Describing and Explaining Grammar and Vocabulary in ELT : Key Theories and Effective Practices book cover
1st Edition

Describing and Explaining Grammar and Vocabulary in ELT
Key Theories and Effective Practices

ISBN 9780415636094
Published July 22, 2013 by Routledge
272 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Language description plays an important role in language learning/teaching because it often determines what specific language forms, features, and usages are taught and how. A good understanding of language description is vital for language teachers and material writers and should constitute an important part of their knowledge. This book provides a balanced treatment of both theory and practice. It focuses on some of the most important and challenging grammar and vocabulary usage questions. Using these questions as examples, it shows how theory can inform practice and how grammar and vocabulary description and explanation can be made more effective and engaging.

Part I describes and evaluates the key linguistic theories on language description and teaching. Part II discusses and gives specific examples of how challenging grammar and vocabulary issues can be more effectively described and explained; each chapter focuses on one or more specific grammar and vocabulary. An annotated list of useful free online resources (online corpora and websites) for grammar and vocabulary learning and teaching, and a glossary provide helpful information.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1  Language Description: Purview, Importance, and Principles
1.1 Introduction
1.2 The purview of language description
1.3 The importance of language description
1.4 Principles for language description

Part I: Foundations: Key theories and approaches to language description
Chapter 2. .  Prescriptive, Structural, and Generative Linguistics
                       2.1 Prescriptivism                         
                            2.2 Structuralism
                            2.3 Generativism
Chapter 3.   Sociolinguistics and Systemic Functional Linguistics                          
                      3.1 Sociolinguistics: An overview of Communicative Competence and Speech
                           3.2 Systemic functional linguistics: An overview
                           3.3 The impacts of sociolinguistics and SFL on language teaching

Chapter 4. . . Cognitive Linguistics
                          4.1 Theoretical underpinnings and important basic concepts
                            4.2 Cognitive Linguistics-inspired language description

Chapter 5. . .  Corpus Linguistics
                           5.1 Overview
                           5.2 Significant contributions of corpus linguistics to the study of language
                       5.3 Impact of corpus linguistics on language teaching

Part II: Putting Theory to Practice: Striving for Enhanced Language
              Description and Explanation

Chapter 6. . .  Vocabulary Description: Basics, Parts of Speech, and Other
                       Challenging Issues
                           6.1 What information should be covered in teaching a word?
                           6.2 Describing/teaching spelling, pronunciation, and morphological rules
                           6.3 Defining/teaching parts of speech                      
                           6.4 Collocations/semantics/register: Other key issues to be addressed
                           6.5 Explaining/teaching challenging issues with new insights
Chapter 7. . .  Sentence Structure Description: Basics, Verb Structure/ 
           Subcategorization, and Other Challenging Structural Issues
                           7.1 Sentence structural analysis: Tasks and processes
                          7.2 Established practices for describing/analyzing sentence structures
                            7.3 Explaining/teaching challenging issues with new insight

Chapter 8. . .  Tense and Aspect
                       8.1 English tense and aspect system: An overview
                           8.2 Established useful practices for describing/teaching prepositions                                                        
                           8.3 Explaining/teaching challenging issues with new insights
Chapter  9. . . Articles                    
                       9.1 The English article system: An overview
                             9.2 Established useful practices in describing/teaching English articles
                            9.3 Explaining/teaching challenging issues with new insights
Chapter 10. .  Prepositions, Prepositional Adjectives/Adverbs, and Particles                            
                       10.1 Overview: Basic information, importance, and difficulties                               
                           10.2 Established useful practices for describing and teaching prepositions               10.3 Explaining/teaching challenging issues with new insights
  Chapter 11. .  Structural Alternation: English Object Placement, Subject/Object
                       Deletion, and the Passive voice         
                       11.1 Explaining/teaching object placement with new insights
                           11.2 Explaining/teaching subject/object deletion with new insights
                           11.3 Explaining/teaching the passive voice with new insights
Chapter 12. .  Word Meaning and Usage: Polysemy, Synonymy, Culturally-
                       Loaded Words, and Register                 
                           12.1 Polysemy: An overview
                           12.2 Synonymy
                            12.3 Established useful practices for teaching polysemes and synonyms
                             12.4 Explaining/teaching challenging issues with new insights
Chapter 13. .  Word Collocations                               
                           13.1 Overview of collocations                                 
                            13.2 Established useful practices in collocation teaching                             
                            13.3 Explaining/teaching collocations and collostructions with new insights                          
Chapter 14. .   Multi-Word Expressions: Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Formulae/
                        Lexical Bundles
                            14.1 Describing idioms/phrasal verbs/formulae and their functions
                            14.2 Explaining/teaching idioms and phrasal verbs with new insights                                   
                          14.3 Explaining and teaching formulae/lexical bundles with new insights
Annotated List of Free Online Resources for Grammar/Vocabulary Learning/ Teaching

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Dilin Liu is Professor of Applied Linguistics/TESOL, Department of English, The University of Alabama, USA.


"The book, while packed with information about grammar and vocabulary, has useful examples throughout, which makes it both interesting to read and enlightening. It is likely that all of us, language teachers, will want to have it on our bookshelves." - tesolanz news