We've been running our trial for about a month now and we're really pleased with the results.
Our development work has moved on to making the service available on a wider basis and we'll be expanding our blog into a more comprehensive website over the next few weeks.
It seems like a good time to set out what we're trying to achieve by developing Read Listen Learn.
This post then, describes the key features of the service we're developing to help people who are learning English as a second language. We'll be doing another post soon that sets out how we want to help teachers, schools, colleges and other types of organisation who are teaching English as a second language.
Reading materials for people learning English as a second language aren't cheap and they're certainly not affordable when you consider that the learners need to have access to a large number of them to really help them embed their language skills and develop their fluency.
At the same time, the abundance of reading material available free on the internet is of limited use as it is either written for native speakers or is of variable quality and lacks features to help learners such as glossaries.
Read Listen Learn will provide affordable graded reading materials expertly produced at a variety of reading levels.
Reading helps learners master English if it is engaging and enjoyable. That means providing a range of titles that will appeal to a range of learners and includes non-fiction titles on a variety of subjects.
We want to help people learn English but we also hope to help people develop an enjoyment of reading in the language that they can benefit from for years to come. That means trying to appeal to a range of tastes and interests. It also means providing titles at lower grades that appeal to adult readers and don't patronise them.
We'll be adding to our range on a regular basis and people using our service will automatically get access to new titles as they're added.
What's more, there's all sorts of ways that we plan to develop this over time to enhance people's experience of using the service and add to their interest in reading in English.
We love printed books and aniticpate that they will endure for many years yet but digital, online reading offers huge advantages in terms of ease of access to a regularly updated range of titles, in a range of places and settings and on a range of devices.
We want to provide our service where people need to access it and in ways that suit them.
We believe that people learning English as a second language can benefit from the power of reading for pleasure in a digital reading environment incorporating tools to help them do so. If you then add in the willingness and ability of people to help each other and the social networks that millions of them use to do so, we think that adds up to something really useful and very effective.
Perhaps this should go without saying but for us quality is an absolute imperative. We've paid attention to every detail and will continue doing so to provide the best possible service that we can.
English stories and articles for reading and listening practice
For students, learners and teachers. Improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Learn new words and build fluency.