Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Unit 1. Using online dictionaries

Second unit is about using an Online dictionary, identifying symbols used in them and

Let's start with how to use Online Dictionaries. The following article By eHow Internet Editor, recomends:

Unless you're a genius or you have memorized Merriam-Webster from A to Z, you need a dictionary every once in a while. Book dictionaries are helpful, but unfortunately they aren't very speedy. Hop online and you can quickly find multiple definitions for the same word. Here's how to use an online dictionary.
  • Step 1. Determine whether you will utilize a free or members-only, fee-oriented dictionary. There are plenty of free dictionary websites and plenty of sites that require paid membership. Usually the free dictionaries are just as effective. However, membership dictionaries offer extra benefits, like audio pronunciation of words. If you learn best by hearing things, you will benefit from paying for an online dictionary with this service.

  • Step 2. Use your favorite search engine, such as Yahoo, Google, Ask or MSN to search for an online dictionary. The phrase "online dictionary" will return a plethora of sites from which to choose.

  • Step 3. Select a preferred website and enter the term you are inquiring about in the search bar, usually found at the top of the webpage.

  • Step 4. Browse the results of your word search to find multiple definitions, grammar rules, variations of the word, synonyms, antonyms and proper part of speech.

  • Step 5. Combine an online dictionary with an online thesaurus to maximize the use of the tool. For example, look up the word "beautiful" at dictionary.com, then click on the tab to utilize the thesaurus at thesaurus.com. The dictionary will describe the word, and the thesaurus will provide words with similar meanings.

  • Step 6. Choose a dictionary search engine for definitions from many websites at once. Engines such as onelook.com narrow your search for you by pulling up only web dictionaries. For example, if you type in the word "smart," One Look will provide you with 25-50 web dictionaries that offer a definition. This is a great way to get a well-rounded definition of a word.
  • More resources:
Free online dictionary offering definitions, synonyms, antonyms, grammar and parts of speech.
Free online thesaurus providing synonyms for English words.
Free dictionary definition search engine.
Now, when using a dictionary it's useful to identify the different Parts of Speech, that will help us understand the meaning of the words when reading an article in English. The writing Center of the University of Ottawa describes the parts of speech as follow:

Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.
Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next.

The next few examples show how a word's part of speech can change from one sentence to the next, and following them is a series of sections on the individual parts of speech, followed by an exercise.

* Books are made of ink, paper, and glue.
   In this sentence, "books" is a noun, the subject of the sentence.

   Deborah waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets.
   Here "books" is a verb, and its subject is "Bridget."

* We walk down the street.
   In this sentence, "walk" is a verb, and its subject is the pronoun "we".

  The mail carrier stood on the walk.
  In this example, "walk" is a noun, which is part of a prepositional phrase describing where the mail   carrier stood.

* The town decided to build a new jail.
   Here "jail" is a noun, which is the object of the infinitive phrase "to build."

   The sheriff told us that if we did not leave town immediately he would jail us.
   Here "jail" is part of the compound verb "would jail."

* They heard high pitched cries in the middle of the night.
   In this sentence, "cries" is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb "heard."

   The baby cries all night long and all day long.
   But here "cries" is a verb that describes the actions of the subject of the sentence, the baby.


For more on Parts of speech go to this site and work on the exercises: https://sites.google.com/site/clil4uprecourse/unit-1 

  1. Look for an article related to your field of expertise. Use Google, write key words related to a topic you want to read about. Add your article to your Scoop.it.
  2. Create a document and write about the article. Introduce the topic of the article. Make sure to add the link where you got it from. Write a short summary of the article. Say what it is about.Give your opinion about it.
  3. Select two paragraphs from your article and copy them in your document.
  4. Choose at least 2 sentences per paragraph.
  5. Select a word in each sentence and find its definition in an online dictionary. Describe what you found. Follow the model in the image. 
  • Write the word, 
  • How it is pronounced, 
  • What part of speech is, 
  • Add the meaning you found in the dictionary that goes best with the context in the sentence you chose, 
  • Add a new example of the use of the word.
  •  Finally, add a related word.

Keep on shining love and peace!

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