An empirical study of dictionary use by Saudi EFL learners at university level with reference to major and gender

Alowimer, S 2010, An empirical study of dictionary use by Saudi EFL learners at university level with reference to major and gender , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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The dictionary is an indispensible tool for language learning, and significant work has been done to improve it and adapt it to suit language learners' needs and reference skills. Dictionary use by foreign language learners has been the focus of a number of studies in the last three decades. This area, however, needs to be further investigated as there is an on-going process of improvement in the art of dictionary-making. Recent years have witnessed significant advances in this field which may change the approaches and attitudes of learners in dealing with the dictionary. This study aims to investigate dictionary use by Saudi EFL learners, a group of learners which has received little attention in previous research. Overall, 500 university students were involved in this research. Their account of their own use of a number of aspects related to the dictionary has been collected by means of a questionnaire. Their attitudes towards a number of types of dictionaries were also elicited. In addition to these quantitative instruments, a qualitative element was also incorporated. This involved follow-on interviews and think-aloud protocols. There are a number of significant findings to this study. It has shown ways and degrees in which dictionaries are involved in Saudi students' English learning processes. It has revealed some instances of failing to make use of the potential of this important tool. It has contributed to an understanding of the background reasons for such ineffective use. It has demonstrated how the teachers' role is essential in this respect, even at the university level where there are assumptions that students have acquired independence in their language learning. Finally, it has identified specific implications both for teaching and future research. xv

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Dickins, J (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:27

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