Abbas Ali Zarei and Aijaz Ahmed Gujjar conducted a study where they mentioned some advantages and disadvantages of E-dictionaries. They are listed below:
Advantages of E-D
• Multiple volumes are compressed into one electronic dictionary.
• Storage and retrieval become quick and easy.
• They are light, compact and faster than any paper dictionary.
• One can easily update some of the brands by using the internet and software.
• To make a large dictionary like OED 44 years (1884 – 1928) have been used, while for converting it into electronic dictionary a 10- year period of time is needed.
• They have certain unique functions, such as error tolerant input, which helps users to look up words with ...view middle of the document...
• Using internet dictionaries are too costly and time-consuming and computer facilities are not available everywhere.
• Nobody takes responsibility for the accuracy of the information Internet dictionaries provide.
• Both the Web addresses and the page contents are constantly changing.
Recommendations for effective use of E-dictionaries in classrooms:
In the study mentioned above which conducted by Johanna Stirling (2003), he mentioned some recommendations for students and teachers for effective use of E-dictionaries. First, students need to be trained to use E-dictionaries. They need to adopt the general strategies of dealing with them such as recognizing when to use a dictionary, the meaning of common abbreviations used and how to record vocabulary. Second, Wright (1998: 129) thinks that teachers should train the students to “develop tolerance for unknown vocabulary” and that involves giving the students a text with ten to fifteen unknown words and ask them to choose five to look up in the dictionary while leaving the rest to be processed by the learners themselves. Wright thinks that this process will encourage the students to use other strategies to deal with new vocabulary and limit the usage of electronic dictionaries. Tillyer (2003) states that this process encourages the students to have more faith in themselves and less in the electronic dictionaries. Third, using E-dictionaries for encoding (writing and speaking) can lead to archaic and inaccurate results. This can be fixed by telling the students to underline each word in their writing that they checked on the E-dictionary in order to be assessed by the teacher. Fourth, allowing the E-dictionaries to be used for a limited time in classrooms. Anthea Tillyer (2003) suggests PEDs and other dictionaries should be allowed for 10 minutes before writing to give the students a chance to look up the words that they would need, and for ten minutes after. Tillyer suggests not allowing e-dictionaries at all during the writing phase would limit the use of e-dictionaries in classrooms. Fifth, a classroom-based task comparing different types of dictionaries, such as monolingual learners’, bilingual paper, and PEDs, can enlighten the students about different types of dictionaries. Sixth, teachers have to acquaint themselves with E-dictionaries so they can help students to use them properly in the best way.
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