Mid-frequency readers

Main Article Content

Paul Nation
Laurence Anthony


This article describes a new free extensive reading resource for learning the mid-frequency words of English and for reading well known texts with minor vocabulary adaptation. A gap exists between the end of graded readers at around 3,000 word families and the vocabulary size needed to read unsimplified texts at around 8,000 word families. Mid-frequency readers are designed to fill this gap. They consist of texts from Project Gutenberg adapted for learners with a vocabulary size of 4,000 word families, 6,000 word families and 8,000 word families. Each text is available at these three different levels. The goal is to have at least fifty such texts at each of the three different levels freely available. The adaptation is done using the BNC/COCA word family lists and the AntWordProfiler program. The article also discusses research that needs to be done on learning mid-frequency vocabulary and on creating and using mid-frequency readers.


extensive reading; simplification; vocabulary

Article Details

Author Biographies

Paul Nation, Victoria University of Wellington

Paul Nation is emeritus professor of Applied Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Laurence Anthony, Waseda University

Laurence Anthony is a professor at Waseda University in Tokyo