Lexis: changing attitudes by Jane Herbertson

"Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed": Wilkins (1). This reflects a change of attitude towards the role of lexis. Sökmen (p239) likens it to a pendulum, comparing the importance of lexis within the Grammar Translation approach (where it was explicitly taught) to the Communication Approach (where it was incidental). She suggests this pendulum has swung back today to the middle ground, being taught both explicitly and implicitly. Nunan (p117) claims it was neglected by Audio-linguists (during the middle of the last century), citing Hockett (1958) "vocabulary was the easiest aspect of a second language to learn and that it hardly required formal attention in the classroom".

I will attempt to explain why I believe lexis is important, before considering the general problems for adult learners of English. I shall then discuss the change in status of lexis and consider one particular approach available to teachers. Finally, I intend to draw general and specific conclusions about my current/future practice.

Why is Lexis Important?

"Vocabulary knowledge enables language use…"(2). And thus communication. Without lexis we will fail to achieve our objectives on occasions. If we enter a shop and want to buy something (which is not visible) then, no matter how much grammar we employ, we will not succeed. Even without the actual word, we can employ strategies to achieve our end but these will generally involve lexis too. Lewis goes further, arguing not only can lexical errors cause misunderstanding and incomprehension but 'in rare cases even offence' (p16 (3)).

One cannot read or listen without a knowledge of vocabulary. How can one appreciate the depth of meaning implied in discourse or become fluent conversationalists if lexis is not involved?

"Lay people believe that knowing a language means knowing words" (4) and students come to classes with this in mind. Lexis is important at every level. Students at low levels complain that they do not have enough vocabulary. As they become more proficient, they acknowledge that they have learnt much of the basic grammar (they will meet nuances in the rules, they will need more opportunities to develop their interlanguage but we are generally not teaching anything absolutely novel). By contrast, with lexis there is always something new to be learnt (even for native speakers) and students need to continue acquiring lexis for a deeper understanding of the language.

General Problems for Adult Learners

'What's the word for….(L1 example given)? is typically heard in language classes. If we can provide a direct translation (sometimes this is not possible (5)), learners face other problems with reception and/or production when meeting a lexical item, some of which are:

• Antonyms are not as straightforward as they first appear - an old book and a new book may be the correct choice of opposites but what about an old man and a new man
Collocation: roaring fire. Choosing the right combination conjures up the right images between listener and speaker expressing certain nuances of meaning which would be lost with say a large fire (although grammatically correct)
Connotations: the famous murderer/notorious murderer - similar to collocational use (ie the learner needs to learn the right partner) to convey an exact meaning
False friends: existing between many languages - Spanish/English: actual /actually
Homonyms: single word with several different meanings: row (a boat)/(stand in a) row
Homophones: deer/dear
Multi-word items (6) (especially those which are relatively opaque: butter up)
Register: is the item appropriate in a certain context?
Synonyms: the pretty little dress/the pretty small dress

These problems are concerned with knowledge of the lexical item and it can be seen that to really know it, one has to go further than its form and surface meaning. Even the sound of the word may be 'distorted' in its spoken form (7).

To this I would add a more general problem, that of exposure. Learners, in their own countries, simply do not meet the lexical item enough to learn it (8). My own experience of listening to Spanish radio daily (presenting lexical items almost repetitively) provides plentiful opportunities for noticing, guessing the word in context (or checking in the dictionary).

1 Cited by Thornbury (p13) & Lewis (p16) - no references given in either case
2 Nation, 1993a, cited by Nation & Waring
3 Implementing the Lexical Approach
4 Dubin & Olshtain (1986:111-12) cited by O'Dell
5 eg el responsable in Spanish, using a noun (and article) in English would be the person responsible ie responsible can have different usage
6 Moon includes compounds, phrasal verbs, idioms, fixed phrases and prefabs
7 eg contractions, weak forms, native speakers do not pronounce clearly the ends of some words especially when there are consonant clusters
8 see 'General and Specific Conclusions about my Current/Future Practice'

The change in status of lexis

The renewed interest in vocabulary is partly attributable to the growth in corpus studies which have made it easier to analyse word patterns more objectively. Results have revealed "the significance and the intricacy of the links between words: for example, their strong clustering tendencies and the patterns which are associated with them" (Moon p50). It was during the 1980s that the status of vocabulary began to grow in importance, manifested in research and the publication of coursebooks eg the Cobuild English Course (1) with an explicit lexical syllabus.

Added to this has been the general trend in learner centred approaches in the classroom (what does the learner want/need; how can the learner help him/herself; increased responsibility for the learner in syllabus content).

The Lexical Approach (LA) is one approach which elevates the status of vocabulary in the classroom. Lewis (2) objects to aspects of more traditional approaches to second language learning, some of which he claims are:

• a concentration on the sentence: one aspect of which was mastering the structural frame and using lexis to fill the gaps. Focus on the sentence is also associated with a bottom-up approach, rather than the more recent view of looking at language in context (top-down processing).

• teachers have been too preoccupied with possible sentences rather than what is actually said (probable utterances) - language corpora can provide the requisite data

• regarding language learning as a linear process eg the past simple is generally taught after the present simple has been 'mastered', thus not allowing students earlier access to some of the most useful items of language

• teachers have been further preoccupied with production. Lewis compares the acquisition of L2 with that of L1, advocating exposure to vast quantities of lexically rich input without the pressure to produce it

• there has been insufficient repetition (he criticises the P-P-P model (3), where teachers using this methodology have adopted an attitude that what is taught equates to what should be quickly learnt - p51, Implementing the Lexical Approach)

• knowing the (sometimes confusing) grammar rules is not the same as knowing how to use them

As far as the LA is concerned, he posits:

• that lexis not grammar lies at the basis of language and this language "consists of chunks which, when combined, produce continuous coherent text" (p7 Ibid.)

• first languages are learnt in chunks which take different forms (4). He advocates learning the fully fixed expressions as wholes and views the semi-fixed expressions as being the most useful and significant (p11 Ibid.).

• chunks are stored in the brain as such. Therefore language should not be broken down and then reassembled. When using language, these readymade chunks are retrieved as wholes (Lewis claims that language is not infinite creativity), resulting in reduced processing time for speaker/listener. Chunking is an aid to fluency.

• chunking will help learners to be more natural with pronunciation - encouraging the use of connected speech

• that lexis is a powerful generator of language and he cites the use of delexicalised words (5) which should not be dealt with grammatically

• the most frequent words encode the most frequent meanings and the rest is largely padding
Putting the LA into practice - Lewis advocates:

• students need to be trained to notice chunks

• teachers should provide plentiful opportunities for noticing and for noticing in different contexts thereby providing a greater depth of knowledge of the lexical item

• the use of lexical notebooks as opposed to recording words. Additionally learners should record lexis in context and in ways that are easily retrievable

• more use of modern, corpus-based dictionaries providing accurate, reliable and useful English

1 Willis & Willis
2 Implementing the Lexical Approach
3 Present-Practise-Produce
4 Chunks can be: words, compounds, polywords (by the way), collocations, fixed expressions (many happy returns) or semi fixed expressions: that sounds great (comprising frames: That's not as.. as you think and sentence heads: What really surprised me was…)
5 eg take, have, put, get


Can one teach vocabulary? To answer this one should consider how much vocabulary second language learners need. Estimates vary as to how many words (and indeed what constitutes a 'word') an adult native speaker knows/uses. Twenty thousand word families is the figure Nation & Waring (p7) cite, claiming that students need "3,000 or so high frequency words" (p11). After that they suggest helping students with strategies to comprehend/learn the low frequency items.

Personal experience of learning Spanish included the discovery of the power of reading in a second language. As a beginner I used graded readers, employing the strategy of generally trying to guess unknown language from context - I believe I got to know a lot of new lexis in this way plus having frequent opportunities for noticing. I have actively encouraged reading for my students whereby they borrow a graded reader from the in-house library, read it, (taking a few notes of its main points) and we follow this up with an exchange of views about our chosen books.

