This dictionary is ideal for upper-intermediate and advanced learners of English. It covers all the words, phrases, and idioms that students need to master in order to speak and write effective English. With full-sentence definitions written in simple, natural English, this dictionary is easy to use and understand.
The examples, taken from the 4.5-billion-word Collins Corpus, show learners how the words are used in authentic contexts. The dictionary also provides extensive help with grammar, including grammar patterns for many of the examples, and a grammar reference in the supplement.
The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (OALD) was the first advanced learner's dictionary of English. It was first published. It is the largest English-language dictionary from Oxford University Press aimed at a non-native audience. Users with a more linguistic interest, requiring etymologies or copious references, usually prefer the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, or indeed the magnum opus, the Oxford English Dictionary, or other dictionaries aimed at speakers of English with native-level competence.
The paper focuses on guiding devices in print monolingual dictionaries for learners of English. It aims to find answers to six research questions. The main aim is to investigate how the location of guiding devices within entries - starting from a new line versus run-on - affects consultation time and sense selection accuracy of dictionary users in entry navigation. In addition, the paper looks at the effect that part of speech (noun versus verb entries) has on consultation time and sense selection accuracy; further, the relationship between entry length and consultation time is investigated, as well as that between consultation time and sense selection accuracy.
Empirical studies that deal with guiding devices in English monolingual learners' dictionaries are becoming increasingly common. One motivation for this is the pursuit of empirically motivated principles to inform the design of dictionary entries so that they satisfy the needs of dictionary users who regularly consult a dictionary, and who in the process of doing so repeatedly have to browse through lengthy entries that take up much of their time. Although the gradual transition to digital dictionaries makes this issue less relevant, in many parts of the world, print dictionaries are still far from disappearing. Thus far, two broad types of guiding devices have been used in English learners' dictionaries: (1) signposts, which briefly define their respective senses, with each signpost being placed next to its sense; and (2) menus, which form a list of sense cues appearing as a block at the top of the entry.
More recent research includes a series of studies carried out by Lew. Lew and Pajkowska (2007) stressed the need to conduct further research on meaning access devices in learners' dictionaries, and noted in their research that pre-intermediate English learners may benefit from signposts more when entries were of shorter length, whereas intermediate learners may benefit more from signposts in longer entries. Lew and Tokarek (2010) focused their attention on entry menus in web-based bilingual dictionaries and observed that by and large menus with highlighting of target senses were both more effective (accurate) and efficient (faster) than menus which appeared without highlighting. In the same year, Lew (2010) compared the signpost and menu systems (based on OALD7 entries) and found that signposts resulted in superior sense selection and translation accuracy compared with menus. One explanation offered for this apparent advantage of signposts was the location of the information within entries. Signposts appear next to their respective senses, which might make it easier for dictionary users to consult the signpost along with the related definition and examples that appeared next to it. By contrast, in menu-based systems, dictionary users need to go over the list of sense cues located above the entry, and only then are they able to proceed to the actual visual scan of the senses. Thus, in the case of menus, the guiding information appears out of the immediate context of the respective senses: this could lead to dictionary users not being able to reach the type of information they are searching for in the senses, and might leave users confused between the menu and the actual senses.
Tono (2011) applied the eye-tracking technique to observe patterns of dictionary use and test the effectiveness of the signposting and menu systems. One finding was that, depending on how signposts were phrased, they could either be helpful or misleading to dictionary users. Furthermore, in view of earlier findings (Tono 1992), Tono expected that menus would be of greater benefit to less advanced English students. In the eye-tracking study, proficient students tended to ignore menus, but at the same time consulted signposts willingly. Less proficient students, however, did not use the signposts in entries, possibly because they had no clue as to what the purpose of the signposts was.
A study by Nesi and Tan (2011) confirmed Lew's (2010) finding of the superiority of signposts over menus. It also found that learners were able to select senses more accurately and quickly when the target senses were located at the beginning or towards the end of entries, while the middle of entries was the most problematic. Unexpectedly, sense selection success and consultation times were best for the target senses appearing at the end of entries. Nesi and Tan attributed these results to the so-called bathtub effect, which is a known effect of the early and final parts of words being easier to remember (Aitchison 1997); in the context of entry consultation, this would translate into facilitation of initial and final senses in entries. In terms of the advantage of final senses over initial senses, one explanation could be advanced learners starting their entry search with the final senses, rather than in a top-to-bottom fashion. The authors speculated that such a strategy may have arisen from the discovery through regular dictionary consultation that the senses placed at the beginning of entries tend to be familiar to advanced users, due to the fact that in many dictionaries they tend to be the frequent senses. Nesi and Tan (2011) also found that entry or definition length have no effect on accuracy of sense selection. Likewise, consultation time remained unaffected by entry length, while definition length was positively related to consultation time. An additional general finding was that adjective and verb entries were more problematic than noun entries for dictionary users. To some extent, this finding was confirmed by Ptasznik's research (2015), according to which consultation of verb entries took more time than consultation of noun entries.
The two most recent experimental studies of signposting are Dziemianko (2016) and Dziemianko (2017). The former study undertook an empirical comparison of the alternative methods of presenting signposts featured in three online dictionaries: LDOCE5 (white capitals on a blue background), OALD8 (crimson capitals above a crimson line), and OALD9 (black lower-case letters above a dark orange line). The LDOCE5 signpost highlighting strategy was found to be the most beneficial of all three strategies with regard to consultation time, while the OALD8 strategy was the least helpful. As far as accuracy of sense selection is concerned, all three methods achieved comparable scores, and so none of the signpost highlighting strategies came out as most beneficial. The study also tested meaning retention; for this outcome measure, white capitals on a blue background and lower-case letters above a dark orange line resulted in highest retention rates. This study also touched upon sense positioning in entries, with the finding consonant with Nesi and Tan (2011) that dictionary users consulted entry-final senses the fastest. However, signposts that appeared in crimson capitals above a crimson line and black lower-case letters above a dark orange line did not exhibit a significant effect of sense position on the time of consultation. The findings were not compatible with the interpretation that proficient learners would scan entries from the bottom up, as shorter times for entry-final senses were only recorded for senses equipped with signposts in the form of white capitals on a blue background. In addition, accuracy of sense selection was highest for senses located in the middle of entries, which contradicts Tono's (1992) finding of initial senses being the best in this respect. All three methods of signpost highlighting produced more or less similar sense selection success rates in all types of sense positions, which does not support Nesi and Tan's (2011) claim that initial and final senses lead to most successful results. Dziemianko (2016) concurs with Ptasznik (2015) in warning against simplistically assuming the advantage of homogenous form of signposts throughout the entry and stresses the importance of conducting further research on heterogeneous and homogenous sense-navigation devices, as well as the length of sense indicators.
By and large, guiding devices that start from a new line1 have dominated in print monolingual English learners' dictionaries (see Table 1).Presumably, the thinking was that starting senses on a new line would make it easier for English learners to distinguish one sense of an entry from another. The only English monolingual learners' dictionary that has departed from this general strategy in some of its editions was the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary [CALD]. In general, CALD3 entries have been equipped with run-on guidewords (guide-words are the specific brand of guiding devices that appear in CALD3), though in the most highly polysemous entries (i.e. those with the greatest number of senses) new-line guidewords are employed, which may suggest that CALD3 lexicographers agreed with the view of the competing dictionaries that adding a line break might be advantageous, but compromised in the interest of saving space. The next edition, however (CALD4), only included run-on guidewords, irrespective of entry length. Table 1 gives the solutions adopted in the specific dictionary editions with respect to the presentation of senses from a new line or as run-on. 153554b96e