The dictionary consultation behavior of Technology Institute students


Ming-Nuan Yang


Chang Gung Institute of Technology, Taiwan


Shu-Chu Chen


National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, National Chengchi University, Taiwan


Every ESL/EFL learner uses English dictionaries when learning English. An English dictionary provides ESL/EFL learners with opportunities for encountering and acquiring new words. It is apparent that dictionary is a common and indispensable instrument for learning a new language. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the consultation behavior of English dictionaries of Taiwanese technology institute students. It investigated the frequency of use of dictionary information and the perceived usefulness of such information. Specifically, the study also explored whether the frequency of use dictionary varied between high and low English proficiency groups. The participants in the study included 158 freshmen of one institute of technology in northern Taiwan. An English mid-term exam and a dictionary strategy use questionnaire were used for data collection. The results of the study revealed that students in general made very limited use of the dictionary, especially information related to the English definitions, grammatical usages, and frequency of words. In addition, the high proficient students made fuller use of the English dictionary. By means of understanding students’ dictionary consultation behavior, English teachers can help students develop necessary and effective dictionary skills, which in turn can improve their English abilities.


English dictionaries; dictionary consultation behavior; English proficiency

Publication Date

December 20, 2007


Volume 1, Issue 2

Citation information

Yang, Ming-Nuan, and Shu-Chu Chen. 2007. “The dictionary consultation behavior of Technology Institute students.” Language. Text. Society 1 (2): e119-e130. (Journal title at the time of publication: SamaraAltLinguo E-Journal.)


author = {Yang, Ming-Nuan and Chen, Shu-Chu},
title = {{The dictionary consultation behavior of Technology Institute students}},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2007},
volume = {1},
number = {2},
pages = {119–130},
url = {},


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