Words! Words! Words! Alan Marsh MATEFL 2013
Today’s agenda Numbers and words Three problems Absolutely perfect! Pre-teach? Pre-storm! Sorting and storing Er …….? Or Is this the most useful lesson I’ve ever taught? Getting Engaged …. Marrying words!
English words and numbers 50,000 20,000 Half a million 2,000 7,500
How many words …? • 1 How many words are there in English? • 2 How many words does an educated native speaker of English understand? • 3 How many words does an educated native speaker of English have as part of their active vocabulary • 4 How many words does a speaker of English need to be able to take part in everyday conversation? • 5 How many words are defined in an Advanced Learner’s Dictionary? • 6 How many words does a reader of English need to understand most texts?
1 How many words are there in English? • Half a million? • 2 How many words does an educated native speaker of English understand? • 50,000? • 3 How many words does an educated native speaker of English have as part of their active vocabulary • 20,000? • 4 How many words does a speaker of English need to be able to take part in everyday conversation? • About 2000 • 5 How many words are defined in an Advanced Learner’s Dictionary? • Macmillan’ Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: 7500 key words • 6 How many words does a reader of English need to understand most texts?
How many words does a reader of English need to understand most texts? • Top 2,000 words = 83% of most texts i.e. 1 out of 5 will be unfamiliar • Top 6,000 words = 90%, which means 1 word out of 10 will be unfamiliar to you • Top 10,000 words = 95% i.e. only 1 word out of 20 will be unfamiliar to you - pretty good if you need to work words out from context. • Macmillan Advanced Learner’s dictionary identifies 7500 key words that advanced learners should know
The top 2000 work the hardest! • Enable learners to speak, read, write and listen at Elementary (A1) level about everyday subjects (+ some subject specific vocabulary) • Since they’re so frequent, they can help learners to work out meanings, and to ask for help in real situations • Learners’ dictionaries typically use 2000-2500 words as their ‘defining vocabulary’
Mmmm ….. Is there a problem? • How many new words do you teach every lesson? • How many times do learners need to recall and revise words before they’re permanently stored? • How many lessons of English do learners have? • How long do they need in order to permanently store (and be able to recall) 10,000 words? • Is there a problem here?
How can we help? • Help them to ….Notice • Help them to …Record and Store • Help them to …Retrieve and Use • Help them to …Extend and Enrich • Introduce them to learn…Words for getting around words
Write down the first word(s) that come to mind • Hot • Dog • Baby • Hair • Glass • Bath • Glue • Carpet • Train • Light
WORD LIST enlarge crawl love female abandon warm car van affection nappy baby relinquish vehicle trainees little hot expandincrease cool cold male lorry remember forget trainer cot diminutive
A Xanudasian student’s exercise book • WORDTRANSLATION • express atcito • opt out organo kotor nganinot • Mgumba stron (ff skulo, Firmo) • star galactio • interview tuo baire medjurma • shun bacawao ina terusco • kinsman megrobaro • foyer auditorio pri mecxt • piss kchir • pottery oborosto • o’er tubea • hotchpotch senico kotor emio ina • Tulmulenco • semi-conductor semikonductto • prosecuted epallis na magistrato • Jim Scrivener: Learning Teaching Macmillan (2011)
synonomy • enlarge/increase/expand • love/affection • abandon/relinquish • little/diminutive
Does synonomy really exist? • Collocations • expand the economy or enlarge the economy • a diminutive old woman – what’s wrong? • a little old lady • Connotations: • The soldier abandoned his post • The soldier relinquished his post
Antonomy or words along a cline • hot/warm/cool/cold • male/female • remember/forget • trainer/trainees
Weather temperatures • cool • hot • chilly • boiling • freezing • cold • warm
boiling • hot • warm • cool • chilly • cold • freezing
Words along a cline • laugh • smile • giggle • chortle • guffaw • grin
Words along a cline smile guffaw grin chortle giggle laugh
Words on a cline • irate • irritated • furious • annoyed • hopping mad • angry • livid
Absolute (extreme) adjectives for …. • sad • good • drunk • cheap • easy • hungry • valuable • surprised • angry
Sad? Heartbroken! Good? Perfect Drunk? Legless! Cheap? A give-away! Easy? A piece of cake! Hungry? Starving! Valuable? Priceless! Surprised? Flabbergasted! Angry? Furious!
