One way to understand a culture is to read newspapers. They give you a good idea of current events and the world around you. Another is to read books and novels, which helps you understand different styles of writing and introduces you to storytelling. Anyway, everyone loves a good book, don’t they?
Reading novels in English can be difficult. However, students can choose books that have been adapted to beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.
You can find these graded readers easily on-line. They are produced by most ESOL publishers (Cambridge University Press, Pearson, Oxford University Press, etc) and are divided into different levels:
Beginner / Elementary A1 / A2
Intermediate / Upper Intermediate B1 / B2
Advanced / Upper Advanced C1 / C2
All the great classic novels are available, such as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin or Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. You can also find more modern books for adults and children, either as e-books or paperbacks.
Each book will tell you what level the novel is aimed at, and the vocabulary level (e.g. 400 word vocabulary / 800 word vocabulary and so on).
I encourage my students to set up a book club outside of our classes. A group of learners will meet once a month to discuss a reader chosen by one of the group. At the next lesson they tell the rest of the class about it and give a book review.
A book group is a good way to meet new people and make friends - why not join one, or start one yourself?
If you’d like to find out how to set up your own book club, contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org.