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Education & Curriculum Studies: TESOL

Library Searching

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

  • list the keywords/phrases that describe the concepts you are searching
  • consult a dictionary or thesaurus for synonyms
  • consult bilingual dictionaries if needed

2. Access the University's print and online collections

  • conduct your Search using your keyword/s in the Library's Advanced Search to find books, articles, journals and book chapters 
  • refine results by date, material type, peer reviewed 

Finding items in our collections

Useful call numbers to browse print material on the shelf

Many books on second language teaching and acquisition are located at the following call numbers, you can use the virtual browse in Library Search or browse the shelves using the numbers below. 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)

Key Journals for TESOL

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

See below a selection of key journal titles, clicking the title takes you straight to the library record, search inside the journal using your keywords or phrases; or browse the online volumes, issues and articles. 

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 Online. When using Library Search to find a dictionary or encyclopedia, use the words dictionaries or encyclopedias as one of your search terms.

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

Video databases

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. Databases such as A+ Education, ERIC, PsycINFO and LLBA 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 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 

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).

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

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