Impact of Dictionary Use Skills Instruction on Second Language Writing

Chikako Takahashi

Abstract


The dictionary is one of the common learning tools for second and foreign language learners. Various types of dictionaries are used to help learners work on their language development. A bilingual dictionary is often the first dictionary that a foreign language learner encounters. A study conducted on dictionary usage in seven European countries, including over 1,100 learners of English (Atkins & Knowles, 1990), showed that the majority of the language learners (75%) who identified themselves as dictionary users utilized bilingual dictionaries. Another choice for second/foreign language learners is a monolingual dictionary. Several studies (e.g., Atkins & Varantola, 1997; Baxter, 1980) reported that a monolingual dictionary was found to be effective in helping learners find relevant information. Recently gaining popularity among language learners and teachers is the bilingualized dictionary which has features of the learners’ monolingual dictionary and a translation of each entry. A study which investigated the effectiveness of bilingualized dictionaries showed that they were the most effective of the three types (Laufer & Hadar, 1997).

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