Credo Reference for ESL Students

Are you an ESL (English as a second language) student studying for a qualification in New Zealand? Are you looking for a dictionary which can clearly explain jargon in a Science subject or provide a context for understanding an issue in Social Sciences? Are you unsure about starting a research project or getting ideas to write an essay? If so, Credo Reference will provide a solution for you.

Credo Reference is an online reference resource which contains general and subject dictionaries and encyclopedias. It develops students’ information literacy skills necessary for success in academic life. For ESL students, Credo Reference can be used in two ways.

Credo Reference as an advanced dictionary

For ESL students, studying a subject in New Zealand is learning a language within a language. It is challenging to read an article full of jargon although you may have already reached a high level of English proficiency. The topic page of Credo Reference can be used as an advanced dictionary to support your learning. Let’s try the functions of Credo Reference with a specific example.

If you are studying Echinodermata in Marine Biology, you can type the term in the search box of the Credo Reference main webpage to gain a whole picture of the species. Not only does the Echinodermata topic page of Credo Reference give a definition of the term but also provides a thorough explanation including anatomy, physiology and different classes of the species. It also presents the term in a relational network with a mind map so that you will understand related concepts such as “urchin” and “sea otter”. Moreover, audio and visual aids on the page are helpful supplements for the text. By clicking the sound icon on the top of the page you can listen to the text. This audio aid is useful to familiarize yourself with academic talks and prepare you for attending seminars in this discipline. The images of Echinodermata give you an idea what the creatures look like in the real world.

Credo Reference as a starting-point for a research project or an essay

For ELS students, the difficulty in doing a research project or writing an essay in Social Science and Humanities is a lack of general knowledge on a topic due to their social and cultural backgrounds which may be very different from those of New Zealand. Credo Reference can solve this problem. For example, “ethnicity” is a topic appearing frequently on essay questions. Typing the word “ethnicity” in the search box of Credo Reference’s main page, you will see entries based on resources from various subjects such as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. With these entries, you can understand the historical origin, controversies and debates around the concept. The mind map shows the relationship between ethnicity and race. They are a pair of concepts between which students are easily confused. Generally, Credo Reference enables you to understand a topic in context so that you can engage it with critical thinking and do further research on the topic.

To use Credo Reference, you need to join Christchurch City Libraries and use your library card number and password/PIN to access this eResource. Then, Credo Reference will provide you a successful learning experience.

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Hong Wang
Network Library Assistant

Start your research with Credo Reference

The thought of starting research can be daunting, so a great starting place is a hidden gem of an eResource  – Credo Reference.

Credo Reference is a collection of over 800 reference eBooks with full text articles, images, and videos covering a huge variety of information –  for all ages.

To show you how it works, I have started by searching Anzac Day.

Top result is from the eBook Holiday Symbols and Customs.
This title covers the origins of the day, and symbols and customs such as Dawn Service, Anzac Day parades, and the Australian gambling game Two-up.

From the results page, Credo offers you a Mind Map tool so you can search other related topics on Credo. Below is the example Mind Map of Anzac Day. You can then find information on certain battles, Gallipoli, and other remembrance days. List of sources will be on the right side of the page if you want to read more about any of the mind map headings.

Credo is a great place to start your research, it is easy to use and using tools like Mind Map it can take your quest for information in a different directions.