Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.524226
Title: The use of pocket electronic dictionaries by Thai learners of English
Author: Boonmoh, Atipat
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
This thesis investigates the current situation of pocket electronic dictionary use in Thailand. It explores the types of dictionary owned and used by Thai learners and their teachers, and the teachers’ attitudes towards the use of pocket electronic dictionaries (PEDs). It also explores how Thai learners use pocket electronic dictionaries to write a summary in English (production) and to write a summary in Thai (reception), and strategies that Thai students use to try to solve their reading and writing problems. The participants in my studies included 30 lecturers who taught basic English courses at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok. Data was collected using a questionnaire to obtain personal information, and information about access to and use of dictionaries, including knowledge about PEDs. Of the 30 teachers, 6 were interviewed in order to gain insights into teachers’ attitudes towards the use of PEDs. For my large-scale survey on dictionary use there were 1,211 first and second year undergraduate participants. These came from the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Industrial Education. Of these, 27 were selected to take part in my small scale survey of pocket electronic dictionary use. The first student survey was used to gain quantitative data about the students and their use of dictionaries, while the second student survey was used to gain more qualitative data regarding their use of PEDs. Finally, 13 out of the 27 participants were chosen to take part in the main experimental studies. Data was collected using think aloud, observation, and retrospective interviews. The first eight participants were asked to read two reading passages (one in English and the other one in Thai). Using dictionaries in their PEDs, the participants were asked to write a summary in Thai for the English passage (the Light Bulb I experiment) and to write a summary in English for the Thai passage (the Water I experiment). The remaining 5 participants followed the same procedures, but additionally after the two summary tasks were completed they were asked to review their summaries again using Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary, the English-English dictionary in their PEDs (the Light Bulb II and the Water II experiments). ii The data was analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings revealed that the teachers used and preferred their students to use monolingual learners’ dictionaries. They noticed the presence of PEDs in the classroom but they were under-informed about the contents and capabilities of Thai PEDs. The student surveys showed that although most students possessed learners’ dictionaries in book form, only a few of those owning the learners’ dictionaries reported actually using them. In contrast, nearly half of the students owned PEDs and most of these students reported using them. A greater number of students also reported they would like to use or own a PED in the future. The findings also suggest that the teachers do not have much influence over their students’ choice of dictionaries. The experimental studies revealed how the participants tackled the reading passages and wrote summaries, the problems they encountered, and the strategies they used to solve these problems. Models of PED consultations were proposed. The use of the English-English dictionary in their PEDs helped participants to comprehend the reading text, and helped some participants when reviewing their English summaries. It was found that some participants failed to display knowledge of the PEDs they were using. The investigations reveal several factors that may hinder dictionary look up success as well as factors that may promote dictionary look up success. On the basis of this research, guidelines for buying PEDs and for teaching PED skills are proposed. This research makes a significant contribution to the field of dictionary use, especially regarding the use of pocket electronic dictionaries. Through the use of a combination of research methods it provides an account of what really happens when PEDs are used for reception and for production. It also investigates and assesses PED features in detail, something which no existing PED studies have done before.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Thailand. Ratthasaphā
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.524226  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PE English
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