Merriam-Webster To Take Part in “Massive ESL Market”

By Mary Ann Zehr — July 31, 2008 1 min read
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Mirriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary, intended for, you guessed it, English-language learners, is scheduled to hit bookstores in September, according to a July 14 article in Publishers Weekly that someone just slipped into my mailbox.

The article makes the case that the English-as-a-second-language market is “massive,” estimating that one billion people around the world are engaged in learning English. John Morse, the president and publisher of Merriam-Webster, is quoted as saying his company decided to publish the dictionary because the domestic and international markets for dictionaries targeted at ELLs has grown substantially. He adds that the preference of such learners for American English over British English has increased.

I’ll be curious to see how the dictionary, expected to sell for $34.95 in hardback and $29.95 in paperback, will differ from other English dictionaries. It includes the meanings of thousands of idioms and lists of commonly used phrases from both American and British English, according to its publisher. Look for posts that will accompany publication of the dictionary here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.