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Sheila Dignen


After graduating with an MA in French and Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, I had a brief spell of teaching English in France before returning to the UK and taking up a job as a trainee lexicographer. I worked with dictionaries as a writer and editor for around twenty years, specialising in ELT and children's dictionaries. I am also co-author of the Oxford Dictionary of Reference and Allusion, an area of language that has always fascinated me. After so many years of focusing on the intricacies of lexis and grammar, I decided to branch out into writing more general ELT materials. With this in mind, I retrained as an ELT teacher and spent five years working in a language school in the UK to gain some up-to-date classroom experience. I now write a range of ELT materials, including teachers' books, grammar reference and practice, workbooks and tests.

My top tip for using Personal Best is……

The Vocabulary Practice sections at the back of the book are a great resource. Go back and work through them again from time to time, to help you remember the new vocabulary you've learned. Remember, when you learn a new word, it's important to learn its grammar and use, as well as the meaning. Is a noun countable or uncountable? Is a verb transitive or intransitive? How is the word typically used?


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  • award image Identities

  • award image Access
    (series editor,
    Richmond Brazil)
  • award image Personal Best