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My good-bye to the Lexical Approach
Seth Lindstromberg
1 The Lexical Phrase Hypothesis
2 Some characteristics of lexical phrases
3 Collocations
4 The essence of the Lexical Approach
5 Applying the Lexical Approach
6 So is there a ay to learn all this !oca"#lary$ collocations an% st#ff&
' So may"e the LPH has "een i%ely o!er(state%
) *oo%("ye+
1 The Lexical Phrase Hypothesis
A ma,or element in the theoretical "asis of the Lexical Approach to teaching-learning
an a%%itional lang#age is the Lexical Phrase Hypothesis
1
.LPH/$ that is0
1any cl#mps of or%s0e2g2$ as well 3 4too5 an% by and large 3 4in general50are not
only #se% "#t also store% in memory an% processe% as if they ere single or%s2
This proposition %eri!es from theoretical ling#istics2 6n applie% ling#istics$ an% in the
lore of T7S8L$ it is often frame% so as to incl#%e not ,#st fixe% m#lti(or%
expressions s#ch as the ones ,#st mentione% "#t also ones that are only relati!ely fixe%
.see Section 3$ 4Collocation5/2
The LPH has strong an% ea9 forms0
Strong0A !ery large proportion of lang#age(in(#se consists of lexical
phrases2
:ea90The proportion is significant "#t not o!erhelming2
Leis .1;;3/ a%!ocates an extremely strong form hich 6 s#mmari<e as follos0
Lang#age(in(#se is not primarily in%i!i%#al or%s com"ine%-parse% accor%ing
to r#les of grammar/= rather it is primarily rec#rrent or% com"inations$ or
lexical phrases that are store%$ accesse% an% processe% as if they ere single
or%s/2
Part of the rationale for the LPH is that spea9ers of a lang#age gain s#"stantial
"enefits from treating strings of or%s as if they ere #nits in themsel!es0
> increase% fl#ency .hen spea9ing an% riting/
> faster comprehension of hen rea%ing an% listening generally
> "etter comprehension$ especially hen listening to fast speech2
6n other or%s$ "y storing m#lti(or% expressions as chunks, e can recall an% #se
them itho#t ha!ing to mentally constr#ct them from in%i!i%#al or%s each time e
ant to #se them or mentally parse .grammatically analy<e/ them each time e rea%
or hear them2 Similarly$ hen e hear or rea% a lexical phrase$ e interpret it more
siftly if e ta9e it 4as a ch#n952 An alternate term for lexical phrase$ hich s#ggests
these f#nctional "enefits$ is pre-fabricated language2
8ne "it of e!i%ence for the LPH is that$ in the co#rse of ac?#iring their mother
tong#e$ chil%ren pass thro#gh a stage here they #se phrases as if they ere single
or%s2
Another is that0if e examine hat people say an% rite0e %o not fin% that they
are com"ining or%s .into phrases/ in all the meaningf#l ays alloe% "y s#ppose%
r#les of grammar2 6nstea%$ m#ch the same phrases ten% to occ#r o!er an% o!er again0
e2g2$ take umbrage at "#t not feel umbrage on account of22
So far as 6 9no there is as yet no certain ay .e2g2$ loo9ing at images of "rain
acti!ity/ of saying for s#re that a gi!en phrase really an% tr#ly is store% an% processe%
as a single lexical item "y any partic#lar person$ let alone people in general2
2

Therefore$ hen people .me$ for instance/ say that a partic#lar gro#p of or%s is a
lexical phrase$ hat they mean .or o#ght to mean/ is that these or%s might "e a
lexical phrase= they might$ that is$ "e a phrase hich the min% in some significant
respect treats as if it ere a single or%2 An% that is hat 6 ill mean from no on
hen 6 spea9 of lexical phrases e!en tho#gh$ for the sa9e of rea%a"ility$ 6 ill omit the
might2
2 Some characteristics of lexical phrases
A lexical phrase is a gro#p of or%s hich forms a grammatical #nit of some 9in% an%
hich exhi"its a %egree of 4inflexi"ility52 As to the last feat#re$ some lexical phrases
