Dictionary use and vocabulary choice in L2 writing

Idoia Elola, Vanessa Rodriguez-Garcia, Kate Winfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In second language (L2) writing research it is essential to focus on the learners’ writing processes to understand their L2 vocabulary use; namely, limitations, choices, and misunderstandings. This article offers an overview of learners’ Spanish-English online dictionary use in relation to L2 writing tasks, the strategies being used, and the limitations encountered while on task. The diverse data collection techniques—written texts, verbal protocols and interviews—provide a holistic view of students of Spanish as a foreign language in their online dictionary use, as well as information about the learners’ reflections on their dictionary use. Results do not only indicate that learners use the dictionary to find a word they did not know, to check their spelling, or to ascertain the meaning of a word, but also to express themselves better or translate the complexity of their English thoughts into Spanish. However, the texts they produced result also from their limited ability in the dict
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-89
StatePublished - 2008

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