INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN HUMANIDADES Y CIENCIAS SOCIALES
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Bringing languages and cultures into contact: Why lexical phrases may build bridges between native and foreign/second languages in the classroom, and between native/heritage and other cultures.
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2011 vol. 39 p. 171 - 171
This paper explores the role of lexical phrases in language education in general (native language or L1; and second/foreign language or L2) and more specifically, in the education of English Learners in US and European contexts as well as in other English-speaking countries worldwide. Even though this topic has been addressed by researchers and linguists for over 30 years now, it does not seem to be a prominent one among classroom teachers, teacher educators, reading specialists, and others directly involved in the practicalities of classroom life. I suggest here that lexical phrases can contribute to serving the interests of these learners in the early years, primary, middle and elementary schools. I argue that these phrases can serve not only their linguistic concerns, but also their literacy in general, identity, personal, and socio-cultural concerns while simultaneously attending those of native English-speaking children in these areas too. On this basis I propose that lexical phrases are an ideal unit for teaching children in linguistically and culturally diverse settings. Specifically, the aims of this paper are threefold. First, to familiarize readers with lexical phrases by offering a brief overview of the most important researchers and linguists who have coined similar terms in the filed since 1973. Second, to provide a rationale in favour of the use of lexical phrases in language education (L1 and L2, including English learners), particularly relevant for the early years and primary, middle and elementary schools. This rationale is based on their pervasiveness in adult native language use as well as in L1 and L2 acquisition. Finally, to inspect the characteristics of lexical phrases which make them an ideal unit for teaching children in these settings. I conclude the paper with a discussion of some pedagogic implications which are directly relevant to everyday classroom life. These implications focus on the development of linguistic, pragmatic, and sociocultural competence in children; the problem of selection of effective phrases for different culturally-specific teaching contexts; learner awareness; and the dichotomy lexicalised grammar vs. grammaticalised lexis. All of these aspects are important in early years, primary, middle school and elementary education.