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Efficacy of Explicit Teaching of Lexicographical Skills: The Case of Sudanese English Majors

نویسنده:

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A substantial body of research has revealed that EFL students conceive of a monolingual dictionary primarily as a repository of definitions to the almost utter neglect of the other entry components. Since existing lexicographical Sudanese literature has uncovered an even more subsidiary role for monolingual dictionaries, further investigations were needed to verify whether knowledge and skills to tap the inexhaustible resources of the dictionary can be enhanced through direct teaching regiments. Hence, the aim of the current study is to empirically gauge the efficacy of integrating these reference skills within a conventional Enhancement Course. A dictionary pre-test was administered to two homogeneous groups attending a Study Skills Course at The University of Khartoum, Sudan. The performance was measured against a slightly modified version of the test following a tailor-made structured module presented to the experimental group. The results of both groups in the pre-test were unsatisfactory and generally congruent with the findings of the original study. Yet, statistically significant differences were registered in the performance of the experimental group regarding overall and individual entry components. In view of the importance and increasing sophistication of monolingual dictionaries, this study is yet one more proof of the pedagogical usefulness of equipping students with dictionary training as part of their syllabuses. Thus, entry composites such as definitions, phonetic and grammatical information, and diatonic and diaphasic labels shall constitute an integral part of teaching strategies in the phonology, syntax, semantic, and sociolinguistic domains.

خلاصه ماشینی:

"Other researchers (Dziemianko & Lew, 2014) question the reliability of the very notion of assessing students’ judgments about the utilization of this resource in pedagogical tasks, citing the inconclusive or statistically insignificant effects of dictionaries on reading comprehension (Bensoussan & Weiss, 1984; Nesi & Meara, 1992) and on writing performance (East, 2007). 3. Dictionary Research in Sudan Though reference books traditionally enjoy a special place in collectivist societies which cherish me passive printed word (Holliday, 1994), interest in the lexical aspects of language was eclipsed in Sudanese universities by the emphasis on structural and syntactic patterns (Abdullah, 2005). I carried out a much more recent investigation of reference skills (Ali & Siddiek, 2015) which purported to uncover the overall perceptions and actual dictionary practices among a sample of 160 Sudanese English majors in four national universities. Consisting of ten components of the dictionary entry, the pre-test covered the areas of determination of meaning, phonological transcription and stress placement, morphological and grammatical information, spelling, culture, etymology, idiomacy, usage labels and cultural content (see Appendix A). As indicated by an even earlier study into the attitudes of teachers of General English concerning the place of lexicography (Ali & Siddiek, 2014), the latter study revealed an overwhelmingly passive attitude towards instilling a love of dictionaries in students’ hearts as an accompaniment of language learning, nor have the majority of these teachers strived to integrate dictionary use into decoding and encoding activities within the classroom."

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