Reading: Insights From The Research’, Heinemann Educational Books)”
Dr Julian Bamford, Professor of Information and Communications, Bunkyo University, Chigasaki, Japan and Dr Richard Day, Professor of Language Studies, University of Hawaii (in the introduction to their book (Ed.) ‘Extensive Reading Activities for Teaching Language’, Cambridge University Press).
Dr Robert Waring, Associate Professor, Notre Dame Seishin University, Okayama, Japan (in A. Cirocki (Ed.) ‘Extensive Reading in English Language Teaching’, Lincom GmbH).
Dr R. Joseph Ponniah, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Technology, Trichirappalli, India (in ‘The Reading Matrix’ Volume 11, Number 2, April 2011).
Dr David Eskey, Professor of Education and Director, American Language Institute, University of Southern California (in his book ‘Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading’, Cambridge University Press).