Evaluating L2 readers’ vocabulary strategies and dictionary use

Date
2008-10
Authors
Prichard, Caleb
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract
A review of the relevant literature concerning second language dictionary use while reading suggests that selective dictionary use may lead to improved comprehension and efficient vocabulary development. This study aims to examine the dictionary use of Japanese university students to determine just how selective they are when reading nonfiction English texts for general comprehension. The findings suggest that high-intermediate and advanced learners are often selective when considering whether to look up a word. However, a third of the participants in this study were judged to have used the dictionary excessively. In addition, a quarter of the words looked up in the study were neither essential to the articles’ main points nor frequent or useful words, according to corpus research. It is concluded that some learners might benefit from training in selective dictionary use.
Description
Keywords
vocabulary strategies, dictionary use, reading online
Citation
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