Advice and Resources for an ESL Librarian
September 5, 2011 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Just got a job as a librarian at an international school in Mexico. I've been given time with each class from grade one through six for forty-five minutes each week. I have pretty much total freedom and sometimes freedom is a pain to plan for. I'll be teaching basic library skills and doing read alongs which will be good but I'm having trouble finding resources on the internet. Ironic, I know: a librarian asking for help finding things, but I'm not a librarian by training. The most basic information may be very helpful. Any advice on elementary ESL libraries or some good resources would be most welcome. Books are a fine recommendation, but the internet is better.
posted by pynchonesque to Education (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check your mefi mail.
posted by mareli at 7:30 PM on September 5, 2011

You should give each class a tour of the library and be sure to explain the different sections to them, like picture books, "chapter" or long books, non-fiction books, and general reference books. Children will have a wide range of reading levels in any grade: some first grade kids may already be reading quite well, and some sixth grade kids may be ready for adult level reading. Find out from their teachers what they're working on in social studies, science, etc. and show each class books that are relevant to what they're doing in class. This will also help you to familiarize yourself with your collection.

Do the kids have time allotted for coming to the library on their own? Can they check books out? How many and for how long? Are your books still listed in a card catalog or is it an online catalog? They need to know all of these things.

Do you have computers for the kids to use? Do the computers have internet access, and, if so, is there some block on it so they can't wander into porn or whatever?

Above all, have fun turning them on to books and learning.
posted by mareli at 7:53 PM on September 5, 2011

Are you a teacher by profession, or are you neither a librarian nor an ELT professional? Are you a member of the Extensive Reading group? They're pretty helpful, though they tend to assume members know relevant jargon. They've just published a new, free guide: ER Resources. (Lots of other good things at the page if you're new to the ER concept--you don't have to buy it hook, line, and sinker.) Even if you're not doing ER per se, it could be useful.

Good luck!
posted by wintersweet at 8:05 PM on September 5, 2011

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