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Index Terms—lexical chunks, lexical approach, college English classes I. . Lexical approach is implemented through the whole unit and activities are. Implementing the Lexical Approach by Michael Lewis, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Initially, the implementation of the lexical syllabus in the language classroom. was similar in a number of ways to that of the natural approach.
I can't tell you anything more about it. If that is so, they should be treated linguistically, and perhaps even pedagogically, without direct reference to can and do. Polywords And what about these: By the way, have you got your results yet? Expressions such as by the way and up to now allow no variation. Clearly, items such as by the way and up to now are invariable, indivisible word-like units. These poly words have exactly the same status in the language as individual words. What matters for the teacher is an awareness of polywords.
They are nearly always very short 2- or 3-word phrases which are obvious units. They are often, but by no means exclusively, adverbial phrases of different kinds.
Here are some examples: Sentence adverbs: Expressions of time: Prepositions of place: On the other hand, In some ways, the day after tomorrow, every now and then, on either side of upside down A further important and familiar category is compound nouns, where two words have been so closely bound to each other that dictionaries list them as single items, sometimes even according them headword status: Speakers do not construct these items, but simply recall them, direct from the memory, as learned wholes.
Lexical Approach 1 - What does the lexical approach look like?
Good dictionaries provide a source of polywords, and language teachers need to draw special attention to their word-like quality. The sentence adverbials, for example, are of particular Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 23 importance in ensuring fluency in speech and coherence in writing. This discourse marking language is discussed again in Chapter 9. Information content Some grammatical categories such as nouns, seem to carry more meaning than others, such as prepositions. The same applies to individual words; some words carry more meaning than others.
T a sk Which in each of these pairs seems to carry more meaning? Can you explain why? Such cases are easily explained, but even when there is no apparent relationship between the words, as in the other two pairs above, one is in no doubt that assiduously and egregious carry more meaning than carefully and calm. The reason is so simple that it is easy to overlook - the words are rarer. We think certain words carry more meaning precisely because we do not meet or use them so often; familiarity breeds contempt.
Events which are rare in our lives are invested with more significance than everyday events; your wedding anniversary is not just another day, the cup final is not just another game. As with events, so with words: The vast majority of the lexicon of English or any other language consists of nouns. In addition, there are relatively few verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and a minute number of words from the grammatical closed classes, determiners, pronouns, prepositions etc.
These small classes contain highly frequent words - which, on, this, then - which carry almost no referential content out of context.
They derive their meaning anew on each occasion of use almost entirely from the context in which they are used. At the opposite end of the spectrum are relatively rare words, usually nouns, which carry so much meaning that they rarely require qualification, so they rarely occur with adjectives except in very specialised texts: That leaves the centre of the spectrum, words which carry some meaning, but not too much: Common words Common words, other than those from the grammatical closed classes such as pronouns or prepositions, are common precisely because they occur in so many Expressions.
Some examples make this clear: All those examples and many others for mind are under a single entry in CIDE. I looked the other way. Get out of the way! He was hurt in more ways than one. All from Cobuild, and six of the enormous number of examples under way. In the Introduction to the new edition of the Cobuild dictionary, John Sinclair writes: The word or phrase being defined in each paragraph is printed in bold face. The commonest words of a language have many uses, and to explain them in a dictionary results in very long entries.
We have tried to print more words in bold face to help you to find the sense you are looking for. For example, the entry for thing is long, and many of the meanings of the word are difficult to explain and recognize. Notice how often there are one or more other words in bold face in that entry. It makes little sense to ask learners Do you know the word? Such words hardly have an existence independent of the multi-word phrases and expressions in which they occur.
LI conversational fluency does not come from the use of a lexicon of difficult words, nor from simply the most common words of the language, but from a repertoire of phrases and expressions made of the most common words.
Pedagogically such language has been given scant attention. Courses which aim at oral competence need materials and procedures which develop the lexicon in precisely this way. The pedagogical treatment of common words, including sample exercises and activities, is discussed later. Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 25 De-lexicalised words Many common words carry little meaning in themselves: Such words may have one or more content-bearing uses: I need something with a sharp point.
