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Dictionaries Integrated into English Learning Apps: Critical Comments and Suggestions for Improvements

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Dictionaries Integrated into English Learning Apps : Critical Comments and Suggestions for Improvements. / Huang, Fang; Tarp, Sven.

In: Lexikos, Vol. 31, No. 1, 05.2021, p. 68-92.

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@article{6704dda9d15e49098853506dc60fff5a,
title = "Dictionaries Integrated into English Learning Apps: Critical Comments and Suggestions for Improvements",
abstract = "Digital applications to assist language learning are becoming increasingly popular. They typically incorporate one or two dictionaries to improve the service so that users avoid leaving the app to consult external resources. This paper deals with the two dictionaries used in a learning app for Chinese learners of English. Initially, it describes the functioning of the app as well as the two dictionaries that have different roles in the app. It then focuses on the one that is integrated into the course texts and can be activated by clicking on a word or a multiword unit. A number of deficiencies are discussed such as inconsistent treatment of words and senses, data overload, difficult access, and inconvenient location of the pop-up window that displays the lexicographical items. These deficiencies may impact negatively on the learners' motivation and the learning process in general. The paper traces the problems to the database that sustains the dictionary as well as the design of the user interfaces that filter the data offered to the users. Finally, and inspired by the classical Chinese Xun Gu tradition, it suggests an alternative, context-adapted approach that breaks with traditional features of the dictionary article and reduces the content of the pop-up window to an absolute minimum. The idea is to avoid a consultation process that interrupts the learners' reading flow and focus on learning.",
keywords = "Media Convergence Age, Learning apps, Integrated dictionaries, Embedded dictionaries, Lexicographical databases, User Interfaces, Pop-up windows, Context-awareness, Xun Gu tradition, Personalization, Incidental learning, Intentional learning, Media Convergence Age, English learning apps, Integrated dictionaries, Embedded dictionaries, Lexicographical databases, User interfaces, Pop-up windows, Context-awareness, Xun Gu tradition, Personalization, Incidental learning, Intentional learning",
author = "Fang Huang and Sven Tarp",
year = "2021",
month = may,
doi = "10.5788/31-1-1626",
language = "English",
volume = "31",
pages = "68--92",
journal = "Lexikos",
issn = "1684-4904",
publisher = "Buro van die Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dictionaries Integrated into English Learning Apps

T2 - Critical Comments and Suggestions for Improvements

AU - Huang, Fang

AU - Tarp, Sven

PY - 2021/5

Y1 - 2021/5

N2 - Digital applications to assist language learning are becoming increasingly popular. They typically incorporate one or two dictionaries to improve the service so that users avoid leaving the app to consult external resources. This paper deals with the two dictionaries used in a learning app for Chinese learners of English. Initially, it describes the functioning of the app as well as the two dictionaries that have different roles in the app. It then focuses on the one that is integrated into the course texts and can be activated by clicking on a word or a multiword unit. A number of deficiencies are discussed such as inconsistent treatment of words and senses, data overload, difficult access, and inconvenient location of the pop-up window that displays the lexicographical items. These deficiencies may impact negatively on the learners' motivation and the learning process in general. The paper traces the problems to the database that sustains the dictionary as well as the design of the user interfaces that filter the data offered to the users. Finally, and inspired by the classical Chinese Xun Gu tradition, it suggests an alternative, context-adapted approach that breaks with traditional features of the dictionary article and reduces the content of the pop-up window to an absolute minimum. The idea is to avoid a consultation process that interrupts the learners' reading flow and focus on learning.

AB - Digital applications to assist language learning are becoming increasingly popular. They typically incorporate one or two dictionaries to improve the service so that users avoid leaving the app to consult external resources. This paper deals with the two dictionaries used in a learning app for Chinese learners of English. Initially, it describes the functioning of the app as well as the two dictionaries that have different roles in the app. It then focuses on the one that is integrated into the course texts and can be activated by clicking on a word or a multiword unit. A number of deficiencies are discussed such as inconsistent treatment of words and senses, data overload, difficult access, and inconvenient location of the pop-up window that displays the lexicographical items. These deficiencies may impact negatively on the learners' motivation and the learning process in general. The paper traces the problems to the database that sustains the dictionary as well as the design of the user interfaces that filter the data offered to the users. Finally, and inspired by the classical Chinese Xun Gu tradition, it suggests an alternative, context-adapted approach that breaks with traditional features of the dictionary article and reduces the content of the pop-up window to an absolute minimum. The idea is to avoid a consultation process that interrupts the learners' reading flow and focus on learning.

KW - Media Convergence Age

KW - Learning apps

KW - Integrated dictionaries

KW - Embedded dictionaries

KW - Lexicographical databases

KW - User Interfaces

KW - Pop-up windows

KW - Context-awareness

KW - Xun Gu tradition

KW - Personalization

KW - Incidental learning

KW - Intentional learning

KW - Media Convergence Age

KW - English learning apps

KW - Integrated dictionaries

KW - Embedded dictionaries

KW - Lexicographical databases

KW - User interfaces

KW - Pop-up windows

KW - Context-awareness

KW - Xun Gu tradition

KW - Personalization

KW - Incidental learning

KW - Intentional learning

U2 - 10.5788/31-1-1626

DO - 10.5788/31-1-1626

M3 - Journal article

VL - 31

SP - 68

EP - 92

JO - Lexikos

JF - Lexikos

SN - 1684-4904

IS - 1

ER -