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English Language Learners (ELL): Browse the Library Shelves

Starting points for finding information on learning English as a second language.

CALL NUMBERS & BROWSING THE SHELVES

The call number is the number on the spine of a book.  It acts as the book's "address" and tells you where you can find the book on the library's shelves. 

At Madison College Libraries books are arranged on the shelves by call number, according to the Dewey Decimal System (000--999).  

In general, you'll find books on the same topic shelved close together. If you know the general number for your topic (for example, 420s for English language), you can browse the shelves in that area for similar books.

WHERE TO LOOK: EASY READING TEXTS

We have a selection of high interest/low reading level books to help you improve your reading skills.  The public library is another good source of high interest/low reading level materials.

The South Library also has a collection of easy reading picture books.  These can be an excellent starting place for beginning readers of English.

If you're having trouble finding a book to suit your interests and reading level, ask at the desk.  We'll be happy to help.

WHERE TO LOOK: ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND USAGE

To find books on various aspects of English language learning, browse the shelves for the following call numbers:  

420 English language

421.54 Standard American English spelling and pronunciation

423 Dictionaries of standard English

425 & 428.2 English grammar

428 Standard English usage

428.6 Readers  (e.g. easy readers)

808 Academic writing

You will also find a variety of bilingual dictionaries in the 430s - 490s area of the Reference section. 

WHERE TO LOOK: AMERICAN LIFE AND CUSTOMS

For books on American life and customs, try the following call numbers:

          391-394  Customs

          395  Etiquette and manners

          917.3  United States (geography/travel)

          973  United States (history)

CDs AND DVDs

Our libraries also have CDs and DVDs to help you learn English.  These are arranged by call number and are shelved throughout the collection with the books. Ask the library staff if you need help finding them.