Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching

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Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching

Format: Paperback
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First Prize in the English Speaking Union's Duke of Edinburgh Book Competition

Recent second language acquisition research is used here to present a language teaching programme based on the use of 'prefabricated language'. The authors show that the unit of language they term the 'lexical phrase' can serve as an effective basis for both second and foreign language learning.

  • ISBN: 978-0-19-437164-3
  • Pages: 240
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Dimensions: 234x156 mm


The series attracts single or co-authored volumes from authors researching at the cutting edge of this dynamic field of interdisciplinary enquiry. The titles range from books that make such developments accessible to the non-specialist reader to those which explore in depth their relevance for the way language is to be conceived as a subject, and how courses and classroom activities are to be designed. As such, these books not only extend the field of applied linguistics itself and lend an additional significance to its enquiries, but also provide an indispensable professional foundation for language pedagogy and its practice.

The scope of the series includes:
  • second language acquisition
  • bilingualism and multi/plurilingualism
  • language pedagogy and teacher education
  • testing and assessment
  • language planning and policy
  • language internationalization
  • technology-mediated communication
  • discourse-, conversation-, and contrastive-analysis
  • pragmatics
  • stylistics
  • lexicography
  • translation




Lexical phrases in language description

1 The nature and description of lexical phrases
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Competence, performance, and pragmatics
1.2.1 Pragmatics as competence versus pragmatics as performance
1.2.2 The nature of competence
1.2.3 Pragmatic competence
1.4 Pragmatic competence and form/function composites
1.2.5 Conventions of lexical phrase selection
1.2.6 Processing effort
1.3 Computer analysis of text
1.3.1 Collocations in computer analysis
1.3.2 Collocations in natural language processing
1.4 Prefabricated language and language acquisition
1.4.1 Invariable routines and variable patterns
1.4.2 The role of prefabricated language

2 Formal aspects of lexical phrases
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Pre-fabricated language and psychological processing
2.2.1 Idioms and clichés
2.2.2 Non-canonical phrases
2.3.3 Variability as points on a continuum
2.3.4 From less variable to more variable
2.3 Lexical phrases as variable units
2.3.1 Lexical phrases, collocations, and syntax
2.3.2 Categories of lexical phrase
2.4 Issues of form and flexibility
2.4.1 Indirect speech acts as lexical phrase sentence builders
2.4.2 Non-conventional indirect speech acts
2.4.3 Conventional indirect speech acts
2.4.4 Conventionalized sets and basic lexical phrase frames
2.4.5 Distinctions in variability and lexical phrase types

3 Functional aspects of lexical phrases
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Functions of lexical phrases
3.2.1 Social interactions
3.2.2 Necessary topics
3.2.3 Discourse devices
3.2.4 Forms of lexical phrases in functional groups
3.2.5 Lexical phrases in other languages
3.3 Lexical phrases in conversational discourse
3.3.1 Patterns in conversation
3.3.2 Interconnected functions
3.4 Lexical phrases in transactional discourse
3.4.1 Interactional versus transactional discourse
3.4.2 The role of discourse devices
3.5 Transactional spoken discourse
3.5.1 Characteristics of discourse devices in spoken transactional discourse
3.5.2 Spoken versus written discourse devices
3.6 Transactional written discourse
3.6.1 Patterns in writing
3.6.2 Characteristics of discourse devices in written discourse
3.6.3 Integration
3.6.4 Detachment

4 The organizing function of lexical phrases
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Macro-organizers
4.2.1 The signaling function of macro-organizers in transactional discourse
4.2.2 Double markers
4.3 Levels of discourse: co-ordination and subordination macro-organizers
4.3.1 Levels and patterns: macro-organizers versus interactional discourse markers
4.3.2 Category divisions
4.3.3 Processing strategies: top-down and bottom-up
4.3.4 Textbook models
4.4 Micro-organizers
4.4.1 Macro/micro distinctions
4.4.2 Macro/micro forms and functions
4.4.3 Phrase length
4.4.4 Dual functions


Applications for language teaching

5 Teaching spoken discourse: conversation
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Advantages of teaching lexical phrases
5.3 Teaching conversation with lexical phrases
5.3.1 How learners learn a language
5.3.2 Why learners learn a language
5.3.3 Teaching activities
5.4 Indirect speech acts
5.4.1 Universal functions and language-specific forms
5.4.2 Teaching indirect speech acts

6 Teaching spoken discourse: listening comprehension
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Lexical phrases in academic lectures
6.2.1 Macro-organizer functions in academic lectures
6.2.2 The recognition problem
6.3 Styles of academic lectures
6.3.1 Lecture styles and macro-organizer characteristics
6.3.2 Style switching
6.4 The function of macro-organizers in comprehending lectures
6.4.1 Range of functions in lecture discourse: a comprehension problem
6.4.2 Patterns of frequency in lecture discourse
6.5 Teaching lexical phrases for the comprehension of lectures
6.5.1 Reading and vocabulary class
6.5.2 Listening comprehension class

7 Teaching written discourse: reading and writing
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Theoretical stances
7.2.1 Written discourse as both process and product
7.2.2 Writers and readers as active participants
7.3 Teaching written discourse
7.3.1 Knowledge of discourse forms
7.3.2 Sentence-based perspective
7.3.3 Process-centered discourse perspective
7.4 The structure of three kinds of written discourse
7.4.1 Structure of a formal essay
7.4.2 Structure of an informal letter
7.4.3 Structure of a business letter
7.5 Teaching written discourse with lexical phrases

8 Conclusions and prospects
8.1 Introduction
8.2 The need for further empirical research
8.3 The theoretical nature of lexical phrases: further inquiry
8.3.1 Criteria for defining language patterns
8.3.2 Criteria for defining categories of lexical phrases
8.3.3 Discourse analysis
8.3.4 Lexicography
8.4 Language acquisition
8.5 Teaching


Part of... Oxford Applied Linguistics

Home to the most innovative studies in its field, the Oxford Applied Linguistics series furthers research in English teaching and learning, and provides strong foundations for language pedagogy.

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