Tag Archives: ELL

We need you! (Yes, YOU! I’m talking specifically to you!)

MultilingualWe need your help!  We need to know if your library is doing tons of things for English Language Learners (Emerging Bilingual patrons), or what we can do across the state to help you to provide more materials, or if this is not an issue in your community!

If you are in a library, no matter what you do or your experience, we need you for this survey!

Two people will be randomly selected to each win a $30 gift card from Amazon, and everyone will be able to receive the results we find.

Below is the information about this survey.

Please take a few minutes to fill this out; and then share it with absolutely everyone in your library, and any other library person in the state of Minnesota!

Continue reading We need you! (Yes, YOU! I’m talking specifically to you!)

CFP: Improving Library Services in Support of International Students and English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners

CMLE members: I know many of you are working with international patrons, and patrons who are emerging bilingual/English is their second language. This is a good opportunity to share your work with other people! If you would like some help with this proposal, or with writing about your work – just check in with us at CMLE Headquarters! We are always available to help you with research, writing, conference proposals, or anything else you might need!

Call for Chapter Proposals 

Improving Library Services in Support of International Students and English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners (working title) 

Editors – Leila Rod-Welch & Kendra Skellen 
Proposal submission deadline: April 30, 2017   
Continue reading CFP: Improving Library Services in Support of International Students and English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners

ELL students learn literacy with help from photography

Use photos to help students learning English

At CMLE, we know for our member libraries (and for most libraries) assisting those who are learning English can be an important part of their job! Check out our previous post about the great work taking place at the Long Prairie branch.

This article from Edutopia discusses how photography can help students with their literacy. It includes reference to Wendy Ewald who has done extensive work on the subject. By learning to verbally reflect on and analyze photos, students get used to organizing their thoughts, a skill which translates well to writing.

There are five strategies that use photography to help develop literacy skills:

  • Focus – students notice details and describe what they are seeing
  • Portraits – the article shares several different exercises that utilize portraits, like learning about camera angle and the intention of the photographer in taking the portrait
  • Building Vocabulary and Using Evidence – using a photograph from a past time period, have students list the things they notice, and use this evidence to draw conclusions about when the photo was taken, who the people were, how they were feeling
  • Perspective Taking – students photograph an object from several different angles and notice the effect that the angle has on the tone of the photograph.
  • Telling a Story – students each take a picture they feel tells a story, then trade photos with a partner, who then interpret for themselves the story being told. Students can discuss their interpretations, and eventually, write them out.

Language immersion at schools in the CMLE system!

At CMLE, we are always excited when schools in our area get some well-deserved attention!

Check out this article about the language immersion programs taking place at several school locations within the St. Cloud School District!

This spring marks the 10th anniversary of the St. Cloud School District’s Chinese and Spanish immersion programs. The article details a typical day in an immersion classroom, and includes interviews with past students who have grown up to appreciate the advantage that the immersion program has given them. In fact, third – eighth graders that were in the immersion programs performed higher than average in the math and reading MN Comprehensive Assessments.

There are great benefits to participating in language immersion programs. Check out this article from NPR about the potential brain benefits from immersion education. This article from the Atlantic gives a teacher’s perspective – and she is an immersion teacher in Minneapolis!

For more information on the St. Cloud School District’s program, visit their page here, and watch their video:


Bridging the Language Gap


This post was written by a CMLE Guest Blogger: Connie Laing is a Patron Services Librarian with Great River Regional Library.

A few weeks ago at the Long Prairie Public Library, I was part of a unique collaboration of teachers, students and librarians. We had a common goal of sharing information about using Great River Regional Library services with a class of English language learners, but we spoke three different languages. How did this work, you ask? Here are the highlights:

  • The environment was noisy and chaotic.
  • Many voices were talking at once.
  • My agenda did not go according to plan.
  • I did not cover all the material I brought.
  • It was about the most inspiring class I have been a part of!

Background: The Library Services Coordinator in Long Prairie, Nancy Potter, has developed a relationship with the local instructor of Adult Basic Education classes in her area, which includes this class of English Language Learners. Amy, the instructor, is determined to get her students out of the classroom and into the community, and the first place she thought of to visit was the local library! After she contacted Nancy Potter in Long Prairie, Nancy contacted me for reinforcement, since one of the duties of the three Patron Services Librarians at GRRL is to assist at any of our 32 branches with class visits and information presentations. I was charged with creating a presentation on GRRL services for the adult ELL students.

Continue reading Bridging the Language Gap