There is some debate about the benefits of learning vocabulary from context: Nation & Waring (p11) "studies suggest that first language learners learn most of their vocabulary in this way" (1). Nagy (p71), though questioning this, attests to its importance (p64), stating that words have different meanings in different contexts and adding the benefit of acquiring other vocabulary from the context (apart from explicit instruction). In my experience, giving a definition can be problematic (although for lower levels it may be sufficient) leading to a shallow knowledge of the item in question. To check understanding, I usually ask students to write a sentence indicating the meaning of the said item.

With regard to providing more noticing opportunities, when learners are involved in a listening task, I write vocabulary from the text on the board, and encourage students to listen for it, guessing its meaning from context. Any occasion they have for seeing/hearing English in context will provide further occasions for noticing. This noticing process is believed to be vital in getting to know a word (beginning with recognition, proceeding through tentative production until the item is stored in the long term memory when it is believed students will have the capacity to use it automatically). As well as providing chances to notice lexis in class we should encourage students to watch films, use the internet etc. Chatting to students, outside of a particular language focus in class, will provide further opportunities.

Clearly, in noting new lexical items, we have to take a practical view: what is necessary for students to know at the moment (the proficiency level of the student will also determine to what extent they want/need to know a word and their own personal suggestions). Annotating all aspects of the item (2) would be time-consuming and possibly demotivating.

Some areas I currently focus on:

• record a word's family members (encourage + discourage + encouragement etc).

• keyword strategies (3) - students make a note of typical word partners: sign a contract, one-year contract etc (can be adapted for more general areas of English). However, I have used this technique inadequately, expecting rapid production. This has not happened, as I have not given learners the necessary opportunities for noticing, re-noticing and converting the input into intake.

I mentioned (4) that students should have more time to get to know the item. Lewis' suggestions are pertinent ie training students how to recognize chunks: they should return to the used texts, highlighting and recording any patterns they find. This will help to raise their awareness of the nature of lexical items. After doing this in class, students should be encouraged to look for patterns in their reading (guiding them towards autonomy).
Many authorities mention the primacy of encountering a word (expression) on at least seven occasions before it becomes part of our permanent mental store. Recycling lexis in class is not difficult, though takes some organisation by the teacher. Some of the best ways are class lexical cards: students note down an item they like, need and we put this into the store. These items are recycled during subsequent classes. This can be very interactive and student-centred if the items are posted around the room - students have to move around, changing partners to check definitions. Games such as bingo, noughts and crosses, dominoes and pelmanism are also fun. (They are easy to prepare and can be personalised for the group or published versions of some of these games exist.) Acting the phrase is another aid to memorising the item eg sign the contract, get the sack, go on strike.

One other way of helping students increase their mental lexicon which I will experiment with is noticing (and highlighting) lexical sets. For example students can search for all words connected with particular areas in a text. Another benefit of this is that it will give them vital clues in organising their own texts.

I have already referred to the role of lexis and how it is inter-related with speaking, listening and reading. To help students with writing, course books are useful providing set phrases which learners can use as a model. Ready for First Certificate (p10) is a good example. I have adapted this for pre-intermediate students, whose standard of writing starts to show an improvement by copying some of these multiword items eg Thanks for your last letter, I´m looking forward to hearing from you. It is unnecessary to break down and analyse the grammar of these phrases, though students will begin to see the generative nature of such phrases.

My Spanish students are also preoccupied with prepositions and here too, the best way is to make learners aware of the way they occur with other words eg go home, on business, in the morning. If approached this way, students do not have to think of complicated systematic rules of either prepositions or inclusion of articles.

