The Dictionary Use at the University of Kufa: A Case Study


AbstractIt seems self- evident that dictionary consultation constitutes an important stage in the process of language learning. Dictionaries provide students with valuable information in all aspects of language. They include phonological, morphological, syntactical and semantic information in addition to etymological and usage information (Al-salami,1988). Unfortunately, students are unable to make full use of the vast amount of information provided in dictionaries. The reason behind that is the inadequate training of learners in the use of dictionaries (Berwick and Horsfal ,(1996); Wright, (1998); Nesi , (2000). If we want our students to be efficient users of dictionaries we have to know how they use these sources of information. Very little is known about the behaviour and preferences of dictionary users and the complex operation involved in a dictionary consultation(Hartmann and James, (1998).This paper discusses the results of a questionnaire distributed to a random sample of students of University of Kufa regarding the types of dictionaries used, the frequency of use, the main reason for consultation……etc.The final conclusion reached is that our students do not make full use of the riches found in the dictionaries and they are not trained on how to make full use of the dictionary.We suggest that the reference skill of our students should be developed through the teaching of lexicography at all stages and the training on dictionary use.