This learner has completed ID verification. Find out more.

Certificate of Achievement

Randal Oulton

has completed the following course:

Understanding English Dictionaries

Coventry University and The Alan Turing Institute

On this course you explored the ins and outs of English dictionaries, learning from established dictionary editors and researchers. You explored subjects such as trends in lexicographic research, possible dictionary entry components, and the content and wording of definitions.

6 weeks, 6 hours per week

Hilary Nesi

Professor of English Language

Coventry University


Learning outcomes

  • Compare the content and wording of definitions.
  • Develop your understanding of the lexicographical choices and computational methods surrounding the selection and ordering of word meanings.
  • Reflect on the range of possible dictionary entry components.
  • Assess the roles of language technology, corpora and crowdsourcing in the dictionary compilation process.
  • Explore some of the latest trends in lexicographic research.


Over the six weeks of the course, learners explore the key areas of the curriculum below through readings, articles, videos and multimedia resources, quizzes, social engagement with fellow learners and active learning resources:

  • The reasons why we use dictionaries.
  • The differences between ‘landmark’ dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary and less conventional products such as collaborative and crowdsourced dictionaries.
  • What goes into a dictionary – who decides, and how?
  • Dictionaries and dictionary information for different users.
  • The stages in corpus-based lexicography.
  • How meanings are created, why some words have more than one meaning, how lexicographers identify meanings and how meanings are explained in a dictionary.

Issued on 19th February 2021

The person named on this certificate has completed the activities in the transcript above. For more information about Certificates of Achievement and the effort required to become eligible, visit

This certificate represents proof of learning. It is not a formal qualification, degree, or part of a degree.

Free online course:

Understanding English Dictionaries

Coventry University