Lexis: changing attitudes in the classroom: involves raising the status of lexis and changing the traditional attitudes/approaches towards it by both teachers and learners (one of which has been to treat it as a means to an end rather than an end in itself ie pre-teaching it as a way into a text, then using the text to focus on language skills/language systems - rather than exploiting the lexical item). Teachers ought to consider adding a lexical perspective to their teaching. As Lewis points out "implementing the LA does not mean ignoring everything we have done before….it does… provide a practical tool….in an overall strategy based on principled eclecticism." (Implementing the Lexical Approach, p141)

1 Sternberg, 1987
2 see suggestions in 'General Problems For Adult Learners' (above)
3 Wilberg & Lewis (pages 57-76)
4 above 'My Choice of Lexis'


Lewis, M. 1997. Implementing the Lexical Approach. LTP
McCarthy, M. 2001. Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. Cambridge University Press
Moon, R. Vocabulary Connections: multi word items in English. (Vocabulary Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy 1997: Ed Schmitt, N. & McCarthy, M., Cambridge University Press)
Nagy, W. On the role of context in first- and second-language vocabulary learning. . (Vocabulary Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy 1997: Ed Schmitt, N. & McCarthy, M., Cambridge University Press)
Nation, P. & Waring, R. Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists. (Vocabulary Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy 1997: Ed Schmitt, N. & McCarthy, M., Cambridge University Press)
Nunan, D. 1991. Language Teaching Methodology. Prentice Hall
O'Dell, F. Incorporating vocabulary into the syllabus. (Vocabulary Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy 1997: Ed Schmitt, N. & McCarthy, M., Cambridge University Press)
Sökmen A. J. Current trends in teaching second language vocabulary. (Vocabulary Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy 1997: Ed Schmitt, N. & McCarthy, M., Cambridge University Press)
Thornbury, S. 2002. How to Teach Vocabulary. Longman
Cited by other authors
Dubin, F. & Olshtain, E. 1986. Course Design. Cambridge: CUP
Hockett, C. 1958. A Course in Linguistics. New York: Macmillan
McCarthy, M. 1992b. English idioms in use. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 25: 55-65
Nation, I. S. P. 1977. The combining arrangement: some techniques. The Modern Language Journal 61 (3): 89-94. Reprinted in English Teaching Forum 17 (1) (1979): 12-16, 20
Sternberg, R.J. 1987. Most vocabulary is learned from context. In M. G. McKeown & M.E. Curtis (Eds.) The Nature of Vocabulary Acquisition: 89-105. Hillsdale. NJ:Erlbaum
Norris, R. 2001. Ready for First Certificate. Macmillan Heinemann
Wilberg, P. & Lewis, M. Business English. LTP
Willis J. & Willis D. 1987. Cobuild English Course. Cobuild


Jane Herbertson from Wales has been teaching for 7 years - 5 in Spain and 2
in Poland. She currently works at the British Council, Madrid.

Lesson plan

Preliminary information

Duration 60 minutes

Level Upper Intermediate

Main aims
1. To direct students to noticing lexical items as chunks of language (Stage 2)
2. To sensitise students to the grammar/usage of multi words (Stage 4)
3. To introduce students to a lexical set connected to money (Stage 2)

Subsidiary Aims
1. To develop students' reading sub-skills to extract implicit information (Stage 2)
2. To give students the opportunity to peer teach and learn from each other (Stage 3)
3. To encourage students to use dictionaries (Stage 2)
4. To provide opportunities for students to meet and try to use some of the new vocabulary - assisting the process of converting input to intake - see rationale (Stages 2 - 7)

Assumed Knowledge
The students should be able to get the gist of the reading texts and may be able to guess the meaning of some of the phrases from context or because of their similarity to L1 (to get to the end of the month). They may know parts of phrases such as a loan (in take out a loan) but they will probably not be familiar with the whole phrase and producing these phrases is not quite so straightforward - students are reluctant to employ delexicalised verbs in this way.
The idea of using words together is not completely new to this group - they have met the more common make/do phrases and dependent prepositions depends on (but have problems with accurate production). They will not be completely familiar with the nature of these phrases ie fixed: To make (both) ends meet, semi-fixed: Money's a bit tight (little/scarce/short) or more flexible and generative 'frames': I couldn't afford to………
The theme of managing/spending money is something students will be able to comment on - as they will all have experienced this.

Anticipated problems & solutions
1. Problem: (Stage 4)
Not knowing exactly what phrases will be chosen by students from their texts when we focus on the usage of lexis as a whole class.
Ensure I have researched all the likely phrases beforehand.

