While the literature has much to say regarding best practices for outreach to international students, there is not much about crafting lesson plans to include activities and learning outcomes appropriate for course-integrated library instruction to English language learners, or on the development of linguistically appropriate online resources for these students. Perhaps not coincidentally, a quick Google search reveals that many LibGuides ostensibly geared towards international students and English language learners are dense with text and library jargon and often do not provide information about resources likely to be of interest to this demographic, such as preparatory materials for the TOEFL and GRE and library resources on minimizing accents.
My poster will address this gap by using photos/screenshots, images, graphs, and charts to illustrate the practices I've found to be most effective from my own experience, as well as from my research into ESL pedagogy for adult learners. For example, LibGuides for English language learners should favor online activities over text, include pictorial representations when possible (an important exception to now-accepted LibGuides best practices), and include transcripts and allow replays on video/audio. The use of audience response boards can be helpful for increasing participation from students nervous about speaking in front of a stranger (the librarian) and prevent the more confident students from dominating class discussion. These best practices also extend to cultural awareness: in some countries, community and collaboration are strongly preferred over individual competitiveness, which is important to keep in mind when planning class activities.
Megan Hodge– Assistant Head for Teaching & Learning, Virginia Commonwealth University