The NTC Publishing Group provides a series of reference materials, guides and dictionaries with the special needs of nonnative speakers (English as a second language) in mind. These guides have all been written/edited by lexicographer Richard A. Spears Ph.D.. The reference materials that are reviewed all focus on Contemporary American English and include:
- NTC's American Idioms Dictionary
- NTC's Super-Mini American Slang Dictionary
- NTC's Super-Mini Forbidden American English
- Contemporary American Slang
- NTC's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions
- NTC's American English Learner's Dictionary
The strength of these reference materials is their dedicated and thorough guide to contemporary American English. For any nonnative speaker who is looking to live and work in the United States, these reference materials provide much needed help in areas where most English teaching programs fall far short: Slang, Phrasal Verbs and Idiomatic Language - and, not to be underestimated - Taboo Language. Other possibly interested parties might include teachers who are looking to bring some "authentic and contemporary" fun into their lessons.
This strength is obviously also this series' biggest weakness. If you are looking for a general English resource to help you function in an environment where knowledge of contemporary American English is not required, these materials are probably not for you - although the "Super-Mini American Slang" dictionary might be a nice addition for your travels to the US.
For those who do live and/or work in the US, or often work with US citizens, these reference materials would be a welcome friend and advisor. As any nonnative speaker who lives in the US knows, Americans use a lot of slang and idiomatic language. Most classes do not have the time to cover this type of language. The first goal of most classes is to get people speaking English correctly. Obviously, teaching students slang does not help them use the language correctly. It is for this reason that I would highly recommend these resources to anyone seriously in need of help with American colloquial (read "slang") English.
Which dictionary/reference book is best for you?
The next page gives details, recommendations and ISBN numbers (the book code for ordering) on each reference book from the list above.