The role of literary texts in enhancing lexical competence

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Джолдасова, Г., & Алимбетова, М. (2023). The role of literary texts in enhancing lexical competence . Ренессанс в парадигме новаций образования и технологий в XXI веке, 1(1), 85–87. https://doi.org/10.47689/XXIA-TTIPR-vol1-iss1-pp85-87
Г Джолдасова, Каракалпакский государственный университет имени Бердаха

Доктор философии

М Алимбетова, Каракалпакский государственный университет имени Бердаха

студент

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Аннотация

This article explores the benefits and strategies of using literary texts as a tool for improving lexical competence. Developing and expanding lexical competence is an essential component of language learning and can lead to improve reading comprehension, writing proficiency, and overall communication skills.

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THE ROLE OF LITERARY TEXTS IN ENHANCING LEXICAL

COMPETENCE

Djoldasova G.B.

Nukus, Uzbekistan

PhD., doc.,

Berdakh Karakalpak State University

Alimbetova M.M.

Nukus, Uzbekistan

PhD student,

Ajiniyaz Nukus State Pedagogical Institute

Abstract:

This article explores the benefits and strategies of using literary texts as a tool

for improving lexical competence. Developing and expanding lexical competence is an
essential component of language learning and can lead to improve reading
comprehension, writing proficiency, and overall communication skills.

Key words:

lexical competence, language teaching, literature, literary texts, strategies

Language is a vital tool that allows people to communicate and interact with one

another in their everyday lives as a communication medium. As English is used in every
part of contemporary society, mastering the language has become essential. In the main
spheres of the twenty-first century, English is therefore utilized as a worldwide language.
In order to help language learners in developing the four abilities of speaking, reading,
writing, and listening, English language instructors use a wide range of strategies.
Literature has been frequently used by English teachers to support their students’
vocabulary growth and educational goals. In this regard, using literary texts to teach and
acquire vocabulary is an effective tool for both vocabulary acquisition and instruction.

Literary text is one of the most important source of information and is considered

the main type speech activities, contributing to foreign language learning. It is a
potentially worthwhile source to help learners with language development, cultural
improvement and personal growth. Carter defines literature as “a div of written texts,
produced by a culture and highly valued within that culture over a period of time” [1].
The incorporation of literature in the language classroom has always been debated
because of its linguistic difficulty. However, the integration of literature into language
classrooms dates back to over two decades. Since the late 1970s, literature has gained
popularity as a tool to assist language learners in making significant improvements in
their development of language ability. On the one hand a number of researchers postpone
using literature in language learning because they are of the opinion that literary texts
cannot be understood unless learners become linguistically competent. On the other hand,
several researchers support the inclusion of literature in language learning at all levels for
fostering linguistic fluency.

According to Ellis and Brewster, literary texts allow teachers to introduce or revise

new sentence structures and vocabulary [2]. Teaching vocabulary should serve
the development of the four language skills. Ghanbari and Marzban mention that
vocabulary can lead the learners to be more confident in utilizing the language [3].
Vocabulary plays a significant role in language learning, and lexical competence is an
important component of language proficiency. Limited lexical knowledge can lead to


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frustration and demotivation in language learners. Vocabulary acquisition is a core
element in language mastery and is essential for developing communicative competence.
Research has shown that vocabulary is a stepping stone to high-level language skills and
that a lack of vocabulary knowledge can be an obstacle to language learning. Lexical
competence refers to the ability to understand and produce words in a language. It is
an essential aspect of both linguistic competence and communicative competence, as
it enables individuals to effectively convey their thoughts and ideas through language.
Lexical competence includes not only knowing the meaning of individual words
but also understanding how to use them in context.

Literary texts are imaginative and creative writings. The invented language in

these works opens unlimited opportunities for language instructors to choose suitable
materials for their students. Mart explains that “literature is a rich source of meaningful
input for language learners, and it is useful to enhance language proficiency” [4].
Teachers can benefit from the ‘rich source of meaningful input’ of literature in their
material adaptation. Lao and Krashen present the results of a comparison between a
group of students that read literary texts and a second group that read non-literary texts at
a university in Hong Kong [5]. The group who read literary texts showed improvement in
vocabulary and reading. Three activities can be added to “The Wisdom of Solomon,” to
help students to acquire more vocabulary. These activities are related to form, meaning
and use respectively.

A. Complete the word form chart below. The first word has been done for you.

Remember that some words do not have all forms.

