C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

January 21, 2011

The Newsletter has moved!

Filed under: General — Jenn @ 10:09 am

The C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter has moved to our Research Guides. Now all the information you need from the Library is in one place. Visit http://codlrc.org/abe or http://codlrc.org/esl and click For Faculty in the menu.
I will continue to maintain this site as an archive of earlier newsletters, though it will not be updated.
As always, I will continue to send the newsletter as a PDF via email along with a link to the new location of the online version. If you have any questions about the newsletter, library services for you or your students, or just want to say hi, email me at kelleyj@cod.edu.
Thanks for supporting the C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter!


November 1, 2010

November 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletter — Jenn @ 1:00 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

November 2010


Reference Collections

If you’ve been in the Library since the start of the Fall semester, you will have noticed that we moved some furniture around over the Summer break.  In doing so, we completely upended the organization of our Reference Collection.  This collection has always been a challenge for students to navigate– the call number ranges on the ends of the shelves can be confusing, the shelves are close to the ground and hard to browse.  Now, it’s even hard for the librarians to find our way around!  I, for one, knew the collection not by call number, but by plain old remembering the physical location of certain types of books on the shelf.  Now, everything has been turned around and a student’s guess is as good as mine when it comes to finding the Encyclopedia of Junk of Food.

The Reference Collection is a fun place to browse, though.  We have such a wide range of dictionaries, indexes and subject encyclopedias and we’re adding new material all the time. There’s always something to match anyone’s interest– whether it’s soccer, science fiction, space or swearing.

Reference books are also an excellent way to familiarize oneself with a new area of study.  Simply flipping through something like the Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians or Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology can provide a quick introduction to the breadth of a topic and the many related subtopics.

Students looking for background information or quick references, aren’t limited to the collection in the Library, however.  Reference resources are available 24/7 via an ever-increasing online collection that includes databases such as Credo Reference and the Gale Virtual Reference Library.  These collections allow students to search multiple reference titles (dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographies and more) simultaneously.  Need to know what the phrase “cold war” means?  A quick search in Credo yields articles from general reference sources as well as information from social science, history, literature and science sources. Students get images, maps, audio and links to biographies of related people.

I love learning new tidbits of information, but don’t always have time to read entire books (or even articles!) on subjects that interest me– that is why I’m a fan of reference books.  The content is easily accessible, presented in manageable-sized chunks of information, generally illustrated and eminently browsable.  I would encourage you and your students to explore the wonderful assortment of titles available here in the Library and online in our Reference Research Databases.  You’re bound to find something new and interesting!

Resource of the Month

WGBH American Experience – Teachers’ Area (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/teachers/index.html) makes it easy to bring American history into the classroom.  American Experience has been airing award winning documentaries since 1988 and many of those are available to watch in full from the PBS website (we have 100 episodes on DVD and VHS here in the Library!).  The Teachers’ Area allows instructors to “search or browse over 1,500 features from more than 110 American Experience Web sites — including timelines, primary sources, teacher’s guides, maps, galleries, interactives, video, and more — to find history, civics, and other social studies resources for your classroom.”

Browsing the Teachers’ Area allows you to see the breadth of American Experience’s historical coverage in a chronological listing that spans first European contact with Native Americans through contemporary issues.  A click on a topic, such as “Culture and Society” in the Civil War and Reconstruction era, reveals the many supporting materials available from the site– maps, primary sources, timelines.  A convenient box to left of the list allows you to narrow your results by feature and media type.  Text-based teachers guides also provide activities that use all of, or parts of, American Experience documentaries.

New Library Materials

Novel Scenes:

  • Low intermediate, Rooms with a view / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N684 2010 
  • High beginning, Holding the bag / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N683 2010
  • Low beginning, In a tight spot / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N682 2010
  • Low beginning, In a tight spot / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N682 2010

Oxford Picture Dictionary Reading Library- Workplace

Oxford Picture Dictionary Reading Library- Academics

Oxford Picture Dictionary Reading Library – Civics:

Endeavor Series:
  • Endeavor. 8 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E528 2009
  • Endeavor. 7 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E547 2009
  • Endeavor. 6 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E526 2009
  • Endeavor. 5 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E525 2009
  • Endeavor. 4 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E524 2009

October 1, 2010

October 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletter — Jenn @ 5:00 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

October 2010

LearningExpress Library Revisited

Learning Express logoI’ve posted several times in the past couple of years about the ever-popular online resources LearningExpress Library, but I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some features and share some experiences.

