Lacunarity, lexicography and beyond: integration of the introduction of a linguo-cultural concept and the development of L2 learners’ dictionary skills


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The paper discusses the integration of presenting theoretical linguo-cultural knowledge and developing dictionary skills in advanced students of a foreign language. The proposed approach allows showing students the interdisciplinary character of various issues, one of which is cross-linguistic lacunarity. It is given as an example of a phenomenon, whose introduction can be combined with the development of students’ dictionary use abilities. Lacunarity consists in the lack of some source language elements in the target language. Two main kinds of lacunae are distinguished: linguistic and referential ones. The focal issue of the paper is how the information on the lacunary character of words can be presented to advanced students of English as a foreign language, in this paper Polish learners, so that they could consider the phenomenon in terms of bilingual lexicography: first, becoming aware of the specifics of their description; second, practising their dictionary skills by analysing entries for selected lacunary lexical and phraseological units; third, combining the information and skills in doing creative tasks, related to lacunarity and its bilingual lexicographic descriptions. Furthermore, additional activities are proposed for revising the acquired knowledge on lacunarity and advancing dictionary use. Offering students tasks, which require them to adopt a different perspective, aims to increase their involvement in the learning process and to foster their autonomy as learners. Encouraging learners to reflect on lacunae and their lexicographic description is expected to familiarize them with the phenomenon and simultaneously to develop their dictionary skills by doing especially designed activities.



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