Extensive Reading Resources

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Since Extensive Reading (ER) is a crucial part of language learning, I have compiled some important ER resources to help you promote ER in your classroom. ER can build learners’ confidence, enjoyment and autonomy.

If you missed my first blog post, The Role of Extensive Reading in Language Learning, please read it when you get a chance so that the resources below will be most helpful.

Below are some of the important resources and activities that I use.

Some Important Extensive Reading Websites

  1. ER Central: Free Extensive Reading and Extensive Listening materials for second or foreign language learners.  
  2. Extensive Reading Foundation Graded Reader List: downloadable and searchable database of graded readers around the world
  3. Rob Waring’s website about ER 
  4. Rob Waring’s ER activities and strategies
  5. Some ER videos if you are more interested in listening instead of reading about ER
  6. Some important questions about ER, with answers
  7. TESL Professional Development offered by very useful Extensive Reading websites
  8. ER activities especially suited to more independent learners

Some ER Activities

  • Time Reported Reading: Read 1 minute, but not too fast or slow, just comfortably. Underline the last word (do this three times): 99% of students’ reading rates increase. This motivates students to trust their own ability and therefore continue ER.
  • Engage in Book Chat: Use 10-15 minutes of class time to encourage students to share what they have read. You can do this in pairs or groups of four, with several little chats at once or however you like. For instance, the following questions can be asked during a book chat “What … is the most interesting information you have read so far? /  / … have you learned from this book? …etc.”
  • Reread the Story: If students really enjoy the story that they read, encourage them to reread the story in order to build reading fluency. This activity ties in with the overall teaching strategy presented in the archived TESL Ontario Webinar, “ Slow = Fast: Back-to-the-Well for Learner Success.”
  • Think About the Story: Suggest that your students visualize the story on every page they read for further enjoyment. For instance, you can ask a question, “While you were reading, what did you picture in your mind about the story?” This question will help students stay focused and understand the story better.
  • Listen to the Story: (CD/MP3): After the reading is done, students can listen to the story, which will help them to make connnections between form and sound (this can be done at home or in a reading lab). For example, Graded Readers has an option to read and listen for lower or high level students.
  • Re-tell the Story in Your Own Words: For instance, students should include the characters, setting, problem, happenings and solution in the story retelling, which will help them to stay focused and recognize key narrative elements.
  • Practice Sustained Silent Reading (SSR): This can be done in class, perhaps once a week for 15 minutes. This practice will help students to understand that SSR is done quietly and alone. If the teacher engages in SSR at the same time, and if students realize that everyone is enjoying the process, this activity will increase their intrinsic motivation towards ER.  
  • Create a Reading Wall: Student(s) can create a poster and present it to the class, after which it can be posted on the wall. This offers good practice in interpreting the text. Students search for information, evaluate collected data, etc.
  • Keep a Reading Log: This can help students stay motivated by seeing how much they have done and help teachers monitor their reading. Here is a sample reading log format I have used.

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need a book” – Dr. Sue J


Date Book Title Number of pages Read Rating
February 17, 2016 Persepolis
(The story of a childhood in Iran)
5 🙂

What kind of resources do you use for ER? Could you please share them with us in the comment box below? Thank you kindly!

Post written by: Gonul Turkdogan

A graduate of Brock University, with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Women Studies, Gonul later earned her TESL Certificate and Masters of Applied Linguistics (TESL). She previously taught English in China and Turkey and currently teaches EAP at Niagara College, Welland, ON. Gonul finds working with international students rewarding and is passionate about education. Research interests are Extensive Reading and Second Language Reading. 


7 thoughts on “Extensive Reading Resources”

  1. Thank you for sharing all of these practical pedagogical resources and activities in both of these helpful posts, Gonul!

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