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The Role of Meaning Access Devices in Dictionary Use

Tan Kim Hua and Nafiseh Zarei

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 21, Issue S, May 2013

Keywords: Access device, dictionary, English vocabulary, ESL Learners, help- devices, menu system, semantic information, signposts

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This paper presents the findings of a study aiming to investigate the effectiveness of help-devices in learners’ deciphering of meaning of English words among 232 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) undergraduates in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). It focuses on investigating the learners’ perspectives on dictionary use including their awareness and realization of the importance of using dictionary to look up the mostappropriate meaning of multi-sense words. It also examines the effective role the meaning access device like menu system plays in helping learners easily look up the appropriate sense of a multi-sense-word in English. To collect the required data, the study made use of a questionnaire and two Word Sense Identification Tests (WoSIT). Findings indicated that the participants seemed to be less aware of the importance of meaning access devices in deciphering the meanings of words in English. It was also found that the use of menu as meaning access devices is useful in helping the participants look up the most appropriate meaning of a multi-sense word in English.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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