Shorter ER

You don’t have to read long stories for Extensive Reading.  Lots of interesting short readings on a variety of topics of interest to you is also a great way to improve your reading ability and your vocabulary. Here are some useful sites.


This site has over 1000 short stories. You can listen to them and take quizzes on them, too.  You can register on the site and it will keep track of your current reading level and your progress. Visit

Teacher can register students in classes and set their initial reading levels. Lots of readings for students to select from. The free plan is sufficient for most classes.

British Council “LearnEnglish” websites

Kids — Learning English Kids/
Teens — Learning English Teens/
Adults — Learning English/

If you go to “Study break/ Graded Reading” on the Teens site, you can find many interesting short stories. Each story is written at three levels, so you can read the easy one first, then the same story at the ‘intermediate’ level, and then at the ‘advanced’ level. You can learn a lot of new vocabulary while enjoying the stories. On the adult site, General English/Stories has 17 interesting stories of less than 1000 words each.

Ethiopian English Readers — The Story Project

The Story Project was set up in 1996 by the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, the British Council under the directorship of Michael Sargent, and the British writer Elizabeth Laird. Over four years, Elizabeth Laird collected more than three hundred stories told to her by story tellers in the many different regions of Ethiopia, working closely in collaboration with the Regional Educational and Cultural Bureaux.

A large selection of the stories were rewritten by Elizabeth Laird in simplified English with the aim of producing readers for Ethiopian schools, so that children could increase their fluency in the reading of English while enjoying their own cultural heritage.

Voice of America

This site offers information at three levels, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. The are news stories with both video and text for you to read.  Click on “Video” to see a list of the daily news topics. “Audio” isn’t just sound! There are stories from famous American authors with the full text in addition to the audio, so there is lot’s here for both reading and listening practice!

People in America in VOA Special English

This site on archives several hundred easy stories about famous Americans. There is a audio file for each one that is spoken very carefully and clearly. The site is maintained by Charles and Larry Kelly, teachers in Nagoya, Japan.

BBC Learning English

This site has a series of animated short stories to help children learn English with their parents. Each story has a downloadable transcript and an activities pack to help children explore and use the language. But you can use them by yourself, too! The Six-Minute English series, for Intermediate level, is a great way to pick up some new vocabulary.

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