This chapter describes a type of foreign language learning activity in which concordancing techniques, integrated with more usual classroom activities, are used to raise awareness of certain features of content words in ‘general English’. In particular, the activity aims to highlight: participation of lexis in compounds and multiword units; collocational preference; divisibility of general meaning into separate but related senses; relationship between sense distinction and collocational preference; figurative usages; words and phrases of cultural significance. In the activity described, the focus of attention is restricted semantic sets such as those of COLOURS or METALS. There are a number of advantages in using such sets. Firstly, many of the words have interesting phraseological patterning, multiple senses and cultural associations. Secondly, learners are not just finding out about random words but about words which have strong semantic links with each other: this enables comparisons to be made, thus highlighting the communicative aspect of the activity. Thirdly, in a potentially alienating situation (hundreds of short lines of text), learners should be helped by the fact that they are investigating core content words with a strong physical meaning.

Investigating restricted semantic sets in a large general corpus: learning activities for students of English as a foreign language

COFFEY, STEPHEN JAMES
2007

Abstract

This chapter describes a type of foreign language learning activity in which concordancing techniques, integrated with more usual classroom activities, are used to raise awareness of certain features of content words in ‘general English’. In particular, the activity aims to highlight: participation of lexis in compounds and multiword units; collocational preference; divisibility of general meaning into separate but related senses; relationship between sense distinction and collocational preference; figurative usages; words and phrases of cultural significance. In the activity described, the focus of attention is restricted semantic sets such as those of COLOURS or METALS. There are a number of advantages in using such sets. Firstly, many of the words have interesting phraseological patterning, multiple senses and cultural associations. Secondly, learners are not just finding out about random words but about words which have strong semantic links with each other: this enables comparisons to be made, thus highlighting the communicative aspect of the activity. Thirdly, in a potentially alienating situation (hundreds of short lines of text), learners should be helped by the fact that they are investigating core content words with a strong physical meaning.
Coffey, STEPHEN JAMES
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/113299
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