From Lexis to Discourse: A Five-Stage Pedagogy for ESL Learners

From Lexis to Discourse: A Five-Stage Pedagogy for ESL Learners

Sangeetha Noval (Bhartiya Skill Development University, India) and Kripa K. Gautam (Jaipur National University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3464-9.ch007

Abstract

Any exercise of structuring written or spoken discourse starts from Lexis, the most basic unit of communication. We may call it the initiator of discourse. Despite considerable efforts made towards developing the word power of the ESL learners, they face difficulty in using the vocabulary appropriately in a variety of socio-cultural contexts in which they are required to operate. The present chapter attempts to demonstrate how this five-stage pedagogy will enhance learner's ability to make use of the available lexical items in authentic situations so as to produce meaningful discourse. The proposed pedagogy is the result of our experiment with authentic sample of students and language exercises. The five-stage pedagogy comprises the following stages:
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5 Stages Of The Suggested Pedagogy

Stage-1

Each student is asked to think of five words, preferably, from the categories of main verbs, adverbs and adjectives and write them down in their notebooks / note pads. They must be instructed to avoid names of people, places, things and pet animals. The students should be called one by one to write their set of words on the black /white board in the classroom. On an average, if the strength of the class is of forty students, we shall have a collection of 200 words. Out of these 200 words approximately fifty words may be estimated to be repetitive which may be removed from the list. At this stage, we thus get 150 words contributed by the students. Some words may be new for some students. The meaning of these new words may be explained in the classroom thereby enhancing the vocabulary of those learners who are not familiar with these words. Now the learners are to be guided to make good creative use of this word bank.

Stage-2

At Stage-2, the teacher asks the student to construct sentences of their own using the words contributed by them or any five words from the list of 150 words displayed on the board. The students are asked to read out the sentences in the class. At this level the teacher should desist from pointing out grammatical errors in their constructions, because too much of intimidation advocating strict usage of grammar may lower their morale and as a result they may hesitate to participate in the activity. Next, the students are asked to work in teams of twos- preferably joining their immediate neighbours. Thus, each team of two students has ten words and ten sentences. Working two together they are now asked to convert these ten sentences into a sort of paragraph or brief discourse. The sentences which may not fit in their paragraph/discourse may be discarded. Such an activity helps enkindling their creativity. This can be considered as an individual activity in itself and may further contribute in the completion of the further stages of this five-stage pedagogy.

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