Use and Usefulness of Monolingual, Bilingual and Semi-bilingual Decoding Dictionaries in Pakistan: A Comparative Study
Keywords:theoretical lexicography, dictionary use, decoding dictionary, monolingual, bilingual, semibilingual
Theoretical lexicography is concerned with scholarly studies in such disciplines as linguistics, especially Lexicology (Hartman & James, 2002). Research into theoretical lexicography covers dictionary criticism, dictionary history, dictionary needs analysis, dictionary structure, dictionary typology, and dictionary use. The present paper is related to dictionary typology and dictionary use. It presents a comparison of the use and usefulness of three types of the decoding dictionaries used by learners and recommended by teachers of the English language in Pakistan. The methodology applied for the present research is qualitative and descriptive in approach. However, it also presents the results in percentages in order to compensate for the subjectivity of qualitative approach and to reach objective conclusions. The participants of the research include 400 students and 25 teachers belonging to different universities and colleges in Pakistan. Questionnaire as a data collection tool has been exploited for the current research. The comparative results of the three types of decoding dictionaries reveal that the learners mainly utilise two types of dictionaries, i.e. semi-bilingual (L2-L2-L1) English to English, and Urdu dictionary with a slight edge over monolingual (L2-L2) English to English dictionary. The research also finds that the learners of English in Pakistan less frequently make use of bilingual (L2-L1) English to Urdu dictionary.
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