NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ846106
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Using Dictionaries in Written Examinations
East, Martin
Babel, v40 n2 p4-9, 38 Dec 2005
The use of dictionaries in second language proficiency examinations has been the subject of controversy and debate for a good many years. Debate often focuses on how dictionary availability impacts on examination performance as measured, for example, by test scores or by the quality of test-taker responses. This article presents findings of an empirical study that relate to how test takers used bilingual dictionaries in a writing examination, and whether this use was successful in enhancing the quality of their writing. The language being tested was German, and examples in this article are therefore presented in this language, although the conclusions reached have relevance for all languages. The investigation involved 47 students from eleven schools in the Auckland and Northland regions of New Zealand who were being prepared for New Zealand's Year 13 external (Bursary) examination in its last year of operation (2003). The findings highlight the training issues to be considered when helping students to prepare for a second language examination that allows the use of dictionaries, particularly bilingual ones. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand