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Basic Introduction to Library Databases (Bilingual: Spanish/English; español/inglés)

by Bernadette M. López-Fitzsimmons, M.L.S., M.A., M.A. | 22 Dec 2017
Resource Description:

This is a brief introduction to two general library databases that bilinguals (Spanish/English) in their early experiences with the research process. 

The database, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, provides overview articles, pro/con on social issues, reports, images, streamed videos, and other resources.  This database is especially useful to English learners because the concepts are presented in simplified language.  It can be used as a scaffold to more complex research where academic and professional terms are used in more sophisticated sentence structures.  

The second database, Proquest Newspapers, introduces English learners to digitized news items.  Vocabulary is not highly academic and professional so students can understand the concepts. 

Both databases can be used in conjunction with Google Scholar, Wikipedia, Twitter Feeds, Blogs, etc. Learners will learn to compare and contrast types of information found in library databases and internet websites.

The presentation also explains how to introduce English learners to citation creators, email apps, creating folders, organizing materials, etc.  These are important skills needed in the twenty-first-century global environment for academic, professional, and personal research.

Audience: Adult, Secondary, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate
Teaching Tip:

After introducing the databases, invite students to search for articles related to an assigned topic.  Ask them to find articles and examine the text using <Control + F> (find) so that they see their search terms highlighted.  Then have practice using the citation creators for MLA, APA, Chicago, and other style manuals.

Learners can also experiment with database audio settings.  They can listen to their articles being read aloud to them.  In many instances, they can select from many types of spoken English varieties such as Canadian, American, Australian, British, etc.


American Psychological Association (APA). (2017). APA Style Central. In American Psychological Association (APA). Retrieved December 21, 2017, from

The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue, Purdue University. (1995-2017). APA Style. In OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab. Retrieved December 21, 2017, from

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TESOL Interest Section: Bilingual Education, Higher Education