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English Language Teaching Methodology
Unit 8 Teaching Vocabulary

Unit 8 Teaching Vocabulary
1. What are some of the assumptions about vocabulary learning? 2. What does knowing a word involve? 3. How can we present new vocabulary items? 4. What are some effective ways to consolidate vocabulary? 5. How do we help students develop vocabulary learning strategies?

Importance of vocabulary
? ―Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.‖ (D.A. Wilkins)
? ―词汇之于语法,有如砖之如混凝土,它们共同构 筑意义的大厦”。(丁建新,2004:前言) ? Words are bricks to a language. ? Words build meaning and convey thoughts.

8.1 Understanding vocabulary and vocabulary learning

? Activity: Task 2 (p.117)

8.2 What does knowing a word involve?
? What does knowing a word involve?
? Knowing a word means knowing its pronunciation and stress; ? Knowing a word means knowing its spelling and grammatical properties; ? Knowing a word means knowing its meaning; ? Knowing a word means knowing how and when to use it to express the intended meaning.

What is a word?
? A word is a minimal free form. ? McCarthy (1990:1): ―a word must consist of at least one potentially freestanding morpheme‖. ? Free morpheme and bound morpheme, e.g. doing, table, renew, teacher, textbook, textbooks, underdeveloped, gentlemanlike, greenhouse, babysitter ? Prefix, suffix, root/stem; complex words, compound words

Learning a word involves learning more than just the word itself.
More Examples:
sentences clauses phrases words morphemes

?―upside down‖ in ―Please do not put it upside down‖.
? as soon as; in the same boat; square pegs in round holes; under the weather ? kill two birds with one stone

?Long time no see. God bless you.

Hedge (2000)
? Vocabulary learning ―involves at least two aspects of meaning. The first aspect involves the understanding of its denotative and connotative meaning. The second aspect involves understanding the sense relations among words.‖

8.2.1 Denotative meaning
? the primary, literal or explicit meaning of a word, which refers to ―those words that we use to label things as regards real objects, such as a name or a sign, etc. in the physical world. 字面意义;外延 ? E.g. ―rose‖ ? E.g. 12 Chinese equivalents of ―cousin‖

Connotative meaning
? the meaning of a word or phrase that is suggested or implied, as opposed to a denotation, or literal meaning 隐含意义;内涵 ? “the attitudes or emotions of a language user in choosing a word and the influence of these on the listener or reader’s interpretation of the world‖ (Hedge, 2000:112) ? ―connotative meaning derives from a mix of cultural, political, social, and historical sources and learners will be aware of this phenomenon in their own language‖ but may not be so aware of it in TL. ? E.g. The connotation of ―rose‖ is that it is a symbol of passion and love - this is what the rose represents. ? E.g. ―dog‖

8.2.2 sense relations
1. 2. 3. 4. collocations synonyms antonyms hyponyms

Collocations
? --words that co-occur with high frequency and have been accepted as ways for the use of words ? E.g. ―see a movie‖, ―watch a play‖, ―look at a picture‖ ? ―heavy traffic‖, ―heavy smoker‖, ―heavy rain/snow/fog‖ ? Collocations help achieve fluency and appropriateness in language learning.

Synonyms
? --items that mean the same, or nearly the same ? E.g. big –huge; enormous—immense; male—masculine (formality); sad— unhappy; stare (in surprise) –glare (in anger)

Antonyms
? --items that mean the opposite of a word ? E.g. cheap—expensive; hot—cold
? 形容词反义词: long –short; wide –narrow; new –old; rough –smooth; light –dark, deep –shallow ? 动词反义词:bring –take; laugh –weep; ? 名词反义词:death –life; love –hatred; ? 副词反义词:merrily --sadly; noisily –quietly ? 介词/连词反义词:after –before; above –below ? … ? a matter of life and death; from start to finish, neither friend or foe, wanted dead or alive, to sink or swim (成功或失败), to have an old head on young shoulders (少年老成), Easy come, easy go.

Hyponyms 下义词
? --words which can be grouped together under the same superordinate (上义词) concept ? E.g. superordinate: body part; hyponyms: head, eyes, ears, mouth, arms, legs

8.2.3 Receptive and productive vocabulary
? Be aware of the distinction between receptive/passive and productive/active vocabulary. ? Receptive vocabulary refers to words that one is able to recognize and comprehend in reading or listening but unable to use automatically in speaking or writing. ? Productive vocabulary: words that one is not only able to recognize but also able to use in speech and writing.

