Do teachers still teach students how to use a dictionary or is this becoming obs

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  1. Denise Handlon profile image86
    Denise Handlonposted 12 years ago

    Do teachers still teach students how to use a dictionary or is this becoming obsolete?

    I use a dictionary (book) when I write, which I keep at my side.  I've heard from a few people that NO ONE uses dictionaries anymore.  (obviously they are wrong b/c there is at least still one, LOL)  I also make my nephew look up words and read definitions when the situation warrants it. 
    Does anyone else use a dictionary? Is it being taught in the schools? Is this a good thing?

  2. Vinodkpillai profile image70
    Vinodkpillaiposted 12 years ago

    Denise, I think you've touched something very critical.

    I use a dictionary because my teachers showed me the value of referring to a dictionary. Therefore I do have a bias in favor of using a regular paperback or hardbound dictionary. And i believe it's a very good thing.

    Unfortunately, the dictionary is seen as irrelevant in the days of chatting and messaging, where anything goes. I find that many people do not even use the spell check facility that is available on the click of a mouse. Now I am not talking about the hubbers. (I have to survive here - LOL). This is a very general statement about the population at large.

    I strongly feel that we need to resurrect the good old dictionary. And it will have to be the teachers and parents who can set examples and inspire youngsters to take to it.

  3. Happyboomernurse profile image85
    Happyboomernurseposted 12 years ago

    My niece recently told me that her son was taught how to use a paper dictionary in school and had a homework assignment to look up definitions from the book and not to use an online dictionary.
    I was glad to hear that the process of looking things up in an old fashioned dictionary was still being taught even though I know that will probably be the only time my great nephew will use a book dictionary. I think there's value in learning how words were alphabetcally organized.
    I still own a dictionary but find myself using online resources rather than pulling out the book.

  4. sholland10 profile image83
    sholland10posted 12 years ago

    I teach literature and composition to juniors and seniors, and I find that several of them just want the easy way out by having a spoon-fed answer.  They do not receive this type of answer from me.  When they ask a question about a word, I point to the dictionaries in my room.  This is not an optional - "you may or may not go look it up."  It is a requirement that the student go look it up, read it to the class then the class discusses the word in context.  They see it as a game.  Some will grumble and moan, but then there is an excellent conversation.  I also notice that as the year goes on, there will be students who quietly get up, go to the dictionary, look up a word, and go back to their desk.

  5. Alastar Packer profile image71
    Alastar Packerposted 12 years ago

    Bravo and a Gold star! You're a real teacher sholland 10, sincerely, thank you.

  6. chald profile image61
    chaldposted 12 years ago

    My Children have just started school. I have had to buy them kids dictionary's and from the look of them I believe they are being used! That is the school my children go to I can't vouch for any others though!

  7. Krysanthe profile image93
    Krysantheposted 12 years ago

    My daughter is in third grade, and yes they do use a dictionary in school.  Each week, they not only have spelling words, but also vocabulary words. They are required to look them up in the dictionary. 

    At home, well...we aren't so good about it.  We do tell her to go to the dictionary if she has a question about a word, but I have to admit, it is a online children's dictionary.

  8. profile image53
    8upIndustryposted 12 years ago

    Natural Language Processing and Voice Search is making instant word definition ubiquitous. It is a prerequisite to evolve language into three dimensional communication. 'I see what you mean' will take on a new meaning as speak and spells will not only define words but holographically project and represent them. Ontological accuracy is elevated in this way visually identifing a concept. Grammar can be seen as what it is, an anachronism of speech due to the vaugueness of language as a means of communication. If we speak in pictures, clairity is intrinsic

  9. Aair Aaqil profile image39
    Aair Aaqilposted 12 years ago

    My dictionary use has moved to online dictionaries which I will use in situations where I'd have normally used a hardback dictionary originally. Many many other college aged students are in the same boat. If we can't get to it online, chances are we won't get to it at all.

  10. Denise Handlon profile image86
    Denise Handlonposted 12 years ago

    I keep a dictionary next to my writing table.  It's so great knowing there are teachers who are still insisting that students don't take the short cut; while others of us continue to find the dictionary a handy resource--without it going technical.

  11. ThePracticalMommy profile image87
    ThePracticalMommyposted 12 years ago

    Being an 8th grade Language Arts teacher, I completely agree with sholland10 . I too believe students want to be spoon-fed an answer and they are so used to the auto-corrects in all of their technology.

    I too would simply point to my bookshelves full of dictionaries if asked how to spell a word or what the meaning of a word was and say "I am not your personal dictionary". They certainly took the hint after a while. smile  I also created exercises for them to use the dictionaries on a regular basis, focusing on spelling, pronunciation and origin. They really liked to see from where the words came.

  12. cat on a soapbox profile image97
    cat on a soapboxposted 12 years ago

    Teachers taught my daughter to use the dictionary in elementary school , and we reinforce its use at home. She would rather have us tell her what a word means because it's the lazy way out, and she's more inclined to find a word's def. on the computer. She does periodically use the dictionary and the thesaurus on her desk.

