Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol 2, No 4 (2011), 918-928, Jul 2011

EFL Learners' Vocabulary Acquisition in Translational Writing

Abdulaziz Ibraheem Fageeh, Mohamed Amin A. Mekheimer


Previously, researchers examined the effects of utilising monolingual dictionaries compared to bilingual and bilingualised dictionaries in an EFL learning environment as to their efficacy in improving culture-specific skills in translation. This study was set to investigate the comparative effects of using only monolingual dictionaries as opposed to using bilingualised dictionaries during vocabulary acquisition in a Translation course. Participants consisted of 60 Level II students of English. A test comprising 100 low-frequency words and 100 sentences manipulating each word as a translational writing task was administered at the end of the semester. Three experimental groups, one studying vocabulary with monolingual dictionaries, another with bilingual dictionaries, and a third with bilingualised dictionaries were used for checking the efficacy with which any/all of the three types of dictionaries can best help students acquire new lexicon. The study tested participants on their comprehension of and ability to use these words using sentences of their own on translational writing tasks. Results suggest that bilingualised dictionaries are more effective than monolingual and bilingual dictionaries and that bilingualised dictionaries are more effective than monolingual dictionaries, the last two dictionaries being the least effective. Suggestions for further work and implications for ELT pedagogy have been forwarded at the end.


monolingual dictionaries; bilingual dictionaries; bilingualised dictionaries; vocabulary acquisition; translational writing tasks


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