Competency-Based Teaching and Learning Book Cover

Empowering EFL Learners: Teaching Theory and Practice of the Lexical Approach to Enhance the EFL Learning Experience

by Isabella Tinkel

The idea and value of life-long-learning has been widely popularized and, especially among adult learners in a business context, it is of great importance to be able to acquire new skills efficiently and independently. One skill is the ability to master or improve a language – often English – in order to be able to enhance (business) success. In the area of English language learning and teaching the Lexical Approach has long been recognized as an important tool and a multitude of language teaching material is designed based upon it.

This book highlights the proven usefulness of the Lexical Approach in connection with other factors crucial for language learning success, such as motivation, anxiety, age, gender and previous education. Most importantly, a comparative pre-post-test quasi-experimental study at two Universities of Applied Sciences in Austria was conducted to investigate the impact of a unique teaching program on learners’ ability to recognize and use lexical chunks, their motivation and anxiety and on possible connections to age, gender and previous education. In addition to extensive practice in working with lexical chunks, this singular teaching program featured an explicit introduction to the underlying theory of the Lexical Approach in order to give learners a better understanding and appreciation of this beneficial learning tool.

Results of the study confirm the usefulness of the Lexical Approach and show that, even after a short period of time, explicit knowledge of its basic principles can support the effective recognition and usage of lexical chunks and, thereby, improve language performance. Motivation is also positively affected by the program, while anxiety declined in certain cases. Concerning age, benefits are visible in all age ranges in either the area of recognition or usage of lexical chunks. Similarly, both men and women profited from the program to a different extent, as did learners from all school types involved.

These results underscore the value the Lexical Approach has long been attributed in language learning and, additionally, allow for the conclusion that extending the already wide-spread usage of exercises and activities based upon the Lexical Approach by an introduction to its theoretical underpinnings, increases the potential to support and empower adult English language learners.

Format: B5
Publisher: MAP
Published: 2023
ISBN: 978-9926-8645-4-5
eISBN: 978-9926-8645-5-2

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