  13. profile image52
    footprintzposted 12 years ago

    I take matters into my own hands and have a word of the day...

  14. melaine profile image70
    melaineposted 12 years ago

    I am a teacher Denise. I set a separate period aside only for children to use the dictionary in the form of word games and dictionary quizzes. I give sweets to the students who remember to keep their dictionaries on their tables during a lesson so that they can use them easily. It is definitely a good thing for a child to be able to use his dictionary well.

  15. Danette Watt profile image82
    Danette Wattposted 12 years ago

    I frequently use the thesaurus on Word if it's for something relatively simple. But I still have  a hard copy dictionary and thesaurus, both of which I will sometimes use. I cannot convince my kids or students the value of either book b/c they tell me they can find something online faster than I can look it up in the book.

    But they don't realize how valuable the books are, not just to find the info you need, but for the serendipity of discovering a word that works better or has a nice sound to it or is just interesting.

  16. TheWorldNow profile image60
    TheWorldNowposted 12 years ago

    I'm 22 and just graduated college. I was never taught how to use a dictionary. Every time I have needed to know the definition of a word I have just Googled it. With so many online dictionaries it seems using a physical dictionary is more of a waste of time than anything (no offense meant).

    I think people take it for granted nowadays that everyone knows how to look a word up online. With 5 and 6 year old children knowing how to play video games online and watch videos on Youtube I think it is assumed (rightly so in most cases) that they also know how to look a word they don't know up.

    Even for translations people use the internet more than dictionaries. I graduated with a BA in Chinese and it was just much easier and convenient to look something up on Google than find it in the dictionary.

    The  internet is much more accessible for most people than a dictionary, so I fear that physical dictionaries will all but disappear.

  17. lydocia profile image79
    lydociaposted 12 years ago

    As a teacher, I still tell my students to "look it up" if they do not know the meaning of a certain word. Surely, I could easily explain myself but I do not want to be their walking dictionary.

    In class, we have paper dictionaries, because not all classrooms are equipped with computers and internet, so yes - the pupils here are still taught how to use a dictionary and more importantly, that they should use a dictionary -whether it is paper form or online or a computer programme.

  18. Kari Winchester profile image61
    Kari Winchesterposted 12 years ago

    As a teacher, I incorporate both compulsory and voluntary use of dictionaries in my classroom. There are activities embedded in my lesson planning which require the weekly use of a printed dictionary to explore the phonology, origination, and part of speech of a key vocabulary or content word. As a semester project, I have had students create a dictionary of grade level content key words. These student created dictionaries serve many purposes, the least of which promotes the value of printed resources in an paperless society. Print, after all, is not subject to technical malfunction.

  19. tobey100 profile image59
    tobey100posted 12 years ago

    Are you kidding?  Students today can't even spell 'dictionary' much less look up a word in one.

  20. profile image0
    erikjohnsonposted 12 years ago

    Good question.  I think they are just using Google now instead of pulling out the book.  I still think they should teach it though!

  21. profile image0
    HERBERT ubaldoposted 12 years ago

    It must be teach to students still how to use the dictionary, what if brown out in your community and you have no battery or generator, Thus you still need it.....

  22. Paul Kuehn profile image92
    Paul Kuehnposted 12 years ago

    I teach EFL in Thailand and it seems that most of the kids use electronic talking dictionaries in translating from Thai to English.  I do think it is necessary for students to know how to use a dictionary, but in all reality, in this electronic age the dictionary is becoming obsolete.

  23. tswilson profile image60
    tswilsonposted 12 years ago

    I use a dictionary frequently.  It's been a while since I have been in school, but I remember using it English class back then too.  Not sure how much things have changed in recent years, but technology is definitely throwing a curveball at common grammar knowledge and usage.

  24. Curus Terrum profile image58
    Curus Terrumposted 12 years ago

    I'm in 8th grade, and those Merriam Websters sitting under the desks are only used for foot stools, stunts, weapons, and feet rests. Meanwhile, the dictionary on everyone's computer is working furiously. I personally think using the dictionary is a great but fading art, I love my Black's Law Dictionary!

  25. Tabiee profile image61
    Tabieeposted 12 years ago

    Its becoming obsolete. I don't think so teachers teach how to use dictionary now a days!

  26. talitz2550 profile image60
    talitz2550posted 12 years ago

    I  101% agree with you.  I'm an ESL teacher (English as a Second Language)  and I encourage my students so much to use a dictionary especially in a country where English is totally a foreign language. a dictionary is NEVER an obsolete thing.
    What does a dictionary have... word usage, phonetic symbols, correct pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms, etymology (for more detailed dicionaries)....etc.  does anyone have this in his natural mind to say a dictionary is obsolete? By a dictionary here I mean printed or online. big_smile

  27. profile image50
    aasmit646posted 11 years ago

    some teachers still tesches students to use a dictionary


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