Topic: Vocabulary

These resources relate to the nature of words and word choice, and move towards building student vocabularies in systematic ways.

Morphology - an introduction

In this lesson, students explore word morphology. Morphology is an area of language study concerned with how words are formed. While syntax is about the larger structures formed when words are put together, morphology is about the structure within words.

Noun endings

Exploring suffixes and how they affect word class

In this activity we will look at suffixes which change verbs and adjectives into nouns. This process is a part of derivational morphology

Nouns and vocabulary

Objective

To explore the meaning of simple, everyday nouns and how they relate to your experience of the world.

Things like a chair, a fork, a dog, a horse, a house, a kennel, a girl, a nurse, a boy and a policeman are something that we can see and touch. They exist in reality and are observable. The names for them are concrete nouns. Other nouns refer to things which we cannot see or touch like happiness or time. Such nouns are abstract nouns.

Passives with 'get'

Goals

  • Identify the difference between a get-passive and a standard passive.
  • Describe some of the differences between get-passives and standard passives in terms of grammar, semantics, and pragmatics.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will look at passives.

First, let's briefly review our understanding of actives, and of passives and get-passives. 

Passives with 'get': Activity

Uncle Ahmed was bitten by the snake.
Uncle Ahmed got bitten by the snake.

A large house was demolished on Westmoreland Hill.
A large house got demolished on Westmoreland Hill.

These temples were abandoned in medieval times.
These temples got abandoned in medieval times.

Pragmatics in a political interview

Goals

  • Identify some elements of spoken dialogue in an interview setting.
  • Analyse some features of colloquial language, specifically the kinds of words and phrases that are used.

Lesson Plan

The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right corner of this page. It includes a video of an interview between Russell Brand and Ed Miliband, recorded just before the UK General Election in May 2015.

Prefixes in adjectives

In this lesson, students will look at some common prefixes that can be added to adjectives and see how they change meanings.

Goals

  • Identify some common prefixes in adjectives.
  • Describe the meanings contributed by common adjective prefixes.
  • Experiment with acceptable and unacceptable prefixes for particular adjectives.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will look at adjectives with distinctive prefixes.

Register and vocabulary

This lesson invites students to explore the differences and similarities between vocabulary pairs like make and produce, take and transfer, and give and provide.

Register and vocabulary: Activity

It's very difficult to produce any form of art unless you are driven.
It's very difficult to make any form of art unless you are driven.

The way oceans take heat from the equator to the poles is different for two reasons.
The way oceans transfer heat from the equator to the poles is different for two reasons.

Register: finding the right word

This activity is based on the idea of register and how language choices are often linked closely to context.

At its simplest level, this could mean that if you are talking to small children you might adopt a more straightforward register, choosing sentence structures that don't involve too much complicated information delivered in one go.

Speech transcripts

This lesson invites students to explore a real transcript of natural conversational speech, like those used by linguists who analyse all aspects of language.

Goals

  • Explore a transcript of natural speech. 
  • Identify attributes of natural speech. 
  • Compare natural speech to written language. 

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will explore features of real spoken language.

Spoken language and literature

In this exercise, students look at two examples of English language and describe their characteristics. What each one actually represents may surprise you.

Goals

  • Describe the features of some examples of English language. 
  • Try to determine from the features where the example might have come from.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will look at two examples of English language and try to describe them as well as we can.

Texting language

In this lesson, students explore the features of texting language, from a linguistic perspective.

Goals

  • Discuss texting language from a linguistic perspective.
  • Define some key linguistic terms relevant to texting language.

Lesson Plan

Part 1

Texting language: Activity

Text 1 Text 2

Hey Gems,how ru?How was last nite?Hope u had a gd time..;)I herd the party was rele bad…ppl had an awful time!I guess I shud b glad I didn’t go afta all…tbXx

Free Msg; Our records indicate you may be entitled to £3750 for the accident you had. To apply free reply CLAIM to this message. To opt out text STOP

Variation and standards

In this lesson we ask students to think about variation in language - including reflections on their own language and the language around them.

Variation and standards: Activity

  • How is the way you speak English different from the way your parents speak English?
  • How is it different from the way your teachers speak English?
  • How is it different from the way the Queen speaks English?
  • How is it different from the English of the BBC?
  • How is it different from the English of Eastenders, Coronation Street, or Rastamouse?
  • How is it different from the English of Hollywood movies?

Verb endings

In this activity we will look at suffixes which change adjectives and nouns into verbs. This process is a part of derivational morphology

Verbs in persuasive language

In this lesson, students will analyse persuasive language in a charity appeal, and then write their own charity appeal. There is a particular focus on the way modal auxiliary verbs can be used to persuade.

Goals

  • Identify modal auxiliary verbs.
  • Analyse persuasive language.
  • Practise writing persuasively.

Lesson Plan

Activity 1

Verbs in persuasive language: Activity 1

Activity 1

Identify the modal verbs in this extract by clicking on them, then check your score at the end.

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