‘I’m not a walking dictionary.’ Are you familiar with this expression? Let me ask you another way. How many times have you used this sentence as an English teacher in your classes? Let me guess: too many times! Unfortunately, some of our students consider their English teachers a dictionary. To be more precise, a friendly-user dictionary. Generally, a dictionary that is much quicker than Google. If you were a student, which one would you prefer? Of course, I would prefer ‘the walking dictionary’.
Therefore, it isn’t strange or something discouraging to be considered ‘a walking dictionary’. Doubtlessly, you give the meaning of the word you are asked like greased lightning much quickly than any search engine. On the other hand, what is the benefit of it to the students? Some students tend to make the learning process easier and effortless. ‘Carpe diem’ is their every time motto. However, as teachers of English, we are responsible for their learning process as a whole. Besides, we know the fact that learning a language is a demanding process, which requires extra effort and involvement. Of course, they won’t be eager to use their dictionaries at first. Looking a word up in your dictionary could be fine.
However, when they have several words they need to look up, they will probably find it both tiring and time consuming. In such cases, it is time to show the students the advantages of using a dictionary. When the students realize that the pros overweight cons, they will probably be convinced to use their dictionaries. The dictionaries they almost forgot how to use. So, it is time to use the dictionaries that have been put into mothballs for ages.