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Research for Students with English as a Second Language: Database searching - Try EBSCO!

EBSCO is the most helpful CSC database for supporting students who want to read articles in their mother tongue, or want help with reading the English language articles.  To get the best out of EBSCO searching look at the tips below...

Change the Interface Language

Tip 1 Change the Interface Language

To change the EBSCO interface language click on EBSCO Host.  

In the upper right of the toolbar you should see an option for Languages.  Click on this and select the language you want.  

If this is not available click on Preferences, this will lead to a new page where you can choose your interface language.


Change your language preference

Refine Your Search by Language

Tip 3  Filter results by language

When your search results appear look to the left of the screen.  There should be an option to Refine Results.  Look down the refine results options, near the bottom you will see Language.  Click on this to see what languages are available, this will change depending on the keywords you search.  

Refine results


[Scroll down]



Please be aware there are many many more English resources than resources in other languages.  

Do not limit yourself.  I strongly recommend you try the translate options if you want to read in your mother tongue.

Text to Speech

Tip 4 Text-to-Speech

EBSCO provides a text-to-speech feature.  This will allow you to have articles read aloud to you.  This only works with HTML articles.  To learn how to search for HTML articles look at the EBSCO information box on "Translating Articles" on this webpage.

Once you have found the article you want click on the title.  Underneath the title information you will see the text-to-speech tool.  



You can choose the accent of the reader.  If you click on the Settings icon you can also change the reading speed and text highlight options.

Do you want more help?

Tip 6 Ask for more help if you need it

Would you like more help or a private training session? No problem.  Just message your Librarian on to set up a session.




Translating Articles

Tip 2  Translate articles 

You can translate full text EBSCO articles into a number of languages, including traditional and simplified Chinese.  

However, this only works with HTML articles, it will not work with PDF articles.  Please also remember that the translation is machine made and may not always be 100% accurate.  However, this is a great way to quickly scan articles to see if they are useful or not! That way you know what best to spend your time reading.

So, there are two ways to find HTML articles.  The first it to simply look through your search results to see what has a HTML article. This is shown in writing and with an icon:


Alternatively, you can use Advanced Search to search for HTML only articles. To do this enter your keywords. In one of the Advanced Search fields write "FM T."

Advance search FM T


Once you have selected the HTML article click on the title to open it.  Under the title information you will see a drop down option to choose the translation language. 

Translate button


Lexile Search

Tip 5 Lexile Search

You may be a really strong reader in your mother tongue, but reading in a second language is challenging.  It is possible to filter the articles by reading ability.  Each article is given a Lexile Level.  The levels are as follows...

Lexile Level
Grade Lexile Typical Text Demand
11th and 12th Grade  1100L - 1300L
10th Grade 1100L - 1200L
9th Grade 1050L - 1150L
8th Grade 1000L - 1100L
7th Grade 1050L - 1075L
6th Grade 850L - 1050L


Most of the articles show the Lexile level at the end of the title information in the results page.

Lexile Level for articles


You can search by Lexile range in the EBSCOHost advanced search box.  Enter LX and your Lexile range in one of the search fields.

Lexile Boolean Search