top banner

Dictionaries in the 21st century classroom

With classrooms going increasingly digital and spellcheckers available on practically all devices, why do learners still need a dictionary?

Correct spelling can sometimes seem like a non-issue in modern classrooms. Students can now autocorrect their homework without even thinking about it using their tablet or computer. So why use a dictionary?

We often forget that dictionaries can help learners with much more than accurate spelling. And in an age where students are able to increasingly rely on technology to correct mistakes, are we at risk of losing important language skills like comprehension of meaning, formulating complex sentences and understanding how to use punctuation and grammar?

Here's how dictionaries ensure 21st Century learners can express themselves clearly and construct convincing arguments, building the right skills for an increasingly complex and changing future...

Comprehend meaning

Oxford's student dictionaries define words using a context that is familiar and appropriate to each learner's age, along with example sentences to illustrate how these words are often used. Where a word has more than one meaning, each definition is numbered and clearly explained, enhancing understanding.

Dictionaries also help to extend and enrich vocabulary, which can help move learners toward stronger achievement.

Support bilingual learners

Bilingual students can often struggle to demonstrate the true extent of their knowledge and skills, as language challenges can prevent clear and articulate expression. Using a dictionary can help to contextualise words and their definitions, building a secure and expansive ability to formulate increasingly complex arguments and clearly convey meaning.

Understand how language works, including punctuation and grammar

Dictionaries help a child to develop their writing skills. They show relationships between words and demonstrate how to use grammar and punctuation to greater effect. Extra help is included on how to avoid common mistakes, for example, how to use an apostrophe correctly.

Strengthen assessment potential

A dictionary helps clear up spelling issues which cost students valuable marks in assessments, many of which are still written with a pen and paper. Confusable words like 'their' and 'they're' are highlighted in student dictionaries along with additional support, helping learners understand the logic and meaning behind the different spellings.

Dictionaries for secondary school students

Oxford School Dictionary

Great for getting started

For ages 10+

Oxford Mini School Dictionary

Oxford Mini School Dictionary

Mini and mighty

For ages 10+

Oxford English Dictionary for Schools

Oxford English Dictionary for Schools

The perfect all-rounder

For ages 11-16

Oxford Student's Dictionary

Oxford Student's Dictionary

GCSE, S1/2 and beyond

For ages 14+

Search results

No results were found