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English as a Second Language (ESL)

Welcome to the English as a Second Language (ESL) Guide

This guide includes resources that will help you to study English. Please explore the tabs above and the links on the left to explore library resources. Lexile levels measure the difficulty of a book. Although there are many, many books listed by Lexile measures in this guide, these lists are not comprehensive. find additional books at Wichita State University Libraries with help on the "find Additional Books" page link on the left. 

field of small, pink flowersFlowers in Portugal, where English may be a 3rd or 4th language.

The Association of College and Research Libraries has produced this Glossary in 2 parts. The Language Table below presents a listing of the 85 most commonly used terms in six languages. The Definitions link below provides explanations in English for each term in the Language Table.

Language Table: This Language Table presents a listing of the 85 most commonly used terms in six languages

Definitions: Definitions provide explanations in English for each of the terms listed in the Language Table.

Library Vocabulary 

Some selected vocabulary words to better communicate at the library.

Reference Desk: Area where librarians work.

Librarian: The professional who answers questions in the library.

Library Catalog: The online website that tell you what library books and other materials the library has for you to use.

Reference materials: Books and other materials that can be used only inside the library.

Circulation Desk: Department where you go to borrow library materials or pay fines.

Reserves: Materials set aside by instructors for you to look at for your class.

Borrow or Check Out: To take home library materials for a short time. Example: "I would like to check out a book so I can read it at home."

Due Date: The date your book needs to be returned to the library.

Fine: Money you have to pay to the library if you return materials late.

Renew (materials): To extend the loan period of your library materials.

Card Vending Machine: Machine where you can add money to your ShockerCard.

Book Stacks: The areas in the library where books are kept on shelves.

Call Numbers: Unique sequence of letters and numbers that designate the unique location of an item in the library. The call number is usually on the spine of the book, but the call number may also be on the top left corner of the front cover.

Spine (book spine): Back edge of the book. It usually has a “call number” sticker.

eBooks: Books that can be read online and on other media devices (example: ebook readers and mobile phones).

Fiction (books): Stories and novels (not real).

Non-Fiction (books): True stories or facts.

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