Skip to main content

SPA 340 (Intro to Bilingualism)


Some tips for getting started:

1)  Generate search terms for your topic in both Spanish and English. 

2)  Remember to think about using synonyms/related terms.  For instance, if you are working on the benefits of being bilingual in the workplace, other words that could be used for workplace are jobs, employment, or business.

3) Review the list of databases and descriptions below and pick at least two databases to try that match aspects of your topics.  One should almost always be Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts.

4) Start by searching for articles in Spanish using your Spanish search terms.  You will likely get far fewer results as our databases have a strong English language focus for scholarship.  Look in the left hand column of the database for a Language menu where you can select Spanish.

5)  Now switch it over to looking for articles in English.  Make sure you undo the limit for Spanish!  You will likely find a lot more materials and may need to make your search more specific at this point to narrow things down.

6) While searching try a trick called truncation.  Truncation means cutting a word down to the stem and then adding an * (asterisk) to the end.  It tells databases to search for all forms of the word.  So typing in bilingual*  will search not only for bililngual, but also bilingualism.  If you cut it down all the way to biling*, you will also be including the Spanish word bilingue.

7) Try cross searching several databases at once!  Many of the databases below come from the same vendor-- EBSCOhost.  After you log into one, look for a link that says Choose Databases right above the search boxes.  You can use that to add other databases from the list that apply and search them all at once!


Databases that might be useful

Bilingualism is important to and studied in many contexts, so you will find articles in many different databases.  Please read the descriptions of the databases below to help you find the ones that best match your research topic.
This is not a comprehensive list of our databases!  If none of these match up with your topics well, please email me your topic and I can advise on databases for other subject areas!
If you are not finding enough, you can also try our library search tool, which cross-searches all these databases and many more.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan

Spring 2020 update:  As of March 20, the ILLiad system is still operating, but please expect a longer wait for delivery of articles.  It is also likely there will be more instances in which requests are unable to be filled at all.

When searching the library's databases or OneSearch, you may find articles you want that we do not have access to.  You can get them for free through a service called interlibrary loan, and it usually only takes one or two days. 

From a database, like the MLA International Bibliography:

1.  Instead of a link to a PDF below the article, you will see a link called check availability.

2.  If we have the full text,the page that opens will provide a link under the "View It" heading. 

3.  If we don't own the full text, you can access our interlibrary loan system for articles, called ILLiad, by logging into the system using your WCU email address and password.  Look for the link on the yellow bar in the middle of the page.

4. Once you log in, you will see the link to go to ILLiad.

5. To use ILLiad for the first time, click on the link for first time users and set up an account

6. Go back to the the database window and click the link to interlibrary loan again.  Now that you are logged in, it will fill in the blanks on the request screen for you!  Hit submit and wait for an email saying your article has arrived.


From Library Search:

1) The default in Library search is to show articles that we DO own.  To see materials we don't own, look at the top of the left-hand column for the option "Expand Results Beyond My Library". 

2) Once you do that, you will see articles marked "No Full Text".  Click on that link, then follow the process described above for databases.

West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400