For those of you who are not familiar with LEL, it is a “comprehensive collection of test preparation tools, skill-building materials, and career resources”.  That’s how LearningExpress describes their product, anyway.  Here at the Library, we just call it “awesome”– it’s the most used database we subscribe to and we’re always learning something new and exciting about its many features.

The main content of the database is organized into seven Learning Centers which cover a wide range of subjects and interests, including GED Prep; Job Search and Workplace Skills; and Skills Improvements.  Each Learning Center features practice tests, preparation courses and courses of study.

For a new user, LearningExpress can seem overwhelming– there’s a lot of information and a lot of options.  Students (and instructors!) who are not comfortable with new online tools may take one look at the front page of LEL  and wonder “Now what?”

I generally steer students directly to the Learning Centers– here lies the real meat of LEL.  A Learning Center like “Skills Improvement”, however, features 5 areas of study and each area contains another number of options– courses, tests and practice.

Where should a student start?  The real answer, that it doesn’t matter– a student can start anywhere, doesn’t tend to alleviate any worries.  Here’s how I address the question “Where do I start?”

Let’s say a student needs to work on reading comprehension skills.  This area in the Skills Improvement Learning Center features the following options:  Reading Comprehension Practice, Reading Comprehension Diagnostic Tests and Reading Comprehension Courses.  If the student would like comprehensive instruction on the topic, I would recommend starting with the Courses– selecting one or more that match the areas of deficiency or working through the entire sequence.  If the student is familiar with the content but would like to gain confidence through exercises at various levels, I generally recommend the Practice tests and skill builders.  The Diagnostic Tests can be a good place to start for students who want to know what their strengths and weaknesses in this particular area are.

If you are interested in learning more about LearningExpress Library and what it has to offer, I suggest taking a look at the What Do I Do Now? topics featured on the bottom right-hand side of the LEL homepage.  Here you can view tutorials that describe each area of LEL, take a guided tour of the product and browse all of the Learning Center content as well as the extensive list of eBooks available to users.

Of course, you can always contact me with your questions as well!  I’m more than happy to give you or your students a guided tour of any of our resources.

Resource of the Month

Flashcard exchange logoFlashcardExchange (www.flashcardexchange.com) is a creative tool that allows users to create and share flashcards online.  Students and teachers can search an extensive collection of over 32 million user-created cards on any conceivable topic and level.  There are cards for elementary school subjects through college subjects, technology topics, medical topics and occupational topics.  Naturally, language flashcards are also available– from Arabic to Wolof.

While anyone can access existing flashcards, users must register in order to create their own flashcards.  Free registration allows users to create an unlimited number of flashcards, share and study online.  Advanced options, such as image and audio flashcards and printable cards, are available to users who register for a lifetime membership for $19.95.

FlashcardExchange is also available as an iPhone app for quizzing on-the-go.

August 17, 2010

September 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletter — Jenn @ 10:55 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

August/September 2010

Welcome Back!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jennifer Kelley, the library liaison for the ESL, ABE and GED programs.  I’m your contact person in the Library and also someone to whom you can refer your students.  Below, you’ll see a short list of “What Your Librarian Can Do for You”– these are just a few of the things I can help you with!

One of my favorite things to do for my faculty is to share this newsletter with you.  Every month, you can count on an update on Library news, lists of new or notable materials (books, videos, software), a recommended electronic resource, and more.

I’ll email you a link to the online newsletter as soon as it’s available, but you can always visit any time you like at https://codlibraryell.wordpress.com.  There you can see archived newsletters, the occasional newsflash update and a long list of online resources for you to explore.  You can even share your comments and questions right on the website!  If you’re more of a traditional print-out paper kind of person, don’t worry!  I always attach a PDF of the newsletter to the monthly email, as well.

Starting this Fall, the C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter will also be available from the Faculty pages of the new ESL and ABE/GED Research Guides.  You can explore the guides online at http://library.codlibrary.org/esl and http://library.codlibrary.org/abe

Library Tours and Orientations

Each semester, I look forward to meeting and working with the students taking ESL, ABE and GED classes.  You can schedule a Library tour or orientation for your students at any time during the school year, but I recommend getting them started early so they can take advantage of our resources immediately.

A library session can be short or the entire length of your class.  It can involve a research project or a simple assignment.  It can take place here in the Library or in your classroom– even if you’re off campus! Take a look at our Library Orientation menus for some ideas of the sessions and activities we can offer your students:

If you can’t fit a Library visit or activity into your schedule this semester, don’t worry– your students can still get an introduction to the Library.  During Chaparral Days (August 23-September 3), the Library will be offering 4 sessions of our popular workshop Introduction to the Library for New Students.

