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Cal Poly English Language Institute (CPELI) Library Orientation

This guide contains most of the topics explained during the orientation visit to the library.

Learning English

Helpful books for learning English

Cal Poly English Language Institute (CPELI)




  • Remember, call numbers with “Ref” location are on the 2nd  floor of the library, and you must use them in the library only.


  • Call numbers with a location of 3rd floor, 4th floor, 5th floor, or 6th floor locations can be checked out (borrowed).


Common American phrases in everyday contexts: a detailed guide to real-life conversation and small talk

5th floor PE2839 .S627 2003

Facts on File dictionary of clichés

Ref  PE1689 .A48 2001

Facts on File visual dictionary

Ref  AG250 .C63 1986  c. 2 

Heavens to Betsy! and other curious sayings

Ref  PE1689 .F757 1986

Hog on ice and other curious expressions

Ref  PE1689 .F76 1985 

Macmillan visual almanac

Ref  AY64 .T47 1996 

Merriam-Webster’s visual dictionary

Ref  PE1629 .M56 C78 2006

Modismos ingleses para hispanos (English idioms for Spanish speakers)

5th floor PE1129 .S8 S32 1996

Oxford collocations dictionary: for students of English [“Learning how words can be combined in English]

5th floor PE1464 .O94 2002

Oxford dictionary of catchphrases

Ref PE1689 .F37 2002

Street talk 1: how to speak and understand American slang

5th floor PE2846 .B87 1995

Street talk 2: slang used in popular American television shows (plus lingo used by teens, rappers, & surfers!)

5th floor PE2846 .B89 1992

Street talk 3: the best of American idioms

5th floor PE2839 .B87 1995

What’s up? : A guide to American collegespeak, slang & idioms for TOEFL students

5th floor PE3727.S8 D78 2003

What’s what:  A visual glossary of the physical world

Ref  AG250 .B73 1981

What's what in sports : the visual glossary of the sports world

5th floor  GV567 .B695 1984 


A useful book with information for applying for admission to a U.S. college:

College board international student handbook

Ref  LB2376.4 .C65 2002


American dialects and regional accents


English English [English as used by speakers of the United Kingdom; “The Queen’s English”]

5th floor PE1460 .S45 1980

Mountain range: a dictionary of expressions from Appalachia to the Ozarks

5th floor PE2970 .A6 H46 1997

New Yawk tawk: a dictionary of New York City expressions

5th floor PE3101 .N7 H46 1998

Whistlin’ Dixie: a dictionary of southern expressions

5th floor PE2926 .H46 1993

Yankee talk: a dictionary of New England expressions

5th floor PE2906 .H4 1996