Beginner English Resources – Not Drill Work!!!   Leave a comment

Recommendations for Low Beginners

 Very Easy True Stories: A Picture-Based First Reader by Sandra Heyer –

This series sounds promising, because it provides students with captioned pictures that clarify the meaning of the sentences beneath the pictures.   Next, students read the story in text form for real reading practice.   The exercises are not higher level, so they are a waste of time.  Don’t buy it new, though, because there are not enough stories.  Buy a used version and save your money.

All New Very Easy True Stories

Easy True Stories – Somewhat higher –

Oxford Picture Dictionary: Monolingual English VersionOxford Picture Dictionary (Monolingual English)

There are a few (6 to 8) very famous children stories being read by their authors on the Barnes and Noble website with the video, you will only need to buy a used or new version of the book and follow along reading as the story is read to you:

My favorites are The Polar Express and Where the Wild Things Are.

The Screen Actors’ Guild website has 20 to 30 additional titles being read by celebrities. You will only need the book (even a copy from the library) and follow along. I just got done listening to Al Gore and Annette Bening read children’s books. Yes, Al Gore is a great children’s book reader! The books are being read slowly, which will help with comprehension.


If you like that, Just Books Read Aloud has 490 books read online, and you can choose the level:

Audible has many audio books of fairy tales and children’s stories that have videos with them.  This site is the only one I am recommending that involves spending money.:

Where the Wild Things Are:

Where the Wild Things Are

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears:

Product Details

There are other Audible children’s stories that have a book version with enough pictures to understand what is going on in the story and at a low enough level for a beginner. You can buy most of the books either online or even more cheaply at your nearest used book store.

Here is the link for all of the audio books at a beginner level on Audible:

For example, The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne is very popular with children and adults. The first book begins with the children finding a magic tree house filled with books. When they open and read a book on history, it takes them to that time period, where they have an adventure. You can buy individual Magic Tree House audio books for $9 to $11, but you can also buy 8 books at a time for $33 on Audible. It is a good idea to check these books out at a used bookstore or library first to see if they are interesting enough.

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Here are the first two books:

Here are all of her Audible books:

Robert Munsch reading all of his stories:

Wait and See

He reads slowly!!!

National Geographic Explorer has non-fiction ebooks to read at a lower level for beginners. You can likely use your Readlang eReader with these ebooks.  Also, you get those great National Geographic pictures!:

January-February 2010 cover

The We Give Books site has many story books with great illustrations, fiction and non-fiction, including some classics:

We Give Books

You just have to sign up, but the books are free to read, like all the books listed here, but on Audible.

Magic Keys is a website with just story books and pictures at three different levels for all children:

Children's Storybooks Online

Scholastic has 54 non-fiction ebooks. You can click on any sentence and it is read aloud:

Scholastic - Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life

Here is a Pinterest pin that shows many online free reading books that would be suitable for beginning English learners:

Happy reading!  That should keep beginners doing casual, enjoyable reading to improve their English for quite a while!  Just remember to pair this work with thematic, research-based English lessons that allow you ample opportunity to also speak in English (and write as well).


Posted February 23, 2014 by laurieflood

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