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Опубликован: 18.11.2015 | Уровень: для всех | Доступ: платный
Лекция 4:

Lexis

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WORD STEMS

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Can you think of three more words where the verb and the noun are the same?

Students need to know the relationship between words with the same stem:

for example -

growth - grown - growing - grow - grew

This involves knowing how verbs change from the present to the past and into participles (check this word if you are not familiar with it), knowing the relationship between adjective forms and noun forms and so on. Although words behave irregularly when they change there are some rules and patterns that are useful for students.

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Write here something useful to tell students about the changes and word forms that come in these words.

height, length, depth and width.

PARTS OF SPEECH

Students may also find it useful to know how the components of lexical items are put together. The component parts of multi-word items may themselves be different parts of speech, perhaps a combination of two nouns making a single compound noun

eg - lampshade

a noun and a gerund making one item of two words

eg - skating rink

two hyphenated words making one item

eg - play-off

PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES

Students also need to know common prefixes:-

a- auto- dis- pre-

ab- co- ex- re-

ante- con- mis- sub-

an- non- per- un-

and suffixes:-

-able -ism -er -ist

-or -ise -ic -ness

-ify -tion

. . . . and how they work

For example they can make words opposite in meaning:

mis + understand = misunderstand

un + happy = unhappy

Or a noun can be formed from an adjective

happy - y + i + ness = happiness

There are a lot of Greek and Latin based prefixes, suffixes and roots in English that have a clear meaning. Show students for example that mis- and dis- are usually negative in tone. You as a teacher also need to be familiar with common meanings of prefixes and suffixes so look them up if there are any with which you are unfamiliar.

Students also need to know how the words are spelt and how they sound. Of particular importance is the way these words are stressed as this can alter the meaning and make them incomprehensible

eg potent + im = impotent, put the stress on the wrong syllable and it will sound like - important. Be careful not to insult a visiting ‘V.I.P.’!

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SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

Students also need to know how the meaning of one lexical item relates to another.

Items which mean the same or almost the same are synonyms -

Sizeable and large are synonyms of big.

Items which mean the opposite are antonyms -

Sad is an antonym of happy

Please note that when a student is translating from his/her mother tongue that he/she will choose one word but that there may be many synonyms. Two words cannot be exactly the same in meaning, otherwise there would be only one word.

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A ‘WORD’ IS NOT ALWAYS ‘A’ WORD

What does this mean? Well only that it is not always appropriate to teach words as single units. Sometimes it is important to teach ‘chunks’ and the concept of ‘lexical chunks’ has become very important in TEFL.

You cannot always teach words in isolation. You need to teach phrases as groups of words that are inseparable.

You cannot always teach words in isolation. You need to teach phrases as groups of words that are inseparable.

Can I have a word with the head please?

If we break this down into individual words then we have a very odd scenario in front of us - a person asking for a single word with a part of the body.

The ‘chunks’ here would be ‘have a wordand ‘the head’ - ‘have a word’ is a verb phrase that means to have a quick conversation with. ‘Headwith ‘the’ in front of it can mean the headmaster or principal of an institution. We can make students aware that words fit together or ‘collocate’ and that they have different meanings depending on the situation and the words next to them.

Interestingly, this was a problem with early computer translation systems that could not cope with word forms in English.

So a phrase likeTime flies fast’ appeared in translation as:

A type of insect (time flies) do not eat (fast).

This was a result of one word translation and not recognizing the context of the statement.

These days the translations are much better! But our students need to be encouraged not to look at words in isolation.

APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE

Here, of course, style and register also play a very important part in helping us to decide which word to choose.

eg synonyms of 'angry' may be elicited as 'cross', which is acceptable in most situations, or 'pissed off' which often isn't. It is important to ensure that students are taught, and know how to choose, appropriate language for particular situations. Lack of awareness in students can cause offence, confusion and can lead to students not being taken seriously.

A non-native speaker of English may impress an everyday speaker with his/her skill in manipulating language as in his/her appropriate use of tenses or correct word order and all things grammatical, but may not know a vitally important word which will satisfy his/her needs at the time.

eg "I would like some lighter fuel" Say "lighter fuel" only and you would get what you want. "I would like" and "please" are simply politenesses and could be excluded.

When teaching lexis the teacher has to make a judgement on which words could be left until a later stage of learning or for the student to discover for him/herself.

eg 'table' must be taught early on in the student's language learning because of the frequency of its use:- dining table, dressing table, bedside table, scientific table, frequency table etc.

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Look around a room you know well, perhaps the one you are sitting in at the moment. As well astable’, what other nouns have multiple uses and meanings? Explore them with a list or diagram.

(eg screen - computer screen, to screen (medical) a screen to hide something, be screened for a sensitive job)

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Вадим Бондарь
Вадим Бондарь
Как найти и выбрать тьютора?
Ирина Суханова
Ирина Суханова
здравствуйте! я прохожу курс учитель англ. языка. я отправила тест №1, как долго его будут проверять.
Павел Плахотник
Павел Плахотник
Украина, Днепропетровск
Анатолий Федоров
Анатолий Федоров
Россия, Москва, Московский государственный университет им. М. В. Ломоносова, 1989