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12 ESL Reading Exercises and Worksheets

Updated May 25th, 2021

After teaching for many years, I have learnt that the most successful reading comprehension worksheets in the classroom for elementary to pre-intermediate English language students are comprehension exercises that relate to their personal experiences. Reading exercises about weekend markets, high school and university experiences, career ambitions and the effects of technology are a few of those topics.

1 What is TV to you?

Watching TV is a topic everyone can relate to you. It’s a good topic for discussion.

What is TV to you?

2 AirTags (with audio and answers)

AirTags are a new device for helping people find or keep track of things. This  is a reading, question and answer exercise with audio.

AirTags reading comprehension exercise

AirTags reading comprehension (PDF)

AirTags audio mp3

AirTags

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3 Instagram Influencer (with audio and answers)

This is a reading comprehension exercise about a day in the life of an influencer.
Instagram Influencer reading comprehension exercise for language learners.

Instagram Influencer reading comprehension (PDF)

Instagram Influencer audio mp3

4 Lipstick (with audio and answers)

This is a reading comprehension exercise about  the history of lipstick.
 
History of lipstick reading comprehension exercise

Lipstick reading comprehension (PDF)

Lipstick

5 The Weekend Market (with audio and answers)

This is an English language reading comprehension worksheet about  a visit to a weekend market.  It is an experience that almost every student in the world can relate to and so it’s extremely suitable for an English language class.  Click on the link or the image to download the PDF file. 
A reading comprehension exercise about a weekend market for English language learners.

Weekend Market (PDF)

Weekend Market

6 Online  shopping assistant (with answers)

An online shopping assistant takes online orders and walks around a supermarket or department store and collects items to packed and delivered. This exercise is about the daily activities of a supermarket employee in this  line of work on the age of the coronavirus.
 
Online shopping assistant reading comprehension

Online shopping assistant reading comprehension (PDF)

7 Autonomous vehicles reading comprehension (with answers)

The arrival of autonomous vehicles is a topical issue of our times. It’s a great way to to engage in a discussion about the impacts of new technologies. 

Autonomous vehicles reading comprehension lesson

Autonomous vehicles reading comprehension (PDF)

8 First Day at University (with answers)

I have found that another easy-to-teach topic is a student’s  first day at university. This is a an experience that university students can identify with and  works smoothly in the classroom.

A first day at university reading comprehension exercise for English language learners.

First Day(PDF)

9 High School vs University (with answers)

This  reading exercise  focuses on the differences between high school students and university students.

High school vs university reading comprehension

High School vs University (PDF)

10  Christiane Amanpour (with answers)

This  reading  worksheet is  about the journalist Christiane  Amanpour.

A reading comprehension exercise for English language learners about the journalist and reporter Christiane Amanpour.

Christiane Amanpour (PDF)

11  What effect has technology had on our lives? (with answers)

This is an English language reading comprehension worksheet about the effects of technology.  It is an excellent complement to any lesson focusing on technology and society. It also works well in a class  when the teacher is trying to determine students’ knowledge of computing and internet vocabulary. I used it in a class with Thai ICT students and I could quickly asses the different English language abilities of the students.

Effects of technology reading comprehension worksheet for English language learners.

What effect has technology had on our lives? (PDF)

12  How to Entertain (with answers)

This is an English language reading comprehension worksheet about entertaining.

"How to Entertain" reading comprehension worksheet for English language learners.

How to Entertain ?

1 Inventing a Vaccine to Save the World

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