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n Lexikos - The role of the learner's native culture in EFL dictionaries : an experimental study : lexicosurvey

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Abstract

This article aims to demonstrate the hypothesis that the use of native culture (C1) in EFL learners' dictionary definitions and/or examples is useful in the comprehension of the looked-up words. This is done by means of a survey involving more than 100 lower-intermediate EFL Catalan students. The subjects were first presented with a pre-test in which they had to translate 30 English words. Then they were divided into two groups, each of whom had to take a different test. Test 1 contained the definitions of the 30 words taken from a dictionary aimed at a global audience, whereas in test 2 the definitions were taken from a culturally nativized dictionary, that is, a dictionary that included C1 elements. In the tests, the students were asked to translate again the 30 English headwords given in the pre-test. After comparing the results of the pre-test with those of the tests, the study concludes that students who use an EFL dictionary that includes C1 references have more than double the possibilities of understanding the meaning of a new looked-up word than those who do not. The results obtained confirm for the first time in the field of pedagogical lexicography the tenets of schema theory, which highlights the importance of background (e.g. cultural) knowledge to improve reading comprehension. The main implication of this finding for lexicography is that it is desirable that designers of EFL dictionaries deploy nativized versions, especially at lower levels, in order to facilitate comprehension of the foreign language.


Hierdie artikel het ten doel om die hipotese te bewys dat die gebruik van inheemse kultuur in EVT-aanleerderswoordeboekdefinisies en/of -voorbeelde nuttig is vir die begrip van die nageslane woorde. Dit word gedoen deur middel van 'n opname van meer as 100 laer-intermediêre EVT-Katalaanse studente. Aan proefpersone is eers 'n voortoets gegee waarin hulle 30 Engelse woorde moes vertaal. Daarna is hulle in twee groepe verdeel wat elkeen 'n verskillende toets moes aflê. Toets 1 het die definisies van 30 woorde bevat wat geneem is uit 'n woordeboek gerig op 'n globale gehoor, terwyl in toets 2 die definisies geneem is uit 'n kultureel gemotiveerde woordeboek, dit wil sê, 'n woordeboek wat C1-elemente insluit. In die toetse is die studente gevra om weer die 30 Engelse trefwoorde te vertaal wat in die voortoets gegee is. Nadat die resultate van die voortoets met dié van die toetse vergelyk is, toon die studie dat die studente wat 'n EVT-woordeboek gebruik wat C1-verwysings insluit, meer as dubbel die kans staan om die betekenis van die nuwe nageslane woord te begryp as dié wat dit nie doen nie. Die resultate wat verkry is, bevestig vir die eerste keer die beginsels van die skemateorie op die gebied van die opvoedkundige leksikografie, wat dui op die belangrikheid van agtergrond- (bv. kulturele) kennis om leesbegrip te verbeter. Die hoofimplikasie van hierdie bevinding vir die leksikografie is dat dit wenslik is vir beplanners van EVT-woordeboeke om genativiseerde weergawes te ontwikkel, veral op die laer vlakke, ten einde begrip van die vreemde taal te vergemaklik.

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/content/lexikos/23/1/EJC146557
2013-01-01
2016-12-08
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