Dictionary workbooks

Dictionary workbooks

118 REVIEWS their bearings in the network of interrelated items. “Advanced learners”, he suggests, “can safely be entrusted with such a technology, ...

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their bearings in the network of interrelated items. “Advanced learners”, he suggests, “can safely be entrusted with such a technology, but what about the ordinary classroom?” Several contributions look beyond the ordinary classroom-notably, Moya Longstaffe’s excellent “Exploiting the Satellite” in Man and the Media. Indeed, there are signs that future research interest will widen to include the home, mediatheken and self-access centres, rather than just the classroom. Edith Buchholz, speaking in Helsinki, observes that a third of her students prefer using computers at home, unobserved by others, and not at school. They prefer to use classtime for speaking with each other. In adult language learning, there is already a trend towards task-based independent study. And, as computers find their way into the homes of more and more learners, young and old, their potential as an adjunct to classwork will surely increase. We can, perhaps, discern another future trend in Anthony Hall’s EurocaN comparison of native and non-native speaker language strategies (jokes, sighs, personal statements, ways of avoiding repetition) in a business simulation. Learner strategies as a key to the future development of programs? In Helsinki, Jeremy Fox and Clive Matthews, too, suggest that, after we have passed beyond “the unthinking cult of technology”, learner strategies (and learner needs) will become important elements in system design. So how prophetic, I wonder, will Giinter Schmid’s Eurocall contribution on teacher training prove to be? The technological age means, he says, that “(a) solid understanding of the exact nature of such tenets of modern language teaching theory as fluency, appropriacy, authenticity, exposure, acquisition, exploratory learning, learning by doing will be given priority over ‘problems’ of hardware handling or ‘getting to know as many programs as possible’ “. The two reports under review are both somewhat heavy with efforts to get readers “to know as many programs as possible”. Taken together, though, they provide much that will be rewarding, both to the afficionadoes and to the wait-and-see brigade. Barry Baddock Gesamthochschule Kassel Fachbereich 08 Georg-Forster-Strasse 3 D-3500 Kassel Federal Republic of Germany

.Sysk?rn,Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 118-121, 1993 Pergamon Press Ltd. Printed in Great Britain

STARK, MARTIN P., Dictionary Workbooks. A Critical Evaluation of Dictionary Workbooks for the Foreign Language Learner. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1990, xvii + 215 pp., f8.95 (Exeter Linguistic Studies 16). This volume contains a detailed appraisal of 40 dictionary workbooks.



Chapter 1 deals with the aims and characteristics of handbooks, manuals and user guides which purport to improve the language learner’s reference skills. Chapter 2 is concerned with the learner’s attitude to dictionary consultation. The author tries to shed some light on the learner’s main requirements and stresses the need to change conservative conceptions and habits by integrating dictionary practice into the language teaching situation. Chapter 3, which constitutes the core of the monograph, offers an in-depth analysis of a wide range of dictionary workbooks. Stark establishes criteria for the evaluation and selection of dictionary workbooks, presents an overview of the topics covered in such books and then proceeds to show how these topics are handled in his corpus. The topics are as follows: (1) the dictionary macrostructure and formal aspects of consultation, (2) using dictionaries to improve writing skills, (3) using dictionaries for speechwork, (4) the dictionary as a source of grammatical information, (5) the dictionary as a source of semantic information, and (6) other dictionary workbook activities and suggestions. In Chapter 4 Stark provides a checklist of dictionary skills, formulates some final judgements on the workbooks in his corpus and makes a few concluding remarks about dictionary pedagogy. This volume is rounded off with an extensive bibliography comprising works in English, French, German, Italian and Danish. This monograph hardly makes for compelling reading, but it has the merit of conveying significant insights about dictionary pedagogy and providing an extremely useful set of criteria for the evaluation and selection of dictionary workbooks. Stark’s perceptive assessment of the problems posed by dictionary use and dictionary instruction will be a tremendous help to prospective authors of dictionary workbooks and will offer practical guidance to teachers contemplating the possibility of integrating systematic dictionary work into their curriculum. The analyses in Chapter 3 are thorough, precise and eminently clear. Thousands of patiently amassed facts have been sifted, ordered and pieced together in such a way that a coherent picture of the variegated workbook corpus gradually takes shape in the reader’s mind. It should, however, be pointed out that the overall picture would be somewhat clearer if the author had supplemented his expositions by a few simple diagrams. For instance, the percentages given after each section title in Chapter 3 might have been presented in the form of a bar chart or a horizontal line chart. Quotations from works published in French, German, Italian or Danish have been rendered into idiomatic English for the benefit of monolingual readers from English-speaking countries. However, no translation has been given for the German quotation on p. 94, and some of the translations are marred by curious inaccuracies or infelicities. On p. 39, for example, Kolumnentitel (guide word/running head) is translated as word in bold type; on p. 40 bzw. (or) is rendered as and; and on p. 137 the syntagma nicht in Frage kommende Wiirter (words


which are not possible/words come into consideration.


