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Faculty of Humanities and Education

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature

Allsopp Centre: News

Allsopp Centre conducts its first French Dictionary Workshop
On November 26, 2020, the Richard and Jeannette Allsopp Centre for Caribbean Lexicography (The UWI, Cave Hill Campus) in conjunction with the Alliance française held its first French Dictionary Skills Instruction workshop via Zoom conferencing as a part of the celebrations for the International Day of the French Teacher (Journée Internationale des Professeurs de Français). The workshop was conducted in French.
Attended by approximately 200 participants throughout the Commonwealth Caribbean, the workshop conducted entirely in French by Dr. Jason Siegel, Research Fellow in Lexicography and Director of the Allsopp Centre. The aim of the workshop was to give teachers of French and those interested in becoming teachers of French some of the knowledge and techniques to teach dictionary skills in their classes. It also sought to highlight potential challenges that students may face when trying to utilise the dictionary in order to translate words and sentences.
Participants learned some little-known facts about dictionaries, several of the latest innovations in dictionary-making that benefit students, and a number of exercises that would inspire confidence and enthusiasm in the use of dictionaries. Many teachers reported early on in the workshop that they rarely if ever taught dictionary skills in their classrooms, but by the end, they were well-equipped to begin teaching them.
After Dr. Siegel presented on the intricacies of dictionaries, including how diverse dictionaries can be in terms of structure and purpose as well as the many skills that can elevate students from novices to experts in dictionary usage, participants were placed into breakout room sessions to create practical exercises for the classroom based on the information they had just received, in order to enhance dictionary usage skills and thereby improve French language skills.

The workshop received positive feedback from attendees, who appreciated the detail and interactivity of the session in evaluations. One participant stated, “I loved the fact that even though there was a lot of information provided, everything was well explained. We also got a chance to put some of what we were exposed to in action making us active learners.”
This initiative was the third dictionary-skills workshop offered by the Allsopp Centre in recent years, starting in 2017 with a workshop for primary school teachers in Barbados and another in 2018 for Spanish teachers in Barbados (conducted in Spanish). Individuals interested in future workshops should contact the Allsopp Centre at 417-4469 or


Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature
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