Looking Up “Hard Words” for a Production Test: A Comparative Study of the NOAD, MEDAL, AHD, and MW Collegiate Dictionaries

By November 17, 2016,
Page1287-1293
AuthorDon McCreary
TitleLooking Up “Hard Words” for a Production Test: A Comparative Study of the NOAD, MEDAL, AHD, and MW Collegiate Dictionaries
AbstractWe test this hypothesis: The New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD), MW, AHD, and MEDAL equally meet the needs of American college students when they look up a hard word. On a production task, writing the word in an appropriate sentence, NOAD users scored much higher than the other three groups on every hard word, with only one exception per user. The Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (MEDAL) users scored higher than the users of the Merriam Webster.s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition (MW) or users of the American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd Edition (AHD), another collegiate desk dictionary. NOAD has several advantages over the other collegiate dictionaries, including microstructure and vocabulary coverage. Unfortunately, overall coverage of hard words is problematic in MEDAL, since it is intended for non-natives. MW users were hampered by their tendency to choose the first sense in the entry, which is the oldest historical sense in MW. This also applies to AHD. This suggests that American college students might consider buying NOAD for its usability and its vocabulary coverage.
Session7. Dictionary Use
Keywords
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX08-129,
author = {Don McCreary},
title = {Looking Up “Hard Words” for a Production Test: A Comparative Study of the NOAD, MEDAL, AHD, and MW Collegiate Dictionaries},
pages = {1287-1293},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 13th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2008},
month = {jul},
date = {15-19},
address = {Barcelona, Spain},
editor = {Elisenda Bernal, Janet DeCesaris},
publisher = {Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada, Universitat Pompeu Fabra},
isbn = {978-84-96742-67-3},
}
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