Meet the Needs of Your Multilingual Student Body

4 min read

| By Gale Staff |

The traditional college student body is becoming ever more diverse—with individuals from all different backgrounds—and this diversity on campus is incredibly valuable for schools. Having a heterogeneous population challenges stereotypes, encourages empathy, and inspires critical thinking. As a result, graduates are better prepared to communicate across differences in the real world, setting them up for future success no matter their chosen career path.

International students and individuals from immigrant backgrounds are also accessing U.S. colleges in higher numbers than ever before. In fact, about one-quarter of all U.S. undergraduates currently enrolled in community college comes from an immigrant background, and English is not the first language for nearly 20% of first-generation college students. Our country’s demographics are evolving, and so are the backgrounds of the people attending our schools. The resources we provide can be adapted to meet the needs of all students.

Not sure where to start? Gale databases have a suite of built-in tools that can help you customize resources for ESL learners and international students, accommodating dozens of different languages. Plus, the diversity of content housed in Gale’s databases provides users with global perspectives on a variety of major issues.

Showcase Accurate Translation Capabilities

Popular—and often free—online translation services can only go so far. While not always entirely accurate, these services can leave your students vulnerable to confusing and oftentimes unhelpful translations. However, students who access resources in Gale products can change their user interface to reflect their native language, making it easier to use Gale’s advanced search features. And once they’ve identified the resources they need, ESL learners can read the article in their chosen language as well. Gale currently provides options for over 40 different languages across its various resources.

Enhance Learning with Supplemental Tools

Anyone who has struggled to learn a foreign language understands how difficult it can be. Oftentimes, certain aptitudes are easier than others. You might be better at reading a foreign language than you are at speaking it. When students access an article in Gale, the resource can adapt to their learning needs. For example, you can read an article in Spanish but download the audio file in English. This would allow you to listen along in one language while reading in another. Engaging with information in different ways helps improve overall learning.

Depending on their level of fluency, your ESL and international students might also benefit from the Lexile measure and reading difficulty indicators built into every Gale article. These metrics will help guide students toward information that’s presented at their personal English reading level. Users can even filter their search results to show only those resources that meet their reading level parameters, leading to more efficient results and saving them time.

Explore Global Perspectives on Major Issues

Gale products offer a range of content that allows researchers to explore narratives from around the world. With Gale Academic OneFile, users can comb through thousands of news articles, peer-reviewed journals, and other forms of media that represent perspectives from different continents. Take climate change for instance—it’s easy to find pieces from outlets like The Washington Post or NPR, but what about the Sydney Morning Herald or the Stellenbosch Law Review? With Gale, users can explore diverse international perspectives regarding major issues.

Read from International Authors

Gale Literature: LitFinder features full-text literary pieces and supplemental content from thousands of authors representing countries around the globe. Using Gale’s advanced person-search tools, students can filter results by an author’s nationality, discovering thousands of literary works from Western and non-Western writers. Students can dive deep into a literary genre and find written works from new voices that they haven’t likely encountered before.

The campus library and the resources it houses are essential to college student success, and accommodating students from all backgrounds is important. By adapting to rapidly diversifying student bodies, the U.S. higher education market can help ensure all populations have equitable access to education.

If your institution is not currently a Gale subscriber, you can browse all of our databases or contact your local rep to request more information and a product trial.

Leave a Comment