are totally @fro<en@ .#nchangea"le/ hile others are rather !aria"leA
> 6n!aria"le phrasesA by and large, as well, let alone, so be it
> Somehat !aria"le phrasesA Don’t rock the boat, She’s rocking the boatB
Crock the boat 3 4%ist#r" the instit#tional stat#s ?#o5D
6t is often claime% that certain long clichEs are remem"ere% li9e single items of
!oca"#lary$ e2g2$ There's no time like the present; e!er a dull moment; "t ne!er rains
but it pours, #od only knows$ 6f so$ there can "e lexical sentences2 .%ulti-word lexical
unit o#l% therefore "e a "etter term than lexical phrase2/
3
Some lexical phrases are highly i%iomatic .i2e2$ #ng#essa"le from component or%s/
0e2g2$ by and large .3 4generally5/2 8thers are not0e2g2$ pick up a bad habit .hose
meaning can easily "e g#esse% "y a learner ho 9nos a common meaning of each
or% in the phrase/2
6n terms of form$ lexical phrases are categori<e% in !ario#s ays2 Here is one0

> polyor% at any rate, by and large, as well C3 4also5D
> frame or slot the &ad'$(-er the &ad'()er, as &ad'(*$as,
so &ad'(*that* $
+ittle did*reali,e that*
> sentence hea% -ould you$$$$$, #od only knows wh-*
> sentence tail B, if you would$, *and so on$
> clichE There's more than one way to skin a cat$
Some lexical phrases ha!e 4speech(f#nctional meaning52 For example$ -ould "*. has
the f#nction in speech of intro%#cing a re?#est2 8thers ha!e lexical meaning$ hich is
to say that they are %irectly %efina"le2 Phrasal .or m#lti(or%/ !er"s are li9e this2 For
instance$ bump into is %efina"le as 4meet "y chance52
As ith !oca"#lary generally$ lexical phrases may "e formal ./ould you mind if*./
or informal .0ut up or shut up, #imme* 3 4*i!e meB5$ D’ya wanna*. 3 4Go yo#
ant toB5/2
6n short$ "elie!ers in a strong !ersion of the LPH consi%er 4!oca"#lary5 to incl#%e not
,#st tho#san%s of in%i!i%#al or%s "#t lexical phrases in their h#n%re%s or$ more
pro"a"ly$ tho#san%s2 .Has anyone trie% to co#nt them&/ H#t there is more2 There are
collocations too$ tho#san%s an% tho#san%s of them2 The LA says that !oca"#lary in
this greatly expan%e% sense sho#l% "e the prime lang#age foc#s of o#r teaching2
3 Collocations
6t seems to me that people in T7S8L$ in their #se of the term collocation$ sometimes
gi!e it i%er scope than lexical phrase2 That is$ the term collocation refers to "oth
fixed lexical phrases s#ch as kith and kin .3 4relati!es5/ an% relatively loose
associations of words s#ch as hea!y rain2 .This lin9age is loose in the sense that
there are more or less synonymo#s alternati!es to hea!y rain2 So hile strong rain is
#nnat#ral$ hard rain is possi"le= rain can also "e po#n%ing$ %renching$ %ri!ing$
torrential an% so on2/ H#t sometimes collocation is #se% to refer ,#st to more or less
loose associations2 I#st to "e clear$ 6 ill a%opt the latter practice2
6t is sometimes sai% that a or% may collocate left or right2 For instance$ the no#n
rain can "e folloe% "y a great many or%s "#t there are feer that come to its left2 6t
is therefore com"inations ith these or%s that are more fre?#ent an%$ e may
s#ppose$ more ha"it go!erne%2 All this is meant "y saying$ rain 4collocates left5 .li9e
thisA hea!yrain/2
4
Hy the same reasoning$ so %oes umbrage , takeumbrage2 Depend$ on
the other han%$ can "e prece%e% "y many or%s "#t it is generally folloe% "y on2 So
depend collocates right$ li9e thisA dependon2 An% so %oes similarA similarto2
Sometimes collocation seems to "e more or less e!enly "i(%irectional .e2g2$ rock↔the
boat/2
6t is often pointe% o#t that comp#ter(r#n analyses of m#lti(million or% 4corpora5 .a
