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1

LA Definition

1) Belief in the centrality of the lexicon to multiword lexical units (chunks) that are learned as single items
2) Building blocks of language learning
≠ Grammar / Functions / Notions
= Lexis (Words and word combinations)

2

Author

1) Pawlet and Syder
2) Chomsky (Father of contemporary syntax)
- Minimalist linguistic theory
- Lexicon = Prime

3

Lexical units

Holophrases / Prefabricated patterns / Gambits

4

Chomsky’s influential theory

Capacity of speakers to create and interpret sentences that are unique and have never been produced or heard previously

5

Lexical View

A minority of spoken sentences are entirely novel creations and that chunks form a high proportion of the fluent stretches of speech heard in everyday conversation.

6

Chunks

Memorable patterns / Multiword units functioning

7

Collocations

Regular occurrence together of words
1) Do my homework | Make my bed

8

Binomials

o Back and forth
o Fish and chips
o Knife and fork
o Law and order
o Salt and pepper

9

Trinomials

o Left, right, and center
o Mind, body, and soul
o Rock, paper, or scissors
o Tall, dark and handsome
o This, that, and the other

10

Idioms

o Back to the drawing board
o Beat around the bush
o Bite the bullet
o Blessing in disguise
o Call it a night

11

Similes

o As common as dirt
o As happy as a clam
o As light as a feather
o As bright as a button
o As tall as a giraffe

12

Connectives

o And
o Moreover
o Therefore
o However
o Unless

13

Conversational gambits

o I’ve got news for you!
o Let’s face it
o The truth of the matter is
o Come on now
o Let’s be realistic

14

Lexis

Central role in language learning

15

Lexis | Production

Piecing together the ready-made units appropriate for a particular situation.

16

Lexis | Comprehension

Knowing which of these patterns to predict in these situations.

17

How might second language learners approach the daunting task of internalizing hundreds of thousands of chunks?

1) Massive amounts of “language input” (reading)
2) Explore the context of lexical use in distinct kinds of texts and language data.
3) Concentrate on items for which there is no direct translational equivalence

18

Assumptions about learning theory in the lexical approach

1) Encountering new learning items on several occasions is necessary but not necessary for learning (intake)
2) Noticing lexical chunks is a necessary but not sufficient for learning
3) Noticing similarities, differences, restrictions, and examples contributes to learning (intake)
4) Acquisition is based on an accumulation of examples from which learners make provisional generalizations.
5) No linear syllabus can reflect the nonlinear nature of acquisition

19

Materials of LA

1) Based on lexical rather than grammatical principles
2) Classifying collocations and chunks by using a functional schema
3) Complete packages = Texts | Tapes | Teacher’s manuals
4) Collections of vocabulary teaching activities
5) Printout versions of chunks collections packaged in text format
6) Computer concordancing programs and attached data sets

20

Teacher Role ≠ Knower

1) Talk is the major source of learner input in demonstrating how lexical phrases are used for different functional purposes
2) Need to understand and manage classroom methodology based on stages = Task | Planning | Report
2) Creating an environment in which learners can operate effectively and helping learners manage their own learning.

21

Learner Role = Discoverer

1) Make use of computers to analyze text data previously collected
2) Data analyst constructing his own linguistic generalizations based on examination of chunks

22

Conclusion

1) Status of lexis in language teaching
-Developments in lexical and linguistic theory
-Work in chunks analysis
-Recognition of the role of multiword units in language learning
2) Lexical approach ≠ Approach / Method