Dictionary Consultation as A Lexical Processing Strategy: Exploring Look-up Notes in Iranian University Students’ Academic Textbooks

Mohammad Hassan Tahririan, Elham Sadri

Abstract


Looking up unfamiliar words and writing their meanings in the margin of the texts is a common lexical processing strategy which serves to comprehension and retention of words’ meanings when reading English academic textbooks. This study investigated words in academic textbooks looked up by Iranian university TEFL students in hopes of throwing light on challenges and errors they experience. The findings revealed that students extensively consulted the dictionary and were successful in many cases but their dependency on bilingual dictionaries and also their tendency to rely on the initial sense provided in the dictionary led to failure for cases such as technical terms, polysemous entries, and words with different parts of speech. Among the pedagogical implications of these findings is the need for further training of students for effective use of the dictionary while reading academic texts.

 


Keywords


Dictionary consultation; lexical processing strategy; academic textbooks; bilingual dictionary; initial sense

Full Text:

PDF

References


Akbari, Z., & Tahririan, M. H. (2009). Vocabulary learning strategies in an ESP context: The case of Para/medical English in Iran. The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly, 11 (1), 39 –61.

Anderson, R. C., & Nagy, W. E. (1991). Word meanings. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research, (Vol. II), (pp. 690-724). New York: Longman.

Atkins, B. T. S., & Varantola, K. (1998). Language Learners Using Dictionaries: the Final Report on the EURALEX/AILA Research Project on Dictionary Use. In B. T. S. Atkins (Ed.), Using Dictionaries, (pp. 21–82).Tubingen: Max Niemeyer

Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Kucan, L. (2013). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. NY: Guilford Press.

Be´ joint, H. (1981). The Foreign Student’s Use of Monolingual English Dictionaries: a Study of Language Needs and Reference Skills. Applied Linguistics, 2 (3), 207–222.

Bensoussan, M., & Laufer, B. (1984). Lexical guessing in context in EFL reading comprehension. Journal of Research in Reading, 7, 15–31.

Bensoussan, M., Sim, D., & Weiss, R. (1984). The effect of dictionary usage on EFL test performance compared with student and teacher attitudes and expectations. Reading in a Foreign Language, 2, 262–276.

Bogaards, P. (1998). Using dictionaries: Which words are looked up by foreign language learners? In B. T. S. Atkins & K. Varantola (Eds.), Studies of dictionary use by language learners and translators, (pp. 151–157). Tubingen: Max Niemeyer.

Coxhead, A. (1998). An Academic Word List. Victoria University of New Zealand: English Language Institute Occasional Publication.

Fraser, C. A. (1999 a). Lexical processing strategy use and vocabulary learning through reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21(2), 225-241.

Fraser, C. A. (1999 b). The role of consulting a dictionary in reading and vocabulary learning. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2 (1-2), 73-89.

Golkar, M., & Yamini, M. (2007). Vocabulary, proficiency and reading comprehension. The Reading Matrix, 7(3), 88–112.

Haastrup, K. (1991). Lexical Inferencing Procedures, Or, Talking about Words: Receptive Procedures in Foreign Language Learning with Special Reference to English. Tubingen: Gunter Narr.

Hu, M., & Nation, I. S. P. (2000). Unknown vocabulary density and reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign Language, 13, 403–430.

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, 285–299.

Laufer, B. (1992). How much lexis is necessary for reading comprehension? In H. Bejoint & P. Arnaud (Eds.), Vocabulary and applied linguistics, (pp.126-132). London: Macmillan.

Lawson, M. J., & Hogben, D. (1996). The Vocabulary‐Learning Strategies of Foreign‐Language Students. Language learning, 46(1), 101-135.

Leeke, P., & Shaw, P. (2000). Learners' independent records of vocabulary. System, 28(2), 271-289.

Lew, R. (2004). Which dictionary for whom?: receptive use of bilingual, monolingual and semi-bilingual dictionaries by Polish learners of English. Poznań: Motivex.

Lew, R. (2010). Users take shortcuts: Navigating dictionary entries. In A. Dykstra and T. Schoonheim (Eds.), Proceedings of the XIV Euralex International Congress, (pp. 1121-1132). Ljouwert: Afuk.

Lew, R. (2013). Identifying, ordering and defining senses. Retrieved from: http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~rlew/pub/Lew_2013_Identifying_ordering_defining_senses_[preprint].pdf.

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

Nagy, W., & Townsend, D. (2012). Words as tools: Learning academic vocabulary as language acquisition. Reading Research Quarterly, 47(1), 91-108.

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

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

Nesi, H., & Haill, R. (2002). A study of dictionary use by international students at a British university. International Journal of Lexicography, 15(4), 277-305.

Neubach, A., & Cohen, A. D. (1988). Processing strategies and problems encountered in the use of dictionaries. Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America, 10(1), 1-20.

Paribakht, T. S., & Wesche, M. (1997). Vocabulary Enhancement Activities and Reading for Meaning in Second Language Vocabulary Development. In J. Coady and T. Huckin (Eds.), Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition: A Rationale for Pedagogy. (pp. 174-200). NY: Cambridge University Press.

Prichard, C. (2008). Evaluating L2 readers’ vocabulary strategies and dictionary use. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20 (2), 216-231.

Prichard, C., & Matsumoto, Y. (2011). The Effect of Lexical Coverage and Dictionary Use on L2 Reading Comprehension. Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 11(3), 207-225.

Schoonen, R., Hulstijn, J., & Bossers, B. (1998). Metacognitive and language‐specific knowledge in native and foreign language reading comprehension: An empirical study among Dutch students in grades 6, 8 and 10. Language learning, 48(1), 71-106.

Snow, C.E., & Kim, Y. (2007). Large problem spaces: The challenge of vocabulary for English language learners. In R.K. Wagner, A. E. Muse & K.R. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Vocabulary acquisition: Implications for reading comprehension. (pp. 123–139). NY: Guilford.

Tomaszczyk, J. (1979). Dictionaries: Users and Uses. Glottodidactica, 12, 103–19.

West, M. (1953). A General Service List of English Words. London: Longman, Green and Company.

Wingate, U. (2002). The effectiveness of different learner dictionaries. Tübingen: Niemeyer.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.2n.5p.178

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.