4corp#s5 is a large collection of texts/ ha!e ma%e it relati!ely easy to search o#t large
n#m"ers of collocations2 Hefore the a%!ent of the comp#ter this as an excee%ingly
time(cons#ming enterprise2 This is hy the LA is recent2
4 The essence of the Lexical Approach
A common !ie of lang#age competence is$ partially an% ro#ghly$ as follosA
Spea9ers an% riters inten% meanings hich they express thro#gh the
appropriate choice an% com"ination of or%s2 These or%s may$ a%%itionally$ "e
n#ance% "y means of$ for instance$ grammatical inflection2
To p#t this in an e!en smaller n#tshellA
> inten%e% meaningsor%s J grammar-morphologymeaningf#l o#tp#t
The con!erse .for listeners an% rea%ers/ isA
> inp#tgrammar J or%s#n%erstoo% meanings
Hefore the LA came on the scene$ it as !ery commonly hel% that a learner ith a
mo%erately s#"stantial 9nole%ge of grammar .incl#%ing morphology/ an% only a fe
tho#san% or%s co#l% "e a stri9ingly effecti!e comm#nicator2 Conse?#ently$ there
as near #nanimity among metho%ologists$ materials riters an% teachers that
learners$ right #p to #pper(interme%iate le!el$ sho#l% spen% a lot of time on grammar2
There is something theoretically elegant a"o#t this !ie of things= an% it ha% s#ch
promise of efficiency+ 6n%ee%$ it %i% not alays fail as a metho% of instr#ction2
The premise of LA$ in contrast$ is that lang#age learning is achie!e% largely "y the
"r#te a"ility of the h#man min% to learn$ store an% process in%i!i%#al lexical items
.3or%s an% rec#rrent or% com"inations/2
To ela"orate0
A common non(LA !ie is that o#r a"ility to learn !oca"#lary is not partic#larly
o#tstan%ing2 :hat is o#tstan%ing is o#r a"ility$ in the instant "efore spea9ing$ to
spee%ily com"ine single or%s into meaningf#l strings an%$ hen listening$ to parse
an% #n%erstan% at lightning spee%2 6n this !ie$ o#r memories are relati!ely small "#t
o#r on(line processors are !ery poerf#l2
The LA !ie is that o#r a"ility to learn !oca"#lary is massi!e "#t o#r a"ility to %o on(
line grammar isn5t2 :e are ,#st not that ?#ic9 at com"ining single or%s into
meaningf#l strings an% e ten%$ as m#ch as e can$ to a!oi% #sing grammar to "#il%
#tterances or% "y or%2 As listeners an% rea%ers$ the spee% ith hich e
#n%erstan% goes #p hen e are confronte% ith text that is f#ll of lexical phrases
an% familiar collocations2 6n short$ o#r memories are !ast "#t o#r on(line processors
are rather ea92
An implication of the latter !ie$ gi!en acceptance of the LPH$ is that a lot of time
m#st "e %e!ote% to learning !oca"#lary .incl#%ing thousands of rec#rrent or%
com"inations/ so that learners ill "e a"le to0
> to compose an% constr#e #tterances ?#ic9ly$ as they m#st %o if they are to "e
competent in face to face comm#nication
> to spea9 an% rite ith nat#ral phrasing$ e2g2$ to a!oi% collocations s#ch as strong
rain hich are grammatically correct "#t not nat#ral2
An%$ the stronger yo#r !ersion of the LPH$ the more h#n%re%s or tho#san%s of
!oca"#lary items yo# thin9 yo#r st#%ents ha!e to learn2
5 Applying the LA
For the teacher$ the "iggest ?#estion relating to the LA is$ KHo %o yo# translate it
into practice&L Personally$ 6 %on5t thin9 that a%!ocates of the LPH ha!e ansere% this
?#estion in a ay that a%%s m#ch to c#rrent mainstream practice as reflecte% in$ say$
recent offerings of MN p#"lishers2 .H#t rea% Leis 1;;' an% see hat yo# thin92/
F#rther$ 6 rec9on there is room to %o#"t hether it is in%ee% possi"le to translate into
practice any !ersion of the LA hich is "ase% on a strong form of the LPH2
For one thing$ there %oes not yet seem to "e any means satisfactory to e%#cation
"#rea#crats or to the merely c#rio#s of %eci%ing hat !oca"#lary to teach at hat
