By Hilary Nesi
This quantity examines the various ways that dictionary use has been studied, considers the issues encountered by way of researchers during this box, and provides a sequence of experiments which discover primary questions about the use of dictionaries by means of freshmen of English as a overseas language. - Are dictionaries useful in examinations? Does defining variety impact session luck? Do dictionaries profit a few varieties of freshmen greater than others? How necessary are illustrative examples? the writer concludes with an research of present tendencies within the layout of dictionaries for beginners of English, and considers the potential influence of latest elctronic codecs on dictionary use.
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Extra resources for The Use and Abuse of EFL Dictionaries: How Learners of English as a Foreign Language Read and Interpret Dictionary Entries
This involves a failure on the part of users to assimilate new and unexpected dictionary information: Students believed they had found their solution in the dictionary, but in reality, they had only read enough of the entry to confirm a preconceived idea, or simply deviated from the dictionary information on the grounds of interpretation and (personal) association. ), who studied dictionary use by native-speaker primary school children. Müllich seems to be describing a kind of "Kidrule" strategy for foreign language learners, a possibility that I will return to in Chapter Three.
All the subjects had problems with grammatical terms, abbreviations and phonetic script. Neubach and Cohen found that only the more advanced students benefited from dictionary use. These students formed semantic field expectations before they looked words up; they already understood the main message of the passage, but used the dictionary to deepen this understanding. Weak students were hampered by lack of world knowledge, and failed to recognise implicit and subtle aspects of the text. Neubach and Cohen's sample size was small, the tasks posed problems that the researchers did not appear to have foreseen, and the resultant data was not presented systematically.
The Japanese speaker made no reference to Japanese in her protocol, but chose without consulting her dictionary the caique SALARY MAN rather than WHITE COLLAR WORKER. Ard cites this behaviour as evidence that "prohibiting bilingual dictionaries does not eliminate LI-influence". Ard also cites the protocol of the Japanese subject to argue that dictionary use did not greatly increase the overall time spent on the composition process. According to Ard "the use of a bilingual dictionary involves a considerable expenditure of time", but so too do other kinds of problem solving within the writing process; it took 52 seconds for the subject to decide on TEETH TREATED with the aid of a dictionary, but there were twelve pauses of between 5 and 43 seconds in her protocol which did not involve dictionary use.