Dictionaries have long been an indispensable part of learning the factual and linguistic content of a subject-field, i.e. the relevant LSP. Both teachers and students refer to and use printed and electronic specialised dictionaries as tools when teaching and learning the structure, terminology and usage of a subject-field, particularly when they have to read, write or translate domain-specific texts. The modern theory of dictionary functions presented in Bergenholtz and Tarp (2002) opens up exciting new possibilities for theoretical and practical lexicography and encourages lexicographers to adopt a new way of thinking when planning and compiling dictionaries. The function of a dictionary is to assist a particular user group with specific characteristics in order to fulfil the complex needs that arise in a particular type of use-situation. This entails a study of the extra-lexicographic environment, i.e. what happens outside the dictionary when users write or translate texts, and relate these findings to the lexicographic environment represented by the theoretical basis and the dictionary itself. Nielsen (2006) gives a preliminary discussion of monolingual accounting dictionaries for EFL text production, but discusses an individual dictionary for a particular function. It is shown that in a general context of learning accounting and its relevant LSP with a view to writing or translating financial reporting texts, the modern theory of dictionary functions provides a good theoretical and practical basis. This paper describes how the study of communication-oriented and cognitive-oriented functions may lead to the creation of a network of four on-line accounting dictionaries for learning accounting and its LSP. The dictionary network described consists of two monolingual and two bilingual accounting dictionaries linked to each other so that users can move from one dictionary to another. The network was designed to assist in learning native-language accounting terminology and usage and foreign-language accounting terminology and usage. Accounting students need to acquire knowledge about accounting terminology and usage in their native language and often also in a foreign language, usually English, in order to understand and to write factually and grammatically correct accounting texts. Student translators need to acquire knowledge that enable them to produce factually and grammatically correct translations of accounting texts, and this requires factual and linguistic knowledge about the native-language source text, including register, and knowledge about the foreign-language register and usage of the target text, or vice versa. It will also be shown how the student can navigate from one dictionary to another to find data types that support the same or different dictionary functions. The dictionary network will be discussed in connection with the pedagogical implications of dictionary functions.
Teaching and Learning Lsp: Blurring Boundaries: Proceedings of the 6th International Aelfe Conference, Lisbon 13-15 September 2007, 2007, p. 367-373