le!el$ in partic#lar$ hat !oca"#lary to teach "eyon% elementary le!el2
12 Oo comprehensi!e !oca"#lary fre?#ency list ma%e ithin the past 5P years
says hich meaning of a or% is most fre?#entBan% therefore .perhaps/
most %eser!ing of priority in the classroom2 Thin9 of s#ch polysemic
or%s as on$ right an% sound an% yo# ill see hat a pro"lem this might
pose$ since 6 ass#me yo# ill not ant to ma9e a ha"it of teaching all
meanings at the same time2
22 Lexical phrases are sparsely incl#%e% in s#ch lists$ if at all2
32 So far as 6 9no there exists no fre?#ency list hich incl#%es
pe%agogically #sef#l information a"o#t the commonest thematic contexts
of this or that #nit of !oca"#lary2
42 6n any case$ p#"lishers .ho ha!e "een partic#larly acti!e in the f#n%ing
of list compilation/ try to 9eep their fre?#ency lists secret2
6n short$ any imme%iate$ %etaile% application of the LA in sylla"#s creation o#l% "e
premat#re2
Things are only a "it "etter ith respect to implementation in the classroom2 To start
ith$ any i%eal Lexical 1etho% hich rests$ #ltimately$ on a strong !ersion of the
LPH o#l% ena"le st#%ents .ho in general cannot spen% more than a fe ho#rs a
ee9 in class/ to learn !oca"#lary items .incl#%ing rec#rrent or% com"inations/ at
the rate of se!eral score per ho#r2 H#t$ the claims of S#ggestope%ia notithstan%ing$
no s#ch metho% is a!aila"le2
So %o#"t forms2 6s a tr#ly effecti!e metho% for mega(!oca"#lary learning a realistic
hope& Let5s loo9 at some of the s#ggestions that ha!e "een ma%e2
Again an% again o!er recent years 6 ha!e come across articles in hich a#thors
recommen% #sing concor%ances in the classroom2
5
H#t ha!ing st#%ents %o this can$ at
"est$ lea% to a min#tely tiny increment in their !oca"#laries "eca#se0
> Concor%ance analysis is a highly "oo9ormy type of acti!ity an% fe
people are illing "oo9orms2 6t5s har% eno#gh to get st#%ents$
partic#larly 9i%s$ to rea% st#ff that is intrinsically interesting$ *etting them
to pore o!er collocations so that they may %isco!er ho this or that "it of
!oca"#lary patterns is minimally realistic2 6t is$ li9e the So!iet
collecti!i<ation of agric#lt#re$ a great i%ea if yo# ignore people5s li9ely
reactions to it2
> 6t is far from in!aria"ly easy to see from a !ery limite% co(text .hich is
precisely hat a concor%ance is/ hat this or that #nit of !oca"#lary might
act#ally ha!e "een inten%e% to mean in its sit#ation of #se2 Tr#e$ one might
.this is at least theoretically possi"le/ go "ac9 to the corp#s to see the
larger contextA "#t ho except an o#t an% o#t "oo9orm o#l% %o this&
> Concor%ance st#%y strongly ten%s to lea% to in(%epth learning a"o#t the
near co(text of partic#lar !oca"#lary items rather than the learning of
items in significant n#m"ers per se2 H#t the gist of a Lexical 1etho% is
that ?#antity is 9ey2
All in all$ collocation st#%y is li9ely to "e a grotes?#ely inefficient #se of class time if
one %oes more than as9 learners .#nless they plan to "ecome ling#ists/ to in!estigate
the collocation of a fe highly fre?#ent or%s2 8N$ if e are tal9ing a"o#t raising
lang#age aareness$ then this acti!ity co#l% "e #sef#l to someByo# ne!er 9no2 H#t
if e are tal9ing a"o#t any significant "oost to !oca"#lary learning$ then 6 thin9
a%!ocacy of concor%ance st#%y in the classroom is %eep in the realm of "aseless
hopeB"#t still not as %eep in as the hope that a significant n#m"er of st#%ents o#l%
%o this 9in% of thing on their on time$ learner training or no learner training2
1ichael Leis$ ho has a%!ocate% the LA ith partic#lar <eal .e2g2$ Leis$ 1;;3/$ is
a partic#larly interesting case2 Altho#gh he tal9s re!ol#tion$ he conce%es .p2 1;3/