Absolutely ….. • Hungry? I’m absolutely __________________________! • I was more than angry when I found out. I was absolutely __________! • This painting isn’t just valuable – it’s absolutely _________________! • Was the exam easy? It was an absolute __________________! • The meal was really tasty – absolutely _________________! • This exercise is very difficult. In fact. It’s absolutely ______________! • I wasn’t just sad when I heard the news; I was absolutely __________! • This item is extremely important. In fact, it’s absolutely _______________ for your survival. • The dog isn’t just ugly; it’s absolutely __________________! • He drank 4 litres of wine last night and was absolutely ___________! • This device doesn’t work – it’s absolutely __________________! • These shirts are really cheap – they’re an absolute _______________! • The weather isn’t just cold today – it’s absolutely ________________! • There is only one painting like this in the whole world. It’s absolutely __________! • I was absolutely ________________ when I heard the news! I never expected him to pass the exam. And he got an A grade too!
Absolutely ….. • Hungry? I’m absolutely ravenous! • I was more than angry when I found out. I was absolutely furious! • This painting isn’t just valuable – it’s absolutely priceless! • Was the exam easy? It was an absolute doddle! • The meal was really tasty – absolutely delicious! • This exercise is very difficult. In fact. It’s absolutely impossible! • I wasn’t just sad when I heard the news; I was absolutely heartbroken! • This item is extremely important. In fact, it’s absolutely essential for your survival. • The dog isn’t just ugly; it’s absolutely hideous! • He drank 4 litres of wine last night and was absolutely legless! • This device doesn’t work – it’s absolutely useless! • These shirts are really cheap – they’re an absolute give-away! • The weather isn’t just cold today – it’s absolutely freezing! • There is only one painting like this in the whole world. It’s absolutely unique! • I was absolutely flabbergasted when I heard the news! I never expected him to pass the exam. And he got an A grade too!
Personalisation • Have you ever been absolutely legless/furious/flabbergasted? • What was your last absolutely delicious meal? • Have you ever bought anything that was absolutely useless? • Or that was an absolute give-away? • Is there an absolutely hideous building in your town or city or country?
Dictogloss Although it was her first visit to America, something about the atmosphere in the old house – the carpet, the antique furniture in the lounge, the colour of the wallpaper in the hall, the dank atmosphere, the strange musty smell on the steps – convinced her that somewhere in the deep, distant past she had been there before.
Dictogloss intermediate 1 • The rain was beatingrelentlessly against the window pane and the wind was howlingmenacingly around the lonelywooden cabin on the snow-covered mountainside. Tom was scared. Then he heard a strange, muffled noise outside. Someone was trying to open the door!
the dormitories • the corridors • the porridge • the water in the communal bath • the towels • the basins • the socks • the lavatories
Whoever writes of his schooldays must beware of exaggeration and self-pity. I do not claim that St. Cyprian’s was a sort of Dotheboys Hall. But I should be falsifying my own memories if I did not record that they are largely memories of disgust. The overcrowded, underfed, underwashed life we led was disgusting, as I recall it. If I shut my eyes today and say “school”, it is, of course, the physical surroundings that first come back to me: the flat playing field with its cricket pavilion and the little shed by the rifle range, the draughty dormitories, the dusty, splintery passages, the square of asphalt in front of the gymnasium, the raw- looking pinewood chapel at the back.
