Download Dictionary Use in Foreign Language Writing Exams: Impact and by Martin East PDF

By Martin East

This ebook presents an in-depth research of what occurs whilst intermediate point newbies of a overseas language use a bilingual dictionary whilst writing. Dictionaries are usually promoted to humans studying a overseas language. however, lecturers frequently speak about their scholars’ lack of ability to take advantage of dictionaries effectively, specifically once they write, and this is often frustrating. This e-book paints a entire photograph of the diversities a dictionary makes and brings out the results for language studying, instructing, and checking out practices. It attracts on learn within which members in 3 experiences took writing exams in attempt stipulations – with and and not using a dictionary. They have been additionally requested what they thought of the 2 try out kinds. Their performances and reviews have been analyzed in numerous methods. Conclusions from the information spotlight many of the useful concerns to be saved in brain if we wish to aid overseas language novices to exploit bilingual dictionaries successfully whilst writing.

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Extra info for Dictionary Use in Foreign Language Writing Exams: Impact and implications (Language Learning & Language Teaching)

Sample text

What do they think about having dictionaries in the test? How can we help the test takers to improve their use of dictionaries? Answers to these questions have relevance not only for timed tests, but also for coursework and portfolio options. In Chapter 3 I begin to explore how we might answer these questions effectively and in a way that will provide us with a comprehensive and multi-faceted picture. I look at the type of research studies we could set up to make a fair evaluation, and I include a summary of the research work of Hurman and Tall (1998), which was pivotal in the UK decision to remove dictionaries from L2 examinations.

This would surely be a persuasive reason, in theory at least, to allow bilingual dictionaries, whatever the type of assessment. Furthermore, Bachman (1990) argues that communicative language tests should provide “the greatest opportunity for test takers to exhibit their ‘best’ performance” so that they are “better and fairer measures of the language abilities of interest” (p. 156). It might be that bilingual dictionaries might be helpful to some test takers. They may therefore have a supportive role to play.

Given the centrality of timed writing tests in many contexts, there would appear to be sufficient grounds on the basis of how they are currently carried out – lack of authenticity, time constraints, impact on the test takers – to argue that we need to look closely at the timed test as a testing procedure and to consider its construct validity. Rather than simply accepting the ‘dictionaries drive up marks and make the test too easy’ argument, or the ‘students do not know how to use them and this undermines their performance’ argument, we need to take a proper look at the difference that bilingual dictionaries actually do make to writing performance.

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