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 It is a language teaching method published by Michael
Lewis in 1993
 Giving importance the insight of the language lexicon
 Lexis is the basis of language
 The lexical approach concentrates on developing learners'
proficiency with lexis, or words and word combinations.
 Lexis plays the central role
 Alternative approach to traditional grammatical approach
 Chunks, minimal pairs, collacations, lexical units are the
specific characteristics of this approach
 Chomsky has recently adopted a lexicon-is-prime
 The role of lexical units has been stressed in both first and
second language acquisition research
 These units are :

- Holophrases
- Prefabricated patterns
- Gambits
- Speech formulae
- Lexicalized stems

o No learning theory
o No theory of language
o The building blocks of language learning and
communication are not grammar, functions or
some of unit of planning but teaching lexis with
the help of chunks and collocations.
What is chunk?
 'Lexical chunk' is an umbrella term which includes all the
other terms.

What are collocations?

 Collocation is a pair of lexical content words commonly

found together
o Lexical Chunks (that are not collocations)
 by the way
 up to now
 upside down
 If I were you
 a long way off
 out of my mind

o Lexical Chunks (that are collocations)

 totally convinced
 strong accent
 terrible accident
 sense of humour
 sounds exciting
 brings good luck

 Binomials ( e.g. Knife and fork…)

 Trinomials ( e.g. Cool, calm and collected…)

 Idioms ( e.g. To rain cats and dogs… )

 Similes ( e.g. As white as snow …. )

 Connectives ( e.g. Finally, to conclude )

 Conversational gambits ( e.g. Guess what… )

 Krashen’s suggestion:
 emphasis on reading and listening

 Others’ suggestion:
 making classroom laboratory

 Bahns’ suggestion:
 no direct translational equivalence for teaching of
lexical items in EFL

 Encountering new learning items

 Noticing lexical chunks or collocations
 Noticing similarities, differences, restrictions and examples
 Acquisition is based not on the application of formal rules
 No linear syllabus can adequately reflect the nonlinear
nature of acquisition
- Objectives;
 To get students to become aware of, use and to eventually master these
meaning-filled, multi-word “chunks”, collocations and fixed utterances.
 To help learners to notice for themselves how language is typically used
 Language is learnt by an increasing ability to break down wholes into
 Grammar is acquired by a process of observation, hypothesis and
 We can use whole phrases without understanding their constituent parts.
 Acquisition is accelerated by contact with a sympathetic interlocutor
with a higher level of competence in the target language

 Structural syllabus is used.( Also called as “ lexical

syllabus” )

 teaching vocabulary and grammar

 The talk of the teacher as a major source of learner input( This is the same with
the Natural Approach)

 To understand and implement the methodology which is based on stages

composed of;
- Report

 To create an operative environment(where students operate effectively)

 To help the learners manage their own learning after operation

 “…abandon the idea of the teacher as a knower and concentrate instead of the
idea of the learner as “discoverer”.” (Willis 1990)

 The analyzer of real life language samples based

on his or her own explanations

 To observe, classify and make generalizations

 Making use of computers


 Introduction of chunks

 Practice of chunks

 Accumulation of chunks

 Use of chunks and collocations

 It has lexically based theory of language
 It doesn't have any certain learning theory
 It is an alternative approach
 It focuses on words and word combinations
 Grammar and lexis are the heart of learning
 It aims to teach vocabulary within grammar
 Teachers help learners to discover knowledge instead of giving
it directly

 It lacks full characterization of an approach

 Lack of a detailed learning theory