The process of teaching any subject involves the use of all resources available to achieve efficient/effective result. When dealing with teaching foreign languages, we have noticed that such a traditional and apparently well-known tool as a dictionary is not so well-known nor used efficiently by students. Nevertheless, in our opinion, the dictionary should play an important role in the teaching-learning process. Therefore, we have carried out a research in our classroom in order to check that if students work systematically with the dictionary, they will improve not only their dictionary skills, but also their L2 skills mainly in writing, reading comprehension and vocabulary. The research was done at two different levels during a whole academic year focusing on dictionary training and dictionary activities. Our work showed quite interesting outcomes: (a) students were aware of the usefulness of dictionaries because they learnt that dictionaries helped them; (b) students’ confidence to face activities increased; (c) students improved their language use and knowledge; and (d) they really enjoyed the tasks. As a general conclusion we can state that with better dictionary use students acquire autonomous learning strategies for learning a foreign language.
English language; Teaching; Foreign language; Dictionary use
Copyright (c) 2011 Margarita Cote González, Cristina Tejedor Martínez