Jackie L.'s blog

Best Way to Learn a New Language Quickly

marydepewboard42017_1.jpgThe most effective way to speak a new language quickly is to learn the 800 to 1,000 most common lemmas (word families). A lemma is a root word and all its variations, for example: do, does, did, doing; blue, bluer, bluest, blueish, etc. If you know the 800 most frequently-used lemmas in English, you'll understand 75% of everyday spoken English.      From How Many Words Do You Need to Speak a Language?

2018 VITAL Quiz Bowl in Review

trivialfursuitqb35_0.jpg  northsideqb18.jpg

VITAL extends our sincere thanks for the 2018 Quiz Bowl, the fun, fast-paced trivia tournament that raises funds for VITAL and awareness of adult literacy. VITAL’s 35th annual competition was a great success, thanks to the assistance and generosity of all those involved.

Congratulations to 2018 Quiz Bowl winners Trivial Fursuit and runners-up North Side Story—and thank you to all the Quiz Bowl teams for their participation:

American Citizenship Study for English Language Learners Begins February 5


mcpl_american-citizenship-for-english-language-learners_winter-2018.pngImprove your English skills as you learn about the naturalization process.

Topics include preparing for the Citizenship Test and interview, understanding the benefits of citizenship, learning about American culture, and more.

All learning levels welcome. Please register before February 5 in VITAL at the Main Library.

Adults (age 16 & up)
5:30–8:30 PM | Every Monday & Wednesday
February 5 to April 30
Main Library | Program Room 2C, second floor

Listening to English


Listening to English is essential for improving reading skills. But what sounds more engaging—learning about the silent “e” rule, or the thrilling adventures of Sherlock Holmes? Both are important, but hearing the written word satisfies the brain’s thirst for knowledge and information, even beyond our ability to read independently. Exposure to the sound of expressive reading, dramatic pauses, and phrasing helps with reading comprehension (understanding what we’re reading). And hearing new vocabulary in context requires us to draw conclusions, improving our critical thinking skills. 

First Fridays at VITAL

3–5 pm Friday, November 3 
Main Library, Meeting Room 1C (first floor)
Come for snacks and activities—stay for good conversation. Families welcome.
This month we:
  • Explore the flavors of the season
  • Learn about Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
  • Discuss the Thanksgiving holiday
  • Share the holiday traditions of your country
  • Make persimmon pudding
See you there!
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