The Use of Bilingual Dictionaries by Foreign Language Learners

Doa’a Al-Momani


Bilingual dictionaries form good resources for language learners in general, and for foreign language learners in particular. This study mainly examines the strategies employed by FL learners when they use bilingual dictionaries through performing a 10-item translation task. The sample of the present study consists of 25 high-level students, and 25 low- level students enrolled in graduate studies at Al-Balqa Applied University in Jordan. The results of the present study show that high-level of language development learners tended to employ strategies based on the semantic meanings rather than merely lexical forms. In addition, most of them were somehow less likely to consult a dictionary if the meaning of the original word was easy or they knew a possible semantic equivalent. Low level students, on the other hand, tended to employ strategies based on the lexical form, and in certain cases looked for the first word in the dictionary entry as an equivalent. The findings of the present study support Vygotsky (1978) claim that foreign language learners developmental process moves from being object-regulated to, eventually, being self-regulated.

Keywords: bilingual, bilingual dictionaries, foreign language learners

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/55-09

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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ISSN 2422-8435

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