Effect of Menus on EFL Learners' Look-up Processes

Y. Tono

Abstract


This paper emphasizes the importance of empirical research on dictionary users and, in particular, investigates the effect of the so-called "menu" (a list of definitions at the beginning of a polysemous article) on the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners' dictionary look-up processes. The menu has been increasingly popular in English learners' dictionaries in Japan, but no empirical evidence has ever shown that it is really effective for reference acts. Two groups of subjects with different levels of reference skills were observed looking up given information in two different types of mini-dictionaries, one <i>with</i> and the other <i>without</i> the menu. The results showed that the menu was not so effective for skilled users, but that it helped the less skilled users find the appropriate information.

 


Keywords


dictionary user, user study, dictionary layout, lexicography, learner's dictionary, reference skills, look-up processes, polysemy, pedagogical dictionary, empirical research, menu, experimental design

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/2-1-1136

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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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