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Education & Curriculum Studies: TESOL

About Your Library - for Masters of Education 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, or phone them on 9351 2993 for assistance about anything you are having difficulties with; whether it is finding books & eBooks, finding rooms and buildings on campus, accessing items on your reading lists, borrowing and returning items, holds and recalled items, fines, printing/scanning/copying and requesting items from other libraries* (*conditions apply).

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!

Map of Fisher Library

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.  Alternatively, use our Live Chat or Frequently Asked Questions services.

Bosch Commons is a study space open 24/7 for all students.

The Quarter is open 24/7 for Postgraduate Coursework Students only.

Your Academic Liaison LibrarianChristine Tennent

Keyword Searching using Library Search

Access the University's print and online collections. 

1. Analyse your topic, identify key terms as well as synonyms

2. Conduct your Search using your keyword/s in the Library Search  tool to find books, articles, journals and book chapters on your topic.

  • Refine results using the options on left
  • not finding enough material? click on Expand my results to find items in other libraries 

Finding items in our collections

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

Click on the link to the eBook from the Library search results list. You may 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 Library Search 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 record, search for articles within the journal using your keywords or phrases; or browse the online volumes, issues and articles. 

Ask your lecturer/supervisor to advise you of the key journals in your discipline, search for a title in Library Search and select Material Type Journals.

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

The library provides you with access to a range of online dictionaries and encyclopedias. Many of them appear in the resource  called Oxford Reference OnlineWhen using Library Search to find a dictionary or encyclopedia use the keywords dictionaries or encyclopedias as one of your search terms.

For example: linguistics dictionaries (choose the Material Type Books)

Alternatively, use the links  to the pre-prepared searches below:

education dictionaries

education encyclopedias

linguistics dictionaries

linguistics encyclopedias

Featured Resources

Quick Links

Featured resource

Writing Guides

APA Style

Finding search terms

Terminology used in education is varied, always consider synonyms, narrower, broader and related terms as well as variant spelling. Encyclopedias, dictionaries (see box on left) 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 not 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