These  90-minute classes will cover all the basics that new students need to get started in the Library– from getting a Library card to using the online catalog to find books, movies and more.  Learn more about our Introduction to the Library for New Students workshops at http://library.codlibrary.org/sos/life

Students can register in-person at the Reference Desk, by phone (630) 942-3364, or online at http://services.codlibrary.org/emailpage/orientation.php

Sessions are geared toward traditional students, but will surely benefit higher-level ESL students as well as ABE and GED students looking to familiarize themselves with Library services.

As always, feel free to contact me directly with any questions you might have about workshops, instruction sessions, tours or anything else you can think of!

Resource of the Month

World Atlas


World Atlas is an interactive site featuring maps, photos, videos and descriptions of geographical locations.  A simple click on a map projection of the globe will provide information on the continents, oceans or feature such as the Prime Meridian or Equator.  From there, the user can easily drill down, for example, from the Arctic, to Asia, to Lake Baykal where in addition to descriptive facts of the region, World Atlas provides real time weather information and links to outside resources.

Additional features include a gallery of national, state and special flags,  links to outside services such as a currency converter and distance calculator, map clip art and population data.

World Atlas uses data from the CIA World Factbook and other freely available statistical resources, but also contributes original graphics and descriptions.

The site is easy to use and fun to explore, though pages generally feature ads for travel and related services.  World Atlas would be a useful addition to a social studies curriculum or a tool for discussing geographyand culture.

What Your Librarian Can Do for You

  • Help you to identify and locate ESL and ABE/GED resources for teaching and student use.
  • Support your students’ Library instruction via customized group sessions, library tours, and library card acquisition.
  • Collaborate with instructors  on the design and development of student assignments.
  • Find information to answer basic reference questions as well as assist you in locating information for ESL and ABE/GED curriculum related projects.
  • Assist you in finding and securing library materials from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan.

May 19, 2010

Crossroads Cafe now available on DVD

Filed under: New Resource — Jenn @ 9:48 am

The popular ESL “dramedy” Crossroads Cafe is now available on an easily accessible format that you and your students can enjoy at home and in the classroom.

The Library has purchased two complete sets of this show– one set of 26 individual-episode DVDs and another set that consolidates the entire series into two 2-disc collections (called Set A and Set B).  And we still have the VHS versions as well as all the supporting print material!

English language learners at C.O.D. have been enjoying Crossroads Cafe since 2004.  Now it’s even easier to bring the stories of this entertaining series into your classroom!

May 17, 2010

The ESL Research Guide has a new look!

Filed under: New Resource — Jenn @ 1:39 pm

Summer semester starts in just one week and the ESL Research Guide has updated its look for the occasion!

Check out the new guide at http://library.codlibrary.org/esl.  This new and improved site offers easy-to-use navigation, a Library chat button on every page and additional material for you and your students.

Note the new address, too– if you have any links pointing to the old  page at codlibrary.org/esl, please be sure to update them!

Let me know what you think!  Take this quick survey:

May 3, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletter — Jenn @ 11:28 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

May 2010

Spending for a Sunny Day

Welcome to the end of the semester, everyone!  With only two weeks until graduation, the pace in the Library slows significantly– in contrast, I’m sure to the pace everywhere else on campus.  My last library instruction session was last week, this is my last newsletter of the academic year and my schedule has plenty of empty space on it for the first time in months.

That empty space, however, gets filled up quickly with all the tasks that don’t get accomplished during the busy semester.  One of those tasks, is spending up my budget!  Last month, I mentioned that our spending freeze had thawed and asked for your help in making a dent in that unspent money.  I had thought that I had until June to do my spending, but I have a deadline of May 14!

I know that many of you are busy with end-0f-semester grading and instruction, but if you could take a moment and help me identify resources to support your teaching and your students learning I would greatly appreciate your input.  If you would like to be notified when your requested items are available in the Library, just let me know– we’ll send you an email to let you know that the materials are ready and we can even put them on the hold shelf for you.

I have a good amount of money for both audio/visual materials (CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs) and print materials, so tell me your favorites, the best of what you’ve seen at conferences, expos, in catalogs and on the web.  I’m happy to look into anything!

When I’m not looking for new ways to spend money, I’ve been working with our Library intern, Joy Norton, to compile easy-to-use lists of graded readers and short stories.  These annotated lists will be available on the ESL and ABE/GED Research Guides and will make it easier for students to identify the high-interest, low-vocabulary materials that suit them.   Do you use graded readers in your curriculum?  Are your students required to find short-stories for assignments?  Let me know your recommendations and I’ll add them to the list.

