Presentation on theme: "Unit 1: Whats in a Word? The Importance of Collocations Words Skills: Language and Activities for Talking About Words."— Presentation transcript:
Unit 1: Whats in a Word? The Importance of Collocations Words Skills: Language and Activities for Talking About Words
Todays class: (1)We will review concepts covered last class. (2) We will briefly discuss the importance of collocations. (3) We will look at language used for posing word riddles, giving hints and asking for answers.
Review Last class we looked at three important concepts: (1) Negotiation of meaning. (2) Skills-based curricula. (3) Teacher as an important source input and interaction for their students.
Task 1: Before we begin... Ive given you a piece of paper. Without asking your partner or anybody else. How would you say this in English? Bottle. Write your answer on the piece of paper. And hand it in.
Bottle has six letters.
Classroom English The verb have collocates with word. Words have letters. As an English teacher, you have to be very careful and pay attention to which words form collocations to avoid using awkward language.
Look at the following expressions below: Bottle consists of six letters. Bottle is composed of six letters. These expressions are grammatically correct yet very awkward.
Lets try another example What verb goes in the blank: ____________ a snowball fight.
You have a snowball fight.
Heres another example: Hes lonely. He needs to ____________ a girlfriend.
make a girlfriend?
You can make friends, but you usually get a girlfriend or find a girlfriend.
Students (and non-native ESL teachers) produce awkward language at times because they are not aware of which words form collocations.
Being aware of collocations will help you and students avoid using language that is grammatically correct but awkward. When we look at classroom interactions in English, pay careful attention to the language boxes for those interactions so that you can avoid awkward language.
In this class I want you to be very careful about word choice. As future English teachers the standard for you is much higher than for other students.
Roughly speaking, we say that two words are collocations if they occur together frequently. And because they occur together frequently, the combination seems natural. Whereas other words that are nearly synonymous would seem strange in the same combination.
A classic example comes from Michael Halliday:
Strong tea versus powerful computers. Strong is synonymous with powerful yet powerful seems awkward when applied to tea and strong seems awkward when applied to computers.
Our first classroom interaction: Discussing collocations with our students.
When we spot awkward word use we can explain it the following ways. (a)You can use the present tense putting emphasis on the word that needs to be changed. You PAY a visit not DO a visit. You don't Do a mistake, you MAKE a mistake.
(b) You can use the modal can (but we really mean usually). Trees can be TALL but not HIGH.(Unless you mean high up on a mountain) A woman can be BEAUTIFUL but not HANDSOME.
(c) You can point out what we usually say: We usually say HEAVY rain not STRONG rain. REACH an agreement is more common/natural than MAKE an agreement.