2. Problem: (Stage 5)
Lexical consolidation - again dependent on what students select themselves. It could be potentially confusing to present students with a huge number of sentences - covering all possible options.
I have made the majority of the sentences open, students can choose how to complete them - using the new lexis. If certain phrases are not chosen by students at Stage 2, I will either:
- ask students NOT to tackle certain questions, looking at them in the next class, after the homework has been done
- or give students the answer with a short explanation

3. Problem: (Stage 5)
Students may confuse some of the items in the consolidation gap fill eg make a few cuts/put some money to one side
Discuss in feedback - however this problem will serve to show that we have a choice of phrases at our disposal

4. Problem:
Timing: the class is student centred and during the main lexical focus, the stages may take longer than anticipated.
Stages 6/7 (relating to the role play) can be done after the observation.

5. Problem:
Students' tiredness in a four hour class (with only break). The observation takes place in the third hour.
Whilst I do not wish to radically change the structure of the class for the observation, they will be having their break earlier today to accommodate the observation and should start this part of the class with fresh impetus.

Class profile
Ten students who meet once a week for four hours on a Saturday afternoon and are very enthusiastic. The group bonded well from day one and have continued to do so, as new students have joined. Most of the them are fluent speakers and whilst launching themselves happily into nearly all activities, speaking in L2 is the skill they especially enjoy practising. The majority are university students and young professionals. About half the group hope to do FC in December, whilst others plan to skip the exam, going on to advanced level studies.
· A. is one of the strongest, using English regularly outside class. Has an easy-going nature and happy to help other students or model language/tasks.
· A.M. is the least proficient. Lacks self confidence and is not prepared to take risks in class.
· B. joined the group in March. Very confident and enthusiastic. Whilst she has integrated into the group, she has missed about half the classes and I do not know her as well as I know the others.
· C., confident, with a good level. Unafraid to challenge language points -even if everyone else disagrees. Going to the UK soon to improve his English.
· E. is also very strong and tries to use new vocabulary. Is currently looking for a job abroad where she would be able to use her English.
· F. joined in March. Would probably lapse into L1 but is gradually being 'trained' by his peers to use English all the time. Is confident, relaxed with a good level. He is weakest in writing.
· I. joined in March and has missed some classes because of very serious family problems. Enthusiastic - his knowledge of the world usually compensates where his language skills fail.
· I. lacks some confidence but, despite this, she manages well and is able to express personal opinions.
· M. takes L2 very seriously. She is extremely enthusiastic. Has family in the US and is used to American expressions. Whilst she is a strong student, she does make basic errors which are often due to transfer from L1.
· R. is a quiet student and very able. An all round good performer.

Timetable fit
4 .00 - 4.15 pm Speaking activity
4.15 - 4.30 pm Check last week's homework
4.30 - 5.00 pm Grammar input: Ability (including verb 'phrases': capable of…/succeed in…/manage to)
5.00 - 5.30 pm Listening: FCE task
5.30 - 6.00 pm Break
6.00 - 7.00 pm The lesson plan here
7.00 - 7.30 pm Homework preparation - report writing involving new vocabulary/or in-house video utilizing 'money' lexis
7.30 - 7.45 pm Class diaries (students will feedback on today's class)
7.45 - 8.00 pm Game involving recycling of today's new lexis

The coursebook unit we will begin work on today involves the topic of money (included in the end of course exam), and, as a second vocabulary focus make and do phrases. The second grammatical focus (which we will do next class is on verbs followed by prepositions). The observation itself will focus on everyday money vocabulary, which the students will select themselves from a text.

We regularly do FC practice (see class profile) - our coursebook is Ready for First Certificate (1) - hence the inclusion of some related activities in the overall plan. The above is an outline of what is planned for this 4 hour block but parts may be changed depending on students' concentration levels.

Today's language will be recycled during the next class. We will continue to approach reading tasks, in particular, in this vein - giving the students further noticing opportunities in the future.

Lesson rationale

At this level, students have covered much of the basic grammar and want/need to increase their lexical knowledge. We have focussed on this during the course but have not paid due attention to the acquisition of lexis as readymade phrases and their importance. If students notice chunks more (Main Aim 1: Stage 2), it will help not only production of these items but also reception: likewise if students are more sensitive to how to use these items, their overall skills will improve (Main Aim 2 : Stages 3, 4, 5). The course finishes next month - these aims will help equip students with good strategies for autonomous study.

