All English–English dictionaries give a guide to the pronunciation of words. They include information about individual sounds and word stress.
Most dictionaries will use the international phonemic alphabet to show the sounds of a word. Therefore, helping learners understand the symbols and the connection to sounds is useful.
The other area dictionaries cover is word stress. This is usually indicated by a ‘ symbol just before the syllable that is stressed. This is important in English because, unlike many languages, the stress on a word is not always on the first syllable and the stress can change depending on the part of speech. For example:
- ‘present (noun)
- pre‘sent (verb)
Helping learners understand how dictionaries show word pronunciation can help learners improve their pronunciation by themselves.