Use a Dictionary

English is my native language. In fact, English is my only language. I studied English through secondary school and did English Literature as part of my University degree. I have a TEFL certificate.

And when I teach English I take a dictionary with me to every lesson.

Many teachers of English abroad (particularly in Sri Lanka and India) feel that a dictionary is a sign of weakness. If you teach English you should know English so you shouldn’t need a dictionary. I most certainly do not agree with this theory. So not only do I use a dictionary in class but I also encourage the local teachers to use dictionaries in class too.

I like the Learners’ Dictionaries. Oxford, Cambridge and others do versions of them. I buy them in-country since they are cheaper there and my money contributes to the local economy. Learners’ Dictionaries usually have phonetic spellings and common errors. Key words are often highlighted. There are usually pictures as well and sections on basic grammar.

So don’t be afraid to use a dictionary while you are teaching. In fact, be proud!

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