Kthat no one metho%ology represents the ay forar%L2
A 9ey concl#sion he %ras from a strong !ersion of the LPH is that learners nee% to
%e!ote a lot of time to study-learning lexical #nits2 The instr#ctional-learning pattern
he recommen%s is that st#%ents sho#l% first o"ser!e %ata$ that they sho#l% then
hypothesi<e a"o#t it$ an% then experiment2
6t is not that 6 o",ect to any of this at root2 1ut what " do not think this plan of action
promises is the re2uisite increase in the rate of !ocabulary learning for if the assertion
that lang#age is mostly lexical ch#n9s means anything$ it means that st#%ents ho
ish to "e comprehensi!ely comm#nicati!ely competent ha!e to learn tons and tons
more !oca"#lary than anyone #se% imagine e!en in their %reams2
The stress Leis lays on learner training is more to the point2 :ith all this !oca"#lary
to learn$ people are going to ha!e to learn most of it on their on time2 H#t the i%ea of
learner training has "een aro#n% for some time an% as orthhile as it may "e0
pro!i%e% it is sel%om o!ert ."eing explicitly traine% to learn is not something that
fascinates st#%ents for long0there is no re!ol#tion here$ not as it has "een %escri"e%2
All in all$ an examination of the Leis5s specific recommen%ations lea%s me to
concl#%e that$ for all his fiery tal9 of f#n%amental change$ hat he is a%!ocating in
the ay of method is an assortment of acti!ities an% tas9 types familiar not only from
Comm#nicati!e ."#t not partic#larly H#manistic/ metho%ology "#t also$ in too large a
part$ from the metho%ology of %ry(as(%#st or9"oo9s2
H#t this is still not the eightiest o",ection to a strong !ersion of the LA .i2e2$ a
!ersion "ase% on a strong form of the LPH/2
6 So is there a ay to learn all this !oca"#lary$ collocations an% st#ff&
6n or%er for a strong !ersion of the LA to "e more than ,#st pla#si"le an% tho#ght(
pro!o9ing$ it m#st "e implementa"le in a ay that reflects these propositions0
A normal foreign-secon% lang#age learner is en%oe% ith the a"ility to0
1. retain in memory an% ?#ic9ly access an% process a staggeringly !ast n#m"er
of !oca"#lary items of all si<es
2. learn !oca"#lary$ incl#%ing lexical phrases an% other rec#rring or% patterns$
at a !ery great rate2
6n other or%s$ hat the LA seems to cry o#t for is a p#rpose("#ilt Lexical 1etho%$ or
to$ or three$ or more2 H#t so far$ no s#ch metho% is anyhere in sight2
This is not to %eny that$ no an% again$ some !ery goo% rele!ant material comes onto
the mar9et2 7xamples that spring to min% are0
> the learners5 %ictionaries p#t o#t "y .especially/ MN p#"lishers .all rich in
information a"o#t collocationBtho#gh all still %isappointing ith respect to
prototypical lexical phrases/2
> 3nglish 4ocabulary in 5se .1cCarthy$ 1ichael an% Felicity 85Gell2 1;;42
Cam"ri%ge/
S#ch "right spots not ithstan%ing$ not only has there "een no lexical re!ol#tion in
classroom .as oppose%$ e2g2$ to lexicographic/ metho%ology= it is not e!en clear hat
one o#l% loo9 li9e2 An% no re!ol#tion either in learner training$ 6 s#ggest2
6t merely$ as "efore$ seems li9ely that e can help o#r st#%ents learn !oca"#lary "y
pro!i%ing0
> interesting comprehensi"le inp#t that is rich in rec#rrent or% com"inations2
> interesting acti!ities that help st#%ents notice an% recall ch#n9s of these texts2
> opport#nities for st#%ents to spec#late$ to as9 an% to hear a"o#t hy it is that
some or%s %o or %o not rec#rringly com"ine ith certain other ones2 .6 ill
ret#rn to this point in the Section '2/
:e co#l%$ therefore$ %o orse than B
> #se song lyrics a lot
> often #se other 9in%s of short a#thentic texts
.See especially$