As mentioned, students avoid phrases with delexicalised verbs eg to put some money to one side, preferring to use a concise verb - the latter is easier, but the former will be needed for recognition purposes and also to sound more natural.

Although the text chosen is not authentic (2), it provides a rich source of fairly natural input embracing the lexical chain of money in an interesting context. It gives students the chance to notice these phrases and to try to guess their meaning. Some of the expressions are used more in spoken English but can be employed for the writing assignment (3).

I have decided not to give phrases to students that I want to focus on, allowing them to pick the items themselves within the specified lexical chain - Stage 2 (this is what they will do as autonomous learners). Phrases may arise which are not specifically money related and I will give guidance, as necessary. I cannot predict their choices with complete certainty. To give the reading more of a focus (rather than only for lexis extraction), they will complete a handout with basic information (Stage 2), making assumptions about the writer from implied comments (Stage 2). They will then select/record phrases in pairs (4).

The peer teaching (Stage 3) will highlight how they can help each other and by the end of this stage they will have acquired approximately ten (5) new items. These phrases will form the basis of Stage 4 - grammatical usage. Here, too, further clarification of meaning will be provided if necessary and if any errors with form occurred earlier these can be corrected. Students have the whole article in their workbooks to explore the vocabulary further as homework.

They will then consolidate their knowledge with a gap fill (Stage 5) (6).

The role play (Stage 7) is something that students would not do out of class - trying to borrow money from parents in L2. However, they may meet this type of situation in the contexts of films etc. The reason for inclusion: to give students a different opportunity to process the phrases (although as this will be the first encounter with the language, it is unrealistic to expect much of the target language) and, at this point in the four hour class the students will welcome a lighter activity (7).

Aids and materials

1. Whiteboard
2. OHT (…….spend 40% of their income on etc…). Stage 1
3. Dictionaries. Stage 2
4. Reading text 'Money makes the world go round?': 5 extracts (x 2) enlarged and cut up separately. Stage 2
5. Chart for students to complete information/phrases from reading texts (handout 1). Stages 2/3
6. OHT for teacher to record SS' phrases. Stage 2/3
7. OHT pen (for writing SS' phrases). Stage 2/3
8. H/o 2 - Lexis consolidation. Stage 5
9. Role play cards. Stages 6/7

1 Norris, R. 2001. Macmillan Heinemann
2 An extract from Ready for First Certificate Workbook p98
outside the observation
3 if they work faster they will be encouraged to look further at the dictionary 4 definitions/write an example sentence using the target language
5 probably a manageable number for deeper processing - anymore might be overloading students
6 see problems/solutions (2) - above
7 see problems/solutions (4) with regard to timing

& time

Stage 1
5 mins

Small groups
T monitors

Statement on OHP (40% of….. etc)
Check SS know meaning of income/elicit ideas
Ask for SS ideas (if SS don't know what money is spent on, QUICKLY supply food BRIEFLY Elicit SS reaction
SS discuss what they spend their money on
F/B & correction - from one member of group reporting highlights of discussion
To activate SS interest in topic
To activate schema
To encourage use of appropriate vocabulary
To give SS opportunity to speak
To help SS with errors

Stage 2
12 mins

T - SS

Reading (as jigsaw)
Tell SS they're going to read short extracts about different peoples' attitude to money
Put SS in pairs
As they read they have to fill in a chart - (H/o 1)
Explain how to complete: - top part with info about their 'person' - underneath select 2 new phrases connected to money eg lend me money - stressing that lend on its own in the text is largely meaningless- give eg of a non-money phrase eg get rid of (it's a good use of combining words to make a phrase but focus is on money phrases) - use dictionaries to complete the meaning - DON'T complete the 'how to use' columnTell SS they will be teaching the new expressions to other SS
Check instructions back with one student
Give each pair one reading extract between two
Give each pair two h/os for completion (with the same phrases)
SS carry out reading.
T helping & recording SS' phrases on OHT for later use
To change group dynamics
To give a further reason for reading
To extract detailed info.
To introduce everyday 'money' lexical items
To encourage noticing of lexical items as chunks
To give practice in dictionary use
To encourage more attention/accuracy
To ensure SS know what is required
To encourage collaboration
To provide SS with a record of new lexis

