María José Luzón participated in the 3rd RELEX International Congress (Lexicography and Didactics) (Pontevedra, Spain, 25-27 October) with the presentation “The use of online dictionaries as a tool for academic writing in English”
The use of online dictionaries as a tool for academic writing in English
Academic writing is characterised by lexical and grammatical accuracy, lexical variety, formality, and specific phraseology. Knowledge of academic vocabulary (i.e. vocabulary typically used in academic speech and writing regardless of the discipline) (McCarthy and O’Dell. 2008) is an essential component of academic writing. Online dictionaries have two features that make them particularly useful to help students and scholar when writing academic texts: entries may include and link to a high variety of data (e.g., examples of use, grammatical patterns, collocations, synonyms), and they offer advanced search and browse features (e.g. reverse search or show related search option). However, the functionalities of online dictionaries are usually underused because efficient use of these dictionaries requires skills different from successful use of printed dictionaries. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (i) to explore how online dictionaries can help non-native-English speaking students and scholars to write academic texts in English, and (ii) to present a proposal of a workshop intended to help students develop online dictionary skills, which can be a component of “Academic writing” courses.