Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 3rd Edition

Components: Dictionary, CD-Rom Publisher: Cambridge University Press Summary: Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary was designed to be used as a reference dictionary for upper-intermediate to advanced learners of English. Review: The CALD is one of the many learner’s dictionaries available today.  It has been specifically designed for upper-intermediate to advanced learners of English, especially those who […]
Reviewed for Teflnet by Joshua Antle

Components: Dictionary, CD-Rom
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Summary: Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary was designed to be used as a reference dictionary for upper-intermediate to advanced learners of English.

Review:
The CALD is one of the many learner’s dictionaries available today.  It has been specifically designed for upper-intermediate to advanced learners of English, especially those who are preparing for tests such as IELTS, FCE, CAE and others.

Along with the actual dictionary, the CALD has several `Extra Help pages`, maps, colour pictures, and instructions on how best to use the dictionary.  The dictionary is also colour-coded and includes all the typical information found in learner’s dictionaries.  In addition, there is information on the word frequency, common mistakes and word partners, as well as a Word Guide to help with words which have multiple meanings.

There are several features new to this edition: the Let’s Talk section focuses on how people really speak; the Common Mistakes box mentioned above; Thesaurus boxes for overused words; and Word Partner boxes for the most common collocations.  There is also a CD-Rom with this edition.

I was very impressed with this dictionary.  I found it to be very user-friendly, comprehensive and informative.  Several features stood out: the Word Guide was very useful for my students when dealing with words, such as “change”, which have several meanings; the Let’s Talk section is well-organized and focuses on everyday English; and the Common Mistake Box, which is based on real learner errors from the Cambridge ESOL exams, was an excellent addition.  My students also found the information on word frequencies to be motivating, and it helped concentrate their efforts on more useful vocabulary.

I didn’t have many complaints about the CALD. There were, however, a few smaller issues that could be improved upon.  The dictionary used a classification system, in addition to the information on word frequency, which showed if a word was “important” or not; it did this by using blue head words instead of black.  Having these two systems seems a bit redundant.  The Smart Thesaurus on the CD-Rom lists too many words in my opinion (I got 88 different words, listed in alphabetic order, for “aspect”).  If the words were listed based on frequency, this would not be a problem.  Finally, the dictionary itself is rather bulky.  It is an excellent reference book, but I would not want to have to carry it to class everyday.
I found the CALD to be very useful in my higher level vocabulary and reading classes (upper-intermediate to advanced learners of English).  I have also used it with lower-intermediate students with mixed results; they had trouble with several of the definitions.  That said, however, that they still found it to be beneficial and that it would get them into the habit of using an English-English dictionary.  The complaints I had with it were all minor and should not discourage someone from buying this excellent resource.

Reviewed by Joshua Antle for TEFL.net November 2008

3 Comments

  • niyonsenga emmanuel says:

    hello

  • Resul says:

    I will download

  • ayman says:

    thanks

Leave a comment




TEFLnet : TEFL Book Reviews : Reference : Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 3rd Edition