From Brazil to America, a patron’s journey to learn English

Walking through the doors of the Still Bar & Grill in Bartlett to join in on the Bartlett Public Library District's BookLite book club conversation sounds a bit nerve-wracking when you don't know many people present, but Bartlett resident Cristina Ligocki absolutely loved it.

"It was a dream come true," Ligocki said, referencing her experience at the Booklite book club.

The book discussed was "Beach Town" by Kay Andrews, and Ligocki said she was proud of herself and what she's accomplished by being able to read an English book as 17 years ago she came to the U.S. only speaking Portuguese.

Always a reader, Ligocki has loved libraries her whole life, so it was no question for her to seek out the Bartlett Public Library District as a resource in order for her to understand and speak the English language.

She attended the Conversational English classes when they were offered or she would pick up numerous books to look through, learning new words every day.

Something else that helped her was surrounding herself with people who spoke English as their native tongue. She could do this at the library, as well as by joining the Bartlett Women's Club, the Tri-Village Garden Club and Weight Watchers to immerse herself in the English language.

Another big help for her was attending church. She would go over the readings in Portuguese before, and then follow along as it was read aloud in English.

Ligocki explained that she used to be quiet at parties and gatherings when she first came to the U.S. With all of the learning she's been doing, and all of the effort she's put into understanding and speaking English, she said with a laugh, "Now I talk too much!"

The BookLite book club meets at the Still Bar & Grill in Bartlett the third Thursday of each month. The next meeting is on Thursday, August 15 at 7:00 p.m. BookLite is a social book club that meets to talk books, grab a drink and meet new people. Books are available at the Adult Services desk one month prior to the discussion. August's book is "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate.

For more information and a complete listing of scheduled programs, call 630.837.2855 or visit www.bartlettlibrary.org.

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