How to Use a Dictionary

How to use a dictionary
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EngelsMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 2,3

This lesson contains 18 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

time-iconLesson duration is: 20 min

Items in this lesson

How to use a dictionary

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Lesson objectives:
- To learn the first steps on how to use a dictionary properly.
- To develop your dictionary skills
- To raise your awareness of the information you can find in a dictionary
- To develop your skills of prediction when you come across new vocabulary words
- To encourage group collaboration in project work
- To promote creativity.

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Steps on how to use a dictionary (finding words):
Step #1 - Find the word you want to look up.
Step #2 - Find the letter that the word begins with.
Step #3 - Open the dictionary to the page with the relevant letter. 
Step #4 - Look for the second letter in the word you are looking for. 

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Understanding better how to use the dictionary: 

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1. Read the introduction of the dictionary. 
- information such as the abbreviations,  pronunciation symbols; 
-what part of speech the word is; 
- pronunciation of the word; 
- definition; 
- check the pronunciation of words with similar spellings (example not - knot )
2. Learn the abbreviations. 
Tip: check the context of the word when you are looking it up.
- "adj." stands for "adjective" and will tell you what kind of word the word you're looking up is. 
- "Adv." or "advb." can stand for "adverb; adverbially."
- "n"  can stand for "noun", but "can also stand for "neuter" or "north" as in direction, depending on the context.

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3. Learn the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the book. 
- Stressed and unstressed syllables 

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4. Find the section of the dictionary with the first letter of your word.
-Beware of spelling for trickier words 
(Example: "gnome" begins with a "g", or "psychology" begins with a "p", or "knock" begins with a "k", etc.)
- Beware that certain words sound alike that are spelled very differently. (Example: throne -thrown, read -red)

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5. Read the guide words.
-The two words at the top of the page that tell you what types of words are on the page. 
6. Scan down the page for your word.
- Look for the root word (Example: fertility - fertile)

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7. Read the definition of the word.
- If a word has more than one meaning, it will tell you the most common one first. 
-Synonyms (words that mean the same thing / (fruitless- unsuccessful) 
-Antonyms (words that mean the opposite / night-day).

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8. Make use of the audio content provided with online dictionaries.
-Free services such as Google may not be as comprehensive as a subscription or book dictionary.

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Dictionary exercises:

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Put the words in each row in alphabetical order:

Slide 12 - Drag question

All of these words are parts of the body (nouns). Which of the words are also verbs?


Slide 13 - Open question

Which one is the odd one out in each row? Why? Write your explanation.
1. elm - daffodil - pine - beech
2. cod - sardine - hake - fern
3. steak - beak- freak- geek

Slide 14 - Open question

Are these words American English or British English? Write AE or BE

Slide 15 - Open question

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DTOETS: Eindexamensite: VMBO GT 2016-2 (excl. Schrijfopdracht-vraag 32) - 1e helft (Text 1 – 6)
- 2016 Teksten
- 2016 Vragen

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