Free ESL Reading Comprehension Worksheets for Your Lessons

Do you need English reading comprehension worksheets to supplement your ESL classroom?

Check out some of the worksheets and editable documents on this page.

ESL Reading Comprehension Worksheets
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Why Reading Comprehension Is Important

Reading comprehension, or the ability to understand the things you read, is a vital component of any ESL curriculum.

Students learning a second language may be able to easily and accurately pronounce the text they see on a page without actually understanding what it says, so it’s important to test them to make sure they’re actually comprehending the things they’re reading.

It’s also important to give your students strategies for reading to help them more easily understand stories and other texts.

Printable ESL Reading Comprehension Worksheets

You can download and print all of the following worksheets for free. Use them in your lessons or assign them as homework to your students.

Worksheets for Beginners (A1-A2)

Worksheet Topic File Download
Ben loves to play football Word / PDF
Sarah goes to the zoo Word / PDF
Moving to France Word / PDF
Visiting a restaurant Word / PDF

Worksheets for Intermediates (B1-B2)

Worksheet Topic File Download
Going on holiday Word / PDF
Job interviews Word / PDF
The workplace Word / PDF
Global warming Word / PDF

Worksheets for Advanced (C1-C2)

Worksheet Topic File Download
Giving advice Word / PDF
Education Word / PDF
Dreams Word / PDF
Bribing children to behave Word / PDF

How to Teach Reading Comprehension (5 Tips)

Incorporate Reading Comprehension Exercises in Your ESL Classes

You can teach reading comprehension in your ESL class by giving students exercises to complete directly after they read a passage. This forces them to pay attention to the content of what they’re reading because they know questions are coming.

You can also practice active reading with your students, showing them how to pay attention to sentence structures and keywords. This helps them recognize what to look for when they’re reading and figure out what’s happening in a passage without understanding every single word.

Hand out Worksheets as Homework

Because reading is a solitary activity, reading comprehension worksheets are a great homework assignment for students. Your ESL students can read and answer questions at their own pace at home, strengthening their reading comprehension skills and deepening their love of learning in the process.

Check Pronunciation

If you are using these worksheets in a one-to-one lesson then use it as an opportunity to test your student’s pronunciation. The first time they read the passage, have them read it out loud.

Make a note of any words where the pronunciation needs improving and then correct them afterwards. Once the first pass is done, they can read it in their head if it helps aid their comprehension.

Pick the Right Level

Don’t forget to choose a suitable worksheet for your student’s level. It should go without saying but it can be easy to forget this sometimes.

Don’t be afraid to step back a level if your student is really having a rough time. At the same time, if they are going through these like a knife through butter then it’s time to turn up the difficulty level!

Help Them Out

Try to get your students to work things out from context as much as possible. This will help build their language ability.

However, if they are really not getting a particular section, don’t be afraid to step in and help them out. Sometimes, understanding just one important keyword in a sentence is enough to unlock the context of an entire paragraph.

Browse our full archive of printable ESL worksheets.

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