After the 1604 — Robert Cawdry’s “Table Alphabeticall which was the first dictionary , there came many dictionaries in the world and each of them is different for a different thing and purpose.
What exactly are different dictionaries for?
the dictionary most English students use these days are for general English (English that people use for everyday conversations, reading magazines, newspaper, watching TV, videos radios and movies). But some dictionaries are just about a specific subject at a university, college, etc. and English learners do not normally need them. There are many of them that are related to physics, chemistry, math, etc.
So what kind of dictionary is good for each level?
English learners usually learn general English. Each kind of dictionary is good for a specific purpose. For example, basic and elementary levels can hardly use an advanced learner’s dictionary because it is too difficult for them. Basic level students should use bilingual dictionaries (They have 2 languages like English to Farsi) .In elementary levels, students can use dictionaries of elementary English that are monolingual (They have only one language like, for example, English to English dictionaries).
What is at the end of the list?
It is only from Pre Intermediate levels that learners can and must use advanced learner’s dictionary for making summaries. They don’t need any other kinds of dictionaries to the end of advanced levels of general English.
Why is using a dictionary so important?
A student of English without a dictionary is like a hunter without a gun! It’s so funny if you think your teacher can be your dictionary, too because the teacher is not always available. So it is very important for you to have one because it shows you the meaning(s).
- It shows the spelling.
- It shows the pronunciation.
- It teaches some grammar.
- It gives you good example sentences.
- Helps you learn more and better.
- You will feel relaxed in class because you have checked every word before
- So do not forget to buy an advanced dictionary for home and one pocket one for your class or anywhere else.
What does “learning a word” mean?
When I talk to my students I understand that they think learning vocabulary means
An English Word = Its Farsi Meaning
This is completely wrong!! If you learned words like this you can’t make sentences with them and then you cannot speak English even after many terms at the ILI or anywhere else. Learning a word, at least, means learning its
- Past participle
- Related expressions, Proverbs and Idioms Cultural points
- Correct structure (formula) for making correct sentences
- Transitivity or Intransitivity (for verbs)
- Accountability or Unaccountability (for nouns)
- Formality or Informality
- Antonyms (Opposites)
- Parts of speech (adjective, adverb, verb, noun …)
- Comparative and Superlative forms (for adjectives and adverbs)
As an English teacher, I promise you if you learn new words like this, after some time you will be able to understand nearly all movies and serials, read and understand English passages very well and, better than anything else, you can speak like a native English person easily!!
I know, I know it takes a lot of time first but you will feel so nice in class because you know everything about the words. Try It!!
So how can we use monolingual dictionaries and get this much information out of them?
Read our next post HERE to get the answer….