Graded readers: How the publishers make the grade

Date
2012-04
Authors
Claridge, Gillian
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract
Publishing graded readers is big business, but there is evidence that the texts themselves are not being read in sufficient quantity to improve language proficiency. This article reports on a study of graded readers, focusing on interviews with some major publishers of graded readers, to investigate their production rationales. The findings suggest that the opinions of the ultimate consumers, the learners, are not regularly researched, with publishers tending to base production more on the demands of teachers and librarians who buy the books. The largest quantity of graded readers is produced for the intermediate levels, although if pleasure reading is the main purpose of graded readers, it would seem logical to publish a greater number of texts at the lowest level, to inculcate good reading habits from the start.
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Keywords
graded readers, extensive reading, publishers, learners, levels, reading habits
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