Sunday, October 30, 2016



4.1     Importance of vocabulary & grammar in language learning

4.2     Principles of selection and gradation of vocabulary & grammar

4.3     Different types of vocabulary (active, passive, content and structural) 

4.4     Different types of grammar (prescriptive, descriptive, formal and functional)   

4.5   Techniques of presenting vocabulary

4.6    Methods of teaching grammar (Inductive and deductive). 



What is Vocabulary?

 Vocabulary is the stock of words used by a person class or profession. It is the words we use in our day today life.

Vocabulary in English

English   is rich in vocabulary.

Word Formation in English

1.Borrowing  words from other languages due to scarcity of apt words.

English language has borrowed words from  other languages of  : i)Those invaded England and settled ii)Countries where English people settled. Eg. Latin roots.

2. Creates words from roots of other languages

3.Coinage of new words

4. Composition(Compounding)  In Compounding a new word is formed by the combination of two or more words. Eg: sunrise.

5.Clipping(Shortening) Avoiding a part of compound words by shortening.  

Eg: photo

6.Blending(Trimming)  Trimming to form portmanteau words. Eg: motel, smog.

7.Acronyms  An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words which is pronounced as a word. Eg: WHO, UGC.

8.Back formation Back formation is the process of creating a new lexeme by removing actual or supposed affixes. Eg: beg  formed from begger.

9.Affixation(Derivation)  Affixation is the derivation of new words from old bases and roots through prefixation and suffixation.  Hence affixation is of two types –Prefixation and Suffixation.  It may be class maintain or class changing. Eg: unfortunately.

10.Conversion  Conversion is the word formation through class change. Ith out affixation. Eg: conduct, release.

Different Aspects of Vocabulary



3. Meaning


Need of Vocabulary

With out a good stock of vocabulary language would not be useful and effective.

Learning vocabulary is much more than just removing the difficulties to let the students understand the meaning of the discourse.

Types of Vocabulary

Vocabulary can be classified  into  Active Passive and Unknown.

1.Active :     Production Words, Knows intimately,can be used effectively,

2.Passive:     Recognition words,  that can be understood but does not be normally used . Relatively large number,

3.Unknown: Unfamiliar  Words

FG French  has identified   -3 Classes of Vocabulary:

1.Friends: Small number of words a person knows and used by him.

2.Aquaintances: Large number of words that one understands but doesn’t use.

3.Strangers: Vast number of the remaining words in the language that one does not know.

Major Types of Words

1.Content Words : Stands for the things, actions, qualities etc.  They can stand independently.Eg: Child, lovely, enthusiasm etc.

2. Structural(Functional ) words: Add structure and cohesion to language expressions  . Content words are structured in to meaning sentences with the help of these ‘FORM’ words. Eg: Articles, Prepositions  etc.

Types of Meaning

1.Conceptual Meaning (Lexical): Dictionary meaning, Concepts of community.

2.Cultural Meaning:Meaning from the knowledge of background experience of the life of the speaker.

3.Inonational Meaning: Meaning depends up on the way they are spoken.


How to Enrich Vocabulary?

Around 3000 words – both content and structural words –selected and graded  are  learnt in high school level.  Knowledge  of denotation, connotation and appropriateness of words in context are to be learnt. Conceptual, cultural and personal meaning are important.

In order to enrich vocabulary:

1.Help to increase the number of ‘Active Words’.

2.Help to increase the number of ‘Passive Words’.

3.Help to shift more ‘passive words’ to active words by actively using them.

Selection of Vocabulary Items

Selection of Vocabulary Items can be   based on:


1.Graded according to difficulty level


3.Both content and structural words

4.Words necessary in different contexts

5.Coverage and Availability

6.Derivations and base words


         What to Teach?

}  Start with the easiest and familiar words.

}  From simple to complex

}  Borrowed words from English.

}  Fairly familiar words

}  Simple unfamiliar words

}  Nouns and verbs associated with real life every day situation

}  Names of real objects, pictures or models

}  Verbs with corresponding actions

}  Adjectives and adverbs with apt techniques.

}  Functional words –careful planning needed.

Words with abstract ideas, complicated spelling and pronunciation etc. to be postponed to a later stage.

Techniques And Methods of Presenting /Teaching  Vocabulary

1.Denotation:Showing the real object, realia, object, action, or pictorial representation.

2.Comparison: With the Judicious use of mother tongue equivalent.

3.Explanation :Paraphrasing in simple words

4.Translation: Using mother tongue equivalent.

5.Situational Presentation : Contrived situation, where meaning of the new words is clear.


How to Teach?

1.Words are usually taught while teaching a discourse (especially ‘Detailed Prose’).

2.Selected word is presented in a meaningful context.

3.The new word is written on the Black Board(BB) and presented in ‘flash cards’.

4.Learner  pronounce and spell the word.

5.Learner give the meaning

6.Learner use the word at first by substituting the new word.

7.The meaning is explained.


Techniques of Vocabulary Expansion

1. Extended reading :The speedier way

2.Listening to speeches, telecasts, broadcasts etc.

3.Inference: Guess the new word’s meaning from the context.

4.Refer the dictionary

5.Analogical interpretation.

6.Learn uniform derivational rules

7.Learn spelling rules.

8.Learn new vocabulary through ‘language games and interesting tasks and activities’.

9.Keep a vocabulary note book.

10.Semantic Mapping.

