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Reading is a great way to improve your English at any age. (Some people think reading lots of easy, fun things is the best
way to improve your English.)
Here is a new website that may be good for reading English: BeeOsasis.com: Big Things in Basic English. They have 6 different reading levels, from “very easy” to “near native.”
A professor started the website, and it seems different from other ESL websites. It’s very “clean” and nice to look at It doesn’t have a lot of annoying ads like most other sites. Most of the other free reading websites I’ve found have a lot of spelling mistakes and grammar errors, so I haven’t told you about them. This one is good and doesn’t have many mistakes! However, the website is still pretty new, so there aren’t a lot of stories yet. You can join the website, and I hope they’ll add more to read in the future. It’s free to join. (By the way, if you are Japanese, you can use the website in Japanese, too. Of course, the stories are still in English!)
Now, I think the levels are a little confusing. In my opinion, many of the articles marked “middle” are actually “advanced” due to the use of idioms and other difficult vocabulary. Just don’t worry about the levels. If you know you are usually an intermediate-level reader, but you need to read “easy” stories on this website, it’s OK. These levels are not the same for each person. Read things that are comfortable for you.
Even if you’re at an advanced level, you should keep reading in English. People may tell you things like, “Your grammar is correct, but it just sounds strange for some reason. I can’t explain why.” In this case, your English may sound “unnatural” because you haven’t read enough well-written English. (You’ve probably noticed this problem when native English speakers write in your language.)
Here are three totally different websites with lots and lots to read. Take a break this weekend and improve your English at the same time as you read something interesting!
- Quamut is a publisher of how-to and other guides. However, you don’t have to buy the guides. A lot of their information is available online for free. You can learn about baseball, jewelry-making, American business socializing, and more.
- Paula’s Choice is by a woman who calls herself “the cosmetics cop.” She writes about makeup and other beauty topics. She’s not afraid to say that an expensive product is no good. Personally, I think women shouldn’t feel forced to wear makeup. But if you like to wear makeup, you might find these articles worth reading. She also writes about skin care, hair care, etc.
- Little Brother is a new novel by Cory Doctorow. It’s written for young adults, but it’s getting good reviews from adults too.The book is a thoughtful science fiction story that takes place in the near future. The main character is a young hacker who is wrongly arrested by the American government after a terrorist attack. On the linked site, go to Download: Official Files to download your legal, free copy of the book. You can even download it for your cell phone.
Whether you choose to read a how-to, a makeover article, or a novel, I hope you find something you’re interested in.