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Lexical Approach
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Lexical Approach






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Lexical Approach Lexical Approach Presentation Transcript

  • The Lexical approach: some underlying principles and practice. .
    • What is the lexical approach?
    • Why include it in our practice?
    • A look at inherent difficulties in present practice and possible responses .
    • What can we do to implement these ideas?
    • Some ways of using this approach in the classroom .
  • What is lexis?
    • Lexicon: the vocabulary of a language as distinct from the grammar, the total stock of words and meaningful combinations of words in a language.
  • The nature of meaning… a bit of an enigma
  • What does a word mean?
    • Some words have only one meaning, others have no meaning without other words.
    • Some have the same sounds but different meanings, others have highly changeable meanings.
    • A great many have idiomatic meanings as well as their main meanings.
    • motorbike house pop up so a
    • Try this… what is a:
    • cup glass plate
    • basin bowl dish
    • saucer beaker mug
    • Consider these features:
    • Material, flatness, handles, shape, use, position.
  • Metaphorical meanings.
    • These are not just the as big as a house, built like a brick dunny metaphors, but the little ones like, time flies , found a way to , or take the point
    • Metaphor is used to express an abstract notion by using a concrete example. The example chosen is culturally significant, eg. we say in English “ I caught a cold, ” we say in Māori, “ Kua pāngia (touched) au e te rewharewha. ”
    • See if you can find 5 or 6 small metaphors in this text.
    • NZ Herald 24/9/0/9
    • (Re Sydney dust storm)
    • It ripped across Victoria and NSW with gales gusting to 100km/h, thunderstorms, and hailstones sometimes as big as cricket
    • balls. As it hit the mining city of Broken Hill in far western NSW on Tuesday,the front ripped out trees, damaged homes and
    • closed roads. Two miners were trapped underground for almost 24 hours when power supplies were knocked out. As
    • Canberra was blanketed by a deep, dark mist that cloaked
    • landmarks such as Parliament House and the War Memorial, and dumped layers of dust
    • across the capital, winds ravaged fruit crops and bombarded the town of Crookwell with
    • hail heavy enough to smash roofs and damage cars.
    • Dust was whipped from Lake Eyre in a repeat of the 1983 storm that lifted
    • 50,000 tonnes of topsoil from Victoria's Mallee region, formed it into a cloud extending
    • thousands of metres into the atmosphere, and dumped 1000 tonnes on Melbourne
    • The blood-orange backdrop to the city skyline provided plenty of fodder for
    • photographers, who roamed the streets, snapping the peculiar scenes.
    • Sydney ’ s beachers were bathed in a red glow, although that did not deter some dawn
    • bathers and surfers from plunging into the waves. A few joggers and cyclists were also
    • out and about ignoring health warnings and watering eyes. The air was pierced by fire
    • alarms, which went off in buildings across the city, triggered by dust particles.
    • So what do we know about meaning?
    • Meaning is mercurial and often random
    • Meaning is often dependant on what something is not rather than what it is.
    • (when is it a bowl and not a basin?)
    • Meaning is dependant on the combination of words (I ’ m just popping out vs. I ’ m just popping balloons)
    • And the context they are used in. (Shut up!
    • vs. You shut up and I ’ ll get the car.)
    • Meaning is a sort of code which a community of speakers construct from agreed understandings (Take a seat. Momentarily. Bathroom)
  • The Lexical Approach and what it offers.
    • The lexical approach is characterised by a focus on the development of a vocabulary of meaningful chunks which can be adapted, combined and recombined to fulfil different functions or purposes.
    • The rules for these actions are derived from observation, hypothesis and experimentation rather than from learnt grammar rules.
    • Language is grammaticised lexis not lexicalised grammar.
  • What are the key elements in the lexical approach?
    • The content: Types of chunks . (chunks may belong to more
    • than one category)
    • Single words, eg. motorbike
    • polywords, eg. overdone, cup of tea
    • Idiomatic phrases which don ’ t mean what they say, eg.
    • What a buzz!
    • Heads, eg. Once upon a time… After a while… Look…
    • Frames, eg. Tell ___ what ___.
    • Collocations, words which are found in close proximity,
    • eg. shut down/up/in/out.
    • contract…agree to, negotiate, write, carry out, complete.
    • Fixed and semi-fixed expressions, eg. I ’ ll see you soon.
    • It takes two to tango
  • The importance of collocation
    • Notice we don ’ t say, “ do a contract, ” even though do and carry out are synonymous,
    • nor do we say, “ the rain is dropping ” although drop and fall are synonymous.
