Monolingual and bilingual online dictionary tools for academic reading

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For students of English for Academic Purposes (EAP), reading articles in their field of study in English is particularly challenging. One of their main difficulties is understanding unfamiliar words. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of online monolingual and bilingual dictionary tools on reading comprehension in English and check student preference for one or the other tool. The study was conducted in an advanced English class for tertiary students of government. Two online dictionary tools were used: Reverso, a bilingual tool, and Rewordify, a monolingual tool. These tools allow for more immediacy and speed than previous dictionary tools. The instructor taught students how to use the tools, and after a few practice sessions, two reading comprehension quizzes were administered. The texts for the quizzes were approximately the same length and reading level, and the questions were objective and parallel. Students used Reverso for one of the quizzes and Rewordify for the other and answered a short attitude questionnaire after each quiz. Results show that students got higher grades using the bilingual dictionary tool and felt it was more helpful. Based on the results, we believe language teachers should consider making students aware of the new tools available.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2021


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