FORM, MEANING OR USE: WHAT WORD KNOWLEDGE ASPECT SHOULD L2 LEARNERS FOCUS ON DURING DICTIONARY LOOKUPS? ALL AT ONCE OR ONE AT A TIME?

Sultan Alhatmi

Abstract


A twenty-six-item questionnaire featuring 26 various word knowledge components (i.e. pieces of information relevant to a word) was handed to 90 Saudi EFL learners in order to a. identify the individual components that they were most and least interested in when performing dictionary lookups and b. pinpoint the word knowledge aspect (i.e. the strand or category to which individual word knowledge components relate to) to which their lookups were mostly oriented (i.e. form, meaning, or use). The subjects reported an extreme interest in digital pronunciation of words (i.e. pronunciation embedded in digital dictionaries), L1 equivalents, spelling as well as the L2 first and basic meaning of words paralleled with a high negligence towards verb transitiveness, word origin, pronunciation in a paper dictionary, meanings of word affixes as well as stylistic usage of words. In terms of word knowledge aspects, their word lookups were reportedly far more oriented towards word meaning and word form with significantly far less attention paid to the aspect of word use. Hence, we believe, L2 learners should be cautioned when performing dictionary lookups against this notable disinterest in the aspect of word use as it would most likely, in the long run, have a negative effect on their communicative competence in the L2 (i.e. their knowledge about how and when to use L2 utterances appropriately). Finally, we suggest that this study be replicated in other contexts and countries of different L1 backgrounds so that we can ascertain whether the learners’ L1 background has any relevance to the interest and attention they would pay to the three word knowledge aspects when consulting dictionaries (e.g. would word use be given significantly more attention among EFL Latin learners than Arab learners?).

 

Article visualizations:

Hit counter

DOI

Keywords


dictionary lookup, word knowledge, word knowledge aspect, word knowledge component, word form, word meaning, word use

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ahmed, M. (1988). Vocabulary learning strategies: A case study of Sudanese learners of English. (Unpublished PhD thesis). University College of North Wales, Bangor, UK.

Al Qahtani, M. (2005). The use of vocabulary learning strategies by EFL learners at three different educational levels. (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Essex, Colchester, UK.

Alhaysony, M. (2011). Dictionary look-up behavior of Saudi female EFL students. European Journal of Social Sciences, 26(2), 250-267.

Celce-Murcia, M. (2001). Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3rd ed.). Boston: Thomson Learning.

Crystal, D. (2002). The English language: A guided tour of the language. London: Penguin.

Folse, K. (2004). Vocabulary myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Hennings, D. (2000). Contextually relevant word study: Adolescent vocabulary development across the curriculum. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44(3), 268-279.

Knight, S. (1994). Dictionary use while reading: The effects on comprehension and vocabulary acquisition for students of different verbal abilities. The Modern Language Journal, 78(3), 285-299.

Laufer, B. (1998). The development of passive and active vocabulary in a second language: Same or different? Applied linguistics, 19(2), 255-271.

Laufer, B., & Shmueli, K. (1997). Memorizing new words: Does teaching have anything to do with it? RELC Journal, 28(1), 89-108.

Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach: The state of ELT and a way forward. Hove, UK: Language Teaching Publications.

Luppescu, S., & Day, R. (1993). Reading, dictionaries, and vocabulary learning. Language Learning, 43(2), 263-279.

McCarthy, M. (1984). A new look at vocabulary in EFL. Applied linguistics, 5(1), 12-22.

McCarthy, M. (1990). Vocabulary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Min, Y.-K. (2013). Vocabulary acquisition: Practical strategies for ESL students. Journal of International Students, 3(1), 64-69.

Nagy, W., & Anderson, R. (1984). How many words are there in printed school English? Reading Research Quarterly, 19(3), 304-330.

Nation, P. (1990). Teaching and learning vocabulary. New York: Newbury House.

Nation, P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nattinger, J., & DeCarrico, J. (1992). Lexical phrases and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nesi, H., & Meara, P. (1994). Patterns of misinterpretation in the productive use of EFL dictionary definitions. System, 22(1), 1-15.

Piotrowski, T. (1989). Monolingual and bilingual dictionaries: Fundamental differences. In M. Tickoo (Ed.), Learners' dictionaries: State of the art (pp. 72-83). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.

Roberts, R. P. (1992). Translation pedagogy: Strategies for improving dictionary use. Traduction, Terminologie et Rédaction, 5(1), 49-76.

Savadkouhi, Z., Hassani, M., & Rahmani, R. (2013). The effect of hemispheric dominance on learning vocabulary strategies among Iranian EFL Learners. European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences, 2(2), 347-361.

Schmitt, N. (1997). Vocabulary learning strategies. In N. Schmitt & M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy (pp. 199-227). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scholfield, P. (1982). The role of bilingual dictionaries in ESL/EFL: A positive view. Guidelines, 4(1), 84-98.

Scholfield, P. (1999). Dictionary use in reception. International Journal of Lexicography, 12(1), 13-34.

Sökmen, A. J. (1997). Current trends in teaching second language vocabulary. In N. Schmitt & M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy (pp. 237-257). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tomaszczyk, J. (1979). Dictionaries: Users and uses. Glottodidactica, 12, 103-119.

Yanping, D. (2005). A survey of college students skills and strategies of dictionary use in English learning. CELEA Journal, 28(4), 73-77.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejel.v0i0.2634

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright © 2015. European Journal of English Language Teaching (ISSN 2501-7136) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).