Using the Library to Learn English
How to learn a language by reading
Reading is one of the best ways to learn a language. People who read a lot know more words than people who don’t read.
The WVC Libraries have thousands of books. Most of them are in English, but we have some books in other languages.
The literacy development collection is for people who are learning to read in English. These books are easier to read than other books. Both children and adults can read them. These books have “LD” on the spine.
Choosing a book
If you want to read a story that the author made up, look for a fiction book. If you want to read a book with facts about real people and real things, look for a nonfiction book.
Fiction books have a sticker on the spine that says “FICTION” and the author’s last name. Nonfiction books have a sticker on the spine with a number, the author’s last name, and the year the book came out. The books are in alphabetical order, so “A” is first and “Z” is last.
Very easy books
Picture books are the easiest books to read. They have a lot of pictures and don’t have a lot of words. They are good for beginning readers and children.
The library has a large collection of picture books in English. We also have some in Spanish.
Dual language books are books that are written in two or more languages. They are easy to read because you don’t have to look up anything in a dictionary.
Most of the dual language books in the library are in Spanish and English, but there are a few in other languages. Some of them are picture books, and some of them are harder books. Here are some of the Spanish and English dual language books in the library.
These books have a “bilingual” sticker on the spine, or “LD BLSPAN” if they are in the literacy development collection.
Other easy books
The literacy development collection also has easy chapter books. These books have a lot more words than picture books. They are good for intermediate readers and older children.
Fantasy and science fiction books are often harder than books about everyday life because they have more new words.
If the literacy development books are too easy, you can try reading a book from the main collection. You might like these books better. If you really like a book, it is easier to read it.
If a book is too hard for you, it is okay to stop reading it and return it to the library. You can always try reading it again later.
How to read
There are two main ways to read.
One way is to try to understand as much as you can. This means reading a book and looking up all the grammar and words that you don’t understand. You can use the internet or check out a book from the library to help you. Here are some dictionaries and grammar books in the library.
The other way is to read as much as you can without worrying about understanding everything. This means reading a lot of pages and only looking up words when you really need to. This is easier to do if your book is not too hard for you to read.
If you are a beginner, the first way might be the only way that you can read for now. The second way gets easier to do the more you read.
Reading more books will help your English get better. This is even true for native English speakers. And if you find books that you really like to read, reading can be lot of fun!