The Importance of Word Formation Knowledge

Word formation processes and creation of meanings can occur in very many ways so teachers should learn to incorporate these processes to facilitate learning. For instance, language learners normally use compounding as a way of making new meanings from simpler words (free morphemes). For example, waterfall is derived from the free morphemes water and fall. Teachers can therefore contribute towards better and faster second language learning by finding out some of the simpler words that their students know and then teach them how to combine these morphemes to create compounded words (Dixon & Aikhenvald, 65).

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The same concept can be applied during the process of derivation (where derivation refers to the addition of prefixes like mis- and pre- and suffixes like -less, -able to words) examples of derivation processes include misrepresent, unprepared, meaningless, reliable from represent, prepare, meaning and rely. Teachers need to start working with the simple words that students know and then teach them about the rules applicable in deriving meaning from them. They need to show the interrelationship between the derived words and the simpler ones. For example misrepresent is the opposite of represent and reliable is an adjective used to describe someone who one can rely on.

In derivation, some language learners may utilize their own creative capabilities in order to create meaning. In other words, they can create words that they had never heard before using this methodology. Teachers need to tap into this tendency by looking for ways in which they can encourage spontaneous word derivation. Native and non native speakers can utilize this potential so it is not restricted to just one group (Vizmuller-Zocco, 45). Creative word formation can be encouraged through other classroom activities that encourage development of this skill such as through the use of games.

Supporting clear communication

Teachers need to know what students think about the activities, tasks and challenges in their classroom. This is because it is essential for students to fully understand what is expected of them in a linguistics class. Teachers can do this by asking them questions directly in class. Alternatively, they may request students to write journals that cause them to reflect upon their learning within the classroom (Tjeerdsma, 78).

Teachers can also create an environment of cooperation in their classroom by being approachable while at the same time being direct. This would ensure that students are clear about the expectations of the class and they will be better able to communicate clearly (Paralink, 5).

Causes of misunderstanding in communication

Communication misunderstandings are often caused by a lack of awareness of the requirements within a class. Some students simply may not know the parameters or standards that will be used to assess them. Therefore, they will take on tasks in the classroom without having a clear cut direction of what is expected of them. This misunderstanding in communication is brought on by the lack of creation of classroom goals (OGrady, 13).

Alternatively, communication misunderstands may be caused by differing expectations of what a class is all about (Bybee, 35). When students have very divergent views of what a class is all about, they may start conferring with one another and this may lead to further confusion amongst them. Since interpretations of a class can be different, it is always best when teachers know about this and then work towards eliminating those discrepancies.

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Works Cited

Dixon, R. & Aikhenvald, A. Word: a cross linguistic typology. Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 2007.

Bybee, L. A study of the relation between meaning and form. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1985.

Vizmuller-Zocco, J. Linguistic creativity and word formation. Italian teachers Journal, 13(1985): 45.

Tjeerdsma, B. Enhancing classroom communication between teachers and students. Physical education, recreation and dance journal, 68 (1997): 78.

Paralink. The importance of clear communication. 2005. Web.

O’ Grady, D. Drilling down to the depths of clear communication. 2010. Web.

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