The questions for many English departments at German schools is which dictionary to buy - a monolingual or a bilingual one or both?
I'll try to give you some hints as to which dictionary would suit your school:

- most recent edition dates from 2000
- entries include definitions, example sentences, grammatical info, usage notes, illustrations
- a clear two-colour layout
- sub-entries are set off by numbers, bullet points, bold lettering
- letter writing and CV's
- CD-Rom also available
- price: 29,95 €
- 2003 edition
- a full colour layout, signposting by colurs and symbols
- the 3000 most common words are printed in red
- explaining by graphs, e.g. which words are most commonly used in a specific context
- entries include word families, collocations, grammatical problems, recent colloquialisms
- info on word formation, model CV's, language notes
- CD-Rom with interactive exercises etc.
- price: 28 €
- the MED focusses on frequency, explaining the most important words at greater length
- longer entries have a menu at the top which helps you find the meaning you want faster
- there are no maps or lists of geographical names
- the CD-Rom has many useful and interesting features
- price: 25,90 €
- 2001 edition
- contains very up-to-date language (new technology, politics, ecology, the EU)
- has some 150 pages of Internet vocabulary
- lists of English proverbs, famous musical works, tables of telephone country codes, currencies
- price 29,90 €
- 2002 edition has an improved layout, making it easier to find words
- is more modern and up-to-date in its choice of vocabulary and translations and more comprehensive in alternative meanings than the equivalent of 'Langenscheidt's Großwörterbuch Muret-Sanders'
- a useful extra: the booklet 'Active English' (sample sentences, model letters, CV's, intercultural tips, and a comparative table of Brit. and Am. expressions
- price: 49, 90 €
- latest edition 1999
- very comprehensive, up-to-date, well laid-out
- a 50-page called 'Language in Use' contains model phrases of requesting permission, expressing opinion, telephoning or writing a job application
price: 49, 95 €

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