Principles and implications of the Lexical Approach
The Lexical Approach develops many of the fundamental
principles advanced by proponents of the Communicative Approach. The most
important difference is the increased understanding of the nature of lexis
in naturally occurring language, and its potential contribution to
Language consists of grammaticalised lexis, not
grammar/vocabulary dichotomy is invalid; much
language consists of multi-words 'chunks'.
A central element of language teaching is raising
students' awareness of, and developing their ability to 'chunk'
Although structural patterns are known as useful,
lexical and metaphorical patterning are accorded appropriate status.
Collocation is integrated as an organising principle
The central metaphor of language is holistic - an
organism; not atomistic - a machine.
It is the co-textual rather than the situational
element of context which are of primary importance for language
Grammar as a receptive skill, involving the
perception of similarity and difference, is prioritised.
skills, particularly listening, are given
The Present-Practise-Produce paradigm is rejected, in
favour of a paradigm based on the Observe-Hypothesise-Experiment cycle.
Contemporary language teaching methods tend to be
similar for students at different level of competence; with the Lexical
Approach the materials and methods appropriate to beginners or elementary
students are radically different from those employed for
upper-intermediate or advanced students. Significant re-ordering of the
learning programme is implicit in the Lexical Approach.
Michael Lewis - THE LEXICAL APPROACH
The State of ELT and a Way Forward
LTP Langauge Teaching Publication 1993
ISBN 0 906717 99 X
(pg: vi - vii)