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Friday, May 13, 2005

On illustrating the importance of learning Vocabulary Chunks
I just woke up this morning and want to post this before I get my kids' brekkie...I was thinking of the student who wanted credit for thinking up his own example sentences on the vocab sheet, and the way of making it clear to students that it's better to learn words as chunks rather than lemmas.
  1. maybe I should change the name of the sheet to Vocabulary Chunk Sheet
  2. I could do a wee contrastive analysis (only I would call it learner skill cognitive similarity here) skit pretending i'm learning Japanese: learning the Japanese for hat, gloves, shoes, jacket and then make the sentence "I put on a hat", "I put on gloves" "I put on shoes" "I put on a jacket", all using the same japanese verb "kiru", and putting on the objects (hot in summer! to be done first thing in April!) That way students will protest, because all four verbs for put are different in Japanese relevant to what you're putting on. "OH! I was using the new words in my own sentence" I will insist...and then shift to my teacher voice:" and the moral of the story/skit is, that making your own sentences has limits, you're better to learn the words in chunks, so learn the gloves together with the put, and then you can make your own "good" or "natural" Japanese" sentences. Hopefully students will get the comparative transfer.