English as a second language

General call numbers | Useful databases | Electronic Journals | Locating material | Useful web sites | Teaching in the Multilingual Classroom

Resources for teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language can be found in a range of number areas within the Curriculum Resources Collection. These resources include:

  • Books
  • Videos and Audio Tapes
  • CD-Roms
  • Databases

General call numbers

The general number areas for ESL are:

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

For information about teaching ESL programmes on New South Wales schools consult the numerous policy documents held in Curriculum Reference, on the policy document guide or through the NSW Board of Studies and the NSW Department of Education and Training. Some documentation may also be held in the 2 Hour collection

Useful databases


You can access various databases which will be of interest for studies in teaching English as a second language.

The main ones of interest are as follows:

*ERIC: Educational Resource Information Service.

ERIC is an abstracting service which covers adult, career and vocational education; counselling and personnel services; educational management; elementary and early childhood education; handicapped and gifted children; higher education; information resources; junior colleges; languages and linguistics; reading and communication skills; rural education and small schools; science, mathematics and environmental education; social studies/social science education; teacher education; tests, measurement and evaluation; and urban education. Eric now carries some full text entries


A+Education is part of a group of databases known as AUSTROM. It specialises in citations to information on issues in Australian education.

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* DELTAA: database on English language teaching for adults in Australasia

DELTAA is the database maintained by NCELTR, the National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research, based at Macquarie University. It specialises in all aspects of research into language teaching as well as linguistics in the teaching environment. Though much smaller than the international databases, it has a focus on Australian teaching philosophy which makes it worth while especially for ESL.

Searching DELTAA is exactly the same as the strategies for searching AEI.

*LLBA: Linguistics and language behaviour abstracts

LLBA is an excellent source of citations for language, linguistics, folklore and literature. It is a highly regarded international research database contributed to heavily by linguists and grammarians from all over the world. Again, the search strategies follow the same path as used for AEI.

*MLA: Modern Languages Association International Bibliography

MLA covers literature, literary theory and criticism, genres, linguistics and folklore, as well as dramatic arts, invented languages and psycholinguistics. It includes bibliographic references to scholarly works, literature, linguistics and folklore in English, French, German, Italian and other languages.

There are others that may be useful for other areas of study, for instance:

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Locating material found in your search

Most of these databases only provide you with references, abstracts and summaries of articles. Some articles wil be available in full text. If you wish to find the article you will need to follow up the references via the catalogue or with assistance from library staff.

Please make a time to discuss your research needs with a member of the Curriculum Resources Collection staff. We can provide a time for tutorial on databases and ejournals, or advise regarding locating items not held in the University of Sydney Library. Please contact our Document Delivery staff

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Passwords are available to enrolled students and staff of the University of Sydney for off-campus access to some of these resources by emailing the Curriculum Librarian, phoning 02 9351 6254 and organising to complete the appropriate form, or by accessing the Remote access instructions on the library home page.

Electronic Journals

Electronic journals are accessed through ejournals on the Library's home page

  • Project Muse:

    A searchable index of over 40 Johns Hopkins Press journals online with Project Muse. Basic and expert searching is available for over 5000 articles. Access to Project Muse is available to currently enrolled students and staff of the University of Sydney who are using the University as their Internet Service Provider.

    Others electronic journal collections include:


    These journals may have different formats which may require Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded and installed free. Some will be in ASCII which will be readable from your browser. Not all are full text and some may have restrictions on access. Enquiries can be made to Curriculum Resources Collection Staff.

    Useful Web Sites

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