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English as a Second Language Materials

The literature, linguistics, and education bibliographers at the Van Pelt Library have assembled a strong collection of materials on teaching English as a second language.

Shelf of ESL-related books in the Van Pelt Library stacks.

Collection Overview

One collection building goal of the Penn Libraries is to parallel the curricular and research needs of the schools, departments, and research centers on campus.  Notable in this regard is collection support for PennGSE’s M.S.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program, a high enrollment graduate degree that focuses on the theory and practice of language education, with an emphasis on English language teaching.

Unfortunately, at times, some of these works go undiscovered.  With a tendency to search by keyword or initialisms, those exploring the Franklin Catalog for monographic works may miss the breadth of this collection due to the official Library of Congress subject heading traditionally assigned to these works:  English language—Study and Teaching—Foreign Speakers.   

To remedy this, a Franklin Catalog subject heading keyword search that combines this character string, limited to Penn works, and sorted by reverse chronology, reveals the wealth of print and online monographs, journal titles, and videos that broadly cover second language education in regard to English, as well as the range of terminology in use, all being grouped under the above mentioned subject heading:  English as a second language (ESL), English as a foreign language (EFL), English as an additional language (EAL), or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).


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