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Articles, Books, the Web, and More

Library databases, including Professional Development Collection, ERIC, Education Resource CompleteCommunication & Mass Media Complete and Academic Search Complete as well as Project MUSE, JSTOR, PsychINFO, and SocINDEX are a major source of high quality information on teaching English as a second languages and related topics. These include descriptions of of articles published in education research journals, education magazines, and journals in related fields that provide some of the most dependable and up-to-date information available.

The library's collection of books provides longer works on established practices in the field.

The open web can also provide useful and high quality information and lesson plans, although each new website should be examined carefully to verify the authority of the author, the point of view or bias of the sponsor, and the quality of the information.

Many of the sources linked in this guide are purchased by the library for your use. When you click on these links from a computer not connected through the campus network you will need to identify yourself by entering your campus network username and password. This is the same username and password as you use to access BlueLink.

Use the tabs above for more detailed instructions.

Questions? Ideas for Additional Resources?

Contact me:
kburkholder@okcu.edu or 405-208-5956

General Search



The most current research reports in education will be found in journal articles. EBSCOhost includes several databases useful for education research. Type a search in the box or click on the links below to search individual databases and control your searches more.


What is a scholarly source?


Most of your research will lead you to journals.
  • Check out this page to remind you of the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

How to search for your information in databases:
  • Type in your keywords. Click Search.
  • On the left- hand side of your screen, click Full Text and Peer Reviewed, and select a Publication Date within the last 5-10 years. Click Update.
  • Narrow your search to your subject area. Click on Subject. Check the boxes next to topics that are related to your research. Click Update.
  • If you do not have enough articles, you can Remove Full Text from your search by clicking on the orange X next to it.

What to do with your articles:

  • Click on the title of the article.
  • If it is available in Full Text, you can Read, Print, Email, and Cite it all from your computer.
  • If it is not available in Full Text, you can check to see Does the Library Own It?
  • There may be a link to another database, or a link to the University's Print Holdings.
  • Follow the Link to find out more information.
  • If there are NO LINKS, you may be able to Inter-Library Loan the article. REMEMBER: It can take 3 days to 2 weeks to get an article from another library.


Choosing Search Words

To help you get started in your research, begin here:

  • Generate keywords to help you search
    • Visuwords - to help you think of words related to your topic.
  • Microsoft Translator (formerly Babelfish) will translate passages of text for you if you are having difficulty understanding portions.

Choose a Database

Most of your research will lead you to journals.

  • Check out this page to remind you of the difference between scholarly and popular sources.

A general database with which to start:

Academic Search Complete (EBSCOhost) is a general database that includes many articles related to education and languages, including teaching English as a second language.
What you would find here...
  • Academic journals and periodicals discussing current trends in teaching English as a Second Language

Education focused databases:


Education Research Complete provides abstracts and full text of journal articles, conference reports, and books on education, including teaching English as a second language.
What you would find here:
  • Academic journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and conference papers on linguistics, grammar, nonverbal communication, culture, and more in relation to teaching English language.
ERIC, the Education Resources Information Clearinghouse, is the result of a government project and provides abstracts and links to journal articles and unpublished "education documents."
  What you would find here...
  • Academic journals, magazines, government reports providing research on teaching methods, teacher attitudes, student attitudes, discussions on uses of technology, and more...
Professional Development Collection - This database provides a highly specialized collection of more than 550 high quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. This database also contains more than 200 educational reports.
What you would find here:
  • Academic journals and periodicals focusing on research on the practice of teaching and developing greater skills in teaching.

Databases in broader disciplines:

Communication & Mass Media Complete provides abstracts and full text of journal articles in communications, including teaching English as a second language.
What you would find here:
  • Academic journals, magazines, and books on teaching methods, environments, effectiveness, beliefs of students and teachers, standards in relation to success, and more.
JSTOR Full-text of older scholarly journal articles including botany, humanities, education, history, social science, political science, social science, music, business, and statistics.
What you would find here:
  • Most articles you find here will be published more than 3-5 years ago. There are some full text current articles, but it is primarily useful for finding articles on topics that have been well-established in research.
  • A note on searching JSTOR...if you search for a phrase you will need to include it in quotation marks. For example, do not search for teaching English or English as a second language, instead search for "teaching English" or "English as a second language"
Project MUSE Collection of not-for-profit scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.
What you would find here:
  • Articles on second language acquisition in relation to the social sciences and humanities.
  • Searching Project MUSE...use the same rule as for JSTOR. Include all search phrases in quotation marks.

