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Rules, Patterns and Words: Grammar and Lexis in English Language Teaching (Cambridge Language Teaching Library) Paperback – 24 Dec 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Rules, Patterns and Words: Grammar and Lexis in English Language Teaching (Cambridge Language Teaching Library)
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  • Implementing the Lexical Approach: Putting Theory into Practice
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  • How to Teach Vocabulary
Total price: £85.20
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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (24 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521536197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521536196
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

Book Description

In an accessible style, the author demonstrates the link between grammar and vocabulary.

About the Author

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Format: Paperback
Dave Willis is of course well-known as a writer of textbooks as well as for his influence in task-based learning (TBL). This book presents his ideas about language pedagogy, giving a coherent overview of how he feels teachers can most effectively help their learners make the most of their learning experiences, especially in terms of developing their linguistic complexity. He draws on his experiences of working at the University of Birmingham and is clearly influenced by the findings of the COBUILD dictionary project, i.e. that meaning and form are closely interrelated, that to learn a language well you need to learn the most common words and their phraseology, and that separating lexis and grammar is a mistake (though he could go a bit further in this regard...). Willis is also influenced by Halliday's systemic functional linguistics and its concept of an underlying system to language which, while it is arguable (see e.g. Hoey 'Lexical Priming'), does help to give a theoretical underpinning to his approach.
In short, this book presents a coherent and relatively broad overview of how teachers can teach language (grammar, if you like) which, as you might expect, avoids taking any kind of PPP approach and emphasises linguistic development while being focused on effective communication and encouraging learners to make the most of their linguistic resources and experiences. It is also well-written and offers lots of practical exercises that exemplify Willis's approach.
This book is a must for any teacher training course; don't trust any teacher trainer who hasn't read it!
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I agree with the second reviewer here; this is a superb book. Anyone who is interested in lexical approaches to the description of language, and to pedagogy, will find this a fascinating read. (Perhaps you have read Michael Lewis's The Lexical Approach and would like to triangulate with a different author.)

Jane and Dave Willis are best known for introducing Task-Based Learning into "mainstream" ELT, and although it is not a major focus of the book, there are discussions of teaching strategy here, and classroom applications. The main focus of the book is an in-depth exploration of how what is normally thought of as grammar arises from generalisations of lexical patternings. I found Willis's classification of lexis a useful alternative to Lewis's, and the descriptions of the noun and verb phrase; the "grammar of orientation" (the articles and determiner system); and word class as an "interlevel" between grammar and lexis are the best I have found. Each chapter comes with examples of practice exercises, which can be adapted by teachers.

I recommend this book for students of Diploma courses such as the DELTA, or for teachers who are already experienced and would like to deepen their understanding of how language works. It will also powerfully challenge you to reassess conventional grammatical descriptions. Finally, because it is written in a measured, rather than an evangelical tone, it will encourage you to change your practice without making you feel that everything you have done in class is wrong! I recently worked with a teacher trainer in Moscow who said of this book "it blew my mind", and this potential is there. Willis's quiet tone belies the book's revolutionary potential.
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An excellent book! I recommend the Seller, too!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 Aug. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book 20 May 2013
By Samuel J. Caraballo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book that I think good clear explains and litttle dry to read that but good informations. Wish more of illustration.
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