Learn English

Understanding English Dictionaries: an exciting new MOOC

© iStockphoto

If you are reading this post you are almost certainly a regular dictionary user. Most of us are, but many people know very little about dictionaries. This is particularly the case since dictionaries went online – it’s easy to look up a word and find a dictionary entry on a computer or a mobile phone, without being aware of which dictionary the entry came from, why the word was included in the dictionary, how the dictionary compilers assembled this information, or how valid it is.

If you want to be better-informed about dictionary choices, explore the range of information that dictionary entries can provide, and learn more about how dictionaries are compiled, now’s your chance. Macmillan Dictionary has partnered with Coventry University and The Alan Turing Institute to produce a MOOC – a massive open online course – aimed at everyone who would like to find out more about how dictionaries are put together and their place in the modern online world. The course has been devised by renowned dictionary experts, practitioners and academics including our own Editor-in-Chief Michael Rundell.



The course is free, and starts on 16 September 2019.  It runs for 6 weeks and covers topics such as:

  • The place of dictionaries in the modern world
  • What’s in a dictionary entry
  • Where the information in dictionaries comes from
  • How dictionary-makers select words
  • Meanings and dictionary definitions
  • Dictionaries, research and the future

There is no commitment: you can do as much or as little as you like.
You can find out more and register on the FutureLearn website.

About the author

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Leave a Comment