Stage 3
14 mins

T - SS
Group work

Peer teaching
Tell SS: - they will explain/teach the new expressions & meanings.
The SS in their group make a note of the new expressions on their h/os.
- When one St has passed on his/her information, next St continues
Check instructions back with one SS
Put SS into 2 groups - each SS has a different text A, B, C, D, ET monitors
To give opportunity to use today's lexical items
To share information
To check understanding
To change dynamics & give opportunity to learn from each other

Stage 4
12 mins

T - SS

Focus on usage of expressions
Using OHT show SS all their expressions
Focus how expressions can be used, eliciting SS ideas:Eg take out a loan (elicit whether it's flexible - can we put in a loan)- get by (on + SOMETHING) (my salary)
Write the grammar/usage of the lexis on the Wb - corresponding to the appropriate OHT phrase
To sum up this section: ask SS how we should record these items (NOT WORDS)/and what we should look for/listen for ie words as phrases.
Elicit/tell SS : - record as multi-words (doesn't make much sense alone) with their possible partners etc- use as multi-words 'I can't afford to…….go out tonight' - saves processing time- read/listen for them in this way (to make more sense of text)
To ensure SS have the phrases recorded correctly
To sensitise SS to the grammar/usage of multi words
To encourage SS to think about the advantages of using lexis in this way.

Stage 5
8 mins

St individually
T - SS

Lexis consolidation
Give SS H/os to complete individually with new lexis.
In the majority of cases there is not one 'right' answer.
Compare suggested completion phrases with partners.
If SS have not selected (and worked) on items - select them out.
If time running short, tell SS we'll work on the 'missed' sentences next class.
To consolidate knowledge
To give quiet period for reflection
To build SS confidence before whole class f/b

Stage 6
4 mins


Prep for role play
Divide SS into Mother/Father and Son/Daughter. If odd no. introduce a grandparent role to work as a 3.
Put each role together.
Tell them to prepare for the role play:- thinking about attitudes of speakers- reasons for asking, refusing, giving opinions- do they need any special language - persuading, refusing
Check back the instructions
Give them their roleplay cards
SS prepare
T monitors/offers help
To prepare for role play
To give St freer speaking practice
To ensure understanding

Stage 7
5 mins


Role play
Regroup students - carry out role play
Teacher monitors
Teacher gives feedback
To give SS chance to have fun
To give speaking practice with an opportunity to use new lexis


(OHT - Stage 1)

? spend 40% of their income on?
? 25%
? 12%

H/o 1 (Stages 2/3)

Age (approximately): Family ? Attitude to money/financial situation:
Interesting/new expressions RELATED TO 'MONEY': Meaning How to use them:

OHT to record SS' phrases (Stages 2/4)


H/o 2 (Stage 5)

Vocabulary focus
Try to complete the following sentences with today's new phrases
(you may not be able to do some of them).
With many of the sentences you may be able to choose from a few of the new phrases - think about the meaning carefully.
1. He is unemployed so he finds it difficult to

2. When he wanted to buy a flat he went to the bank and
………………….. ………….……………………………
3. Every month, in order to pay for his trip to America, he

has to …………………. …………………………………

4. Students often find that they………………………AND

5. When Baron Thyssen died his wife ……..……………….

6. When he was a little boy, his parents used to give him


7. I suppose that most politicians earn a decent salary - they


8. Some people are so rich. They.…………………………..

9. Electricity, gas, telephone - nearly every month I have to


Role play cards - laminated for students' use

Your son/daughter wants some money AGAIN.Try explaining that you're not made of money.


You are a poor student, trying to persuade your mother/father to give you some money.


Your grandson/daughter is asking your son/daughter for money AGAIN.Give them your opinion

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