See vocabulary knowledge as a scale
? Hedge (2000:116) suggests seeing our vocabulary knowledge as ―a scale running from recognition of a word at one end to automatic production at the other, through intermediate stages of making greater sense of the word and how it might be used in different contexts.‖

Nation’s (2001) explanation
? Receptive knowledge involves
1. being able to recognize the word when it is heard; 2. Being familiar with its written form so that it is recognized when it is met in reading; 3. Recognizing that it is made up of some parts and being able to relate these parts to its meaning; (form; word formation) 4. Knowing that the word signals a particular meaning;

5. Knowing what the word means in the particular context in which it has just occurred; 6. Knowing the concept behind the word which will allow understanding in a variety of contexts; 7. Knowing that there are some related words; 8. Being able to recognize that the word has been used correctly in the sentence in which it occurs; 9. Being able to recognize the typical collocations; 10. Knowing that the word is not an uncommon one and is not a pejorative (贬义的) word.

Productive knowledge of a word
1. Being able to say it with correct pronunciation including stress; 2. Being able to write it with correct spelling; 3. Being able to construct it using the right word parts in their appropriate forms; 4. Being able to produce the word to express the meaning;

5. Being able to produce the word in different contexts to express the range of meanings of it; 6. Being able to produce synonyms and opposites for it; 7. Being able to use the word correctly in an original sentence; 8. Being able to produce words that commonly occur with it; 9. Being able to decide to use or not use the word to suit the degree of formality of the situation.

8.2.4 Implications for teaching vocabulary (p.319)
1. Both denotative and connotative meaning need to be learned; 2. Words are better understood in context; 3. A group of related words is likely to be more memorable than a list of unrelated items, i.e. words learned with synonyms, antonyms or hyponyms; 4. Knowledge of word formation is a useful source for developing vocabulary. 5. Exploring sense relations among/between words help with learning and remembering words. 6. Teachers and learners need to be aware of the difference between receptive and productive vocabulary.

8.3 Ways of presenting vocabulary p.124
1. 2. 3. 4. Provide a visual or physical demonstration; Provide a verbal context to demonstrate meaning; Use synonyms or antonyms; Use lexical sets or hyponyms to show relations of words and their meanings; 5. Translate and exemplify, if words with abstract meaning; 6. Use word formation rules; 7. Teach vocabulary in chunks; 8. Relate words to contexts in real life; 9. Provide different contexts; 10.Prepare for possible misunderstanding or confusion.

8.4 Ways of consolidating vocabulary (pp.126-129)
? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Some vocabulary consolidation activities suggested: Labelling Spot the difference Describe and draw Play a game Use word series Word bingo Word association Find synonyms and antonyms Categories Using word net-work Using the Internet resources for more ideas

8.5 Developing vocabulary learning strategies
1. Review regularly 2. Guess meaning from context ? contextual clue: the topic, the grammatical structure, meaning connect between the given word and other words, linguistic pattern 3. Organize vocabulary effectively (p.131) 4. Use a dictionary (what dictionary, how to use, what to look for, when to use) 5. keep a vocabulary notebook (in different formats) 6. Manage strategy use: self-evaluate; share experiences

Vocabulary learning strategies (Wang & Wang, 2008: 323-329)
? Discovery strategies ? Determination strategies: discover the word meaning by guessing from 1) its structural knowledge; 2)an L1 cognate 同源词; 3)context; 4) consulting others. ? Social strategies: asking sb who knows ? Consolidation strategies ? Social strategies: 1) cooperative group learning; 2)teachers check for accuracy; 3) interact with NSs ? Memory/mnemonic strategies: 1) pictures/imagery; 2) related words; 3) unrelated words; 4) grouping; 5)word’s orthographical or phonological form ? Cognitive strategies: repetition and using mechanical meaning to study vocabulary, e.g. repeatedly saying a word; word lists and flash cards; taking notes in class; recording word lists; voc notebooks. ? Metacognitive strategies: to control and evaluate learning

8.6 Conclusion
? It is very important to make students aware how to learn vocabulary effectively and how to use some vocabulary learning strategies. ? Teachers should present new vocabulary items effectively and guide and help students consolidate the newly learned vocabulary. Also it is important for teachers to help students develop vocabulary learning strategies.

Assignment: Mini-demonstration of vocabulary teaching
? Design a lesson plan for teaching some new vocabulary items to senior high school students. Focus on (1) ≥ 3 effective ways of presenting the items; (2) ≥ 3 ways of consolidating the newly learned vocabulary. ? Demonstrate to the class next week. ? For Group 7.


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