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English as a Second Language (ESL)

Once you have learned the symbols and learned how to use a particular dictionary you probably want to stay with it as long as it meets your needs. So we offer most of the ESL dictionaries.

If you are a native speaker you might be interested in these dictionaries as they all have simple easy to understand definitions.

For the advanced Learner of English we recommend the Macmillan Advanced Learner because it is the most extensive and has brilliantly simple definitions that are very descriptive. This is a very good dictionary for any school that teachers adults including Colleges and Junior Colleges. However, because the descriptive definitions define words like "sex" this dictionary is often not suitable for schools with younger students. For the very beginning learner of English looking for the simplest dictionary we recommend the Oxford Elementary Learner. Look at the example pages and compare these dictionaries with the others.

We have sample pages of most of these dictionaries. We recommend you pick one that gives you the data you need to feel you fully understand a word and yet you have to look up few if any words in the definitions and example sentences. Look at the sample pages!

All of these dictionaries have grammatical classifications unique to ESL dictionaries that you will have to learn. These are useful for the non-native speakers learning how to use a word in a sentence. The less advanced generally have fairly simple grammatical classifications. The more advanced have more complex classifications.

Native speakers who want an easy to understand dictionary often find it is worth their time to learn the classifications. The Macmillan has simple grammatical classifications that are simply explained on both the inside front and back cover and it is the most extensive.

Cambridge Dictionaries
Cambridge Dictionaries

Well respected British & American English Dictionaries

Collins COBUILD dictionaries and reference books
Collins COBUILD dictionaries and reference books

ESL (English as a Second Language) dictionaries and reference books - Dictionaries know for explanatory full-sentence definitions

Longman Dictionaries
Longman Dictionaries

  • American & British English Editions
  • Concise style
  • Advanced American on CD has some word histories (derivations)

  • Macmillan Dictionaries
    Macmillan Dictionaries

    Most Extensive Advanced ESL Dictionary Brilliantly Simple Definitions.

    Oxford English English Language Training  (ELT) and picture Dictionaries
    Oxford English English Language Training (ELT) and picture Dictionaries

  • Advanced Learners
  • Elementary English Learners
  • Picture Dictionary for Kids
  • Picture dictionary for Adults

  • Heron Books - Hard to Find Words for Classic Stories
    Heron Books - Hard to Find Words for Classic Stories

    Hard to Find Words for:
    • David Copperfield by Charles Dickerson
    • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz
    • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
    • The Cay by Theodore Taylor
    • Betsy In Spite of Herself by Maud Hart Lovelace
    • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
    • King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
    • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
    • The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
    • Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
    • The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    • Amos Fortune Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
    • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    NTC Publishing Group

    Schools and<br>  Tutors
    Schools and

    Known locations where you can get tutoring or attend a school using the study guides that are sold on this website.

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