Which electronic dictionary to choose?

I was asked today, once again, which electronic dictionary is better for students.

I dont’ know if posting specific names of companies is the right thing to do as I’m not affiliated with any commercial company – does anyone have any adice on that issue? But there are a few basic things to note:

1) See if it is capable of translating phrasal verbs such as “take place” – very important for pupils!

2) Type in an irregular verb in the past tense. If it notifies you that this is the past tense form of the verb (and gives you the present form) then that’s fine. DO NOT choose one that ignores these verbs and goes on to the closest matching word it can find.

3) Try typing in a word like “nose” or “sun”. If it gives you, as the first option, a translation using Biblical Hebrew – you don’t want that one!

4) If its really cheap – I hate to admit it, but that IS a bad sign….

2 thoughts on “Which electronic dictionary to choose?”

  1. Have you tried Visual Thesaurus (http://visualthesaurus.com). I use this “dictionary” daily with my students as it has such flexibilitiy. There is a small fee for subscription, but once you subscribe, just type in a word (or short phrase) and it will give you a variety of other common words, a definition, as well as other parts of speech associated with the root word. It is great fun and a great way to expose students to the many different FORMS of one English word!

  2. I took a quick look at the site and will look at it in more depth over the weekend. It looks like it could be useful for my strongest pupils. However, all the lower level ones only use a bilingual dictionary. These are kids that look up huge numbers of words, including many basic ones. And if you give them half a chance they’ll copy the whole text into google translator! In class we do not have Internet access, only when I reserve the computer room.

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