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Library & Streaming Media Resources for ESL Students: Home

Canada College library resources that can help ESL students

Library Databases Well Suited for ESL Student Research

Several of the library's research databases are especially well suited to ESLs student needs.  Opposing Viewpoints, and  CQ Researcher each allows students to easily bring up bundles of relevant journal articles with just a few simple a few clicks to "browse" a list of topics.  Use the "Browse" topics button, located on the upper left hand corner of each database. 

Films on Demand contains video/films on numerous subjects. Use it to learn about your topic through a streaming video containing images, spoken English, and a written transcript. 

Informe is a Spanish language student research database. VOA presents the day's news in spoken intermediate English. Use  General OneFile to read an easy newspaper USA Today. Use the MP3 audio playback feature to listen to the news stories to improve your listening comprehension.

CQ Researcher

"CQ Researcher provides award winning in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. Our reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short "sidebar" features round out the reports."

Use the Browse button in CQ Researcher to simplify searching. Now you can focus on developing your English language skills.

Voice of America broadcasts the daily news in English in 3 levels of difficulty; "Let's Learn English" teaches basic English



The Voice of America's regular broadcasts are available by Internet. VOA presents the the news in English in 3 levels of difficulty: level 1, level 2, level 3 (the suitable level for college students). 

  • "Level One articles are for beginning English learners. Articles generally have one idea per sentence. Each article has 500 words or less."
  • "Level Two articles are meant for intermediate learners of American English. Stories are often more than 500 words in length. Stories may include audio from newsmakers. Some may use more complex sentences or language."
  • "Level Three articles are aimed at non-native English speakers who have studied American English and wish to improve their reading and listening skills. Articles are usually more than 500 words in length and may include audio from newsmakers. Some may use more complex sentences or language."

Voice of America broadcasts a structured course for learning English called "Let's Learn English." "Certified American English teachers designed the course for beginners. Each week, there will be a new lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. The lesson includes instruction in speaking, vocabulary and writing." There are 52 lessons that run for 52 weeks.


Informe is a Spanish language research database offered by the library. All directions for using the database are in Spanish and the content is written in the Spanish language. Informe can be an important tool that can help student bridge over from Spanish to English.

Opposing Viewpoints

Opposing Viewpoints contains thousands of papers from reputable sources that present facts and persuasive arguments on hundreds of social issues. Papers in the database are packaged together around topic themes. For each topic, a student will find papers that argue for a topic and papers that argue against that same topic. Papers present facts, historical background, and statistics for each topic.

Use the Browse button to simply searching. Now you can focus on developing your English language skills.

Films on Demand to Improve Your Listening Comprehension

Films on Demand has several hours of streaming video suitable for ESL students that is presented in short segments. Here are a few sample playlists. 

1.) Cutting Edge Communications Simple English Series in 20 segments. "The Basic English Series combines linguistics, psychology and instructional design."  When viewing this series, you can turn on “closed captioning (CC)” as well as open up the interactive transcript that highlights each word in the transcript as it is spoken. Check out these "Tips for Learning English."

For whatever class you are in, find relevant videos in Films on Demand. Here's a psychology video about the human brain.

Read "USA Today" have the article read alound to you via an MP3 file

USA Today is a general newspaper that covers the entire United States. USA Today intentionally writes in a way that makes reading its articles easy. When a student reads an article in Academic Search Premier, an audio file of the text can be played. While a robot voice reads the article aloud the words spoken are highlighted in a text transcript of the article. This can be a useful tool for improving listening comprehension.

When in a library database look for the audio file icon       that let's you know that a MP3 (spoken sound file) of the article is available.

Here's an example. "America no longer has monopoly on English"

When in a library database look for the  translate icon   translation by software. It means that the article you found can be translated by software into another language. Because the translation is done by machine it contains errors. However, even with errors, the translation may be a useful tool to bridge from English to a student's native language.

Cómo citar recursos electrónicos

The University of Barcelona offers a guide to citing electronic sources written in the Spanish language: Cómo citar recursos electrónicos.