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Learn English On Your Own
English Language Learning CDs
The library has many audio language instruction programs with lessons on CDs.
- Borrow a CD from the library with your library card and take it home.
- CDs are available in many different languages and for different levels.
- You can use a computer or CD player to listen to the CDs.
- If you do not have a computer at home, you can use a library computer for free with headphones. (If you don't have headphones, you can buy earbuds at the library for $1.50.)
Movies on DVD
The library has a great collection of movies you can borrow and watch at home.
- First, watch the movie with the subtitles. Subtitles are the words you can read at the bottom of the screen. Practice listening and reading at the same time.
- Second, watch the movie again without the subtitles. Can you understand what the actors are saying without seeing the words? This is a good way to practice listening skills.
Study and Practice Resources
The library has many free resources to help you improve your English. For help finding items on the shelf or in the library catalog, ask a librarian when you visit the library.
Grammar, Vocabulary, Pronunciation, and Idiomatic Expressions
Here are a few titles. You can find more at the library.
- Grammar: Fundamentals of English Grammar, Basic English Grammar
- Vocabulary: English Vocabulary for Beginning ESL Learners
- Pronunciation: Clear Speech From the Start (includes audio CD)
- Idiomatic Expressions: 101 American English Idioms (includes audio CD)
The library has a special collection of books for new English language readers, to help you practice your reading skills. The collection is located on the first floor of the Main Library.
Websites for Self Study
There are many helpful (and free!) websites you can use to practice your listening and speaking skills. If you do not have a computer at home, you can use one at the library. Ask us for help when you visit the library.
- USALearns (For all levels) Participate in an “on-line” English class. This site is very helpful and a lot of fun!
- ESL Cyber Listening Lab (For all levels) First, listen to conversations. Then, answer questions about the story and complete exercises to practice the new vocabulary.
- Listening and Speaking (For all levels) This website has links to many websites where you can practice listening exercises.
- Pronunciation (For all levels) This website has links to many websites where you can practice pronunciation exercises.
- Story Archives (For intermediate and advanced levels) Read a news stories online, answer questions about the story, and complete exercises to practice the new vocabulary.
- StoryCorps (For advanced level) Storycorps on NPR (National Public Radio) includes a wonderful collection of oral stories being told by “real” people speaking about their real-life experiences. This site provides an opportunity for learners to hear the pronunciation, intonation, and expressions of native English speakers. Suggestion for use: Listeners can click on the title of a story to hear the audio track. Listen once and see how much you were able to understand. Next, click on “transcript.” Listen to the story a second time while reading along with the transcript as the audio is playing. (Reading the words as you hear them spoken is a good exercise for practicing listening skills.)