which cannot be used) is translated as words which do not

There are two inexplicable errors on pp. 147 and 148. On p. 147 the phrasal verb take up on is said to exemplify the pattern VERB + PARTICIPLE + PREPOSITION; and on p. 148 the sentence He’s taking it apart is said to be based on the pattern VERB + DIRECT OBJECT + PARTICIPLE. How can words such as up or apart be classed as participles? Thorough though Stark’s analyses may be, there are a few sections in which I feel he has not shown sufficient rigour or gone far enough in his criticism of the workbooks. The section on collocations (pp. 185-188) is a good example. Several points need to be made here: (1) Compounds and collocations should not be lumped together under the same heading (“Collocations”). It is important to draw a clear-cut distinction between compounds such as trouser press (p. 185) and collocations such as make an accusation (ibid.). (2) Like Whitcut, Stark appears to be unaware (or not sufficiently aware) of the dangers inherent in exercises in which foreign language learners are encouraged to form compounds by guesswork (e.g. factory forplastics -+plastics factory). Since human language is riddled with inconsistencies, students are bound to commit blunders if they get into the habit of gluing words together in a mechanical fashion in order to form compounds not recorded in their dictionaries. Thus a French student of German may proceed on the false assumption that all the French compounds based on the pattern industrie de + DEFINITE ARTICLE + NOUN can be translated in the same way. He will have no trouble with industrie de la chaussure (Schuhindustrie), industrie du bois (Holzindustrie) or industrie du gaz (Gasindustrie ), but he will stumble over a term such as industrie du froid, which has to be rendered as Kiiltetechnik-Branche. (3) Stark overlooks the special difficulties presented by the interconnexion between syntactic and collocational restrictions (Gallagher, 1991). (4) Attention should be drawn to the fact that certain collocations may have no exact counterparts in another language. The French collocation cas + se predenter is a case in point, as can be seen from the following example sentences: (a) (. . .) deux cas peuvent se presenter: (. . .). (Monique Callamand, Grammaire vivante du francais (Paris: Larousse, 1987, p. 203). (b) Hier sind zwei Moglichkeiten zu unterscheiden: (. . .). (Hans Schemann, Synonymwiirterbuch der deutschen Redensarten (Straelen: Straelener Manuskripte Verlag, 1989, p. xxi). Lexicographers and authors of dictionary workbooks will have to devise new techniques in order to solve the intricate problems posed by such asymmetrical equivalences. Chapter 2 might also be improved on. It is a pity that Stark has ignored Krings’ psycholinguistic analyses of dictionary use by students engaged in translation work (Krings, 1986) [see also my review of this work in Gallagher (1989)]. Be that as it may, Stark’s monograph is a welcome addition to the Exeter Linguistic Studies



series. It will undoubtedly dictionary workbooks.

prove to be an invaluable source for anyone interested in

REFERENCES GALLAGHER, J. D. (1989) Nouvelles de la FIT, Nouvelle sCrie 8, No. 3, 253-257. GALLAGHER, J. D. (1991) FlieRende Grenzen. Lebende Spruchen, 36(3) 98-105. KRINGS, H. P. (1986) Was in den Kiipfen von iibersetzern vorgeht. Eine empirische Untersuchung des iibersetzungsprozesses an fortgeschrittenen Franziisischlernern. Tiibingen: Narr.

zur Struktur

John D. Gallagher Erlenallee 3 D-4400 Mtinster/Westfalen Federal Republic of Germany

Sysfem, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 121-123, 1993 Pergamon Press Ltd. Printed in Great Britain

WHITE, RON, MARTIN, MERVYN, STIMSON, MIKE and HODGE, ROBERT, Management in English Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, 348 pp., X14.95. This book is divided into three parts. Part One, people and organizations (sic), includes: staff selection; staff development; communication in schools; organizing resources and information; managing curriculum development and change. Part Two defines marketing and discusses the marketing plan. Part Three deals with: financial records and statements; cash flow, decision-making and planning; using financial information and budgets. Each chapter starts with a statement of its aims and finishes with a variety of follow-up activities. This book has three target groups: teachers new to management in ELT; administrators; and “those who are curious to know how a teaching organization might be run more effectively”. The authors (p. 1) aim “to provide a clear practical guide to the management of English language teaching schools both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world.” They do not intend the book to be read from p. 1 all the way through but instead think readers may find it preferable to refer to chapters which are “of immediate interest and relevance”. Further, they do not intend the reader to work through all the follow-up activities to each chapter but they feel that these activities make it possible to use the book for self-study, a programme of staff development or as the basis of an ELT management course. Part One is 190 pages long and is divided into six chapters dealing with people and organisations. It stresses that management is “above all else concerned with people” (p. 29) and as “individuals combine a mixture of the rational and irrational, so, too, organizations contain both rational and irrational elements” (p. 7). After describing task needs, group needs and individual needs in an organisation, Chapter 1 gives a good