Using Mobile Bilingual Dictionaries in an EFL Class

By November 17, 2016,
Page 63-83
Author Carla Marello
Title Using Mobile Bilingual Dictionaries in an EFL Class
Abstract Are reference skills of native digital EFL students developed enough to take advantage of having a big bilingual dictionary on their smartphones? To carry out this research a class from an Italian technical high school was observed. Students aged 17 were split into three groups of users and were given different versions of the same bilingual dictionary, the Ragazzini Italian and English dictionary (Zanichelli Bologna 2013 edition). The first group was allowed to use the Android app; the second was given access to the online version on the web portal; the third group received paper copies of the dictionary. Students were asked to answer some questions about their (un)familiarity with Italian monolingual and bilingual dictionaries. Then the three groups carried out the same activities during a two hour-English-lesson. The case study reports similarities and differences in their performances, showing that linguistic proficiency proved more determinant than access to digital versions. Students were also asked to report on the main difficulties they had to overcome when looking words up in the dictionaries and were invited to suggest possible improvements in the way pieces of information were displayed on the mobile digital version.
Session Plenary lectures
Keywords bilingual dictionary use; mobile dictionary app; advanced CLIL prerequisite
author={Carla Marello},
title={Using Mobile Bilingual Dictionaries in an EFL Class},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 16th EURALEX International Congress},
address={Bolzano, Italy},
editor={Abel, Andrea and Vettori, Chiara and Ralli, Natascia},
publisher={EURAC research},