The Chronicles of Narnia, according to one writer, is one of the few sets of books that everyone should read three times – in childhood, in early adulthood, and late in life. Many of my students have enjoyed the Chronicles, written by C.S. Lewis. They’re enjoyable and easy to understand for both intermediate and advanced English learners. And now an audio version of the Chronicles is available – free!
C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles
C.S. Lewis, an Oxford University professor, was one of the best writers of the 20th century. Though he wrote many serious works, he is probably best-known for The Chronicles of Narnia – seven books written for children but often read and enjoyed by adults!
The Chronicles tell the story of several children who crawl into a wardrobe (similar to a closet) and discover the door to another world, called Narnia. In Narnia, animals talk, magic is common, and good fights evil. The seven books tell the history of Narnia, from its creation to its destruction.
Free audio version of The Chronicles
An audio version of The Chronicles is now available free on the Internet. The audio files were recently released by Ancient Faith Radio for online listening or downloading as mp3 files.
They are read by Chrissi Hart, a British author and psychologist who lives in the United States. Even though she has a light British accent, the stories are very easy to understand.
I strongly encourage English learners to listen to – and even download – all of the books. There are 101 episodes, or segments, each about 25 minutes long. That’s more than 40 hours of great English listening!
Some people disagree about which of the books should be read first. I believe that reading or listening to them in this order is best – and most interesting:
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- Prince Caspian
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- The Silver Chair
- The Horse and His Boy
- The Magician’s Nephew
- The Last Battle
Consider buying the books and reading the stories while you listen to them.
If you are a lower intermediate English learner, and the books or audio version are too difficult for you, see if you can find them in your language. If you read them first in your language, the English versions will be easier for you to understand.
See you in Narnia!