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ERIC Number: EJ1020196
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0261-4448
Research Timeline: Dictionary Use by English Language Learners
Nesi, Hilary
Language Teaching, v47 n1 p38-55 Jan 2014
The history of research into dictionary use tends to be characterised by small-scale studies undertaken in a variety of different contexts, rather than larger-scale, longer-term funded projects. The research conducted by dictionary publishers is not generally made public, because of its commercial sensitivity, yet because dictionary production is largely a commercial venture, academic research in this area has rarely attracted public funding. Findings from multiple small studies are often difficult to compare because of variations in the types of user, dictionary material, and experimental method. Research into dictionary use has gradually become more subtle and more complex, however. Researchers have tried to control for lexicographical variables by using specially created "mini-dictionaries", rather than original dictionaries produced by different publishers, and new computer-based research tools and the synthesis of findings from different types of data set are helping to resolve the apparent contradictions noted in earlier studies. Following Hulstijn & Atkins (1998: 10) this timeline concerns research which aims at "bringing the dictionary to the user (how can the dictionary best serve its users' needs?)" and "bringing the user to the dictionary (how can people be made better dictionary users?)". Only empirical research and overviews of empirical research are included. The author's selection represents five recurring themes: (1) English language learners' preferences and attitudes regarding dictionary use; (2) The influence of dictionaries on English language learners' text comprehension; (3) The influence of dictionaries on English language learners' text production; (4) The role of dictionaries as an aid to English language learning; and (5) English language learners' dictionary consultation behaviour.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
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