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Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English - Essay Example

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Summary
Everyone understands the importance of dictionaries in education: they are a vital tool in a student’s learning process. Dictionaries have always been important, and in today’s education methods, are seen as good references and impossible to do without. Still, there are obstacles when students need to consult a dictionary in the target language…
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Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English

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English is a confusing language: it contains words from many origins, such as French, Spanish and Dutch. Problems of pronunciation, inflection and spelling arise at all levels of fluency. And dictionaries do not help much. Inflection, especially, or tone and pitch of voice when pronouncing, is very hard to describe. In English, where inflection is less crucial than in languages such as Chinese - where even a small change in pitch can change the whole meaning of a word - how a word is said is often very important.2 The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary for learners of English is better for distinguishing puzzling aspects of the English language than a static hardcopy version of the Oxford Dictionary. And the excellent website Word-reference.com is a popular site on how to say, and then use, particular words.
Words such as ‘project’, ‘recall’, ‘present’, ‘rebel’, ‘permit’, and ‘record’, are inflected differently, depending on their function in a sentence, and are called noun-verb homographs: difficult to master for non-native English speakers.3 These sentences show how:
Such morphologically altered words can cause a lot of consternation in foreign students.4 Native speakers understand the relationship between the words, and the rules that govern patterns of use and pronunciation, but learners can be frustrated because sometimes even the best teachers can be flustered about why or how differences and quirks came about, and how on earth to explain them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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