Going lexical

This is Soph writing about last weekend’s HELTA Session on the Lexical Approach:

Just thought I’d share some highlights from last weekend’s workshop event: “The Lexical Approach”, given by our very own lovely HELTA chair, Sarah Plochl. As ever: for those who weren’t there – you missed a great workshop!

Earlier this year Sarah attended a very comprehensive two-day seminar offered by our colleagues in Berlin, held by lexical-approach guru Hugh Dellar. The approach allows teachers to draw away from the ‘dictatorship of grammar’ by focusing instead on lexis. Sarah drew on her experience to share the key points of this event. She really helped us understand the usefulness of breaking down the demarcation between grammar and lexis. In effect, we can develop an appreciation of ‘grammaticalised’ lexis. Via a series of thought-provoking and interactive exercises, we looked at key concepts in the lexical approach. These were some of my take-home points:

• when teaching lexis, explanations are great but examples add value; so,
give parallel examples and keep examples closely related to reinforce
• ask supplementary questions by exploring and expanding with the right
• notice and bring to the attention of your learners’ different patterns of use
such as collocations and colligations.

This approach involves refining listening skills and really thinking on your feet as you put the above points into action in the classroom. A final take-home point: there is no ‘why’ in vocabulary. There is only ‘how’! Thanks, Sarah!

Here are a few photos from this useful and fun event:

You can contact HELTA on the contact page.