    • Find some collocations for:
      • - pop - treated
      • - house - real
    • Collocations are the words that native speakers choose to put together, the choice is arbitrary.
  • The strategies
    • Critical awareness.
    • We want our students to be learners of language not passive receivers
    • We want them to be intrigued by the patterns of the language
    • Critical awareness is taught by our modelling, directing, questioning, setting of routines for collecting and recycling
    • Recycling
    • Good language learners collect useful chunks, try to fit them into the schema they have, and experiment with them.
    • Be efficient learners by knowing how…
    • New learning is moved into the long term memory by:
    • recording
    • revisiting over a period of time
    • repeating,
    • recycling,
    • adding cognitive depth.
  • PPP versus OHE
    • The P resent P ractice P roduce paradigm is based on a discredited educational theory.(Behaviourism) It assumes that learning is linear. Actually learning is better represented as a schema or web.
    • What do successful language learners do?
    • They O bserve, H ypothesize , and E xperiment
  • Why include it in our practice?
    • Is our present practice the complete answer?
    • What issues come up in our reflection on present practice?
    • Do we presently have answers to those issues?
    • Does the traditional approach meet learners ’ needs?
    • Defining is one present scaffolding strategy. Does what we tell them help them unpack?
    • If we say that “ bank ” means “ a place dealing with money ” how does that help…
    • “ She stood on the bank ” or “ I was banking on it. ”
    • How do we make meaning of “ every now and again ” by defining the individual words?
    • Many dictionaries do not give examples of the word in use.
  • Making it up.
    • Without the authentic chunks to work with learners make statements like:
    • “ speak a story. ”
    • “ I have a memorial of…. ”
    • In the absence of the genuine chunks and the knowledge of what collocations and metaphors native speakers use, learners make the mistake of thinking L1 word = L2 word , and create utterances which sound strange .
  • So why change the approach?
    • Giving only one meaning is misleading
    • Defining a meaning doesn ’ t always help much
    • Not knowing idiomatic chunks leaves the learner floundering
    • Not knowing common collocations and metaphors means the learner makes lots of mistakes and sounds “ fresh ” .
    • Not having a lexicon of pre-constructed chunks means the learner is forced to create their own non-native utterances
    • Focussing the learner on single words leads them to believe that authentic language is created word by word.
    • Learners are thus less than efficient.
  • What can we do to implement these ideas?
    • Teach ourselves and our students to:
    • Collect and record chunks
    • and think about how they work
    • Practice recycling and recombining them
    • Contextualise the learning within function and purpose. The key question for the learner is, “ How do I express ….. ” in other words, “ Which chunks can I combine to…
  • Classroom action
    • As chunks are encountered , record and display them as schema …
    • maunganui piki i te.. kia hohou te maungarongo
    • maunga kōrero Maunga Maungakiekie
    • Eke ki runga i… Ehara taku maunga i te maunga nekeneke
    • Discuss the ins and outs with the learners
    • Create and display clines to record degrees of meaning.
    • boiling scalding
    • hot warm
    • tepid
    • cool refreshing
    • bracing chilly
    • cold
    • freezing icy
    • Where would blood temperature go?
    • Have recording structures displayed on the wall and in notebooks. Eg.
    • I know how to say…. i te reo Māori
    • I ’ m happy e harikoa ana te ngākau
    • e hari ana te koa o te ngākau
    • shut – shut up the shop…
        • - Shut up!
        • - Shut down
        • - shutdown
        • Shut in/out
        • shutter
    Collocations. Take a… punt ride on the bus chair/set your place bite
  • In immersion contexts… I can express… in English Happiness Oh joy! Wow! I ’ m so happy/glad that…
    • The lexical approach is not a replacement for other approaches but a change of focus in our teaching.
    • By changing our focus our learners will be more efficient
    • In summary, we need to…
    • Deliberately draw attention to chunks, collocations, idioms, metaphor etc. and invite learners to do the same.
    • Focus attention on identifying and using chunks
    • Teach learners to be critically aware
    • Teach them what good language learners do and how to do it.
    • Read more about it…
    • Lewis, M. (1993) The Lexical Approach. The state of ELT and a Way Forward. Thomson Heinle, Boston USA.
    • Lewis M (ed) (2000) Teaching Collocation . Thomson Heinle, Boston USA.
    • Lewis, M. (2002) Implementing the Lexical Approach. Putting Theory into Practice. Thomson Heinle, Boston USA.
    • Thornbury, S. (2002) How to Teach Vocabulary. Pearson Longman, Essex England.