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 18. Making the Most of Learner Dictionaries (British Edition)


Course Description

This course focuses on modern dictionaries for learners of English. The goal is to equip you with the knowledge and practical expertise that you will need to help your students make the most of this important reference and learning tool. 

We’ll talk about how innovative resources used to create today’s dictionaries, examine their most important features, and discuss what it means to make good use of dictionaries and the key principles that underpin good dictionary use. With the help of practical activities that you can download and use in the classroom, you’ll be able to help your students choose the dictionary that is right for them, and show them how to make the most of it. 

Also, students who successfully complete this course will receive a TESOL Certificate of Completion.

Instructor: Michela Clari

Michela Clari has been working in the field of lexicography and language reference publishing for over 25 years. 

She was born and educated in Italy, where she completed a degree in English and German language and literature, with a thesis in linguistics. In the late nineties Michela became Editorial Director for Collins Bilingual Dictionaries and the COBUILD ELT range. In this role, she had publishing and editorial responsibility for the full range of Collins dictionary titles for language learners, and for designing and launching new product ranges for both the trade and educational markets, in the UK and internationally. 

For many years Michela has been a regular presenter at major language conferences, such as TESOL, IATEFL, ALL, the British Council and EURALEX, in the UK, Europe, Asia and the States. Her interests include corpus-based lexicography, language learning, language reference publishing both print and digital, and e-learning.


Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).


A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such, we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work, including the final exam.     


Week 1

Wednesday – Lesson 01
Dictionaries for Language Learners

Friday – Lesson 02
Learner Dictionaries and Corpus Analysis

Week 2

Wednesday – Lesson 03
The Dictionary as a Learning Tool

Friday – Lesson 04
The Four Principles of Good Dictionary Use

Week 3 

Wednesday – Lesson 05
Learning About The Dictionary: The Dictionary Macrostructure

Friday – Lesson 06
Learning About The Dictionary: The Dictionary Microstructure

Week 4

Wednesday – Lesson 07
Familiarizing Learners with the Dictionary: Classroom Activities

Friday – Lesson 08
Improving Dictionary Navigation: Classroom Activities

Week 5

Wednesday – Lesson 09
Dictionary Activities on Pronunciation, Morphology, and Grammar

Friday – Lesson 10
Meaning and Usage in the Dictionary: Classroom Activities

Week 6

Wednesday – Lesson 11
Language Reference Resources and the Digital Dimension

Friday – Lesson 12
Choosing the Right Dictionary

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