11.Langauge Games

Language games are a very interesting and effective way for vocabulary expansion. Some of the  word games are : 1.Charades 2.Pictionary 3.Synonym Card  4.antonym Card  5. Just a Minute  6.Labeling  7.Spotting the difference  8.Recollection  9.Classification  10.Series Construction  11.Word Bingo  12.Cross word Puzzle  13.Matching  14. Brain pattern  15. Riddles    16.Guess Who?




What is Grammar ?

 Grammar is nothing, but a set of rules which controls and teaches us the correct use of language. To quote Sweet, grammar is the practical analysis of a language. Grammar is the science of language. Grammar deals with the general rules of syntax or sentence constitution, ie. the word order, subject verb concord, sequence of tense etc.


 In Grammar cum translation method, the learning of language was identified with the learning of grammar. A thorough knowledge was an essential pre requisite of language study. By the advent of Direct method, Structural approach  and   Communicative approach, there  witnessed a paradigm shift. It is now established that  language learning depends more on practice than on the knowledge of rules. More knowledge of grammar can not guarantee correct usage of the language.

The teacher may follow the concentric approach in the preparation of the syllabus for grammar  and  ensure proper selection and  gradation  of  structures.

Functional Grammar

Functional grammar is also called Incidental grammar or practical grammar. Here we learn only those portion of grammar , which is of wider application and which helps us to speak and write correct English.

In the process of mother tongue acquisition, the grammar is acquired through observation,  imitation, and , induction and deduction. The competency to    construct grammatically correct language, is the indicator of  the  knowledge of grammar.

 The functional grammar  functions in correct speech and writing and  improve practical command over language. It helps the learner in learning to listen , speak, read and write English.

In functional grammar, no dogmatic rules are laid down to a living language. The emphasis is not on the form of the word  but on its function. What ever the child learns in functional grammar, he should use it immediately in his oral or written compositions when he constructs various discourses. Grammar is used as a tool to edit speech and writing.

Functional grammar follows  inductive approach . Functional grammar is caught  and taught incidentally in the natural contexts,  only when needs arises and that too in co-relation with the  text.

Formal Theoretical Grammar 

The formal study of grammar can commence only after the learner has acquired an elementary command of the language. No formal teaching of grammar should be attempted in the early stages. In the formal study of grammar, all grammatical rules are taught systematically for its own sake. Formal grammar lays emphasis on form rather than function. Theoretical   grammar gives the  theoretical knowledge of language neglecting  the practical use. It lays stress on definitions rather than their application. Here grammar is an end in itself, not a mean to an end.

Formal grammar is taught deductively. The rule is first studied and then applied. The teaching of formal grammar begins directly when we begin to formulate working definition. 

Types of Grammar

1. Prescriptive Grammar : Also called Formal or Theoretical Grammar. It is taught in formal way.  It deals with definitions and rules of language.

2. Descriptive Grammar : Also called Functional or Incidental Grammar. It is learnt unconsciously while learning the language.

3.   Transformational Generative Grammar

 4.    Historical Grammar

 5.    Comparative Grammar

6.    Structural Grammar

7.    Notional Functional Grammar

Methods of Teaching Grammar

1.Inductive Approach 

In inductive approach, examples given first followed by generalizations . Grammar is learnt incidentally.  It is highly psychological and suitable to early stage.  But in this approach , systematised knowledge is not provided.  

Deductive Approach

In deductive approach, rules given first followed by specific examples . Grammar is learnt as if by compulsion . Suitable to later stage . Knowledge of grammar will be more systematized

Steps of Teaching Grammar

1)Revision of the previous related structure

2)Situational presentation of the new structure

3)Grammatical Significance of the new structure

4) Practice

5) Application / Construction    

The Selection and Grading of Structures

Control Over structures Grammar has to be carefully selected and progressively graded in terms of use, purpose, level and difficulty.  The English language has a large number of structures. A foreign student cannot and need not master all of them.

Selection :Often  the same idea can be expressed in different ways. Therefore we have to select a minimum number of structures for the students to have a working knowledge of  the foreign language. Such a selection has been made and over 275 structures which are basic to English have been chosen. The Government of Kerala had revised and published the English reader for all classes incorporating these structures in a graded and progressive manner in the structural syllabus in our schools.

Grading: Arranging the teaching material in a suitable order is called grading. To make the teaching of structure successful and effective , they must be graded in definite teaching order. The easier and more useful structures must be taught first and the most difficult and complex forms later.

Structures are selected and graded following the principles of:

1.      The usefulness in communication.

2.      Simplicity  of  form and meaning.

3.      Teach ability: Scope for situational or contextual treatment.

4.      Demonstrability through action or association.

5.      Similarity or contrast with the mother tongue.

6.      Relation to socio-cultural contexts, contents or expressions.

7.      Frequency :The structures frequently used both in speech and writing are the most useful ones.

The structure must be presented in such a way that one follows naturally the other. Thus the present perfect continuous tense   follows the present continuous and present perfect.

A structure that is related to any two structures already learnt  and is which naturally arises out of them is an interlocking structure. The whole series must be well knit and inter locking.

Structure must be taught in a carefully graded practice before the next one is introduced . And each one should be presented  against the background of the previous related structure or structures on which it is built. The teacher should keep the order of the structures given. Otherwise the omission might take away a vital link in the interlocking  chain of structures.

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