Dictionary Skills for Novice/Weak Pupils

Using dictionary in class is supposed to help pupils find the meaning of the words learned. However, this has become a hassle for most teachers since most pupils are not equipped with dictionary skills. It takes forever for the pupils to even find the words. And that  ******* Dictionary seems like a BIG Encyclopedia of #idontknowwhatimlookingforhere.

This has demotivated teachers because:
1. Lower proficiency pupils need longer time to look up the meaning of target words.
2. Some teachers prepare the meaning. This has become a spoon feeding culture which totally takes away pupils’ contribution to the learning and not preparing them with the study skills they need.

Therefore, I would advise that teachers simplify the dictionary for them. Instead of asking to open that proper dictionary, teacher can make a mini dictionary 📔 and save time 🕐.
Example: Target word is ‘encounter’.
In a page, a teacher can prepare 5 words that start with ‘e’


NO! Do I need to this all the time????

No. Teacher can list all out all the words the pupils are going to learn from year 1-6 or Form 1-5. Then build a dictionary that have all these words. Applying the same concept, this will help teachers and pupils save time. And better yet, the dictionary skill is really acquired in class.

How many should I need to prepare?
1 for each pair is good enough. All the better for all the pupils. Coming back to the original purpose, this mini simplified dictionary is for the weak/novice pupils. If you have a few in the room that have already mastered dictionary skills, you need not to prepare many. Just several for the ones who might need it and not be ready yet for the real dictionary.


It is much better to teach with internet facility as pupils can just source the meaning at their fingertip. However, in times of no internet connection, this dictionary will be very useful and shareable. When these pupils are ready and have already mastered dictionary skills, only then can they use the proper real dictionary.
What do you all think?👱

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