You are on page 1of 19

lexis = all the words that belong to a

particular subject or language; vocabulary =


words known, learnt, used. (The Longman
Dictionary of Contemporary English )

Lexis and vocabulary are often used


interchangeably.

the study of the structure of words and how it


affects meaning, for example,
faith/faithful/unfaithful
Work in pairs. Make other words from book and
happy. For example, know knowing,
knowledge, unknown, well- known, knowingly,
acknowledge, acknowledgement etc.

What is a morpheme?
A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a
word.
(Carter, R. 1998) Vocabulary. London: Routledge.)

How many morphemes are there in each of


these words?
impolitely
dustbin
acting
overworked
irresponsible
stressed

comb
pathfinder
bedrooms

Free-standing (unbound) morphemes: individual


elements that can stand alone within a sentence
e.g. dog; book; man;happy

Bound morphemes: meaning-bearing units of


language, such as affixes, which are attached to
free-standing morphemes. They cannot stand
alone.
Inflectional morphemes: show grammatical relationships e.g. walk

walked; book books


Derivational morphemes: create new words and change meanings

Studying regular patterns can aid word recognition


and increase vocabulary, for example, icity in
publicity, audacity, authenticity, electricity etc. By
learning and applying one pattern, learners can
greatly extend their vocabulary.
It is one way of classifying vocabulary, for example,
presenting words that are alike in structure (but not
necessarily in meaning): adjectives ending in al, such
as brutal, frontal, horizontal.
It can help learners to memorise and spell words with
morphemic similarities, for instance, irregular verbs:
sing-sang-sung and ring-rang- rung.

Work with a partner.


How many ways are there of
building words in English?
Make a list!

Compounding

Gatekeeper

Conversion
A text to text (e.g.

SMS)

Affixes (prefixes and


suffixes)

Abbreviations
AIDS

Unhappy

Mr

happiness

Clipping
refrigerator fridge

Blending
Breakfast + lunch =

brunch

Using affixes (prefixes and suffixes) is one common


way of constructing words, e.g. return, helpful.
Look at the task provided.
1. How effective do you think this exercise would be
with a group of Intermediate learners?
2. What kind of difficulties could arise?
3. How could you extend this kind of activity?

Using affixation enables learners to increase


their vocabulary fairly quickly and they can
learn some of the common ones (for
example, ful, ness, pre). It can also
promote dictionary use.

Overgeneralisation of rules and use of non-existent


forms (for example, explainer, discusser).

Use/usage and the grammar associated with the word


if taught in isolation. Stress the importance of
context.

Pronunciation stress pattern changes. What


happens when the word changes from one word class
to another? For example, verbs nouns, such as
record, import, increase.

Spelling changes can be confusing.

Learners can use dictionaries to check


associated prepositions and collocations, and
the pronunciation and stress patterns.

Learners can write their own example


sentences.

The meaning of a word is understood in terms of its


relationship with other words in the language. The
words antonym, synonym, hyponym and
superordinate can be used to describe these
relationships.
Complete each sentence with one of the words above.
Shallow can be a ___________________for superficial
in certain contexts.
Achieve is the ___________________ for fail in certain
contexts.
Beef, pork and lamb are all ____________________of
meat. Meat is a _____________________.

Worksheet 1
Synonyms and Antonyms

Look at the tree diagram for FRUIT.

What is the advantage of presenting information


in this way?

Hungarian days of the week


htf
kedd
szerda
cstrtk
pntek
szombat
Vasrnap

Auditory methods: saying the word aloud to


yourself, repeating it silently, exaggerating certain
syllables.

Visual methods: picturing the word, seeing the word


as a whole, picturing it in a certain way, writing it
down to see if it looks right.

Kinaesthetic methods: tapping out the syllables with


your foot or a finger, tracing the word with your
finger, walking up and down while saying the word.

Mnemonics: using a rhyme, a poem or another


trick way to help remember; word association.

Looking for patterns in the word, especially when


you can relate them to your own language.

The easiest words to remember will probably be


ones which look similar to English words, are short,
or contain patterns which are similar to English
words.

Lexis is usually best learned in context.


Possible methods include lists, pairs of words,
semantic networks and translation.

Some words are more difficult to learn than


others, particularly abstract concepts, words
with shades of meaning, phrasal verbs and
idioms. Concrete words are generally
learned first and are easier to retain and
recall.