I had a Volvo at the time. They had three children, plus several so-called de-lexicalised uses. In these the individual word carries little or no meaning, and the expression in which it occurs has an idiomatic quality: A major sub-group of de-lexicalised words is the de-lexicalised verbs: Such words usually have one fully lexical use: Vocabulary teaching tends to be noun-orientated unsurprisingly, as the class of nouns is by far the largest word class , while the teaching of verbs has tended to concentrate on their structure, i.
The de-lexicalised words sometimes have one or more discernible meaning-patteras; if so, these can be used in a generative way which more resembles traditional grammar than vocabulary. Two extended examples based on the use of get and have are discussed in detail in Chapter 8. C o l l o c a t io n s or W ord P a r t n e r s h ip s Collocations are those combinations of words which occur naturally with greater than random frequency.
Collocations co-occur, but not all words which co-occur are collocations. We need to explore the idea of collocation more precisely. Collocation is linguistic, not thematic Collocation is about words which co-occur, not ideas or concepts.
An example helps to make this clear. In Britain people drive cars and drink coffee, but in English they do not, or at least not very often. Consider these examples of dialogues: So, how did you come this morning? Would you like a coffee? In each case the last answer is very unlikely, if not impossible. Such examples are not unusual, while many ELT examples popular for their apparent clarity to drink coffee, to ride a horse are unlikely in actual use precisely because they are too explicit.
Arbitrariness of collocation Collocation is, as we have already seen, arbitrary: You can look at a person or problem; you can gaze at a person but not at a problem. This non-generalisability clearly indicates that we meet and store words in the prefabricated chunks upon which the Lexical Approach is based. Collocations in text Look at this opening paragraph from a newspaper report: All pupils should carry out compulsory community service as part o f a radical approach to promoting moral values in schools, a Government advisory group is expected to recommend.
Notice the collocations, both explicit and implicit - to carry out a service, to promote values, moral values. We immediately realise that these groups of words, far from being creatively combined, are items we recognise as familiar. This text seems to consist of little except collocations combined with each other. Although this type of text is more collocation-rich than many, chunks of different kinds are characteristic of texts from different genres.
The following example is taken from a newspaper business report: Identifying the latter two partnerships immediately suggests useful classroom work - what other words most frequently follow announce?
Is there a pattern? What else which is similar to production collocates with concentrate?
[Michael Lewis] the Lexical Approach the State of(BookSee.org)
What sort of expressions can fill the place-slot? Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 21 Partnerships and Relationships From time to time we all meet people we have never met before; such people sometimes become close friends, sometimes we never see them again. Occasionally we even find ourselves in the company of someone we would prefer not to be with at all.
We also have regular acquaintances, friends and partners. Individual words are very similar. Some words are frequently found in the same textual environment. Such co-occurrences may be frequent or rare, strongly or more loosely bound. The parallel between word partnerships and human relationships provides a powerful and revealing metaphor. Our human relationships differ, and differ in different ways; the same applies to word partnerships.
Most, but by no means all, people have a wide range of comparatively casual acquaintances. The parallel between words and people is close, and the corresponding range of collocation types surprisingly, and revealingly, similar.
If I commute to work daily, I may meet the same travelling companion twice a day or ten times a week, but our friendship may remain superficial. At the same time I may only meet a particular close friend infrequently, but that friendship is intrinsically closer. What matters is not the frequency of our meetings, but the closeness and quality of the relationship; in a certain set of circumstances it is precisely, perhaps uniquely, to this particular friend that I turn.
A computer which recorded all the meetings of my life over a given period could easily give a completely false impression of me and the relationships which are important to me.
Basing conclusions on frequency of meeting alone - in linguistic terms, collocation - gives a wholly false picture. Frequency alone does not reveal quality. Raw frequency of collocation reveals the typical patterns of a word. But typicality is not necessarily the same as strength or importance. For language teaching, frequency is undoubtedly of interest, but strength may provide a more powerful organising principle.
Non-reciprocity of collocation The two words of a two-word partnership may be related to each other in different ways, and typically the relationship is not equally strong in both directions. Again, human relationships differ in similar ways.
As the playwright Robert Bolt perceptively but rather disconcertingly puts it: Typically, one word suggests the presence of the other more strongly than the reverse: Such collocational strength relates closely to the general rule that nouns tend to call the shots. We shall see the power of the sequence: In general, it is the noun which dominates collocations, but this is by no means always the case.
Two words may be so strongly bound that they are to all intents and purposes inseparable: Such items are closer to being poly word compound nouns than collocations. Many nouns, even out of context, naturally suggest a field of potential verb collocates: Nonetheless, the lists above give words which are statistically much more likely to occur together than random choice suggests.
That is precisely the definition of collocates. Information-content and collocation Most of the most meaning-bearing words of the language are comparatively rare nouns.
Their very rarity means they often carry so much meaning that adding an adjective to them is redundant, or at least the range of possible adjectives with which they co-occur is very small.
It is intuitively obvious that more general nouns like character, job, issue, plan tend to be qualified by adjectives and the evidence of data based on used language supports this. It is these words which teachers may need to explore with a concordance program as we discuss elsewhere.
See page Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 29 T a sk How many different words come readily to mind to complete these gaps? You need a single word for each gap. Above, only strong seems highly likely, and was probably the choice of most readers.
Other words are possible, and perfectly correct: Collocation is about degrees of likelihood. We recognise a spectrum between pairs of words which we expect to find together and words which we are surprised to find together. Collocation is not determined by logic or frequency, but is arbitrary, decided only by linguistic convention.
In the second example above, make a decision is almost the only choice. English has many such lexical items consisting of a de-lexicalised verb and a noun. This suggests learners should learn such nouns from first meeting them as part of the collocation. It is easy to dis-assemble a collocation and use a component word in other contexts. If you learn the word in isolation, you can only guess its potential partner-words. Word partnerships where the verb is de-lexicalised are particularly likely to produce translation mistakes.
This is because the chunk is make a decision and it is chunk-for-chunk not word-for-word translation which is successful. See Chapter 4. Example three strongly suggests initial reaction, though first and a few other words are possible. The presence in a text of a number of collocations where neither word is very common or very rare, but where the collocation is fairly strong, makes such a text easier to understand, particularly when listening.
Hearing only one of the words in such strong cases suggests the presence of the other. Hearing only imperfectly, the listener can often reconstruct the missing element.
This clearly demonstrates the importance of these medium-strength collocations.
This shows us that. It is efficient to teach those words as a group when learners first meet convinced. Words of similar meaning which are not acceptable collocates should also be mentioned as impossible. This means taking time to explore the collocations of a word rather than indiscriminately listing new words. It is just such small changes which are the discrete but effective implementation of the Lexical Approach. Strong and frequent collocation We recognise strong collocations as partnerships which are so tightly linked they behave almost as single Words.
Strong collocations may be frequent or comparatively rare; it is far from true that those words which co-occur most frequently are the strongest collocations. Collocations may be any combination of strong and frequent, strong and infrequent, weak and frequent, or weak and infrequent, though this last category is of little interest.
If strong collocation is not a matter of frequency, what makes us so sure that a particular, relatively infrequent partnership is almost a single, fixed item? T ask Write a short definition of the word golden. Now list six nouns which you think very commonly occur with golden. Almost certainly your definition would be something like made of, or looking like gold. What is important is that they occur more often than is statistically likely - a higher than expected proportion of all uses of golden involve the words we think of as strong collocates.
Frequency alone is only a poor guide to the strength, and corresponding pedagogic usefulness. The idea of collocation is a very powerful one in helping learners maximise the value of the language to which they are exposed, but they need help in identifying the powerful and useful partnerships in a text. Some are much more useful to the language learner than others. A major problem is that the fact that two words are next to each other in text does not ensure that they are a collocation, and conversely many collocations do not occur in text as immediately adjacent words.
C o llo c a tio n a n d g r a m m a r The collocations drug addict and business letter are both made using two words usually thought of as nouns, but instinctively one feels some difference between the two pairs. Is there a sound linguistic basis for the feeling, or is it just another unreliable, and potentially misleading, intuition?
There is a sound linguistic reason. Try to find other words which will fill the slot occupied by drug in drug addict; probably you have chosen coffee, cocaine, heroin, chocolate; now try to find words to fill the slot occupied by business.
This time you have a wider choice and you have probably got at least some of these: Notice in the first case a ll the collocates are normally used as nouns, while in the second case only one - love - is used as a noun.
So you were influenced not only by the particular words in a collocation, but also, subconsciously perhaps, by the c la s s of words which typically fill any variable slot. A strong collocation like drug addict in which there is very little potential variation is best treated in the same way as words like umbrella or lawyer.
Although variations such as alcohol addiction are possible, they are too unusual or rare to justify drawing attention to any potential pattern. Find word partnerships for economy and economist.
Are the two collocational fields similar or different? Can you think of three words which can have little in front of them, where the meaning does not remain the same if little is replaced by small? A mess can be an untidy physical state: A mess can be a difficult situation: What can we do? Find as many verbs as you can which form strong collocations with mess: Divide them into three groups: This means we cannot assume that a pattern is generalisable or that words which are similar in one way will behave similarly in other ways.
Implementing the Lexical Approach means learning to look at how words really behave in the environments in which they have been used. Chapter 7 suggests ways of doing this in class. Firstly, words are not normally used alone and it makes sense to learn them in a strong, frequent, or otherwise typical pattern of actual use. Secondly, it is more efficient to learn the whole and break it into parts, than to learn the parts and have to learn the whole as an extra arbitrary item.
Joanna Channell asked learners to mark collocations in a grid such as the following: Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 33 One feature of her research results is of particular interest: Benson and Benson report that learners who had been introduced to using The BBI Collocation Dictionary had considerably increased scores on collocation tests. E x p r e s s io n s Although Fixed and Semi-fixed Expressions can be distinguished, much of what follows applies to both.
Nattinger and DeCarrico point out that: The importance of Semi-fixed Expressions cannot be overestimated; some critics have suggested that the Lexical Approach has a strongly behaviourist streak, and that lexis is non-generative.
The contrary is the case. Seven - the magic number Several linguists who have studied and classified Expressions have come to the conclusion that they consist of between two and seven words and, most interestingly, they do not normally exceed seven words. It takes two to tango. Research on short term memory bears out this limit, which remains speculative, on the length of individual lexical items.
Frames, slots and fillers Like patterned collocations, many Expressions have one or more slots which can be filled in only a limited number of ways. The constraints on how the slots may be filled may be real-world or strictly linguistic. This rather bizarre example reminds us that the Lexical Approach concentrates on actually-occurring or probable language and not - as has been the tendency - on all the possible sentences of English most of which have not occurred, and, we suspect, never will occur.
Here we see linguistic rather than real-world constraints on the slot-fillers. It is another example of the arbitrary way in which lexis is, or is not, socially sanctioned. This applies to much more than simple conversational expressions such as Could you pass my book please. Here are the first two sentences of a newspaper report: A meteorite that fell to earth after being ejected from Mars contains evidence of fossilised primitive creatures, providing the first traces of extra-terrestrial life.
The question of life on Mars has fascinated scientists, philosophers and writers for millennia. Despite the apparently original writing, there are two frames: X contains evidence ofY.
The first - X contains evidence of Y - is buried by two complex noun phrases, most notably the grammatically complex subject. Pedagogically it might be best to teach collocations of evidence: The second example, however, has wide applicability: The question of the real reasons behind the German invasion Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 35 o f Poland has fascinated historians fo r decades.
The question o f the existence or otherwise o f the ether fascinated physicists for years until the Michelson-Morley experiment settled the matter. The slots can be filled in different ways, and it may even be possible to alter or distort the frame itself slightly; finally, of course, a writer may break the mould completely and produce novel language; in that case grammar rather than lexis creates the new combination, though even then parts of it are likely to be prefabricated, as with primitive creatures, extra-terrestrial life in the above example.
Suppression The importance of such frames was recognised years ago with books teaching business correspondence, but the wider applicability to other texttypes and parts at least of many different kinds of text, was underestimated. The key idea is that text can be crudely separated into two quite different parts: Consider this text: In this paper we examine two intonation rules which are commonly found in standard textbooks, namely those for intonation in lists and intonation in questions.
We begin by arguing that the standard rules are inadequate descriptions of what actually occurs in recorded natural data. We then go on to offer an alternative analysis, using a discourse model based on that originally proposed by Brazil , In conclusion we suggest the implications of the alternative description for materials writers and modifications to classroom procedures. While the content may be of interest to an applied linguist, the text seems to have little relevance to a chemist, but this is not so.
The content is subjectspecific, but the frame is function- and genre-specific; it is the standard frame for providing the introductory summary of an academic paper.
This is readily apparent if we separate it into two parts, which is very easy to do, and if necessary re-do, with a word processor: In this paper we examine We begin by arguing that the standard rules are inadequate descriptions of what actually occurs in We then go on to offer an alternative analysis, using a In conclusion we suggest the implications of the alternative description for One can quibble over exactly which words are frame and which are content which do standard rules and procedure belong to?
The principle of suppression - delete the content-bearing words and examine what is left with care - is a powerful lexical tool for teachers working in ESP and EAP. It remindsus that texts differ considerably in the type of lexis they contain. Expressions and grammar Many natural sentences of the spoken language exhibit a strange linguistic phenomenon. Consider these examples: Language which is apparently grammatically possible is not, inpractice, lexically sanctioned.
Again we are reminded of the arbitrariness of all lexical items. A modified idea of idiom To most people an idiom is a picturesque expression which is marginal to natural language use; nothing could be further from the truth. Idioms are Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis 37 relatively-fixed Expressions where the meaning of the whole is not transparent from the meanings of the constituent words.
Curiously, this means many traditional idioms are less problematic for learners, at least receptively, than we might imagine, while many comparatively everyday expressions are more difficult than has usually been recognised. A few examples make this clearer. He was running around like a headless chicken is a graphic image and thus comparatively easy to understand, though most learners will sound strange if they incorporate it into their active vocabulary.
It is, however, comparatively transparent; if you understand the meanings of the individual words, the expression as a whole, used in context, should cause few problems, despite its non-literal quality. Expressions which are more common, more central to the spoken language, and much more useful for learners, are those made of common words where the meaning of one or more of the key words is in some sense metaphorical rather than literal: I see what you mean.
It took my breath away. Few of the individual words are difficult, and the meaning of each lexical item is itself straightforward - if you know it. But why are these not acceptable synonyms? The answer is that lexical items are arbitrarily sanctioned independent units and, at least in the British native speaking community, 1 - 4 are sanctioned but 5 - 8 are not.
Many common and useful expressions, which will not sound inappropriate in the mouths of intermediate learners see Chapter 9 , must play a more central role in language courses, at least those which claim to target spoken English.
Semi-fixed idioms It is usual to think of idioms, even in the extended meaning of that term as almost Fixed: The number of cases which are coming to court are thought by police to be only the tip of the iceberg.
If we let them get away with this, it could turn out to be the thin end of a very expensive wedge. The novelty, however, is always constrained by the underlying expression, which may occur only rarely in its supposedly fixed form.
Presenting Expressions Fixed Expressions should be taught without internal analysis. Learners should, however, be introduced to the idea that such expressions exist in their own language. On occasions they should be asked to find equivalents in their own language for the Expressions they meet in English. Teaching materials should contain dialogues containing Fixed Expressions, Exercises and Activities which practise them but also straightforward lists.
In these, Expressions may be glossed in dictionary-like fashion with the suggestion that learners should look for equivalents in their own language.
A major departure from traditional methodology is the explicit suggestion that the teacher should not dictate what is then done with the list. How do you ensure that they learn them? Accepting learner autonomy also means accepting that teachers cannot guarantee what is learned. The teacher must be content and fulfilled by the role of leaming-manager. We have included chunks in most of the lessons in our new book. Students are really grateful. They have no idea that these chunks actually go together and are not just ordinary English sentences.
This is an important insight - not all sentences in the language have the same status; some are one-offs, some are frames, some are fully fixed. This is far from obvious, so learners need help if they are to extract maximum benefit from the language they meet, both in and out of class. In similar vein, Alistair Banton writes: I have long held the view that Functions are essentially lexical. In fact, this is one of the things I liked about the Cobuild English course.
It dealt with these things very economically, in little boxes with appropriate titles like Inviting, Accepting, Refusing. This made a welcome change from attempts to stretch them into whole units. The organisation is lexical, not structural. George Woolard describes a new awareness which immediately influenced his teaching in an important, but easy-to-introduce way: Since reading The Lexical Approach I almost automatically started incorporating Semi-fixed Expressions, particularly sentence heads, into my teaching.
I am now much more aware of how much of this natural language use is missing from lower level courses. These phrases are now weaving their way into my roughly-tuned input. He proposes supplementing the standard coursebook with chunks: In natural discourse speakers often signal or focus what they are going to say with an introductory chunk.
These have often been considered structurally complex, and so they are omitted from many coursebooks. If, however, they are seen as chunks and presented unanalysed, they pose little difficulty, even for learners at lower levels. Expressing likes and dislikes: The thing I like about John is his sense of humour. Giving reasons and explanations: In place of the traditional functional exponents for giving advice, learners can be given the sentence head The best thing to do is The best thing to do is make an appointment to see the doctor.
The best thing to do is go to bed. This can be extended to: In this way the lexical pattern becomes generative. One of the bonuses of this approach is that it is efficient and economica,1 as meaning, lexical phrase, and intonation are always dealt with together. Expressions frequently reveal previously unsuspected patterns in the lexicon.
In addition, they bring together elements of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation which have previously been treated separately, and thus in less efficient and less accessible ways.
My colleague, Mark Powell, discussing the nature of lexis, proposed the following summary: Grammar tends to become lexis as the event becomes more probable. Broadly, we may say that grammar helps us to use novel language - relatively new combinations of lexical items - to talk about relatively unusual situations, while lexis helps us handle highly probable events fluently and effortlessly by providing us with prefabricated ways of dealing with them.
There is nothing new in that except that lexical language is seen to cover a much greater area of the totality of language, particularly speech, than has usually been acknowledged. L e x is is n o t e n o u g h We have just seen there is a strong tendency for lexis to be associated with probable things or events. But life also includes new ideas, unlikely situations, hum our and other experiences which are not things we individually or as a community have done or said many times before.
Language is not only the history of its previous use; as traditional studies of grammar have always emphasised, language has generative, creative potential. New things can be said, ideas which have never been expressed before can be formulated. The Lexical Approach suggests the content and role of grammar in language courses needs to be radically revised but the Approach in no way denies the value of grammar, nor its unique role in language.
Highly unusual language may occur because the writer has a humorous or literary intent, but often highly unusual language occurs precisely because of the rarity of the event itself; unsurprisingly, novel or unusual situations give rise to novel and unusual language. Here are a few examples of surprising language, which was appropriate to the unusual event reported or the unusual circumstances in which it was used.
They are all examples of used language which I came across serendipitously while writing this book: In the future, one can change the future past. Physicist, speaking on a TV documentary 42 Chapter 2 Understanding Lexis A transsexual, whose marriage was declared null and void after 17 years when his wife found out he was a woman, had his claim for financial support rejected by the Court of Appeal yesterday.
Newspaper report The ideal observer sees a streaming stillness in which everything is unchangingly transient. Don Cupitt, The Last Philosophy. Newspaper report Self-evidently language of this kind, none of it particularly remarkable, cannot be produced without knowledge of a grammatical system; no amount of prefabricated lexis would be enough.
E v o l v in g u n d e r s t a n d in g This book treats lexical items as belonging to four categories, but there is nothing definitive about these categories, which are no more than a convenient tool.
Among those who have written extensively about lexis slightly different emphases can be discerned: Willis is perhaps unique in keeping the word as basic. The organisation may be based on the principles discussed above and on the most easily retrievable system of all.
In much the same way Saying what is coming next What I think you should do is.
Expressions with a Keyword such as keep. Lexical understanding provides ways. Have you ever used a. My mental lexicon seems to contain all these: Chapter 5 Organising Lexis 77 I'm afraid that's not very convenient at the moment. As usual.
Implementing the Lexical Approach NOTEBOOK
Teachers should be alert to the opportunity occasionally to re-organise the language already recorded by learners into patterns or pages which may not be apparent to the learners without guidance. I was flabbergasted. Sometimes a little bit of writing can make a big difference The following boxes show the different possibilities: We do this in LI.
The natural and most efficient way of storing a large part of your mental lexicon is in multi-word chunks. I could not be certain about items such as have a? Experiments with learners suggest that formats with 3 or 5 alternatives are large enough to be useful and small enough to be manageable. Different formats. Formats will encourage the recording of complete Collocations and Expressions.
Teachers will undoubtedly wish to experiment. If we want to encourage learners to record larger chunks. It is easier to build using prefabricated bits. Earlier we suggested two major changes to the way learners record new language: Long lists confuse. Collocation We already know that the headword of most collocations is a noun. In a truly lexical Notebook.
The formats are helpful frameworks. It is not necessary to fill all the spaces in a box at one time. The idea is not to fill the box with any words which could collocate but to selectively record only those which: Some words may have 5 useful verbs and three adjectives. Sometimes a very high percentage of all the occurrences of a particular item is covered by a comparatively small number of collocates.
Sunday was a really beautiful awful day. These fixed items need to be recorded with LI equivalents. Learners should record such combinations with the contextual opposite in formats such as: Opposite silly cushy slight Adjective bright challenging serious Noun idea job hindrance.
ChapterS Organising Lexis 81 much slightly marginally significantly better cold bitterly disappointed Contextual opposites EFL frequently over-simplifies and distorts by setting up crude pairs of supposed opposites: This is a good poor result. Have a good time. Chapters Organising Lexis 81 much slightly marginally significantly better cold bitterly disappointed Contextual opposites EFL frequently over-simplifies and distorts by setting up crude pairs of supposed opposites: These fixed items need to be recorded with Ll equivalents.
This suggests these two simple cascade formats to reflect this pattern. This study tries to explore the appropriate lexical approach applied in college English classroom to see if it is influential to improve the English learning ability of students. Besides, students are expected to raise consciousness of lexical chunks and master some learning strategies. The notion of lexis can be traced back to Lyons who mentions unanalyzed whole acquisition and usage applied in special situations.
Bolinger names them as memorized chunks, stereotypes, pre-assembled chunks, prefabricated chunks and so one, while Becker regards it as a particular multi-word phenomenon. It can be inferred that lexis has received its recognition and became increasingly crucial in language acquisition. On the other hand, varieties of terms are used to describe the concept based on various aspects. To further identify lexical chunks, researchers have made a variety of classifications.
I would like to adopt the division from Lewis since I recognize the division fits the characteristics mentioned above. Lewis lists the following taxonomy of lexical chunks: a.
Words and polywords: words are seen as one single or independent unit e. Collocate ones, or word partnerships refer to pairs or groups of words co-occur with very high frequency. Institutionalized utterances are those chunks used as wholes with progmatic function e. Sentence frames and heads are seen mostly in written context to show its formality and complex.
It can generate specific language in semantics, pragmatics, language cognition and discourse structure, etc. These studies mainly include summarizing the general theory of lexical chunks, exploring the relationship between lexical chunks and English spoken, written, or reading proficiency, discussing the correlation between lexical chunks and grammar.
However, there are few specific clarifications of the teaching chunks and the acquisition of types of lexical chunks applied in college English classroom taking advantage of topics from the units of New Horizon College English textbook.
Lexical Approach In order to cultivate L2 learners to become more fluent and communicative in applying foreign language, language teaching approaches have been developed further to reach the teaching target Nattinger and DeCarrico support the progression of language acquisition from routine to pattern to creative use. Strong and convincing cases are given in the book of the Lexical Approach in by Michael Lewis, covering the primacy of meaning in language teaching. The approach has aroused attention and welcomed by teachers who applaud lexico-semantic knowledge and apply lexical teaching strategies over grammatical drilling at class.
It differentiates from traditional vocabulary teaching, that is, vocabulary is taught as individual words resulting in a gap between words and fixed meanings.
Therefore, Lewis claims that his lexical is not simply a substitute teaching for the previous one, as language consists not of traditional grammar and vocabulary, but often of multi-word prefabricated chunks Lewis, Lewis thinks the perception of language is holistic and organic not atomistic.
Many studies are carried out in order to put the theory into practice. Some of them aim to investigate the lexical idea of learners in English learning in China so as to find accessible methods to improve English teaching.
Meanwhile, corpuses are built to help the lexical study. Pu Jianzhong makes a distinction on words usage between Chinese learners and native speakers. Pu demands that teachers should apply lexical approach in English classroom.
They point out that Chinese learners used fewer types of chunks and overused three-word chunks. The chunks used by Chinese learners can be classified into 10 categories.
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Chinese learners differ in the use of passive and active sentence builders from the native speakers. The above studies, either abroad or at home, introduce the basic knowledge of lexical chunks and lexical approach or practice them in sentential or textual level, which have made achievements on Chinese language learners. However, the classroom performance of lexical approach is paid little attention. The present study hopes to practice lexical approach in College English class with the selection of units from textbook in order to help students transform the unfittable concept of College English learning and improve their English skills.
At the beginning of one unit, teachers would like to present a list of new words followed by analysis and illustration so as to make students familiar with the new words and further make a good use of them.
The next step for the class is to explain the long or sophisticated sentences in texts in order to make students understand the main idea from writers. In fact, out of class students can be found anytime and anywhere taking a vocabulary booklet with them, especially in face of the coming of all sorts of tests. It is a good phenomenon for both teachers and students to be conscious of the crucial role of vocabulary since words can be named as the foundation of a language, but problems still exist for the improper way of vocabulary acquisition.
Some of them are aware of the existence of chunks but lacking in appropriate learning strategies. Students are eager to enlarge their vocabulary but neglect the comprehensive mastery of it Wei, So there is an urgent demand to practice chunk theories into college English classroom.
Lexical Teaching Practice in College English Classes According to the theory of lexical approach, I have made corresponding teaching design in order to help students identify, organize and use lexical chunks appropriately and accurately. It is crucial to instruct clearly in front of the students the definitions, characteristics and learning strategies of lexical chunks mentioned above before the application of lexical approach in English classes.
The specific teaching steps are still developed based on the textbook of New Horizon College English. The teaching of lexical chunks lasts for fourteen weeks nearly one semester. Eight units are covered during this semester and one unit cost two weeks to instruct. Lexical approach is implemented through the whole unit and activities are developed to raise the consciousness of students and make them more familiar with those chunks.
One unit here is designed as an example. There are three stages, that is, lead-in stage, text-analysis stage and conclusion stage to present the teaching details of lexical approach.
Lead-in stage This stage can be considered as the first or introductory part of a new unit learning. In this stage, activities like video play, pictures appreciation, warm-up questions can be adopted to motivate students to give their speech practice as many as possible. Under the help of multimedia techniques, students can quickly enter the context with visual and audio background.This is an important insight, as it rescues lexis from a behaviourist methodology.
T r a n s l a t io n a n d c o l l o c a t io n Although Collocations are a type of lexical item, they differ from Words and Fixed Expressions in that we can develop a principled methodology for translating them successfully. If you previously downloadd this article, Log in to Readcube. Physical situation should be taken into consideration as the most appropriate way to organize lexicon.
T a sk A central task for teachers is to do everything they can to help learners turn input into intake; to help learners get the most out of any language they meet, both inside and outside the classroom. The reason is so simple that it is easy to overlook - the words are rarer. Questions relevant to the topic are first given and students are asked to think for a while with good arrangements of words and phrases to present their ideas.