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Problems & Solutions - Lexis at
Pre-Intermediate Level
by Emma Worrall
- 5

Appendix 1
Presenting Vocabulary
(Thornbury 2002)

Thornbury (2002: 77) presents a list that teachers can refer to for presenting vocabulary:

  • translation
  • real things
  • pictures
  • actions/gestures
  • definitions
  • situations

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 by:

  • providing an example situation
  • giving several example sentences
  • giving synonyms, antonyms, or superordinate terms
  • giving a full definition

Situations: This involves providing a scenario which clearly contextualises the target word or words.

Appendix 2
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.

Appendix 3
Taylor's seven stages of 'knowing a word'
(Taylor 1990:1-3)

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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