Academic English

“Library Tour”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
intermediate tape recording man 01:22

Pre-Listening Exercise

Write down as many different types of resources and services you can find at a library (e.g., magazines, copy service, etc.). If you had to write a research paper on African lions, what steps would you take to find information at the library (without using the Internet)?


“thumb through” = look casually at
I thumbed through a number of books related to my research topic, but I didn’t find what I needed.”

“bite off more than you can chew” = try to do more than you can accomplish
I think you’ve bit off more than you can chew in this case. Trying to write a research paper on the history of civilization in one week is really impossible.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

You can check out books on level ____.

On level two, you will find our circulation desk, current periodicals and journals, and our copy facilities. The circulation desk is where you check out books.

Books on language learning are found on level ____.

Level one houses our humanities and map collections. Language books would probably be in the humanities section.

A magazine from 2006 will be found on level ____.

Our science and engineering sections can be found on level three. You can also find back issues of periodicals and journals older than six months on this level.

The late fee for overdue books is ____ cents per day.

There is a 50-cents-a-day late fee for overdue books up to a maximum of $15.00.

The library closes at ____ on Friday night.

The library is open weekdays, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Post-Listening Exercise

Option 1:

Talk about people you know that have used similar excuses as the student in the conversation. What are the underlying causes of making poor choices? What are the short-term and long-term consequences of such behavior?

Option 2:

There are many steps that go into applying for academic scholarships, including some possible ones listed below. Discuss some of these ideas with a partner and add your thoughts about each one:

  • Talk with a school counselor
  • Decide which educational institutions interest you
  • Make sure you meet the scholarship requirements
  • Writing a resume and/or filling out a scholarship application
  • Get letters of recommendation
  • Write an admission essay
  • Prepare for scholarship interviews

Online Investigation

In addition to regular academic and athletic scholarships, there are many unusual scholarships based on a person’s physical characteristics, special abilities and skills. One such example is the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest.

Now, use the Internet to three unusual scholarships. What are the requirements for each? Who is the intended audience? Would you personally qualify for any of them?