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More Effective Way of Learning English Using Lexical Approach (Greater Emphasis on Vocabulary Building)

More Effective Way of Learning English Using Lexical Approach

More Effective Way of Learning English Using Lexical Approach

More Effective Way of Learning English Using Lexical Approach. For many years English language learning has been too focused on the importance of understanding how complex English grammar works in both spoken and especially written form of the language. This may occur due to the great difference between the learner’s native language structure and that of English language.

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However, do you realize that there is much more that we can express using a good range of lexical resource instead of getting confused with all those grammar rules, as Wilkins (1972) famous quote says “While without grammar little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”.

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Figured 1. Lexical Approach. Source: Freepik

Figured 1. Lexical Approach. Source: Freepik

Therefore since it was first published by Michael Lewis around 13 years ago, Lexical Approach of language learning has gained more popularity and considered to be an effective way of acquiring English, as it focuses more on combinations of words or phrases as language chunks, in contrast with groups of parts of speech following certain formulas/structures. This approach emerged from the awareness that the obvious difference between a native speaker’s proficiency and that of a non-native speaker is mainly caused by one’s lexical resources – which includes sets of expressions and collocations. Some good examples to illustrate this:

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in spoken English:

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  • I understand what you mean. I don’t understand what you mean. Do you understand what I mean?

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Other alternative ways used by native speakers to express the same ideas:

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  • I get it. I don’t get it. Do you get it?
  • I get the picture. I don’t get the picture. Can you picture that?
  • I see what you mean. I don’t see what you mean. Do you see what I mean?
  • I think I have quite a good grasp of what you’re saying. I can’t quite grasp that. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?

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in written English:

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  • We want you to make the process quicker.

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Other alternative ways used by native speakers to write this:

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  • If possible, would you rush it a bit further?
  • If it’s not too much trouble, could you make it faster?
  • We would like to ask you to speed up the process.
  • We really appreciate if you could expedite the process.

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Figured 2. Vocabulary. Source: wislondailyprep.com

Figured 2. Vocabulary. Source: wislondailyprep.com

Notice how subtle alterations in meanings and effects are resulted by the selections of lexical resource, and how the speakers become much more fluent and communicative as the consequence. The question remains is how we should record and get familiar with the use of those lexis/chunks (as highlighted in colors in the examples) that is suggested to be acquired as a whole language rather than strings of words governed by very complex grammatical rules.

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So… would you like to know more practical yet effective ways of developing your (English) lexical resources? Keep following our informative articles from SUN English. (LAF)

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References:

  1. Lewis, M. 1993. The Lexical Approach. Hove: LTP
  2. Wilkins, D. A. 1972. Linguistics in language teaching. London: Edward Arnold

 

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