Revising and Recycling Lexis

Session description

Presenter(s): 
Leo Selivan

Session details:

While most teachers understand the importance of teaching vocabulary in chunks, few actually know how to go about it. This practical workshop provides ideas on how to revise and recycle collocations your learners come across and demonstrates a variety of activities suitable for different levels and different intelligences, some of which require almost no preparation. It is a sad, but well-known fact that most coursebooks do not provide enough repeated encounters with lexical items. While learners may be exposed to the same lexis within a particular unit, few coursebooks ensure that the same lexis is recycled across the textbook, i.e. over a series of units. It is therefore our responsibility as teachers to ensure lexical items our students encounter are recycled in subsequent lessons and regularly revised. In my practical workshop I will demonstrate a few simple activities for recycling collocations and lexical chunks, which I refer to as the “cycles of recycling”. The idea behind the cycles is that teachers only have to prepare the activity once and can then use it over a series of lessons (albeit with minor modifications), while students get the repeated exposures they so much need. In other words, teachers recycle the activities, while learners recycle the lexis. Presentation Can be found here Related articles & blog posts: CYCLE 1: http://leoxicon.blogspot.com/2011/04/cycles-of-recycling.html CYCLE 2: http://leoxicon.blogspot.com/2011/05/cycles-of-recycling_08.html CYCLE 3: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/revisiting-texts Discussion questions: In the workshop we will briefly touch upon some theoretical issues. I will highlight the reasons why collocation is such an important part of vocabulary knowledge, especially with partially learnt vocabulary, and present the findings of a few recent studies which looked into EFL learners' collocation use. More specifically, they aimed to address the following questions: 1. At what level of proficiency are learners most likely to make collocational errors? 2. To what extent are learner’s errors caused by negative transfer from L1? 3. What type of collocations are most mistake-prone: strong (e.g. shrug your shoulders, honk the horn), medium-strong (e.g. wage a war, fail a test), medium-weak (e.g. perform an experiment, reach a compromise) or weak (e.g. see a film, build a house)? But before I post the answers I gleaned from the research I would like to hear what you think. Please post your comments below.