Participle Adjective Noun Verb
speaking speakable speaker speak
_______ ________ _______ _____

There can be as many words as the instructor thinks necessary but not too many so

as not to make students lose interest in the activity that should be included in every story.
This activity helps students to learn more vocabulary, and it also teaches them how to use
a dictionary.

B. Write the letter of the definition/synonym in column B that most closely

matches each word/phrase in column A.

In this activity, the words/phrases in column A come from the story students are

reading. The definitions and/or synonyms provided in column B must match the meaning
of the words/phrases in the context of the story to help students to understand how a
different word/phrase can be used in the same context.

C. Choose the word/phrase that best fits each sentence, drawing upon the list under

column A in the previous activity. You may need to add -s to a plural word or to a 3rd
person singular of a verb in the present tense, -ed to the past tense of regular verbs, etc.

In activity c, students practice using the words that they already understand the

meanings of them.

When integrating literary genres in ELT, material adaptation is very crucial.

Teachers should consider the level of their students and their interests. Students can show
their interest in the selection of the materials. They can be given more than one choice. In
case, if they do not like one short story, they will choose another one. Material selection
based on learners’ level and interest serves five distinct purposes. First, learners show


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more engagement in learning. As a result, they participate more, will be more active and
energetic. Second, the first benefit works to encourage them better. Engagement will lead
to more encouragement. Third, learners feel motivated once they are engaged and
encouraged positively. Fourth, the above-mentioned will work to stimulate them in the
process of learning the language. And they will use all their efforts to show better.
Finally, students will learn how to synthesize. They acquire specific skills to link
different ideas and create something new.

Vocabulary teaching is effective when the students are involved and motivated to

depend on themselves. Indeed, instructors should help language learners to use their own
techniques if needed. According to Ghanbari and Marzban, the teaching of vocabulary is
successful when the learners are allowed to use their own strategies to learn the
vocabulary [3]. At this point, it is better to distinguish between the traditional and
communicative approach of teaching vocabulary. Traditionally, students are given a list
of words to be memorized. In fact, the memorization of words is not enough, but teachers
should guide their students to learn the correct spelling of the words, their meanings, and
their uses, or different uses. After gaining knowledge of the basic words, learners should
be familiarized with parts of speech. This familiarization is important for two reasons.
First, by knowing nouns, verbs and adjectives, students will be acquainted with the
functions of the words that they have learnt. That means they will know whether the
words are names, actions, or descriptions. Instructors can deepen the discussion about
nouns and verbs. This is done by explaining the types of nouns. Second, the next step will
be introducing sentence patterns, or how to put these words in the correct order. Through
vocabulary discussion inside the classroom, students’ knowledge about the usage of
words in the accurate position must be developed.

In spite of the fact that the incorporation of literature in language learning has

always been debated, it is possible to say that it has a key role in language proficiency
development. Literary texts are authentic materials in which real examples are presented
to readers. When readers are engaged in literary texts, they are at an advantage to realize
how grammatical structures and vocabulary are connected to each other. In other words
learners have a chance to see how language operates in text. As learners become aware of
how language features function in text, they apply the same strategies in their
communication. Moreover, literature has the potential to develop language awareness,
language skills, cultural enrichment and personal growth of learners. As long as teachers
pay attention to the selection of materials they use in the language classroom, learners
benefit from literary texts.

REFERENCES:

1. Carter R. Literature and language teaching 1986-2006: A review. International Journal
of Applied Linguistics, 2007, 17(1). – P. 3-13.
2. Ellis G., & Brewster J. Tell it again! London: Penguin. 2002. – P. 72-79.
3. Ghanbari M., & Marzban A. Effect of extensive reading on incidental vocabulary
retention. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2014. – P. 116.
4. Lao C.Y. and Krashen S. The impact of popular literature study on literacy
development in EFL: More evidence for the power of reading. 2000, System 28. – P.
261-270.

Библиографические ссылки

Carter R. Literature and language teaching 1986-2006: A review. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2007, 17(1). – P. 3-13.

Ellis G., & Brewster J. Tell it again! London: Penguin. 2002. – P. 72-79.

Ghanbari M., & Marzban A. Effect of extensive reading on incidental vocabulary retention. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2014. – P. 116.

Lao C.Y. and Krashen S. The impact of popular literature study on literacy development in EFL: More evidence for the power of reading. 2000, System 28. – P. 261-270.

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