> Ga!is$ Pa#l an% 1ario Qin!ol#cri2 1;)'2 Dictation2 Cam"ri%ge M2 Press2
> 1aley$ Alan2 1;;42 Short and Sweet2 Peng#in2
> 1aley$ Alan2 1;;52 Short and Sweet ""$ Peng#in2/
> re(%o#"le o#r efforts to entice st#%ents to rea% for pleas#re .e2g2$ "y com"ining the
rea%ing of a no!el ith shoings of a filme% !ersion2/
> apply S#ggestope%ia not to the lame %ialog#es normal to the metho% "#t instea% to
material of ?#ality$ e2g2$ sections of the filmscript of %y 6air +ady$ the lyrics of
41r Tam"o#rine 1an5Bhate!er seems right for yo#r gro#p2
> in!ol!e st#%ents in con!entional amate#r %ramatics2
' So may"e the LPH has "een o!er(state%
Res$ it has "een2 Proponents of a strong !ersion of the LPH #n%er(play the importance
of semantics at the or% le!el2 For instance$ they maintain that many high fre?#ency
or%s$ s#ch as spatial prepositions$ are 4%elexicali<e%5$ hich is to say that they are
often #se% ith no meaning at all2 The implication of s#ppose% %elexicali<ation is that
st#%ents sho#l%n5t try to #n%erstan% hat prepositions mean= instea%$ they sho#l%
someho commit to memory many h#n%re%s$ or tho#san%s$ of lexical phrases hich
contain prepositions2 6 ha!e to things to say a"o#t this2
12 That o#l% re?#ire a lot of phrase learning$ m#ch more learning "y far than
o#l% "e in!ol!e% in a%e?#ately learning the meanings of 'P or so spatial
prepositions2
22 This !ie of prepositional meaning is false2 Qather$ prepositions are rarely
%elexicali<e% as 6 ill no "riefly arg#e2 .F#ller arg#ments ha!e "een ma%e in
Lin%strom"erg 1;;6$ 1;;' an% 2PP12/

Let5s ta9e for example something 6 rote a"o!e in Section 5A students would do this
kind of thing on their own time2 6 am ?#ite s#re that many LA enth#siasts o#l%
i%entify on CtheirD own time as a lexical phrase$ more partic#larly$ as a 4frame5 hich
st#%ents sho#l% commit to memory as is2 H#t this !ie is #na"le to acco#nt for these
facts0
> 8ne co#l% also say in CtheirD own time2
> In CtheirD own time has a %ifferent meaning from on [theirD own time2
> The %ifference in the meaning of the to phrases %eri!es from the
%ifference in meaning of the to prepositions .hich therefore cannot "e
consi%ere% as "eing %elexicali<e%/2
The explanation is as follosA
6t is common to spea9 an% thin9 of #nelcome e!ents$ states an% concerns as "#r%ens
that one can "e 4#n%er5 .,#st li9e yo# can "e #n%er a hea!y "#r%en/ or hich can "e
4on5 hoe!er is experiencing them .,#st li9e a hea!y "#r%en can "e on yo#r "ac9/ 0
e2g2$
take on a Cburden ofD responsibility, the straw that broke the camel’s back, be under
strain, The problem weighed on his mind, 7er car died on her2
Do something on one’s own time is in this gro#p2 That is$ hen 6 say that students
would do it on their own time$ the n#ance that on s#pplies is that st#%ents5 on time
.their free time/ s#ffers thro#gh "eing #se% #p "y teachers5 %eman%s on it2 The
expression in their own time has no s#ch meaning "eca#se the preposition in has no
concept#al relation to the notion of "#r%en2 Qather ."eca#se in is a"o#t containment/$
in their own time means merely 4during their on time52
There is a similar %ifference in meaning "eteen ha!e something on your mind an%
ha!e something in CyourD mind2 The former is a concern or pro"lem$ i2e2$ a
metaphorical "#r%en2 The latter is not2
There is a !irt#al infinity of ell(forme% expressions li9e on your mind an% in CyourD
mind2 Learners can either try to memori<e them one "y one ith comparati!ely little
regar% to the meanings of the in%i!i%#al or%s that ma9e them #p .this o#l% "e the
a%!ice of an LA fan/$ or$ more efficientlyB
> learn some of them one "y one .e2g2$ the straw that broke the camel’s back/
