Learn Why Your English Teacher Tells You To Use Dictionaries!

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

  1. Spelling
  2. Pronunciation
  3. Preposition
  4. Past participle
  5. Related expressions, Proverbs and Idioms Cultural points
  6. Meaning
  7. Correct structure (formula) for making correct sentences
  8. Transitivity or Intransitivity (for verbs)
  9. Accountability or Unaccountability (for nouns)
  10. Formality or Informality
  11. Synonyms
  12. Antonyms (Opposites)
  13. Parts of speech (adjective, adverb, verb, noun …)
  14. 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….

By | 2017-09-08T14:28:34+00:00 February 3rd, 2016|Blog|15 Comments

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  1. Nahal June 25, 2016 at 13:05 - Reply

    Thank you so much ??

  2. Nahal June 20, 2016 at 11:26 - Reply

    Tnx a lot Mr.Mofidi ?
    And is there any converesation class you suggest ?

    • Hossein Mofidi June 25, 2016 at 09:45 - Reply

      Any conversation class teacher must have at least two characteristics: a good mastery over the target language + great class management techniques

  3. Nahal June 16, 2016 at 18:17 - Reply

    I’m 16 and i finished advance 3 by grade 90
    What do you suggest me to do ?
    Actually you know that i don’t want to abandon English classes az i would forget ?
    I’ll be happy if you help me
    Tnx a lot ?

    • Hossein Mofidi June 18, 2016 at 16:04 - Reply

      Hi Nahal! The best thing to maintain and even learn a language is to expose yourself to it! and extensive reading is one of the best (since we do not have constant contact with people of the target language) .. Good luck and enjoy your sweet 16! 😉

  4. amirhossein atarha August 5, 2013 at 11:57 - Reply

    your example was really funny about the hunter =))
    i got rally surprised when i saw the list of the things that we have to remember in addition to the meaning of a word
    from now i will pay more attention to the word that i am studying

    • Hossein Mofidi August 5, 2013 at 12:42 - Reply

      So you wannna be good hunter ha?!:-)

  5. มาตรการ July 16, 2013 at 22:00 - Reply

    Hi there every one, here every one is sharing these kinds of
    knowledge, thus it’s fastidious to read this webpage, and I used to pay a quick visit this website all the time.

    • Hossein Mofidi July 17, 2013 at 08:59 - Reply

      Hi do know Indian…? and Thanks for your visit:-)

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