DICTIONARY REVIEW ARTICLE
The world is a global village compared to early years. Most learning sessions and activities are now done online and computerized. With Computer- Assisted vocabulary learning; individuals from all ages have access to information, knowledge, and perfection in language and advancement in communication skills. The learning tends to ease consultation and promote learning.
Marlise Horst, the Assistant Professor at the TESL Centre of the Department of Education at Concordia University in Montreal focuses her research on extensive reading and computer-assisted vocabulary learning. Tom Cobb is the Associate in the Department de linguistique des langues at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal. He specializes in developing tools for vocabulary learning and research. They came up with a review on oxford dictionary computer- assisted vocabulary learning that was developed accompanied by Genie CD-ROM software.
The Genie software of the oxford dictionary is known to be of amazing technology amazingly easy to use. The language used is English hence every individual all round the world can access the software and read without any hesitation. Also Oxford Computer- Assisted vocabulary learning does not discriminate elderly or the young. It is easy to use by just double clicking the Genie icon. It does not take up large amount of screen space.
To ensure learners engage in “ deep processing” when learning a new word certainly requires much more elaborate preparation of study materials( Horst,Cobb and Nicolae, 2005) which could become quite unwieldy. Oxford Computer- Assisted vocabulary learning uses simple English that is understandable, well explained that enables learners grasp new words easily. Also one can consult Genie in the usual type – and – enter way by simply pointing the mouse at the word to be searched at the text.
An experimental design was employed by asking learners to examine two dictionaries, the Oxford University under review and another, larger, dictionary designed for advanced level ESL learners. They were also asked to complete the questionnaire based on the quiz that appear on Oxford Paper dictionary. It was designed to raise users’ awareness of the information in entries by asking them to explore questions.
The observation of two learner provided a limited basis for generalization but provided a number of general insights. One learner complained that the small oxford dictionary refused to lie flat when opening to a particular page. Although all learner were in intermediate ESL classes, both stated they would prefer a larger advanced level dictionary since it seems likely to have more entries. The impression is correct; the advanced LDOCE appears to have 106,000 entries while the oxford Dictionary of American English has just 40, 0000. Products by Cambridge (Landau, 1999) and Heinle (Rideout, 2004) that also target intermediate learners offer a similar number of entries, while Longman’s Dictionary of American English offers 52,000 entries.
Genie software has interesting feature that neither users could notice its smart definitions. This is an innovative attempt at implementing something that has long been seen as a potential advantage of electronic lexicography: the ability to draw on the language of the text a user is reading to deliver the relative sense of word. Since research shows failure to determine relevant sense to be the main obstacle to learners’ use of paper dictionaries. (Nesi and Haill,2002).
Smart definition may well be proven to be an important and research – indicated contribution to learner- oriented lexicography. Smart definition works by the reader moving the mouse over the word find in a sentence. Genies’ smart definition is able to use the text input to take the user directly to the entry for “find out- phrasal verb”. This is therefore a major advance, and one worthy of dictionary researchers’ interest.
More needs to be done to improve the genie software for computer- assisted vocabulary learning. The smart definition feature is said to appear like that of the early stages of development. Passing the mouse over either of the two words “prep” or “conj” may merely lead to the same definition which users may read through for themselves to determine which sense they are dealing with. Oxford will continue working with smart definition to ensure that the problem is fixed as it seen as a challenge to overcome on the way to developing a new and interesting source. Also, some pictures, illustration, words, and display in paper dictionary may differ to that of computerized version and the choice of omission doesn’t make any sense,
Oxford Computer- assisted technology is therefore the best tool for use compared to paper dictionary. Using computer technology to good advantage in learners’ lexicography. Is no simple matter but publishers of ESL dictionaries are clearly committed to the venture and we are likely to see progress in the coming years.
Nesi, H., & Haill, R. (2002). A study of dictionary use by international students at a British university. International Journal of lexicography, 15(4),277-305
Rideout, P, (Ed) (2004).Newbury House dictionary of American English ( 4th edition). Boston, MA; Thomson Heinle.