I wish everyone a wonderful summer.  Enjoy the break between the semesters and if you’re teaching this summer, don’t forget to schedule your class visit to the Library!  I’ll be here the whole summer and can help you incorporate Library resources into your curriculum or simply give your students a tour.  Send me an email, give me a call or just stop by.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Resource Roundup: 2009/2010

April 2, 2010

April 2010 Newsletter

Filed under: Newsletter — Tags: , — Jenn @ 9:46 am

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

April 2010

Spring Thaw– no April Fool’s joke!

It seems that every year I post two very interrelated stories to this newsletter.  The first one– generally written at the start of the academic year– asks you to send your requests for new materials.  The follow-up– unhappily quick on the heels of the former– apologizes and explains that our collection development budget has been frozen and I won’t be able to purchase anything new for our collection.

I’m happy to say that our recent warm weather has coincided with a budget thaw and I now have some money to spend again!  While I am always happy to hear your request for books, videos, audio, and any other resources you would like for your or your students’ use, I’m especially eager to receive your wish lists now that I can actually act on them!  I know it’s a busy time in the semester, so if you’d like to put this request on the back burner, I’ll be more than happy to send a reminder in June!

While my ABE/GED/ESL budget was sitting untouched, I spent some time exploring some of the great free educational resources we often promote in the Library.  If you haven’t visited the online newsletter in a while, be sure to take a look at my entries on Free Online Media and Films on Demand and learn more about the videos and audio you can easily share with your students or use in any “smart” classroom.

In other news, the Grass Roots Easy Reader series that I promised is finally available in the Library!  We have two series: 4 Humor stories and 4 Romance stories.  These high–interest, low vocabulary readers are at the grade 1 level and feature just 1 or 2 sentences per page.  If you and your students are interested in seeing more books like these, just let me know– Grass Roots has a total of 24 easy readers.

Books to Look For

Novel Scenes:

  • Low intermediate, Rooms with a view / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N684 2010 
  • High beginning, Holding the bag / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N683 2010
  • Low beginning, In a tight spot / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N682 2010
  • Low beginning, In a tight spot / Ann Gianola : PE1128 .N682 2010
Oxford Readers

Oxford Picture Dictionary Reading Library- Workplace

Oxford Picture Dictionary Reading Library- Academics

Oxford Picture Dictionary Reading Library – Civics:

Oxford Bookworms Library Starter level:

  • Escape Phillip Burrows and Mark Foster : PE1126.N43 B877 2008
  • Drive into danger Rosemary Border ; illustrated by Simon Gurr : PE1126.N43 B673 2008
Endeavor Series:
  • Endeavor. 8 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E528 2009
  • Endeavor. 7 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E547 2009
  • Endeavor. 6 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E526 2009
  • Endeavor. 5 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E525 2009
  • Endeavor. 4 / contributing author, Vista Resources, Inc. ; development : PE1128 .E524 2009

Resource of the Month

FREE:  Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

FREE is a directory of of freely available teaching and learning resources from the federal government arranged by subject area.  Looking for photos to illustrate a history lesson?  Videos that demonstrate a scientific process?  FREE points you to places where you can find them.

Sources include NASA, the National Gallery of Art, PBS, the National Science Foundation, Library of Congress, the Education Department and more.  Subjects cover Art & Music, Science, Math, U.S. History, Health & Phys. Ed.,  World Studies, and U.S. Time Periods.

The number of topics covered is impressive and the choices of sites for each topic really highlights the breadth of information and the number of tools that are provided by the federal government for educational purposes.  Exploring each source in order to find these tools would be a daunting task– FREE makes it easy and fun to browse and find inspiration.

March 17, 2010

More Films!

Filed under: New Resource — Jenn @ 1:51 pm

Films On Demand is a collection of streaming videos on a wide range of topics– if you’re off-campus, you will need your Library card for access.

Bring American History videos into the classroom or assign a short Career Exploration video as homework.  There are dozens of choices to support any range of subjects or topics.

Some films even have instructor’s guides with suggestions on how to incorporate the video into your curriculum.

Have questions about Films on Demand or other streaming media available through the Library?  Let me know!

March 5, 2010

Free Online Educational Media

Filed under: Internet Gem — Jenn @ 11:39 am

If a picture speaks a thousand words, movies must speak volumes.  Get your point across, enhance your curriculum or just entertain your students with streaming online films from any one of dozens of sites offering free educational media.  We’ve put together an annotated list of the sources we like the best– browse and explore; and let us know if you have a favorite you’d like to share!

Just some of the videos available at History.com

Just some of the videos available from History.com

Streaming Educational Media:  http://codlibrary.org/Streaming_Media:_Educational

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