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Education & Curriculum Studies: TESOL

About Your Library- for TESOL students

Fisher Library is your Library, it is the largest of the University of Sydney Libraries, holding collections in the areas of Arts, Humanities, Education, Linguistics, Psychology and Business. Ask at the Fisher Information Desk for assistance about anything you are having difficulties with; whether it is finding books & eBooks, accessing items on your reading lists, borrowing and returning items, holds and recalled items, fines, printing/scanning/copying, requesting items from Bonus+ and free Document Delivery services* (*to Honours, Masters and other PG Students, Staff).

Your student card is your Library card, loans from our collections are for 12 weeks, with up to 4 renewals unless recalled. Items on reading lists are in high demand so may be restricted to 2 hour loan, fines apply for late return of these items. The 2 hour loan collection is next to the Information Desk on level 3 of Fisher. More information on Borrowing items. 

You will find the most useful collections are the Fisher Collection (levels 4-9 of Fisher) and the Curriculum collection on level 5 of Fisher. The Curriculum collection contains a vast array of materials you can borrow and take into the classroom; such as teacher guides, lesson planning books, picture books, easy readers, YA fiction, non fiction, textbooks, toys, models and more!

The Quarter (for PG Courswork Students only), Bosch Commons, Fisher and the Law Library are open 24/7 for late night study, student card swipe access is strictly for currently enrolled students. The Fisher Information Desk is staffed 7 days per week during Semester see Information Desk hours.  Use our Chat Now service or telephone the Fisher Information Desk on 9351 2993 or 9351 2994.

Your Academic Liaison Librarian for TESOL is Christine Tennent

Keyword Searching in the Library Catalogue

Analyse your topic, identify key terms as well as synonyms and search by keyword in the Library Catalogue for books on your topic; check subject headings (click on details) in the catalogue records for additional search term suggestions. Click on these subject headings in the catalogue record to find more books on the subject.

Finding items in our collections

The Library purchases eBooks, most of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our Library Catalogue.

When you click on the link to the eBook from the Catalogue record you will be prompted to enter your Unikey login and password for access. 

The Library also has books in print format. See below, useful call numbers to browse and clickable subject headings which are links to the Library Catalogue for Print and eBook titles.

Useful call numbers to browse

Many books on second language teaching and acquisition are located at the following call numbers, you can browse the catalogue or the shelves using these numbers. Both the Fisher and Curriculum collections include many books at the following call numbers.

  • 428.24(books)
  • 428.34(DVDs and kits)
  • 372.6(language teaching)
  • 372.19 401(grammar)
  • 410 (linguistics)

Search the catalogue by subject - Some useful Subject Headings (links to the Library Catalogue)

Look for the Subject field in the catalogue records to find relevant Subject Headings; click on these to find additional books on the topic.

Key Journals for TESOL

Find journals in Fisher Library that encompass research in special education using the following links to subject searches in the Library catalogue:

English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers -- Periodicals.
English language -- Study and teaching -- Australia -- Foreign speakers -- Periodicals.
Second language acquisition -- Periodicals.

Key Journals

See below a selection of key journal titles, clicking the title takes you straight to the library catalogue record, click on the link to the online volumes, issues and articles from the catalogue record. When in the online journal, you can also search keywords or key phrases in the search box provided.

Ask your lecturer/supervisor to advise you of the key journals in your discipline, use the search type Journal title (from the drop-down menu) in the catalogue to look up the journal.

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

The library has paid for access to a range of online dictionaries and encyclopedias. When searching the catalogue for a dictionary or encyclopedia use these keywords in your search and change the limit to (drop down menu) to eResources: 

  • dictionaries
  • encyclopedias

For example:

education dictionaries

education encyclopedias

linguistics dictionaries

linguistics encyclopedias

See also, use our online dictionaries database called Oxford Reference Online

Featured Resources

Quick Links

Writing Guides and Resources

APA 6th Style Resources

Terminology for database and catalogue searching

Terminology used in education is varied, always consider synonyms, narrower, broader and related terms as well as variant spelling. Encyclopedias, dictionaries and thesauri define concepts and help clarify research terms or locate related terms. Most databases will include a thesaurus of subject terms. 

Thesauri allow you to:

  • optimise your searching by identifying relevant search terms especially terms you may ot have considered
  • generate different approaches to a topic
  • identify subject terms to use in your search (remember subject terms take into account synonyms)
  • make a search more precise/broaden a search by selecting additional terms

Key library databases for TESOL/ESL research

Databases are online collections of resources that you can search to find information. Some of the database cover a particular subject are and some cover a range of disciplines. Most library database require a Unikey login. Finding the most appropriate databases can involve scoping searches across a range of different systems. 

Using Databases you can..

  • Research the literature on a particular topic
  • Search by topic, subject, keyword, author..
  • Locate key research - articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, theses
  • Identify key journals and authors
  • Access bibliographic information and abstract and full-text of articles
  • Stay up to date by setting up alerts in databases 

Use Library databases to search for journal articles, chapters from books and reports. 

TIP: When searching databases think of synonyms, broader, narrower and related terms for the concepts you are searching. Use the features in the systems to refine your search (such as limiting by peer review or date) making the results more relevant.

BOOLEAN OPERATORS are used in database searching:

AND narrows your search, use AND to combine different concepts

OR broadens your search, use OR to combine synonyms or related terms

Do you need help searching databases?

Consult our Online Training Modules, look under Finding Information category where you will find the following modules and more..

Search smarter, search faster 


Finding journal articles using databases