Vol. 2. No. 3 A-2 January 1997
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Quality versus Convenience: Comparison of Modern Dictionaries from the Researcher's, Teacher's and Learner's Points of View

Shira Koren
Department of English
Bar Ilan University, Israel


With the growing popularity of electronic dictionaries, the confusion and frustration of EFL reading comprehension students is increasing, as time and again they realize that the meanings offered by the electronic dictionary do not match the text. On the other hand, the dictionary's speed is an advantage that cannot be ignored since it not only facilitates use, but also encourages the user to read more in the foreign language. Other types of dictionaries offer the students other types of advantages, but, just like the electronic dictionary, each one has its own disadvantages. Some types of dictionaries are more favored by teachers, while others are preferred by the students. This article compares the advantages and disadvantages of most types of modern dictionaries both from the teachers and researchers' as well as from the students' points of view, and shows that if clear distinctions are made between learning, test-taking and reading for pleasure or extensive reading, each type of dictionary can be used either by itself or in combination with another dictionary, depending on the type of activity.

Keywords: Dictionaries, Electronic Dictionaries, EFL

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