Teaching Dictionary-using Skills for Online Dictionaries—An Attempt at a Theoretical Framework for South Africa

By November 17, 2016,
Page1265-1271
AuthorJuliane Klein
TitleTeaching Dictionary-using Skills for Online Dictionaries—An Attempt at a Theoretical Framework for South Africa
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to illustrate a theoretical approach to teach dictionary-using skills in South Africa. As the focus is on online dictionaries, only dictionary-using skills will be discussed. Teaching dictionary-using skills in a linguistically heterogeneous society, which has not yet developed a fully functional dictionary culture for all languages, is a difficult task. Not only must the different languages-e.g. conjunctively written languages and disjunctively written languages-be taken into account, but also the different user groups ranging from pupils/university students to ordinary people who want to use a dictionary have to be considered. Although the dictionary users are not a homogeneous group, the aim of teaching dictionary-using skills is the same for all groups: achieving a confident and successful use of dictionaries in the short term and creating a fully developed dictionary culture that includes all the languages which are official in South Africa in the long term. The teaching of dictionary-using skills could be divided into four stages: teaching about dictionaries, teaching basic skills to access dictionaries, teaching look-up strategies, teaching strategies to decode the information found in the definition given by the dictionary. Dictionary-using skills should be taught as early as possible in schools, and this teaching should be continued throughout the whole education process, i.e. it should not be taught as a single module, but rather as language methodology. In tertiary education institutions, dictionary-using skills could be integrated into academic literacy modules or taught in separate short language modules. Teaching dictionary-using skills to everybody else will be more difficult, as those who have finished their formal education cannot be reached as easily as pupils or university students. This group will mainly be taught through the dictionaries themselves. Teaching dictionary-using skills to people through dictionaries implies that the dictionaries must be self-explanatory, which implies that the user interface and all instructions should be available in all the languages that the dictionary covers and not only in English. In addition to that, the dictionary should ideally be accompanied by a user manual in all languages the dictionary covers.
Session7. Dictionary Use
Keywords
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX08-127,
author = {Juliane Klein},
title = {Teaching Dictionary-using Skills for Online Dictionaries—An Attempt at a Theoretical Framework for South Africa},
pages = {1265-1271},
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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