The Role of the Dictionary in Teaching English as a Foreign Language with Special Reference to English-Arabic Dictionaries

Al-Salami, Nadhum Raheem Ghurab (1988) The Role of the Dictionary in Teaching English as a Foreign Language with Special Reference to English-Arabic Dictionaries. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The existing bilingual dictionaries are ill-equipped to satisfy any but the general needs of the learner. As soon as they are applied to the special needs of a certain category of learners, they are certain to reveal functional inadequacies. Some of these inadequacies are inherent in the structure of the bilingual dictionary (Bujas, 1980); others are external; others are inherent in the two languages involved. In order to improve this unsatisfactory situation, new dictionaries especially designed to answer the needs of the learner should exist. A dictionary for foreign learners should not be a tool for comprehension only. It should also meet the communicative needs of the learner. It should not only tell him what is possible but also what is impossible, taking into consideration the findings of error analysis of that type of learner and other relevant disciplines. The linguistic background of the learner should be taken into consideration. In this study an attempt is made to suggest improvements in the existing English-Arabic dictionaries which claim to be designed for learning English as a foreign language. It is also hoped that the proposal included in the study will lead to the advancement of pedagogical dictionaries in general and constitute adequate evaluation criteria for teachers to base their recommendation on and for advanced learners to decide which dictionary to buy. Chapter One explores the relationship between lexicography and language learning and how they affect each other. In Chapter Two a revision of the previous classifications of dictionaries is provided to show that no serious attempt has ever been made to classify pedagogical dictionaries and how they should be. New ideas are presented for a sound classification which is intended not to classify the existing dictionaries but to show how learners' dictionaries should be compiled. Chapter Three deals with the need for meaning discrimination in bilingual dictionaries and how it is achieved in the existing dictionaries. New proposals are set out. Chapter Four deals with the phonological information in bilingual dictionaries. The attitude taken here is that the dictionary should indicate the phonological behaviour of a word within a context. Intonation should also be indicated. New proposals are set out. Chapter Five deals with grammar and the dictionary. The attitude taken is that the dictionary should provide morphological and syntactic information. But the linguistic background of the learner should be taken into consideration in deciding the type, amount and the way of presentation. The grammatical information in English-Arabic dictionaries is analysed. New solutions are proposed. Chapter Six presents the problem of usage. The stand taken here is that dictionaries should tell the learner on which occasions words are appropriate for use and when they are not, through the use of codes and glosses. Chapter Seven deals with the problem of lexical combinations and how they are handled by dictionaries. Bilingual dictionaries limit themselves to words in isolation. They often ignore the lexical combination that a word may enter into such as collocations, idioms and compounds.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: English as a second language, Translation studies
Date of Award: 1988
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1988-78246
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:35
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:35
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/78246

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