If you search a catalog or database and receive a large number of results, add a limit or additional keyword in order to retrieve a manageable and relevant number of results to review. At the same time overly narrow search terms can return too few results. One way of solving both problems is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow you to limit or expand searches depending on your needs.
For example, a search for "Spanish language learner" AND curriculum will return items that contain both "Spanish language learner" and "curriculum":
bilingual OR multilingual returns items that contain either one of the terms or both:
"Immigrant students" NOT "higher education" returns items that talk about immigrant students from pre-K to 12th grade but not beyond:
An important strategy to use when searching for phrases ("SIOP model") or titles:
For example, "bilingual education"
will search for those words in that order, finding the 2013 text by Nancy Lemberger.
Truncation and Wildcards:
Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.
For example, one could search for educat* to find educate, educates, education, educating, and so on.
Wildcard searches are for differences within words: a search for wom?n will return results for woman, women, and womyn.
When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is important to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.
For example, (bilingual* OR multilingual*) AND (educat* OR learn*) will return results for the union of the two subject areas.
In the ERIC database this search returns results including: Alanis, I. (2011). Learning from each other: Bilingual pairs in dual-language classrooms. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 39(1), 21-28.