This Is AuburnAUrora

Off the Airplane and into the Library: Making a Good First Impression in Any Language




Hartman, Patricia J.
Farrell, Bridget S.


At Auburn University, new international students receive their initial library orientation and tour within days of arrival. Considering that they are among our most frequent library users, it is important that we address the needs of this user group from the outset. Using English Language Learning (ELL) theories as our guide, we adapted our standard orientation and ethnographic tour to reduce the types of anxiety often experienced by international students. In particular, we wanted to create a hands-on activity that reduced the need for students to worry about a lack of vocabulary, public speaking, negative evaluation, or competition with peers. Our modified approach allowed students to learn outside the classroom with peers and in their own languages, then in the larger instructor-led English classroom, where the information was reinforced and repeated.