Lexical Approach

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Lexical Approach

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

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