TOPIC 11. THE LEXICAL AND SEMANTIC FIELDOF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. NECESSARYVOCABULARY FOR SOCIALIZATION,INFORMATION, AND THE EXPRESSION OFATTITUDE. ACTIVITIES RELATED TOTEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE FOREIGNLANGUAGE CLASSROOM.
INTRODUCTIONVocabulary has an important role in helping us tocreate and understand new messages. Themeaning of words can provoke problems amongthe speaker and listener for several reasons. Forexample, a single word can have more than onemeaning. The listener has to select the wordmeaning according to the context the conversationis taken place. For this reason, context is reallyimportant; it influences the interpretation of words.So we have to bear in mind the meaning of wordsand the way they are used.
THE LEXICAL AND SEMANTIC FIELDThe lexicon refers to the vocabulary of anylanguage, the group of words it recognises. Whenpeople travel, they don’t carry grammar books,they carry dictionaries. The lexicon includes thelexemes used to form words, what words are, howthe vocabulary in a language is structured, howpeople use and store words, how they learnwords, the history and evolution of words (i.e.etymology), types of relationships between wordsas well as how words were created.
THE LEXICAL AND SEMANTIC FIELD• The Semantic field.The Semantic field refers to words that being thesame have different meanings depending on thecontext where we use them E.g. Bank. It alsoincludes words that have a common meaningalthough some different characteristics e.g. anarmchair is a chair with arms. The semantic fieldof a given word can shifts over the time e.g. man:human being- adult male.• The Lexical field.The Lexical field refers to words that belong to thesame group according to lexemes. For example,neighbour, neighbourhood, neighbourlike…
Words from a semantic point of viewa) Synonyms are different words that share meaning e.g.student/ pupil.b) Antonyms are words with opposite meaning e.g. tall/short.c) Hyponyms are words whose semantic range is includedwithin another word. For example: scarlet, vermilion,carmine and crimson are all hyponyms of red which in turnis a hyponym of colour.d) Polysemy is when a word or lexeme has more than onemeaning. For example bank can be a place to save money,the edge of a river, a place to sit, etc.e) Homonymy, in turn can be divided in homographs when aword shares the same spelling and, therefore, the samepronunciation but have different meanings e.g. bear:animal/ carry. Homophones are those that have the samepronunciation but different written form, and of coursemeaning e.g. to/ too/ two.
Sentences from a semantic point of viewa) Pragmatic meaning: depending on the context thesentence is produced, it can have a differentmeaning. For example: ”I have to iron the clothes”can answer to a question to get information or anorder.b) Social meaning: sentences can express socialmeanings which affect the relationship between theinterlocutors depending on the intonation you givethe words. For example: “what are you doing?” canconvey politeness or rudeness.c) Prosodic meaning: the emphasis of certain wordscan modify the sentence. For example: “I am tall”meaning not you, “I am tall” meaning not short.
VOCABULARY FOR SOCIALIZATION1. Greetings of welcome and farewell,seasonal greeting, etc. For example: hello,goodbye, happy birthday and so on.2. Asking feelings: how are you? I am fine.3. Introducing and being introduced: nice tomeet you!4. Inviting and offering: would you like…?5. Congratulation, well done.6. Permission: can I go to…?7. Asking for things: can I borrow…?
Vocabulary for asking information1. What’s your name? My name is…2. How old are you? I’m… years old.3. Where are you from? I’m from…4. Where is the…?5. What’s the weather like? It’s sunny.6. What time is it? It’s half past three.7. How much is it? It is (price) dollars, pounds,euros…8. What’s your (favourite, telephone number…)?My… is…9. Can you (actions)?
Vocabulary expressing attitude1. Like/ dislikes: I like/ hate/ love…2. Giving thanks: thank you very much, youare welcome.3. Apologising and granting forgiveness: I’msorry, don’t worry about it, never mind…4. Expressing preferences and desires: Iprefer/ wish/ would like; my favourite…5. Providing intentions: I am going to…; I will…
DIDACTIC GUIDELINES• Learning vocabulary is very important in the acquisition oflanguages. As much more we know, better will be ourcommunication.• We must select the words that frequently appear in readingand listening, the words that are commonly used in realsituations close to our students’ interests.• The students have to learn it first in an oral way, sincedifficult English sound- graphy relationships.• To adapt all activities to the students’ interests andcharacteristics.• It should be presented in a meaningful context.• It should be interesting and practical for the students.• It should be shown in different ways to reach all students’learning styles (visual, pronounced, etc.).• It should be revised frequently so they do not forget it.
METHODOLOGY1. First contact with the vocabulary.New vocabulary must be presented orally; we can use somecontextual aids such as Realia, flashcards, pictures,students can draw the vocabulary in cards and play withthem, mime the words or actions, make noises for exampleof animals, identify the words in a song and raise theirhands when they hear a word they know, etc.2. Vocabulary practice.Exercises that allow students to work with the oral form: Simonsays, picture dictation, guessing the object, telephone…and with the written form: matching pictures with words,write the word on your partner’s back, and he or she has toguess it, crossword, bingo, dominoes, puzzles, runningdictation…3. Production of the vocabulary.Students can create picture dictionaries, posters…
CONCLUSIONThis topic has shown the importance ofvocabulary in second language learning;without it, it is impossible to communicatein the foreign language. Teachers shouldselect the most relevant words andphrases, taking into account the students’interests and the frequency of the words intexts and listening activities. Vocabularyshould be taught in context to avoidproblems of understanding.