Grote Taaldag location:Utrecht, Nederland date:1 februari 2014
ICT are nowadays a ubiquitous ingredient, but at the same time a very diverse instrument in the languages classroom, as its role depends on the skills and/or content aimed at, the teacher, the audience and the course. Digital dictionaries seem to be the perfect tool for enhancing learner autonomy, one of the purposes of modern language teaching.
Nevertheless, they are not used sufficiently nor adequately due to factors such as time, insecurity and lack of knowledge of the possibilities. Moreover, the information contained in the dictionaries can be limited or inadequate (Nomdedeu, 2009). Today, given the current state of technology, it is useful to investigate which technical and content-related innovations we can reasonably expect to find in modern electronic data driven dictionaries (or “dictionary-featured corpora”?), and given its omnipresence we are specially interested in web 2.0/3.0 instruments such as Linguee, Glosbe, Babla, etc.
In this study our research questions are whether such data driven dictionaries (1) can increase user-friendliness and usability, (2) enhance further more certain skills and attitudes of learning such as empowerment, discovery and student autonomy, as well as (3) improve the correct identification and use of lexico-grammatical patterns. Therefore, after outlining the current context of teaching (Spanish) writing, we will examine the role ICT can play as a writing assistance expert by presenting the qualitative and quantitative data of a series of experiments carried out between 2003 and 2014 in order to measure the effect of such dictionaries and corpora (and the combination of these two types of tools). We will conclude by proposing, based on our findings, additional pedagogical and technological interventions in order to obtain even higher satisfaction and efficiency levels.