shallow research on mobile dictionaries, superficial exploration of the significance of dictionary consultation for incidental learning, and little examination of the learning of polysemous words. In response to the call for comparing the effectiveness of monolingual mobile dictionaries and paper dictionaries in promoting incidental learning of polysemous words, we conducted an experiment among 99 intermediate Cantonese learners of English in Hong Kong. All participants were pretested to ensure that they had little pre-knowledge of the meanings of the target words in the contexts of this research. These subjects were asked to comprehend a reading text and look up ten underlined words, 44 of whom used the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Fifth Edition and 45 used the mobile app of this dictionary. To tap into how they achieved meaning determination, 12 subjects from each group were asked to report their thinking processes using different self-reporting protocols. The other subjects were tested immediately after task completion and one week later to measure their initial learning and retention of the target words. The results of the study show significant effectiveness of both paper and mobile dictionaries in facilitating incidental learning of polysemous words. However, both types of dictionaries have certain limitations of facilitative effects. The effectiveness of the mobile dictionary is constrained by the screen sizes of phones, yet that of the paper dictionary by the tedious format of information presentation.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of The 9th International Conference on Asia Association for Lexicography|
|Editors||Lan LI, Jamie MCKEOWN, Liming LIU|
|Publisher||Hong Kong Polytechnic University|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2015|
|Event||9th International Conference on Asia Association for Lexicography : Words, Dictionaries and Corpora: Innovations in reference science - Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong|
Duration: 25 Jun 2015 → 27 Jun 2015
|Conference||9th International Conference on Asia Association for Lexicography : Words, Dictionaries and Corpora: Innovations in reference science|
|Abbreviated title||ASIALEX 2015|
|Period||25/06/15 → 27/06/15|
Bibliographical noteThe work described in this paper was substantially supported by a grant from Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/FDS11/E06/14).
- vocabulary acquisition
- mobile dictionary incidental learning
- English language teaching