Dreamreader.net is a free website where learners can practice and improve their English reading skills. There are over 250 free reading lessons on a wide variety of topics and skill levels. The site has five different kinds of content to suit the various goals of learners:
1. The “Easy English” section is geared towards beginner learners and tests basic sentence-level reading comprehension. In these lessons, learners look at a photograph and answer questions about it.
2. In the “Interesting English” section, learners who are interested in the “nuts and bolts” of English can find articles about English grammar and usage.
3. The “Practical English” section gives learners a taste of English being used in authentic materials (such as reading road signs, coupons, or business memos).
4. The “Fun English” section is meant to offer learners a chance to read short articles on a mix of interesting topics such as video games and pop music.
5. Finally, the “Academic English” section is full of lessons and quiz questions in the style of a standardized English test.
Each lesson features a number of quiz questions along with a free downloadable PDF of the lesson and free audio. Learners can use this to help them with independent study while teachers can use it to supplement classroom learning. In the “Academic English” section, there are also downloadable vocabulary worksheets that students can fill in to help them learn and retain new words.
Dreamreader.net is the work of two English teachers who live and work in Japan. Neil Millington and Brad Smith are English teachers who decided to make a site dedicated to offering students and teachers a free way to practice their English reading skills. You can read an interview with Neil here.
It's often difficult to find interesting reading material for learners at their level — authentic texts such as newspaper articles are often too difficult — and Dreamreader fulfills that need very well. The added bonus is that each article on Dreamreader is accompanied by a spoken version, which means that it can also be used for listening comprehension practice. The site is has an attractively clean design with lots of images, though I did find the navigation a bit confusing as it's not clear where you are in the site unless you check the URL. Perhaps the buttons at the top of the page could change colour to indicate which section you are in, and, for "Academic English", which level you are at. And speaking from a purely personal point of view, it would have been nice to have a "Business" section. But these are just minor quibbles and should not detract from what is an extremely useful resource.
If you're using the Chrome broswer, install the Lingua.ly extension and you'll be able to get a definition for any word you double click on, hear it pronounced, and save it as a flashcard!