The pedagogical potential of a bilingual specialized dictionary in tertiary education

Mira Milić • Filip Sadri • Tatjana Glušac

DOI: 10.31382/eqol.190606


Even though specialized dictionaries provide abundant information, research findings indicate that their role in the teaching process has been neglected. Within the context of the current global domination of English and an increased need for linguistic standardization, special emphasis is placed on the use of specialized dictionaries in teaching vocabulary. With this in mind, the purpose of this research is to analyze pedagogical potential of a specialized bilingual dictionary in function of ESP vocabulary learning and knowledge transfer. A questionnaire-based research into dictionary use in ESP acquisition is conducted with 705 students and 21 teachers of non-linguistic faculties of the University of Novi Sad. The findings indicate that dictionaries are seldom used in the classroom, even though both groups of respondents have positive attitudes towards them, especially online dictionaries and other user-friendly applications. However, the findings also indicate students’ insufficient knowledge not only of lexicographic conventions but also the criteria for dictionary quality assessment. Building on the hypothesis that well-conceived dictionaries can enhance not only ESP teaching but also knowledge transfer from English to non-English languages, this research suggests the importance of compiling quality terminological products and their inclusion into the teaching process with systematic training in dictionary use.

Keywords: specialized dictionary • pedagogical potential • standardization • ESP • teaching.


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