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Abstract

Invoking the metaphor of scholarship as a conversation offers academic librarians an excellent way to connect information literacy to university ESL (English as a second language) classes. This article describes how this particular metaphor has appeared in the literature of librarianship, and it suggests that this metaphor offers a deeper way to understand and promote information literacy to ESL students. It connects this deeper understanding of information literacy to ESL writing and speaking instructional approaches. These approaches include understanding scholarship as both a formal written end product and as a writing process in the creation, production and dissemination of knowledge. In addition, understanding scholarship as a conversation is described as including recognition of both formal and informal means of communication. Practical examples of classroom activities are also offered that librarians can use to support these different ways of illustrating scholarship as a conversation. Collaboration between librarians and instructors is advocated in order to fully invoke this metaphor as a way to connect information literacy to ESL classrooms.

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