Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/37658

ESL Learner Dictionaries: A Study of Definition Difficulty

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Item Summary

Title: ESL Learner Dictionaries: A Study of Definition Difficulty
Authors: McFarquhar, Peter
Keywords: esl
vocabulary development
dictionary
lexicographer
esl education
Issue Date: 1985
Abstract: ESL teachers, frequently recommend dictionaries to their students, and nearly every learner owns one. Although many dictionaries may seem much alike, there are differences in the defining styles and techniques they employ that may considerably influence how useful learners will find them. However, just what sort of definitions and explanations learners actually find most helpful and understandable is little understood.
To investigate this question, ESL students at the University of Hawaii were asked to evaluate a sample of entries illustrating different defining practices commonly used in English dictionaries. The entries were taken from two well known learner's dictionaries, the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, and a widely used dictionary for native speakers, Webster's New World Dictionary.
A significart majority of these learners consistently preferred entries from Longman. Possible factors contributing to this preference, and Implications for other learners, ESL teachers, and lexicographers are discussed.ESL teachers, frequently recommend dictionaries to their students, and nearly every learner owns one. Although many dictionaries may seem much alike, there are differences in the defining styles and techniques they employ that may considerably influence how useful learners will find them. However, just what sort of definitions and explanations learners actually find most helpful and understandable is little understood.
To investigate this question, ESL students at the University of Hawaii were asked to evaluate a sample of entries illustrating different defining practices commonly used in English dictionaries. The entries were taken from two well known learner's dictionaries, the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, and a widely used dictionary for native speakers, Webster's New World Dictionary.
A significart majority of these learners consistently preferred entries from Longman. Possible factors contributing to this preference, and Implications for other learners, ESL teachers, and lexicographers are discussed.
Pages/Duration: 75 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/37658
Appears in Collections:Occasional Papers



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