See an explanation of the term ‘Lexical approach’.

Group of four young people in discussion

The lexical approach is a way of analysing and teaching language based on the idea that it is made up of lexical units rather than grammatical structures. The units are words, chunks formed by collocations, and fixed phrases.

The phrase 'Rescue attempts are being hampered by bad weather' is a chunk of language, and almost a fixed phrase. It is formed by the collocations 'Rescue' + 'attempt', 'rescue attempt' + 'hampered', 'hampered' + 'by', 'hampered by' + 'bad weather'.

In the classroom
A simple activity to incorporate the lexical approach is to encourage learners to identify and record lexical chunks and fixed phrases in texts they read.

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