Problems & Solutions -
by Emma Worrall
Thornbury (2002: 77) presents a list that teachers
can refer to for presenting vocabulary:
- real things
And whether to present the word in its:
- spoken form, or
- written form
Translation: Although Thornbury says it is
probably the most direct route to explaining a word, and it
is economica,l especially for coping with incidental vocabulary
which crops up in a lesson, it could mean that learners "fail
to develop a an independent L2 lexicon, with the effect that
they always access L2 words by means of their L1 equivalents,
rather than directly" (Thornbury 2002: 77). He also makes
the point that if translation gives students the easy option
they may not remember the word so easily because no cognitive
effort is involved.
Real things: The technique of the Direct Method,
which rejected the use of translation, is an approach which
Thornbury says is particularly useful for teaching beginners
and mixed nationality classes, where translation is impossible.
Pictures: Visual aids ( such as flashcards)
can be created and used to both present and practise new vocabulary.
Presenting pictures in a different order each time can help
improve students' memories. Thornbury also says that it is
important to let students work at their own pace.
Actions or gestures: Thornbury says this is
useful for some vocabulary e.g. miming verbs or animals, but
for more complicated or abstract vocabulary one may need to
use other words or definitions to explain the word in question
- providing an example situation
- giving several example sentences
- giving synonyms, antonyms, or superordinate
- giving a full definition
Situations: This involves providing a scenario
which clearly contextualises the target word or words.
Types of Phrasal Verbs
(Naunton in Thornbury 2002: 123)
There are four types of phrasal verbs:
Type 1: Intransitive e.g. come
to (recover consciousness).
These do not take an object.
Type 2: Transitive inseparable
e.g. look into (investigate)
These verbs must take an object which always
comes after the verb.
Type 3: Transitive separable
e.g. put off (postpone)
The object can either come between the verb
and the particle or after the verb. If we use a pronoun then
it must go between.
Type 4: three-part, e.g. put
up with (endure)
These are always transitive inseparable.
Taylor's seven stages of 'knowing a word'
1) knowledge of frequency of a word in language-
the probability of encountering the word in speech or print
2) knowledge of the register of the word i.e. knowing the
limitations imposed on the use of the word according to variations
of function and situation
3) knowledge of collocation, both semantic and syntactic i.e.
knowing the syntactic behaviour associated with the word and
also knowing the network of associations between that word
and other words in the language
4) knowledge of morphology i.e. knowing the underlying form
of a word and the derivations that can be made form it
5) knowledge of semantics i.e. knowing firstly what the word
means or denotes
6) knowledge of polysemy i.e. knowing many of the different
meanings associated with a word
7) knowledge of the equivalent of the word in the mother tongue
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