ERIC Number: ED414751
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
French Vocabulary--Looking for "le mot juste."
Parris, David L.
TEANGA: The Irish Yearbook of Applied Linguistics, n16 p73-83 1996
The apparent difficulty of students of French as a second language to acquire French vocabulary is examined, drawing on experience with teaching Irish university students and the structures and stylistic traits peculiar to French. It is noted that while certain kinds of words (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) occupy little space in text, they take up the most room in a dictionary, and conversely, while others (pronoun, preposition, determiner, conjunction) use much space in text and relatively little in dictionaries. Grammar (structure) and vocabulary are also often taught separately, with grammar receiving more attention. It is proposed that vocabulary deficit has two causes: (1) the obvious word is not always obvious at all; and (2) meaning does not always reside within single words. These concepts are expanded upon and illustrated. It is suggested that while having students keep a list of vocabulary words is a classic technique and using picture dictionaries is handy for concrete vocabulary, a more useful technique is for students to begin with "obvious" words (e.g., "ferme") and cluster around them related terms (e.g., "exploitation, exploitation agricole, recolte, vendange, culture," etc.). This more expansive system for developing vocabulary may be more effective than the conventional linear approach. (MSE)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland