- The plural form is used for English descriptors (e.g., "Learners",
"Literacy programs") with the exception of terms which represent abstract
concepts (e.g., "Learning").
- The singular form is used for French descriptors (e.g., "Femme").
- Some descriptors contain qualifiers in order to clarify their meaning (e.g.,
"Readers [texts]"). Users should always include the qualifier when searching or
- The word "adult" is considered redundant and has not been retained in many
descriptors. For example, the term "Literacy" is understood to mean "Adult
- Contrary to standard thesaurus practice, the terms "Learners" and
"Students" have both been retained because they are used equally in Canada by
literacy practitioners. Users are advised to use both terms for exhaustive retrieval.
- On the French side, terms describing persons appear in both the masculine and feminine
form (e.g., "Apprenant", "Apprenante"). This was done to avoid
discriminating against one or the other gender. Where a document refers to both men and
women, both descriptors should be used.
Searching for Terms:
You can search in one of two ways, as described below:
1. Alphabetical Search | Top |
If you choose this search, you will be presented with an alphabetical list of
descriptors and non-descriptors beginning with the term you entered. Non-descriptors are
non-preferred terms (e.g., "Job Market", USE "Labour Market"). They
always appear in italics. For example, if you enter the term "Employment", you
will retrieve the following terms:
Employment education relationships
.... and so on
2. Keyword Search | Top |
A keyword search will retrieve descriptors which contain a given word anywhere
in the descriptor. For example, if you enter the word "health", you will be
presented with something like the following:
Health in the workplace
Literacy health relationships
Occupational health and safety
Once again, non-descriptors appear in italics.
Note that if you wish to do a truncated search (e.g., find all terms containing the
word fragment "employ" or "wom"), you simply type in the word fragment
with no punctuation and no asterisk.
Note: The search engine will only retrieve the number of terms specified in the box for
"How many terms?" The default is 75.
Displays | Top |
When you click on a term in the alphabetical or keyword display, you will be taken to a
screen which shows the full display for that term. If you click on a non-descriptor (these
always appear in italics), you will be taken to a screen which indicates the descriptor
which should be used in place of that term. (For example, "Health information",
USE "Medical information"). Occasionally a USE reference is followed by two
Each thesaurus descriptor is shown with some or all of the following:
- French Equivalent
Where it exists, the equivalent in French of an English descriptor appears. The French
descriptor will be shown with its own relationships in the French version of the
Where necessary, a definition specifies the meaning of a descriptor, in the framework of
this Thesaurus. The meaning of a thesaurus descriptor is often more restricted than the
meaning of the same term in natural language.
Distinction between sounds of different intensity, frequency, pattern or complexity.
- Scope Note
The scope note gives specific directions for the use of a descriptor.
Use only for a general discussion of several types of approaches; if possible use a more
specific term (behavioural approach, etc.).
- Used for (i.e., synonym)
These are concepts and subjects which the descriptor is used to represent, in the
framework of this Thesaurus.
- Broader Terms
These are other valid indexing and searching terms which are more general in meaning than
the descriptor, in the framework of this Thesaurus.
- Narrower Terms
These are other valid indexing and searching terms which are more restricted in meaning
than the descriptor, in the framework of this Thesaurus.
- Related Terms
These are other valid indexing and searching terms with which the descriptor is
associated, in the framework of the Thesaurus.
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