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Embedding information literacy in an MA TESOL program

Aline Soules (University Library, California State University, Hayward, California, USA)
Sarah Nielsen (Department of English, California State University, Hayward, California, USA)
Hee Youn Lee (Department of English, California State University, Hayward, California, USA)
Kinda Al Rifae (Department of Applied Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 4 January 2013




This case study aims to describe the collaborative process used to embed an information literacy curriculum into the MA Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program at university.


The study focuses on how this curriculum was conceived, implemented, and has evolved based on new ideas from the MA coordinator, the librarian, the students, and continuing review of the literature of librarianship and TESOL. The coordinator and librarian describe their approach to curriculum development and their analysis of curricular outcomes, and two graduates from the program describe the program's impact from the student perspective.


The paper finds that the MA TESOL coordinator and the librarian embedded information literacy through structured assignments, reflective essays, and librarian in‐person classroom visits. Ongoing assessment of student survey results and reflective essays provide impetus for ongoing changes to the curriculum. Students' perceptions about and practice of information literacy enrich their program experiences and improve their preparation for further academic work or subsequent TESOL teaching.

Research limitations/implications

More follow up is needed with the three cohorts that have completed the MA program since the development of the embedded information literacy curriculum.

Practical implications

In their own teaching, graduates emphasize information literacy to their students, further increasing the impact of this program.

Social implications

Students develop a closer relationship with the librarian and think differently and more regularly about libraries and information literacy principles.


There is a growing body of library literature on embedded librarianship and language learning students, but none focusing exclusively on the role of information literacy in the preparation of teachers of language learning students.



Soules, A., Nielsen, S., Youn Lee, H. and Al Rifae, K. (2013), "Embedding information literacy in an MA TESOL program", New Library World, Vol. 114 No. 1/2, pp. 32-43.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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