Use of LSP dictionaries in secondary schools - a South African case study

20 Jun 2012

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