Teaching the meanings of words
This paper explores the practice of meaning elaboration in language teaching. From observations of eight English language tutors at work, it is observed that there are six dimensions which may be exploited in the process. The explanation may link an item to others within the linguistic system by means of sense relations, it may specify the semantic attributes or components that are considered salient, it may indicate the referents of the item, it may contextualize the item, or specify the preconditions for its occurrence, or it may invoke metalanguage. Discourse devices may be employed to indicate which of these aspects are being employed. The paper examines in detail the processes of contextualization and the specification of preconditions.
Published online: 01 January 1990
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