Easy-to-Read Books for ESL Students

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by readingprogram

While roaming the ESL (English as a Second Language) collection at the Milpitas Library today, I found some new books related to the most common needs and goals of ESL learners. This series of books is especially interesting because it addresses common themes like building workplace skills, learning more about academic environments, and getting around town. Here are some of the titles in this series: . . . more »

Volunteers Wanted!

Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014 by readingprogram

Do you have 2 hours a week to help a wonderful person improve his or her speaking, reading and writing skills? The Reading Program seeks volunteer tutors to work one-on-one with adult students at the Campbell, Cupertino, and Saratoga Libraries. Instruction times are flexible, and all tutoring occurs at the library. Reading Program tutors: • Help participants achieve their professional, academic, and personal goals • . . . more »

Fun Activities for ESL Learners

Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2014 by readingprogram

Last weekend, Reading Program staff, Stephanie and I, delivered an in-service to volunteer tutors related to teaching tips and tecniques for ESL students. During the workshop, participants were asked to share some of their favorite lessons. Here are some exciting ideas... One student from Hong Kong wanted to know more about American Thanksgiving traditions, so they discussed traditional holiday menus and looked for some sample . . . more »

I roadtripped for work, and I liked it!

Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by readingprogram

On Friday, Mark and I traveled to LA to meet with staff at the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). We were interested in learning more about their innovative citizenship and online high school programs, and I was eager to talk about the literacy program too. It was all very official library business, of course. No play allowed. After a huge cup of coffee and a . . . more »

Little Bloggable Moments

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by readingprogram

There are these little bloggable moments that occur quickly at work, and we think--is this blogworthy? Here are some little moments from the past few days. The Reading Program oriented 23 potential volunteers last week during two sessions, and we were extra excited to see many first-time patrons at the Milpitas Library. Staff are getting ready to train volunteers on Saturday, so we are preparing . . . more »

What Are You Reading?

Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by readingprogram

I have been working with my colleague, Stephanie, to develop a short training segment to help tutors work with their students to overcome specific ESL (English as a Second Language) challenges. Aside from wanting to improve their speaking and listening skills, many ESL students also want help with components like understanding American idioms, perfecting their rhythm and intonation when reading aloud, and using those pesky . . . more »

Do you want to give back to your community?

Posted on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 by readingprogram

Have you ever thought of helping someone improve their English? The library's English as a Second Language programs and conversation clubs are flourishing. Every week we hold discussion groups that provide forums for practicing speaking English, we also offer individual tutoring sessions for reading and writing--also at the library--at times convenient to the tutor and the student. The Reading Program is looking for more volunteers . . . more »

Holiday Picks in ANR

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013 by readingprogram

The evenings have been quite chilly, so it's the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book for the holidays. Here are some easy-to-read books from the Adult New Reader collection. These are perfect for sharing with Santa and his elves. Keep warm and happy reading! Brenda . . . more »

2014 Volunteer Orientation and Training Schedule

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by readingprogram

You can change the life of an adult in your community by becoming a Reading Program tutor. Expert training and ongoing support are provided. Tutors must be 18-years-old, but no previous teaching experience is required. If you are interested in signing up to attend an upcoming orienation and training, please email The Reading Program or call 408-262-1349 for more details. 2014 Volunteer Orientation Schedule Date . . . more »

A Can of Worms

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 by readingprogram

Idioms, idiomatic expressions, and slang pepper most casual conversations, and they are especially frustrating for ESL learners who are trying to master English and speak like an American. If you want to reduce your accent, learn some new expressions, or talk slang with your homies on the block, we love these materials. Pronunciation Pairs Do You Speak American? Easy American Idioms Handbook of Commonly Used . . . more »

A Staff Bio

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 by readingprogram

Hi, I’m Stephanie. I am a Literacy Specialist for Gilroy, Morgan Hill and Mountain View Libraries. I started working in the field of adult literacy about seven years ago when I was looking for a second career that would let me combine two lifelong interests – helping people learn and BOOKS. What is your professional background? For over fifteen years, I managed technical publications and . . . more »

Newbery Books are for Grown-Ups too

Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 by readingprogram

Newbery Books are perfect reads for advanced literacy students and ESL learners; most of these books are written at fifth-grade to eighth-grade levels, so they are perfect for building comprehension skills and reading for pleasure. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most notable Ameri