The use of monolingual mobile dictionaries in the context of reading by intermediate Cantonese EFL learners in Hong Kong

Di ZOU, Haoran XIE, Fu Lee WANG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Previous studies on dictionary consultation investigated mainly online dictionaries or simple pocket electronic dictionaries as they were commonly used among learners back then, yet the more updated mobile dictionaries were superficially investigated though they have already replaced the pocket electronic dictionaries. These studies are also limited in that they concentrated generally on intentional learning and have not much inspected the significance of dictionary consultation for incidental learning. Moreover, most of them selected monosemous words as target lexical items, yet the learning of polysemous words has not been examined in depth. Therefore, in response to the call for research on the effectiveness of mobile dictionary consultation in promoting incidental learning of polysemy, we conducted an experiment among 82 intermediate Cantonese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners in Hong Kong, attempting to figure out what challenges these learners encountered while learning target words in the context of reading through consulting mobile dictionaries. These subjects were asked to comprehend a reading text with ten underlined target words, 32 of whom inferred meanings of these words and 50 looked them up using mobile dictionaries. The results of the study showed that mobile dictionaries facilitate word learning significantly, yet the format of these dictionaries is significant, and dictionary training is indispensable. Copyright © 2015 Di Zou, Haoran Xie, Fu Lee Wang.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical CALL: Proceedings of the 2015 EUROCALL Conference, Padova, Italy
EditorsFrancesca HELM, Linda BRADLEY, Marta GUARDA, Sylvie THOUËSNY
Place of PublicationDublin
PublisherResearch-publishing.net
Pages569-574
ISBN (Electronic)9781908416292, 9781908416308
ISBN (Print)9781908416285
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Citation

Zou, D., Xie, H., & Wang, F. L. (2015). The use of monolingual mobile dictionaries in the context of reading by intermediate Cantonese EFL learners in Hong Kong. In F. Helm, L. Bradley, M. Guarda, & S. Thouësny (Eds.), Critical CALL: Proceedings of the 2015 EUROCALL Conference, Padova, Italy (pp. 569-574). Dublin: Research-publishing.net.

Keywords

  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • Mobile dictionary
  • Incidental learning
  • Mobile-assisted language learning