Back to School with WPL: Languages and Literacy

Cries-tu “au secours”?  Getting ready to go back to school can be a stressful time.  Whether you want to improve your own skills or help someone else, languages can be a tough subject.  Whether it’s learning to read, thriving with English class, French, or learning a different language – we can help.


Literacy is an important skill, and your library can help with that.  Children‘s books are a great tool for helping to instill a love of reading from a young age.  We also have tools and materials to help new readers, as well as parents and educators.  Items like Literacy Strategies For Grades 4-12: Reinforcing The Threads Of Reading by Karen Tankersley or  Family Literacy Storytimes by Kathryn Totten can help.  Of course there are many books which can help you come up with a strategy for increasing literacy.  Remember though, any book can help with that key skill.  People often ask me what book I’d recommend to people who want to learn to read and I always give the same answer “Something the reader will enjoy” (we typically then end up finding something together.)

Le Français

French Immersion is rewarding but challenging for kids, and especially so for their parents.  People who want to help with homework but don’t speak the language themselves can improve their skills with some of our DVDs, Audio CDs, books, downloadable media, and other resources (some of which can be found here.)  Mme. Kate is also offering a great (and fun) bilingual storytime: Family Fun With French on Thursdays from 10:30-11:00am at our Central location on Ouellette.

J'adore aller à l'école

Pat Le Chat

Our resources “pour l’école” are plentiful, and can help those of any age (as well as those who just want to read for pleasure.)  We’ve got great books for children such as J’adore aller a l’ecole featuring everyone’s favourite Pat Le Chat.  Mini-souris is very popular, and many of your favourite children’s books in English are available in both official languages.  You can read Robert Munsch, Dr. Seuss, John Klassen, Eric Carle, and many others in both of Canada’s official languages.  Reading your favourite books in a new way is great for picking up new words.


Graphic novels are a fantastic tool for improving your second language skills.  The pictures help readers gather contextual clues, and it helps that they’re a lot of fun. Do Le code du dragonLe royaume des sirenes, or Une pêche extraordinaire! sound familiar?  They might if you’re a fan of everyone’s favourite mice: Geronimo & Thea Stilton.  From les souries, to une sourire, we also have other fantastic graphic novels available like Souris! by Raina Telgemeier.

Kits are also a fantastic tool, and contain books, dvds, cds, and the like together in one handy spot.

More Languages!

We also carry many other languages, whether you want to learn for school or yourself.  If you go to our Database section, check out the awesome Mango Languages!  From Arabic, to Yiddish, it’s a great way to learn a new language.  There’s even a great section for those looking to learn English.  By the way, another way to improve your skill in English is to pop by our informal English Conversation Circles which happen on Tuesdays at our Bridgeview Location and Wednesday evenings at our Central location.

Windsor  Public Library has a wide selection of languages available.  While I have highlighted the French section due to the demand for back to school, we carry materials from around the world.  Whether you want to pick up a new language, or just read a newspaper from a different spot on the globe, WPL has you covered.  Our languages collection has books, magazines, DVDs, and other materials in Spanish, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, and more!

Languages and literacy are enormously broad topics, and so I haven’t been able to mention everything here.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for in this blog, please feel free to give us a call or search through our catalog.  Our librarians are great at finding the resources you need and are always happy to help. You can even ask them remotely with our Ask a Librarian Service.

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