    Search Project MUSEĀ®


PsychINFO A database from the American Psychological Association citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations from all fields of psychology dating as far back as 1840.
What you would find here:
  • Academic journals, books, and dissertations on diverse topics relating to TESOL with biographical and international perspectives, educational reform, identity, special needs in education, discussions on which English is proper to teach, and more.
SocINDEX The database features more than 2,066,400 records with subject headings from a 19,750+ term sociological thesaurus designed by subject experts and expert lexicographers. SocINDEX with Full Text contains full text for 777 journals dating back to 1908. This database also includes full text for more than 820 books and monographs, and full text for 13,947 conference papers.
What you would find here:
  • Academic journals, books and conference papers on diverse topics relating to TESOL including relationships, citizenship, the role of identity, human rights, the role of culture, feminism and more.

How to search for your information in the EBSCO databases (does not include JSTOR or Project MUSE):

  1. Type in your keywords. Click Search.
  2. On the left- hand side of your screen, click Full Text and Peer Reviewed, and select a Publication Date within the last 5-10 years. Click Update.
  3. Narrow your search to your subject area. Click on Subject. Check the boxes next to topics that are related to your research. Click Update.
  4. If you do not have enough articles, you can Remove Full Text from your search by clicking on the orange X next to it.
What to do with your articles:
  1. Click on the title of the article.
  2. If it is available in Full Text, you can Read, Print, Email, and Cite it all from your computer.
  3. If it is not available in Full Text, you can check to see Does the Library Own It?
  4. There may be a link to another database, or a link to the University's Print Holdings.
  5. Follow the Link to find out more information.
  6. If there are NO LINKS, you may be able to borrow the article through Inter-library Loan. REMEMBER: It can take 3 days to 2 weeks to get an article from another library though.


Get Complete Articles

Most of the library's collection of education journals is online. You will be able to click on PDF (or sometimes HTML) links in the databases and read, save, email, or print complete articles.

The library's journals list to find out if we have the journal for the date you need. You will need the title of the journal or magazine (often listed as "source" or italicized, or underlined) and the date and page numbers of the article you want.

A complete list of journals can be found in the journals list.

We can request most of the articles we don't own through Interlibrary Loan. Most items arrive in 1-2 weeks.

Browse Current Titles

Current issues of magazines and journals are shelved alphabetically by title on the "periodical" shelves on the first floor of the library. These titles include:

  • Applied Linguistics (microfiche only)
  • ELT Journal (through 2012)
  • Journal of Linguistics (microfiche only)
  • The Language Educator
  • Language Testing (from 2011 online only)
  • Studies in Second Language Acquisition (from 2012 online only)
  • TESOL Quarterly

Search the Catalog

Search the library's holdings (the catalog) using the search box above. The library's holdings include about 100 online TESOL titles. These are included in the catalog, or you can search them directly through Ebrary.

To search for OCU theses, use this search box:



Use WorldCat to search the library collections of most of the world's libraries. Use the "borrow this time from another library" link to request a copy of anything you find. Most items arrive in 3 days to 3 weeks.

Download free ebooks in pdf format from National Academies Press on Education. You do have to create an account, but it's free!

Subject Headings

Browsing by subject heading and/or using key terms from standard subject headings is especially useful in finding books on Teaching English as a Second Language.

In order to search the catalog by subject heading, enter your search term into the search box, then choose Subject in the drop-down box. You will then see a list of subjects related to that term. Click on any subject to see a list of all our books on that subject.

Here are some sample subject headings to consider.

English language--Dictionaries
English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers
English language--Grammar

English language--Ability testing
English language--Acquisition
English language--Composition
English language--Grammar--Study and teaching
English language--Idioms
English language--Spoken English
English language--Terms and phrases
English language--Textbooks for foreign speakers
English language--Usage
English language--Variation
English language--Written English
English language--Study and teaching--Chinese speakers (substitute the language desired: for example Spanish speakers, Asian speakers...)

Browse the Shelves

Browsing the shelves is another good option. Books are arranged by Dewey Decimal numbers:

Dewey Decimal Numbers for TESOL
410 Linguistics
423 English dictionaries
425 English grammar
427 English language variations
428 Standard English usages

The most recently published books in these number ranges are located on the 3rd floor of the library. Older (but often still useful) books may be in Basement Storage; you can ask a staff member at the Circulation desk to retrieve specific items for you, but patrons cannot browse in this area.

