Teach English in Beizifu Zhen - Chifeng Shi

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In the twenty-first century, using a paper dictionary would be of a great help to language learners to broaden their vocabulary knowledge in different ways such as correct spelling, parts of speech, pronunciation, reading comprehension and common expressions used in the target language. Because of the use of the Internet these days, paper dictionaries have almost disappeared from the bookshelves at home, so it is to the language teacher to familiarize the learners with paper dictionary and how to use it in a proper way. The learners can use a dictionary to look up any words that they do not know the meaning of. They can also use it to get familiar with synonyms and antonyms of a word to acquire a broader vocabulary to be able to use them while producing the language- speaking and writing, and to be able to understand the same vocabulary while practicing receptive skills of language- reading and listening. Normal dictionaries such as Meriam Webster or Oxford Advanced Dictionaries cannot be of much use for kids, as the language level presented in these dictionaries does not suit the language knowledge of kids and teenagers. Therefore, it is needed to use dictionaries that are published specially for kids and teenagers. These dictionaries come in different types: children’s illustrated dictionaries, children’s rhyming dictionaries, thesaurus for kids, junior picture dictionaries and so on. Since using a dictionary makes the language learners independent in the matter of search of new vocabulary and the meanings, it is of great importance for a teacher of young learners to encourage the students to use a dictionary. In order to do that, the teacher should provide dictionaries to the classroom and let the students see what a dictionary looks like and what is in it. After getting familiar with the book as a dictionary, it is on the teacher to explain what it suggests and how to use it. It is the best for the teacher as well as for the students to use the dictionaries suitable for the target age group. The teacher can do this as a whole lesson of reading practice where he/she provides a text which contains some new words that the students may not know the meaning of. After having them underline the new words, if they cannot get the meaning out of the context, it is time for the class to look the new words up in the dictionary already provided for each student or each pair. During the process, the teacher is expected to explain how to look up the words by the alphabetical order and help them to find the correct starting letter and the following letters of the word. When they find the word they can read the meaning, and to make sure that they have learnt it correctly, the teacher can ask them to make new simple sentences with that word. This can be practiced during almost every reading lessons. As an extra activity, in order to motivate the students to use a paper dictionary, the teacher can run a whole class project to make their own dictionary of the new words learnt so far during the course.