Everyone deserves to learn with dignity

Our story

When ESL Reads’ founder Lauren Piovesan was 18, she volunteered briefly in a refugee camp on the border of Myanmar and Thailand. Surprisingly, she was tasked with the job of teaching secondary students to read in English. The materials they had to use were Americanised, outdated, childish picture books, which as you can imagine, did not reflect the students’ context in the slightest! Lauren remembered thinking, “These students deserve better.”

Shortly after, Lauren started a teaching degree and on completion, taught English as an Additional Language (EAL) to predominantly refugee background students. Although she was now in Australia, a wealthy and well-resourced country, she still found it incredibly difficult to find reading material that was age-appropriate and relevant to her young adult students while meeting them at their learner level. She spent many hours during her time in the classroom writing and modifying texts. One night, fed up with this, Lauren thought, “There has to be a better way.” She thought that if she was struggling with this, many other teachers would be too. This is when ESL Reads was born..


Lauren Piovesan Headshot

Our purpose


is the age that most migrants arrive in Australia. 


of humanitarian entrants couldn’t understand English well on arrival.


is the age that a new arrival is most at risk of disengaging from school.

What do we do about it?

light pink circle

We combine the magic of storytelling, with the latest technology, to engage adolescent and adult English Language Learners in reading. Our diverse stories span various cultural backgrounds and settlement contexts, ensuring readers see themselves reflected. 

With 5 levels, our resources cater to diverse learner needs and allow for easy differentiation in classrooms. The same storyline across levels enables beginners to access essential topics. Our audio e-books support a range of abilities, developing skills from phonemic awareness to fluency.

We understand educators’ immense workloads. That’s why we level texts and support them with teacher’s guides and worksheets. We put all our resources on one easy to use platform so you can download, share, and print resources effortlessly. Whether hardcopy or digital – we’ve got you covered!