chapter  22
Learners’ dictionaries of English
ByJulia Miller
Pages 14

Learners of English need dictionaries for both decoding and encoding in English. However, the method of English language teaching (ELT) has changed in many countries in recent decades. Where most students once learned English through a grammar translation method, translating English texts into and out of their first language with the aid of a bilingual dictionary, the communicative approach to ELT has required that learners work as much as possible in the target language of English. A dictionary with features such as this, known as a monolingual English learner's dictionary (MELD), is in many ways more suitable than a bilingual dictionary for those who do not speak English as a first language, provided they have at least enough knowledge of English to navigate an English dictionary entry. MELDs limit the number of words used in their definitions, so that learners are not faced with incompressible explanations.