How we know a word

Teaching ESL to adults

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How we know a word

Unread postby DIA » 23 Apr 2009, 23:23

Hi,
What are the difficulties in using synonyms to explain vocabulary when working with beginners?
Suppose your student told you his/her (correct) choice of a word was based on a decision that it just "sounded right". Would you confirm for the student that this is a valid reason to use the word, or would you ask for a more logical explanation?
Any suggestions :?:
DIA
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Re: How we know a word

Unread postby systematic » 24 Apr 2009, 09:41

Using a word because it just sound right is one of the major features of natural language acquisition, because it will have been heard in some context or another that stuck in the learner's memory.
Of course, it's not however an academic answer.
I would be inclined to ask the student why he/she thinks it sounds right and ask if he/she can think of any words that mean the same thing.

This would be a good intro for explaining the subtle differences between synonyms - with plenty of examples of language in use.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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Re: How we know a word

Unread postby DIA » 13 May 2009, 23:40

Thanks a lot!!!
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