Individually, don’t write the words I showed you, but write 8 collocations or examples for the word pair – and / or phrases or connected to the word pair. You have three minutes
A, B and C. Compare your lists. How many of your associated words, phrases or sentences coincided? Any thoughts on that?
A only. Look at this list. Hands up if you had any of these in your list. sell my old car get a good price for my old car my old car is gathering dust in the garage get rid of my old car scrap my old car trade in my old car belong to an old car club find parts for my old car
B only. Look at this list. Hands up if you had any of these in your list. crushed by a huge lorry crash head-on into a huge lorry get hit by a huge lorry get knocked off my bike by a huge lorry a huge lorry blocked the road a huge lorry got blown over a huge lorry caught fire this huge lorry caused chaos on the roads
A only. Look at this list. Hands up if you had any of these in your list. I’m thinking of getting a new car scratched my new car dented my new car can’t really afford a new car buy a new car sales of new cars are up / down insure my new car take out a loan to get a new car
Any further thoughts, bearing in mind the title?
Why the obsession with lexical sets? What might be wrong with them? What alternatives might there be?
Why the obsession with lexical sets? - - brain organises words in categories - - easier to learn in categories - easier to learn single words - easier to write exercises … and syllabus coursebooks around topics - teachers expect this organisation.
Issue 1 The way we organise things is not how we acquire them. The brain organises language in lots of different networks. When we are ‘texting’ rather than categorising we use different networks. Collocations / groups of words may have different networks to single words.
Issue 2 - Learning words in hyponomous sets or similar may be less efficient. - Also may be less easy to turn into usage and conversation - Collocations and short phrases may be as easy to learn as single words
Issue 3 - Focus on topic vocabulary will tend towards the less frequent. - Less useful? Less efficient?
Can we challenge expectations? - how we teach and learn vocab - what constitutes a lexical set or unit of vocabulary learning - how we organise and write coursebooks
Issue 4 Frequency Lists such as AWL may be an alternative, but... Frequency as an organising principle tends towards a focus on single words. Paradoxically, a focus on the network around words means the frequency of the single word is less important.
Adapting to expectations - Make greater use of texts to teach lexis - Explore networks of words within a set - ‘Text’ part of the set
Making greater use of texts not how we acquire different networks ‘texting’ collocations sets less efficient less easy usage topic less frequent frequency lists single words paradoxically
Practice with a new text Choose words / collocation pairs to re-tell text.
Exploring words in a set What might the government do to an historic area or building? Why What do you find in a residential area? Would you recommend a tourist to visit a rough area? Why / Why not? What might a local government do to a run-down building or area? What might you find in a trendy area? And what kind of people might live there? What’s happening when we say an area is up-and-coming?
The whole area’s really run-down. It needs more i……………. It’s quite rough. I’d …………… it after dark if you don’t want to be stabbed! Some buildings in the historic centre are protected as they ……… over 600 years. It’s an up-and-coming area. A lot of middle class people have moved into the area and new restaurants and businesses have ……….. up so property prices are on the ……….
Texting part of the set: rob I was sitting outside a cafe and I had my bag on the table and this guy came up to me and started talking to me in a foreign language and pointing to a map. He then walked off and I realised he’d grabbed my bag. I was going to go after him but he’d gone. My bag had my phone, passport, purse, everything in it.
What might the text and key vocab be? Our house was robbed.
Alternative course / lesson design Exploring frequent words Messaging (George Woollard)
Key wordrestore Collocationsthe building / eyesight / order Network around collocationdemonstration against police / angry / turned into a riot / spread / smash up / set fire / bring in extra support / restore order / clean up … Discuss examplescorrect and teach grammar and new vocab Read / Listen to textnotice grammar and vocab Discuss / practice Explore key word
Messaging Text Translate Identify chunks Vary chunks Use dictionary / teacher Create a new text Memorise / Practice
Varying chunks I was sitting outside a cafe I was sitting on a bench in the park I was sitting in the main square I was standing at the bus stop I was walking down the street and I had my bag on the table and I had my bag next to me and I had my bag over my shoulder and I had my phone on the table and I had my wallet on the table
this guy came up to me this girl came up to me this man walked up to me this woman ran up to me this guy rode up to me on a bike and started talking to me and started shouting at me and started pointing to a map and started asking for directions and started asking me for money