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LostInParadise's avatar

Would it be worthwhile to rewrite books so that they could be read by adults who are learning to speak English?

Asked by LostInParadise (27301points) February 19th, 2020

It is hard for adults learning to speak English to find suitable reading material. What is readable for them tends to be written for non-adults.

Shouldn’t there be a market for books that have been rewritten for grownups with an intermediate knowledge of the language? These people are not stupid. They can handle sophisticated ideas. I have tutored people learning English, and the reading materials designed for them are not particularly well written.

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12 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting idea. I just don’t know how big the audience would be for these books. What topics are you thinking about? Fiction? Non-fiction?

Stories like the old Readers Digest short stories are written at a fairly easy level.

janbb's avatar

It’s already being done. There are easy versions of classics and other fiction in public and academic libraries.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I can understand why the market for such books would be too limited to render such ventures profitable. To begin with, anyone interested in the story or subject of the book would snatch the edition printed in the language with which they are fluent.

ragingloli's avatar

No. Dumbing down material is a fool’s errand.
You just need to have a dictionary nearby.

Even the “simple english” version of Wikipedia, with its short, staccato-like sentences, I find supremely grating.

LostInParadise's avatar

@janbb , I will have to check out the local library to see what is available. What would be most useful would be short non-fiction split into sections that could be covered in one or two class sessions.

@ragingloli , I take your point, but I am not convinced that something can’t be well written for those with limited vocabularies. I am thinking more of intermediate level learners, people who know the rudiments of using conjunctions and prepositions to create relatively sophisticated sentences.

ragingloli's avatar

You might as well remake Citizen Kane with a cast consisting solely of Teletubbies.

elbanditoroso's avatar

We used Cliff’s Notes in high school. Served the same purpose.

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso Cliff Notes does not give you the flavor of what is written.

@LostInParadise I have also read some simplified French literature. Sure it’s not the real thing but it is a good learning tool.

janbb's avatar

I just did some searching in the academic library I worked in and the catalog subject heading was “Readers for New Literates.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

They just have to do what kids do. Start off easy and work their way up.

kritiper's avatar

Comic books do that. There was the “Illustrated Classics” that come to mind…

stanleybmanly's avatar

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