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South African Journal of African Languages

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The use of LSP dictionaries in secondary schools – a South African case study

E Taljard, DJ Prinsloo, I Fricke

Abstract


This article reports on the results of a broad evaluation of the efficacy of the Multilingual ExplanatoryScience Dictionary and Multilingual Explanatory Math Dictionary in a multilingual educationalenvironment. The aim of the investigation is to ascertain (a) whether the target users possess the necessarydictionary using skills to make use of the dictionaries effectively, and (b) whether the benefit of exposureto definitions of terms in the home language is significant in the decoding of the meaning of scienceand mathematical terms. Data were collected by means of two questionnaires that were completed bymembers of the intended target user group. Participants in the study revealed themselves inexperiencedand untrained dictionary users with rudimentary dictionary using skills. They were able to perform simplelook-up procedures but performed badly in cases where a more sophisticated approach is called for.



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