Both basal readers and graded readers are books that contain simpler reading materials to help people develop reading skills. But what exactly is the difference between them?
Accoring to Wikipedia,
Basal readers are textbooks used to teach reading and associated skills to schoolchildren. Commonly called "reading books" or "readers" they are usually published as anthologies that combine previously published short stories, excerpts of longer narratives, and original works.
According to the article Basal Readers in the BTC by Michele McDaniel (Easter Illinois University),
A Basal Reader is a type of textbook that teaches reading skills in a specific order, assesses those skills, and provides coaching for those skills through several grade levels. Skills may be revisited many times with increasing complexity. This is also known as scaffolding.
What these definitions don't mention is that basal readers are intended for native speakers who are learning to read, typically children.
Graded readers, by contrast, are typically intended for people learning a foreign language, and therefore not necessarily for children. According to Wikipedia
Graded readers are "easy reading" books used to support the extensive reading approach to teaching English as a second or foreign language, and other languages. (...) Graded readers can be adapted from literary classics, films, biographies, travel books, etc., or they can be original works written at a less demanding language level. (...) Graded readers are written with specific levels of grammatical complexity in mind and with vocabulary that is limited by frequency headword counts.
Basal readers, which are aimed at childeren, don't always make interesting reading for adults who are learning a foreign language.
Language Learning Stack Exchange already has several questions about graded-readers.
Below are a few links about tips and program involving basal readers:
- Chrissy Romano-Arrabito: Basal Readers: 5 Ways to Make Them Work for Your Class, EdSurge, 7 September 2017.
- Catherine Gewertz: Basal-Reader Project Goes Online, Education Week, 16 August 2012.
- Reading with and Without Dick and Jane: The Politics of Literacy in c20 America.