"#t$ for the rest$
> "ecome aare of operati!e metaphors
> learn the meanings of in%i!i%#al or%s s#ch as under, on an% in2
6n short$ o!er(reliance on the LA o#l% lea% away from the %isco!ery of real an%
#sef#lly generati!e or% meanings an% into inefficiency2

) *oo%("ye+
There is a great %eal of e!i%ence for a ea9 form of the LPH0a !ersion$ that is$
hich %oes not ra%ically #n%er(state the importance of grammar an% of or%(le!el
meaning2 H#t accepting this ?#alification raises the ?#estion06s the Lexical
Approach a #sef#l constr#ct& *i!en that it s#ggests no ne marching or%ers$ my !ie
is that it is not2 Giscar% it$ 6 say$ "#t at the same time incorporate a ea9 form of the
LPH into the set of "eliefs #n%erlying hate!er pe%agogical approach yo# ha!e
alrea%y "een operating ith2 6t is perhaps too "a% tho#gh if yo# ha!e "een a <ealo#s
LA practitioner2 Certainly$ pe%agogy "ase% on a strong !ersion of the LPH sho#l% "e
a!oi%e% since that o#l% mean ha!ing a !ie of lang#age hich .1/ s#ggests that
lang#age learners ha!e an astronomical amo#nt of !oca"#lary to learn "#t .2/ offers
no promising tips on ho they can spee% #p eno#gh to %o it2 Fort#nately then$ a
strong !ersion of the LPH is .3/ inacc#rate2
Acknowldegement
6 am !ery gratef#l Qic9 Cooper for his comments on a late %raft of this2 An% than9s
too to 1ichael Leis for pointing o#t that terms in a 9ey passage on page one ere in
the rong or%er2
otes
1 Also #n%erlying the LA is the "elief that fl#ency is a more important glo"al
learning aim than acc#racy$ grammatical acc#racy in partic#lar2
2 Pin9er .1;;;A 2;5(;;/ %isc#sses the potential of fo#r techni?#es of 4f#nctional
ne#roimaging5 .positron emission tomography$ f#nctional magnetic resonance
imaging$ e!ent relate% potential an% magnetoencephalography/ to re!eal ho
m#ch of lang#age comes from r#les an% ho m#ch is listemes2 He says there
is hope that goo% e!i%ence may "e in the offing2
3 Pin9er .1;;;$ p2 26/ s#ggests the name listeme as a "lan9et term for all the
items .or%s an% m#lti(or% #nits/ that e can fin% liste% in o#r mental
%ictionary$ pre(assem"le%2
4 I#stifying statements a"o#t %irection of collocation is not necessarily a
straightforar% matter2 For instance$ my colleag#e Qic9 Cooper o"ser!e%$ on
rea%ing this passage$ that rain collocates to the right ith dogs .i2e2$ rain dogs
is in a Tom :aits song/$ %an .as in the mo!ie 8ain %an/$ ith check an%
forest$ for instance2 6 might co#nter his co#nter(examples "y saying that
may"e rain ser!es the f#nction of a%,ecti!e in them$ not that of no#n= "#t 6
o#l% not "e terri"ly confi%ent that my reply is to the point2
5 Qe the practice of concor%ancing$ see$ e2g2$
Ste!ens$ Sance .1;;5/ at httpA--2r#f2rice2e%#-T"arlo-ste!ens2html
Co""$ Tom .1;;'/ at httpA--2er2#?am2ca-no"el-r212'P-c!-Han%sUon2html
Qe concor%ances p#re an% simple .e2g2$ if yo# ,#st ant to 9no hat they
are/$ chec9 o#tA
httpA--2ns9net2or2,p-Tpeterr(s-concor%ancing-
httpA--ec2h9#2h9-macomp-malang%2html
httpA--2r,c2freeser!e2co2#9-
!or a rosier view of LA see0
8lga 1o#%raia at httpA--2cal2org-ericcll-%igest-P1P2lexical2html
"eferences
Leis$ 1ichael2 1;;32 The +exical 9pproach: The State of 3+T and a /ay 6orward2
LTP2
Leis$ 1ichael2 1;;'2 "mplementing the +exical 9pproach: 0utting Theory into
0ractice2 LTP2
Lin%strom"erg$ S2 1;;62 4PrepositionsA meaning an% metho%52 3+T ;ournal$ 5P-3A
225(362
Lin%strom"erg$ S2 1;;'2 3nglish 0repositions 3xplained$ Iohn Hen,amins2
Lin%strom"erg$ S2 2PP12 4Preposition entries in MN monoling#al %ictionaries52
9pplied +inguistics 22-1A ''(1P3
Pin9er$ Ste!en2 1;;;2 /ords and 8ules: The "ngredients of +anguage2 Phoenix2