Selecting Lexical Minimum for Foreign Language Acquisition in Secondary School: History, Modern Trends, Perspectives
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Keywords

lexis
lexical minimum
lexical normative
lexical competence
selection criteria
thematic relevance
communicative value of a word
qualitative and quantitative parameters of a word

How to Cite

Pasichnyk О. (2022). Selecting Lexical Minimum for Foreign Language Acquisition in Secondary School: History, Modern Trends, Perspectives. Ukrainian Educational Journal, (1), 98–106. https://doi.org/10.32405/2411-1317-2022-1-98-106

Abstract

Lexis is considered to be one of the fundamental elements of language learning upon which rests development of all types of communicative competences i. e. linguistic, pragmatic, sociocultural, etc. Therefore, it has become the subject of numerous researches which proved that properly selected and structured vocabulary may enhance the overall process of language acquisition by providing a clear linguistic framework. The first attempts to define lexical units were based on a frequential approach and led to compiling dictionaries that contained a limited number of frequently used words. Due to the frequential approach still there’s a belief that 2000 lexical units may cover up to 90 per cent of communicative needs of a person. Gradually researchers elaborated a scope of criteria to appropriately select lexical units for communicative needs of learners. Despite a wide range of criteria, until late 1990s quantitative parameters of lexis prevailed in textbook descriptions and foreign language curricula. A drastic transformation in approaches to selecting lexis became obvious after CEFR was adopted as a standard framework and guideline for the global community to adapt their national systems to unified standards in linguistic education. Although in initial stages of its development CEFR was intended to include quantitative lexis parameters for each level (A1, A2, B2, etc.), the final version of the document relied on a rather descriptive approach to defining the scope of vocabulary to be mastered at every CEFR level. This non-quantitative approach was aimed at providing educators with descriptions of competences rather than amount of lexis. Nevertheless, educators are still trying to supplement these descriptive parameters with quantitative parameters and explain criteria which are used to select appropriate lexical units.
With regard to the problem the author also supports the idea of a blended approach where qualitative and competence-­oriented descriptions are used together with quantitative parameters of lexical minimums and normatives. The following criteria are to be used while selecting and structuring such dictionaries: thematic relethe vance, communicative value of a word, its sociocultural potential.

https://doi.org/10.32405/2411-1317-2022-1-98-106
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