Universität Bielefeld


Universität Bielefeld

Fakultät für Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft

Wintersemester 2006/2007

Veranstaltung: Teaching Specific Domains of English Language Competence

Veranstalterin: Frau Brüning

Referentin: Mareen Hoepfner

Teaching the language system


The relationships among words in the lexical system of the English language

Word – world (link between meaning and world)

Denotative meaning : a word has reference to an object, action, or event [labelling system]

Connotative meaning : belongs to attitudes and emotions of a language user

Word – word(s) (sense relations among words)

Syntagmatic relations : relations between items in sentences

Collocations (e.g. a long road , *a tall road)

Idiomatic expressions (e.g. metaphors, similes, catch phrases, phrasal verb idioms,…)

Paradigmatic relations : complex relations between items in the whole lexical system

Synonymy : a linguist item can be exchanged for another without changing the meaning


 complementary : oppositions (e.g. male – female)

 converseness: one term implies the other (e.g. parent – child)

 gradable antonymy : scale of items which may or may not relate to a

similar scale in the learners L1 (e.g. boiling – hot – tepid – cold)

Hyponymy : one word includes others within a hierarchy (computer

keyboard, mouse)

Acquisition of vocabulary

Active vocabulary : produced in speech and writing

Passive vocabulary : recognized when encountered

Vocabulary knowledge as a scale:


words making greater sense

words in context

automatic production

Strategies for vocabulary learning

Cognitive (concrete mental operations )

Keyword: word from L1 which sounds like new word from L2

Learning words in groups

Lexical inference: cover a word through morphology and/or context

Metacognitive (activities used to remember words)

Collecting words from authentic contexts

Making word cards

Categorize words into lists

Vocabulary notebook

Factor affecting vocabulary acquisition


Features of input


most frequent words in the English language are the most useful ones


recognizing correct word stress and syllabus patterns leads to facilitate quick comprehension


words in context lead to better retention than isolated words

The relationship between input and storage

Depth of processing

active mental involvement and emotional response

Building word networks

aim: categorize words systematically and build careful networks of meaning