APA Citation Help

The OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue University is very well-known as a premier web source for many topics including:

  • resources for ESL Instructors and Students - these resources will help YOU as an individual writing in English, as well as help you plan writing curricula for the students you will teach
  • Research and Citation - these resources help you understand and work through the research process (what makes a source a GOOD source?) as well as how to use your research correctly (including paraphrasing and quotation exercises)
  • and using APA style citation (6th edition) - this portion of the site has a workshop (an online tutorial) that will guide you through the basics of using APA; it also has most of the rules for formatting your paper and references in an easy-to-use format
The library also has a physical copy of the APA style guide in the Permanent Reserves; ask at the Circulation desk:

R 808.06615 C748c6 2010
Concise Rules of APA Style (6th ed.)

Recommended Web Sites

Links of Interest to Students & Teachers of English as a Second Language, maintained by the The Internet TESL Journal. This page is an overview organized by topic; links here will lead you to pages with lists of websites and pages focused on each topic.

The following are only a selection of the professional organizations related to teaching English to speakers of other languages:

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL): the only national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.

National Education Association (NEA): the nation's largest professional employee organization, committed to advancing the cause of public education.

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL): their mission is to advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide.

Theses and Dissertations

We now have access to ProQuest Dissertations and Theses!

You can search this database for access to full-text dissertations from many universities and colleges. You can view Abstracts, preview the dissertations, or download the entire dissertation.

A thesis is a document written by a graduate student as part of the master's degree process. Theses are generally kept in the library of the university where the student earned his or her degree, although many are also available through the ProQuest database.

A dissertation is generally a book-length research study completed by a graduate student completing a doctoral degree. Most dissertations produced in the United States are included in the ProQuest database.

You may also search for theses at OCU through the search box at the bottom of the Archives page.

OCU has copies of all theses written by graduates of our school. If you want a copy of a thesis from another school that is not available through ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, you will need to request it by Inter-Library Loan and we will do our best to obtain it for you.

Advanced Searching Techniques

Once you have found an article that is relevant to your research, you will want to find more like it.

These are some techniques to find additional articles.

Subject Searches
When you are looking at the Detailed Record of your article, you will see several subjects listed that relate to this article. You can do a couple of things with this information.

  1. Basic Subject Search. Try clicking on the Subject hyperlinks. This will take you to a new search based on that Subject. This tends to produce more results than you are looking for and you will need to narrow your search again.
  2. Add a Subject term to your Advanced Search. In the Advanced Search boxes at the top of the screen type one of the Subject terms in a blank search field. Make sure you choose SU Subject from the drop down box. You could do a new search with multiple Subjects, or just add a Subject to your current search.
Use the Journal's Table of Contents
When you are in the PDF of your article, you will see on the left hand side the entire Table of Contents for that journal issue. Look through it to see if there are additional articles in the same issue that would be useful.

Citation Chaining
Use the citations at the end of your article to find what the author used to develop his or her research. You will probably want to read some of the same articles for yourself. By using one citation to find another article, you create a citation chain that can lead you to very interesting material.

Finding Articles from a Reference List
Use the Journals List to see if we have access to the Journal title listed in the Reference List. Copy the journal title into the search box on the Journals List page. If we have access to it, there will be links provided for where you can go to get it. If we do not have access to it, use the Interlibrary Loan Article Request Form to request it.

Finding Books from a Reference List
Use WorldCat to see where you can obtain the book. Copy the book title and paste it into the first search box. If we own it, you will see Oklahoma City University Dulaney Browne Library highlighted in green. Click Libraries Worldwide, then click OCU Dulaney Browne Library. It will take you to the record in our catalog where you can find it in our collection. If we do not have it in our collection, click Libraries Worldwide. The top libraries are those nearest to us. If it is close by and available, you would get it fastest by using your OK Share Card. You may also request it by Interlibrary Loan by clicking the ILL button at the top of the record.

Reference Books

Reference works are located on the first floor of the library.

R 300 K22a
Acronyms in Education and the Behavioral Sciences

R 370.3 En19a6
Encyclopedia of Educational Research

R 370.3 En554en2
Encyclopedia of Education

R 370.973 Un3e3 2007
Encyclopedia of American Education

R 372.2103 En19
Encyclopedia of Early Childhood Education

R 374 H191w 2000
Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education

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