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English as a Second Language (ESL) / Foreign Language (EFL)

This guide will help you find reliable information on teaching and learning English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

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About Books

Fall 2020 - Special Notice

STLCC Libraries are now open to STLCC students, faculty, and staff, but books may only be retrieved from shelves by library staff. Please visit our Help for Students guide for up to date information about requesting library materials

Reference Books

Reference Books are the best places to find concise summaries and background information on a topic. Reference books cannot be checked out of the library. Some of them are available as databases or ebooks. 

Circulating Books

Circulating books (books you can check out) may also provide summaries and background information, but usually go into greater depth about a topic.

Using Books for Research

Using books for research does not always mean that you need to read the entire book.

  • Use the table of contents and the index to find where in a book information about your topic is located.

  • The introduction to a book may be a good place to find background information on the topic the book is about.
  • You should read enough of a book or chapter to understand what an author is saying and quote her correctly.
  • Sometimes chapters in books are complete works written by different authors, making them ideal for research.

Search the Classic Catalog

Search for books using St. Louis Community College's Classic Catalog.


 

Keyword & Subject Searching

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching is used by internet search engines, databases, and the library catalog. Keep in mind that the search will find matches for specific words, not concepts. The default in the library catalog (and most databases) is find results that include every word in your search. Think of this as using AND between the words: 

  • English AND grammar AND study
  • English grammar study

The two searches above are the same, and will find all books in the library catalog that have all three words in the description of the book. 

If you want to find a specific phrase, with the words next to each other in order, use double quotation marks around the phrase:

  • "English as a second language" 

You might want to broaden your search to include synonyms or other related words. To find either of two words or phrases, use OR between them:

  • ESL OR "English as a second language"
  • EFL OR ESL

You can also use truncation to search for different forms of a word. The asterisk * is used in the library catalog and many databases for this. 

  • learn*
  • learn* English language
  • (learn* OR study) AND ESL

In the above searches, learn* will find the words learn, learned, learner, learners, learning, etc. 

When combining searches, use parentheses () around different parts of the search, as in the examples above. 

Subject Heading Searching

Think of subject headings as labels or tags that someone has used to identify the subject of a book or article. The subject headings are standardized so that only one term is used for a specific subject. Do you call it "Interior Design" or "Interior Decoration"? Following the Library of Congress Subject Headings standard, we use Interior Decoration in the STLCC Library Catalog. You can search directly by subject, or click on a subject heading in the description of a book you find by keyword searching. Instead of a list of search results, you'll get a list of subject headings to choose from.  Here are a few examples:

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000