And at almost every point some filthy detail intrudes itself. For example, there were the pewter bowls out of which we had our porridge. They had overhanging rims, and under the rims were accumulations of sour porridge, which could be flaked off in long strips. The porridge itself, too, contained more lumps, hairs and unexplained black things than one would have thought possible, unless someone were putting them there on purpose. It was never safe to start on that porridge without investigating it first. And then there was the slimy water of the plunge bath – it was twelve or fifteen feet long. The whole school was supposed to go into it every morning and I doubt whether the water was changed at all frequently – and the always damp towels with their cheesy smell. And the sweaty smell of the changing-room with its greasy basins and, giving on this, the row of filthy dilapidated lavatories, which had no fastenings of any kind on the doors, so whenever you were sitting there someone was sure to come crashing in. It is not easy for me to think of my schooldays without seeming to breathe in a whiff of something cold and evil-smelling – a sort of compound of sweaty socks, dirty towels, faecal smells blowing along corridors, forks with old food between the prongs, neck of mutton stew, and the banging doors of the lavatories and the echoing chamber pots in the dormitories. George Orwell, Such, Such Were the Joys
Learner Training 1 Circumlocution and paraphrasing strategies 2 Storing lexis: keeping records 3 Really knowing a word
The answers! • 3A stale 10A fall asleep 4D lose • 9D improbable 8A engine 5D tears • 16D toothpaste 11A rise 20A error • 7D delete 14A exhausted • 15A look it up 2D catch up • 12D unemployed 17A coach 19A shark • 1D vehicle 10D fuel 18A vet 13D delicatessen 6D broken up
a. It’s the _____ _____ … fresh/wake up/win/probable • b. It’s ______ _____ _____… go up/mistake • It _______ _____ _____ as cancel • c. It’s a _____ _____ means of transport/fish • d. It’s _____ _____ _____ _____ .. coal, oil, gas etc. / car, bus, van, etc. • e. It’s the person _____ …. (vet) • It’s the place _____ … (delicatessen) • f. It’s _____ _____ _____ you … (engine) • It’s _____ _____ _____ you _____ for _____ … (toothpaste) • It’s _____ … (tears) • g. It’s _____ you _____ _____ you … (unemployed) • It’s _____ you _____ _____ you … (look it up / catch up) • It’s _____ you _____ _____ you … (exhausted)
Paraphrasing and circumlocution • It’s a synonym/another word for …. • It’s the opposite of ….. • It’s a kind/type/sort of .. • It’s the general word for …, …., and … • It’s the thing/stuff you use when you/to … • It’s the place where …. • It’s a/the person who … • It’s how you (feel) when …. • It’s what you (do) when you/to …… • An example sentence with a context
Useful phrases in Italian • Come se dice ..? • E un’altra parola che vuol dire ….. • E un sinonomo di ... • Se dice cosi quando si .... • E il contrario di …. • E un tipo di ..... E una specie di ... • E una cosa che se usa quando /per
admire exciting killer professor • attendance experience law protection • attractive factor leader record • bad fair-haired lovely rugged • beautiful fair-skinned lover scenic • boring fantastic magnificent sick • cute fascinating dangerous encounter • flight attendant moving stunning die • gang newscaster sunburnt doctor good-looking suntanned elegant murder • dramatic handsome pig rescue
Words we like …. • mellifluous • serendipity • flabbergasted • helter-skelter • wishy-washy • And in Maltese …. • sahansitra
Engagement … and marry the words • Choose two you like… and say why • Connect three in a sentence • Write a newspaper headline • Make up a story • Make up a long sentence • And now ….. • How many can you remember?
Some websites for starters … • www.teachingenglish.org British Council • www.onestopenglish.com Macmillan • www.ELTCommunity.com Pearson Longman • www.matefl.org many more links • www.mes-english.comflashcards • www.learningenglish.comfor your learners • www.etprofessional.compractical magazine • ??????????
Books I’ve found very useful • Vocabulary In Use, CUP: the whole series • (including Collocations In Use, Phrasal Verbs In Use, etc.) • S. Thornbury How To Teach Vocabulary(Longman) • S. Redman and R. Ellis A Way With Words(1-3) • M.McCarthy, A. O’Keefe, S. Walsh Vocabulary Matrix, Heinle Cengage • J. Scrivener Learning Teaching, Macmillan • S. Thornbury, An A-Z of ELT, Macmillan • J. Richards, J. Platt, H. Platt Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics,Longman • All the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Cambridge, Macmillan, Oxford, and Collins Cobuild
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