ERIC Number: ED239295
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
No Dull Lexicon.
Small, Robert C.
Despite claims to the contrary, the English language program has improved dramatically over the past 20 years. The traditional program's drill/memorization approach was ineffectual, incomplete, shallow, and uninteresting. Today, however, the study of language involves looking at all of its aspects, sounds, words, and symbols. Instead of throwing this progress away, language programs should continue to look at what linguists see as the eight dimensions of language: syntax, phonemics, graphemics, morphemics, semantics, history, lexicography, and dialectology. Language units should incorporate what is known about education and students in general with current understanding of the nature of language and language learning. Perhaps the best focus for this renewed study of English is the dictionary. A project to develop a class and individual student dictionaries not only teaches students how to use a dictionary effectively, but also shows them that dictionaries are human rather than arbitrary creations. A less comprehensive approach involves short units on such topics as dictionary organization, definitions, derivations, and literary allusions. Dictionary study can also include an investigation of different types of dictionaries, a look at word meanings, discussions of the relationship between denotation and connotation, a spelling reform project, and a new look at prefixes and suffixes. (MM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Theory Practice Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Fall Conference of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English (14th, Arlington, VA, October 7-9, 1983).