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Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English Essay Example

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Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English

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Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English. Such morphologically altered words can cause a lot of consternation in foreign students.4 Native speakers understand the relationship between the words, and the rules that govern patterns of use and pronunciation (morphology), but learners can be frustrated because sometimes even the best teachers can be flustered about why or how differences and quirks came about, and how on earth to explain them.Derivation is explained well and entertainingly in Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson (1990), who goes into some detail about derivation. History, politics, religion and migration all have their effect on language, but are these details important when one is learning English? It does not help with spelling of such differently pronounced words as rough, though, through, tough, cough, dough, slough, bough, and enough.

Even time has affected the way these words are spelled.The Word Reference Online Dictionary has an audio function that puts mystified students out of their misery. It explains why thigh rhymes with lie, and why height does not rhyme with eight. Until the advent of audio aids for learners of English, students often made amusing mistakes, leaving them annoyed and still in the dark.Dictionaries do nothing to eliminate confusion and bewilderment, and often add to it. The difference between a two-language dictionary, such as Collins French / English, and a single-language dictionary such as the Macquarie or the Oxford English dictionaries are seldom taught to students. Even the word ‘dictionary’ and its function needs explaining in this sense: two-language ones translate, single-language ones define. 5 And students need to be conversant with English to understand an entry like:GIFT n alms, bounty, Christmas hamper, Christmas stocking, compliment, contribution, donation, handout, donatives, favor, grant, handsel, keepsake, largesse, manna from heaven, mortuary (Archaic), present, presentation, remembrance, subscription; offering, oblation .and so on for half a page, with then a second entry giving gift as competence, generosity and talent. What is a student to make of this, when the word they seek (if only they knew it) is listed seventeenth in the list?This does not explain how English has come to be one of the world’s most spoken languages, the lingua franca of the computer and entertainment spheres. The latter is the operative word: entertainment has seen lyrics of. Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English.

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preview essay on Catch 22: English Dictionaries for Learning English
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: English
  • Level: Undergraduate
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