Class Short TEFL

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

W.P. - U.S.A. said:
Common Linguistic Problems Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories: language form, language meaning, and language in context. English is an extremely complex language. Before students? can be considered truly proficient, they must not only master a variety of tenses and irregular verbs, sentence structure and parts of speech, but they must also work to understand and master lexical and structural ambiguities. Lexical ambiguities are very common and have a variety of names and definitions depending on the level of ambiguity. (Lexical ambiguity- the ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used (in different contexts) to express two or more different meanings.) Let?s take a look at lexical ambiguities that cause linguistic problems: Synonyms (words that have similar meanings) and antonyms (words that mean the opposite of another) are straight forward enough. However, when a word has more than one meaning, complications may arise for the learner: Contronyms (Antagonym): A very difficult form of lexical ambiguity, these words are spelt the same and pronounced the same but have two ultimately opposite meanings. Contronyms are special cases of homographs (two words with the same spelling but different meaning, irrespective of pronunciation). For instance ?quite? can mean: ?slightly? (quite nice) or ?completely? (quite beautiful) and ?Consult?- ?take? advice or ?give? advice Homophones: Words that sound the same but may be spelt the same (homographs and homonyms) or differently (heterographs). These can be challenging for the learner (likewise for the native english speaker where ?affect vs effect? are commonly confused). Example heterograph: Sea (water) versus See (with your eyes) Homonyms: These are homophones that sound and are spelt the same but have different meanings. (Note: Homonyms are simultaneously homographs and homophones) Example: fine (penalty for an offence/crime ) fine (feeling okay) Heteronym: (also known as heterophones) are words that are written identically but have different pronunciations and meanings. In other words, they are homographs that are not homophones. Thus, row (propel with oars) and row (argument) are heteronyms, but mean (intend) and mean (average) are not (since they are pronounced the same). Heteronym pronunciation may vary in vowel realisation, in stress pattern, or in other ways: E.g. ?Don't desert me here in the desert.? Meaning: ?desert?: abandon/ withdraw support and ?desert? geographical area that receives little precipitation. Lexical ambiguities can also exist in phrases, and not just single words. Common forms of lexical ambiguity are idioms. These are expressions that have acquired a meaning that differ from their literal meaning. E.g. ?It?s the bee?s knees!? meaning- it?s the best! In order for an English learner to understand the meaning of this phrase, they must also look at the context in which it has been said. If they break down the phrase literally, it wouldn?t make any sense. Linguistic interference: refers to speakers or writers applying knowledge from their native language to a second language. It is most commonly discussed in the context of English language learning and teaching, but it can occur in any situation when someone does not have a native-level command of a language. This problem can result in misinterpretation and misunderstanding i.e. a student literally translates from their own language into English e.g. Greek student ?My car has taken holidays?, he means ?My car has broken down!? perfectly acceptable idiom in the Greek language but totally incomprehensible in English. Structural ambiguities: are also very common in the English language and present another challenge to an English learner. A structural ambiguity occurs when the sentence is arranged in such a way that it has more than one possible meaning. Example: ?The girl hit the boy with a book? meaning- the girl used the book as a weapon to hit him or she hit the boy who was in possession of the book. In conclusion, disambiguation is critically important in speech synthesis and natural language processing. The learner needs to familiarize themselves with these lexical and structural ambiguities. With exposure to authentic sources, language acquisition and overcoming psychological barriers, the difficulties of common linguistic problems can be challenged and overcome. Sources of Reference: