Author Topic: Teaching Vocabulary to advanced students: lexical approach  (Read 3370 times)

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Offline Victor

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Teaching Vocabulary to advanced students: lexical approach
« on: December 02, 2006, 02:43:32 PM »
Korean students are trained to memorize just the meanings of words regardless of the contexts. As a result, they don't know how to use the word. This article shows some methods to solve the problem.

THE LEXICAL APPROACH
 Lewis(1993)insists that his lexical approach is not simply a shift of emphasis from grammar to vocabulary teaching, as ?language consists not of traditional grammar and vocabulary, but often of multi-word prefabricated chunks?(Lewis, 1997). Chunks include collocations, fixed and semi-fixed expressions and idioms, and according to him, occupy a crucial role in facilitating language production, being the key to fluency. An explanation for native speakers? fluency is that vocabulary is not stored only as individual words, but also as parts of phrases and larger chunks, which can be retrieved from memory as a whole, reducing processing difficulties. On the other hand, learners who only learn individual words will need a lot more time and effort to express themselves.
   Consequently, it is essential to make students aware of chunks, giving them opportunities to identify, organise and record these. Identifying chunks is not always easy, and at least in the beginning, students need a lot of guidance.
   The idea of what it is to ?know? a word is also enriched with the collocational component. According to Lewis (1993) ?being able to use a word involves mastering its collocational range and restrictions on that range?. I can say that using all the opportunities to teach chunks rather than isolated words is a feasible idea that has been working well in my classes, and which is fortunately coming up in new coursebooks we are using. However, both teachers and learners need awareness raising activities to be able to identify multi-word chunks.

Here are important matters.

1. CHOICE OF MATERIAL
As both the Task-based and the Lexical approach suggest, we wanted to use authentic material to expose our students to rich, contextualised, naturally-occurring language.
2. NOTICING COLLOCATIONS AND DEALING WITH MEANING
Although the extracts are authentic, we do not think students will have many problems in understanding most of the collocations, as they contain vocabulary which they probably know receptively.
3.GROUP WORK        
Working in groups help fostering learning independence, and specially in vocabulary work, learners can exchange knowledge, asking others to explain unknown items.
4. CHOICE OF TASK
We find it vital that students are given opportunities to use the language they are learning in a realistic context.

Teaching Vocabulary To Advanced Students: A Lexical Approach by Solange Moras, Sao Carlos, Brazil, July 2001
http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/teachingvocabulary.html
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 04:51:34 PM by Victor »