School library purchases foreign language books to encourage students from all backgrounds to read


Chloe Stables

Many popular English books have been translated for foreign students to enjoy

Chloe Stables, Spotlight Reporter

For some, moving across the world and joining a new school can be challenging, especially with a language barrier. The library is actively working to diversify its book selection and encourage students of all cultures to read, no matter the language, so that students can feel connected to the Metea community. 

When an English language teacher sent English language learner (ELL) students to the library to check out books in their language, the library staff realized that the foreign language section was small and outdated. Recently, the library has purchased dozens of books in languages such as Arabic, Russian, Spanish and more. 

LMC assistant, Gretta Stables, has worked at Metea for four years and believes that bringing inclusivity to the library is something to be excited about.

“The students are so happy to be able to check out a book in their language,” Stables said. “We have purchased foreign language books such as the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and many others. We have seen such positive responses from students who have come here from other countries who love to read.”

Freshman Hala Mohammed emigrated from Syria and is currently learning English. Mohammed is appreciative of the new library books as she finds reading to be a great way to relax. 

“I love reading books, especially fantasy and romance. It is so nice to have books in my [mother tongue],” Mohammed said. “Everyone should read more because reading is such a beautiful thing and it brings awareness.”

Stables believes that foreign language books can also be used to improve fluency in foreign language classes. 

“The great thing about foreign language books is that they can be used to learn new languages as well. We have a lot of students that wish to become fluent in a secondary language. As that fluency grows, they check out books in foreign languages to test their skills and even learn new vocabulary,” Stables said.

The library plans to continue purchasing books in all languages. Students can stop by the desk at any time to leave a suggestion for books they wish were offered in the library whether that is in a foreign language or any contemporary title that they are interested in.

“My coworker, Mary Lynne Stoller, says that books are a great equalizer and I could not agree with that more. They are a great way to open up conversations and provide students with comfort and enjoyment,” Stables said. “It has been great to have conversations with our ELL students even if it is through google translate. We are dedicated to welcoming students from other countries into Metea and giving them the opportunity to read.”