This article proposes ways of improving dictionary skills amongst the Ndebele. One way of accomplishing this is incorporating the teaching of dictionary skills into teacher trainingsyllabi. Teachers can impart their knowledge to students and a dictionary culture can develop for enhancing effective use of current dictionaries and helping in the compilation of future ones. In general lexicographers are aiming at producing dictionaries that are 'user-friendly', that is, accessible to their users. Current and future Ndebele dictionaries are likely to remain underutilised unless users develop requisite skills for dictionary use. This article outlines some aspects of dictionary studies that could be incorporated in the training syllabi for potential Ndebele language teachers. Anticipated problems of implementation and possible solutions to these problems are also discussed.
Keywords: dictionary, dictionary culture, dictionary skills, reference needs, reference skills, users, user-friendly, ndebele, lexicography, change of attitude