Collection Development Statement Foreign Languages and Language


. Purpose of Collection

The purpose of this circulating collection is to support the curriculum and research needs of the stated user populations.

. User Population (Curricular and Program Needs)

The user populations of these collections include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students in the English Department and Foreign Languages Department

  • Faculty in the English Department and Foreign Languages Department

  • Undergraduate students in English Composition courses concentrating upon English grammar and writing structure

  • International undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the ESU Intensive English Program of the Office of International Education

  • International undergraduate and graduate students who wish to improve communication skills in the English language

  • Kansas Resident card patrons

History of Collection (Collection Characteristics)

Historically, it appears that much of this collection has been developed according to fluctuations in the curriculum.  For instance, there is a fairly good representation of materials for the TOEFL Test (Test of English as a Foreign Language; students in the Intensive English Program are required to have certain TOEFL scores to enroll in academic courses and/or to take the writing component of the Intensive English Program.

Books by such well-known linguists/communication specialists such as Noam Chomsky and Mario Pei are also in this collection.  Also well covered are books about the history and etymology of the English language, reflecting the corresponding undergraduate and graduate courses in the English Department.

Existing Strengths and Weaknesses

The parts of the library collection relating to English language grammar, composition, and history are fairly strong overall, if somewhat dated.  TOEFL study guides continue to be purchased as updates are published. New publication manuals and style guides are also purchased as published by associations in disciplines, and previous editions have been integrated into the circulating collection with the new editions cataloged as reference books.

Not as well represented are cross-cultural studies of languages and cultures, especially the behaviors of and expectations for Americans in foreign countries.  There have been questions at the library reference desk this spring about materials in this field, and appropriate materials might be purchased in consultation with personnel in the Foreign Languages Department and the Office of International Education.  Updated editions of grammars and histories of languages taught by the Foreign Languages Department (primarily German, Spanish, and French.) must also be purchased in consultation with appropriate faculty. In addition, languages spoken by international students might need to be reflected more broadly in the collection through purchases of dictionaries and writing guides.  (See collection development statement for English and Literature for guidelines concerning literary works and criticism.)

Collecting Priorities (include retention strategies)

  • Foreign Languages (frgn1):  Fund code used to purchase materials supporting language acquisition in foreign languages, primarily French, German, and Spanish.  Used to purchase dictionaries and writing guides for various languages.  Used with the Literature fund (lit1) to purchase criticism, biographies and autobiographies of authors in these fields.  Collecting priorities are: 1) updated materials about learning French, German, Spanish, and other languages, along with overviews of the countries' cultures; 2) updated dictionaries and writing manuals to assist international students with the English language.  In these areas, weeding of outdated materials is necessary for the collection to reflect current trends in languages, changes of word meanings, and evolutions of cultures.

  • Language (lang1):  Fund code used to purchase materials about English grammar and composition, including the teaching of writing skills.  Used to purchase materials in learning English as a second language.  Used to purchase style guides and publication manuals in specific disciplines (examples include the American Psychological Association and the Modern Language Association of America).  Collecting priorities should include purchases of the most recent TOEFL test guide books, weeding outdated materials where needed. New publication manuals should be purchased as available, as well as guides to help all students write more clearly and effectively.

Selection Process and Tools

. Particular vendors

Baker and Taylor and are excellent resources for the latest materials on these subjects.

. Specific Selection Guides

Choice Reviews online are invaluable for reviews of specialized books of languages and literatures. The New York Times Book Review provides in-depth reviews of other countries' novels, collections of short stories and poetry, and criticisms.  Other guides to consult include Library Journal and catalogs of university presses.

. Publishers to be Aware of in this Subject

Oxford University Press; Cambridge University Press; Ablex; Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages; Peterson's, Barron's International and Prentice-Hall (good sources for TOEFL study guides); American Psychological Association; Modern Language Association of America.