Boost Your Reading & English Language Skills with our New Graded Readers Collection

If English isn’t your first language you may find a lot of our collection a bit daunting. With that in mind, we’ve set up a new section of Graded Readers as part of our Leisure Reading initiative to enable English language learners to enjoy reading whatever their language level.

These Readers include specially adapted versions of literary classics by, among others, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, as well as many original and non-fiction works. They’ve been carefully designed by top English language specialists to introduce English learners to the delights of the English language and literature and are individually graded and tailored to specific levels of learning. Some of them are also accompanied by audio CD’s to help enhance a student’s understanding and fluency.

They’ve all been specially tagged on Library Catalogue Plus under ‘Graded Readers’. Why not have a browse today?

Image by Cassie Wang, an entry into our 2012 Photography Competition.

Punctuation & Grammar Workshop for native English-speaking Students

The English Language Support Service is running a free workshop this month specifically aimed at native English-speaking students at Loughborough who wish to refresh their grammar and punctuation skills for academic writing purposes.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify and avoid common grammatical and punctuation errors.

The workshop is being held in room CC 1.10 in the James France Building on Wednesday 31st October between 2.00PM and 4.30PM, and is repeated at the same location and time on Wednesday 7th November.

To register for either of these sessions, please book on Learn via this link:

http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/mod/facetoface/view.php?id=218836

30 Years of :-)

Thirty years ago today an email was sent containing a tiny image that would have profound effect on the style of human communication – the ‘Smiley’ emoticon.

Professor Scott Fahlman of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh sent an email on September 19 1982 that included the first use of the sideways smiley face. Intended for use by the Professor as a means of differentiating between serious and humourous emails, the notion swiftly went ‘viral’ and spread across the globe to become one of the most widely used communication tools, undergoing many subtle (and not so subtle!) transformations along the way to suggest practically every form of human emotion in simple (and sometimes not so simple!!) graphic form.

We have a wide range of books examining the use and design of icons and symbols such as the emoticon among our art, design and typography books in the Library, as well as texts examining the language and sociology of semiotics and symbols.  Certainly plenty to 🙂 about!

Emoticon by Dominic Alves, reproduced under CC License from Flickr.

Forthcoming English Language Support Service Workshops

The English Language Support Service has two workshops upcoming in the next couple of weeks for those looking to improve their grammar and writing skills:

Grammar and Punctuation for native English-speaking Students

Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012

Time: 2pm – 4.30pm

Venue: Stewart Mason Building, SMB103

Booking: Via Learn at:

 http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/mod/facetoface/view.php?id=184763

This practical workshop is free and specifically aimed at native English-speaking students at Loughborough who wish to refresh their grammar and punctuation skills for academic writing purposes. Up to 20 participants can be accommodated for the workshop, so please register early.   By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify and avoid common grammatical and punctuation errors.

Coherent Writing

Date: Wednesday 9th May

Time: 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Venue: Stewart Mason Building, SMB104

Booking: Via Learn at:

 http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/mod/facetoface/view.php?id=185793

This workshop is aimed at home students who would like to improve their communication in writing. By the end of the session, participants will be better able to logically organise their writing, write coherent paragraphs and link their main points effectively.  This workshop is a useful follow up to the ‘Grammar and Punctuation’ workshop above.

Grammar and Punctuation for native English-speaking Students

Image copyright Leo Reynolds, reproduced under CC License from Flickr

The English Language Support Service is running a free workshop this month specifically aimed at native English-speaking students at Loughborough who wish to refresh their grammar and punctuation skills for academic writing purposes.

 By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify and avoid common grammatical and punctuation errors.

The workshop is being held in room SMB103 in Stewart Mason Building on Wednesday 25th April between 2.00PM and 4.30PM. Up to 20 participants can be accommodated for the workshop, so please register early via Learn using this link:

http://learn.lboro.ac.uk/mod/facetoface/view.php?id=184763

Grammar and Punctuation Workshop for native English speakers on Wed 25th May

The Student Support Centre is running  a Grammar and Punctuation Workshop for native-English speaking students on Wednesday 25th May, between  1.30- 4.30pm  in Room K108  in the Herbert Manzoni building.

This practical workshop is free and specifically aimed at native English-speaking students at Loughborough who wish to refresh their grammar and punctuation skills for academic writing purposes. Up to 20 participants can be accommodated for the workshop, so please register early.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify and avoid common grammatical and punctuation errors.

To register for this workshop, please contact Nola Dennis ( N.J.Dennis3@lboro.ac.uk ) at the Student Support Centre.

Database in Focus: Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

The Library’s next Database in Focus session takes place next Wednesday 18th May from 10.00AM until 11.00AM in Library Training Room 1, and the database under the microscope on this occasion is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Described by its publisher as “the definitive record of the English language”, the OED is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.

As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from those of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find these in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language—traced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to films scripts and cookery books.

English & Drama students should find this session of particular interest, as should anyone with an interest in the history of the English language in general.

To book to attend this session:

Staff – either through Staff Development’s booking system, or turn up on the day.

Students – no need to book, just turn up on the day.

See you there!

OED Online Relaunch

The Oxford English Dictionary Online website has recently updated and relaunched itself, and includes a host of new features.

The sites’ search engine has been revamped and new filters are in place. There’s an ‘Aspects of English’ section, a series of descriptive articles on language, past and present. And the Historical Thesaurus to the OED, first published in 2009, has been completely incorporated into the site, , so that you can follow semantic links throughout the dictionary.

Why not visit the site and have a play? You can access it directly via this link, or through Metalib, the library’s own e-resource gateway.

Academic Grammar and Punctuation Workshop

The English Language Support Service is running a workshop on the subject of  ‘Academic Grammar and Punctuation’ on Monday 15th November, 9.30-12.30 in KG 111 (Keith Green Building).

This workshop is free and specifically aimed at native English-speaking students at Loughborough who wish to refresh their grammar and punctuation skills for academic writing purposes.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to identify and avoid common grammatical and punctuation errors.

To register for this workshop or if you need any further information, please contact the workshop presenter Nola Dennis ( N.J.Dennis3@lboro.ac.uk).

Esperanto Day

The Official Flag of Esperanto

Yesterday (Monday 26th July) was officially Esperanto Day, coinciding with the anniversary of the publication of the first work in that language, Unua Libro, by the creator of Esperanto, Dr. L. L. Zamenhof.

Dr Zamenhof created the language in 1887, in response to the ethnic divisions in his native Bialystok in Poland. He believed that language barriers fostered conflict and therefore set about promoting a “neutral” second language that had no political baggage. This language  he called Esperanto. Currently there are estimated to be more than 2,000 Esperanto speakers in the UK and anything between 500,000 and two million worldwide.

Historically, in the 1920s there were attempts at the League of Nations to make it the language of international relations, but the French were among those to resist. And Esperanto speakers were persecuted in Nazi Germany, where Hitler viewed the language with deep suspicion! And in 1965, Star Trek’s William Shatner tried to help raise the language’s profile by starring in an Esperanto-speaking horror film called Incubus, though the film met with the disapproval of both film critics (who felt it was simply a bad film) and students of the language (who felt the actors weren’t pronouncing the language properly)!

Although no country has adopted the language officially, Esperanto was officially recognized by UNESCO in 1954, and it remains the subject of discussion and debate among linguists and educators globally.

You can find out more about the language from the Esperanto Association of Britain web site here. And although the University doesn’t currently run any courses in Esperanto, there are a wide variety of extra-curricular language courses available through our Learning Resources Centre, details of which you can find here.

Bonan ŝancon!