Combined Review


2002-2420 CIP

The American Heritage dictionary for learners of English. Houghton Mifflin, 2002. 999p ISBN 0-618-24951-6, $24.00

2002-7593 CIP

LeBaron, Joyce. The American Heritage thesaurus for learners of English, by Joyce LeBaron and Susannah LeBaron with editors of the American Heritage dictionaries. Houghton Mifflin, 2002. 326p ISBN 0-618-12990-1, $18.00

These two resources are the latest additions to the growing repertory of reference works designed for learners of English as a second language (ESL). The arena of ESL language dictionaries is a competitive one for publishers, even for a title like American Heritage, especially when ranged against publishers like Longman. Written for ESL learners at the intermediate and advanced levels, this title was first published as The American Heritage English as a Second Language Dictionary (1998). This edition contains more than 40,000 headwords and phrases, along with example sentences and about 250 black-and-white illustrations. Usage notes are occasionally provided, and various guides (e.g., on punctuation and irregular verbs) are provided in appendixes. The binding and paper quality are good. For libraries that support ESL programs or libraries that serve ESL students, but those libraries should also investigate the ESL language dictionaries published by Longman, such as Longman Dictionary of American English (new ed., 1997). Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and undergraduates.

The intention of the thesaurus is to build the user's vocabulary. Written for ESL learners at intermediate and advanced levels, it contains more than 6,000 synonyms of the most common English words, a much smaller number than most thesauruses. It includes a helpful preface and an explanatory diagram of a sample page to help users unfamiliar with thesauruses. Brief definitions and example sentences are supplied, and antonyms with definitions are occasionally included. Guides on irregular English verbs and the idiomatic use of prepositions appear in appendixes. The typeface and page layout make the book easy to read; paper and binding are both of high quality. Summing Up: Recommended. Libraries supporting ESL programs for general readers and undergraduates.— C. Pracht, Southeast Missouri State University