An Investigation into Practices and Perceptions of Saudi University Learners of English towards Their Dictionaries’ Use for Learning Purposes

Sultan Samah A Almjlad

Abstract


This study investigates the dictionary use practices of Saudi students. Twenty Saudi postgraduate students from both genders (12 males and 8 females) participated in the study. All participants were postgraduate students at the University of Salford in the UK. Questionnaire and interview were the instruments used to collect data. The study discovered a number of results regarding the research questions. The findings indicated that most of the Saudi learners used their dictionaries for finding the meaning of the target words followed by checking the pronunciation of the same word. The study discovered three serious problems that face Saudi EFL learners while using their dictionaries namely the difficulty in understanding the phonetic symbols, difficulty of finding the correct words and, in addition, insufficiency of illustrative examples given in the dictionary. Moreover, the study explored that the Arabic bilingual dictionary was the single most preferred dictionary in its paper format for their educational purposes. The study concluded with emphasising the prime importance of training in dictionary use, indicating that most of the Saudi learners did not receive any form of training on the use of dictionary.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v5i1.11072

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