Use of Dictionaries and Online Tools for Reading by Thai EFL Learners in a Naturalistic Setting

Atipat Boonmoh


Dictionaries and online tools are regarded as important tools for finding out the meanings of unknown words or checking the usage of interesting words. This study investigated students' use of dictionaries and online tools in a natural setting by identifying the type of words they look up in their dictionaries and the types of dictionaries they use for the look-up. Fourteen learners from a Thai public university participated as the subjects by filling in a task record form which included the names of the dictionaries they were using, look-up words, meanings selected for the words, and their parts of speech. The look-up words were analyzed to find out the frequencies of words, parts of speech, and meanings by checking with an advanced learner dictionary. The findings show that the subjects mainly selected words that were nouns, verbs, and adjectives. They tended to choose "high frequency" for the lookups. For their convenience, subjects used either an online translation tool, 'Google Translate', or bilingual dictionaries through mobile devices. The results may help us understand EFL dictionary users' behaviors in using dictionaries and provide interesting implications for language teachers.


dictionary use; dictionary lookups; Thai EFL learners; Google Translate; dictionary record form; online dictionaries

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

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