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Describing and Explaining Grammar and Vocabulary in ELT

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.
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Table of Contents

Contents Preface 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 Glossary

About the Author

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

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