Delta Assignment 2 – Multiword Verbs

..or phrasal verbs?

My second LSA was a systems one, and I chose vocabulary. Chunky, piecemeal, lots of fun activities to keep learners engaged and quantifiable ways to demonstrate learning towards the end – this was going to be fun!

And it was – fun. But it wasn’t easy. Multiword verbs are such a vast field of language that it took me a lot of reading to wrap my head around their semantics and systems. Not only that, I had to understand what the Lexical Approach is and then, how to teach vocabulary using this approach – because hey, we’re in 2012 (and now in 2016!) and you can’t not be using the lexical approach in teaching vocabulary.

The LSA was an intensive one to write but I have to say I enjoyed writing up the lesson plan. It still rates amongst the favorite and the best material I have ever developed for a lesson. It is also my go-to framework for a vocabulary lesson plan and I often give it to teachers during workshops and training sessions as a sample to leaf through, discuss, cut up and put together.

So here’s the introduction to my LSA on multiword verbs, and if it keeps you interested, go ahead and download the full pdf below.

“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.” − James Earl Jones

A speaker’s range of lexical knowledge is a barometer of his proficiency in the language. Until recently, however, vocabulary was only incidental in second language teaching. Though the lexical approach is all the rage in syllabi and classroom teaching now, an important area of lexis – multiword verbs – continues to agonize learners.

Despite their high frequency and great communicative value, multiword verbs remain “…one of the major sources of bewilderment and frustration in the process of learning English.” (Marks 2005:1)

While intermediate level Japanese and Taiwanese learners I taught in San Francisco avoided using multiword verbs at all costs, an advanced Vietnamese learner dismissed the lexemes as “useless.” “Why should I use two words to say something I can say with one?” she asked.

In this assignment, I have chosen to examine this oft-neglected area of lexis, and focus on expanding Intermediate learners’ vocabulary with multiword verbs. While multiword verbs are challenging at all levels, I find Intermediate learners reach a “plateau” (Lewis 2001:10) and find it difficult to transfer these from their receptive to productive vocabulary banks.

You can also download the complete LSA 2 on Expanding Intermediate Learners’ Vocabulary with Multiword Verbs.

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