What is semantics?
According to Fromkin et al. (2007), semantics refers to "the study of the linguistic meaning of morphemes, words, phrases, and sentences." Timyam (2010) further describes the term as "the study of meaning [or the analysis of meaning]; it is mainly concerned with the meanings of words and sentences, the meaning relationships, and the conceptual system underlying meaning. Subfields of semantics include lexical semantics, which involves the meanings at lexical level and their relationships, and phrasal , sentential, or compositional semantics, which is concerned with the meanings at syntactic level. In general, there are three basic types of meaning: 1. Referential or linguistic meaning
The meaning of expression refers to or describes the actual real-world object, concept, and/or reference. 2. Affective meaning
The meaning of expression implies the emotional connotation of the language user about the content and/or the ongoing context. 3. Social meaning
The meaning of expression depends on the social nature or characteristics of the language user and/or the situations of utterance. Synonymy
In language teaching, there are many aspects of the language that can be taught explicitly, such as pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge. Semantics can be applied in the teaching of vocabulary, in particular, to expose the learners to the semantic relations among words at lexical semantics level. The relations include synonymy, antonymy, converseness, metonymy, polysemy and homonymy, and hyponymy. For instance, students can be taught the concept of synonymy that words which have the same set of referents in the real words they are called synonyms, such as: movie, film, flick, and motion picture
big, large, enormous, huge, massive, and mountainous
This way, students are enhanced with the ability to memorize vocabulary since synonyms can often be substituted for each other in sentences. However, perfect synonyms are very rare. The judgment whether two lexical items are synonymous is merely based on referential meaning. Students need to consider the meanings they want to convey carefully, usually depending on the appropriateness of the sentence. Synonyms are often, though not always, related to affective and/or social connotations. Hence, another concept that students have to remember when they want to use synonyms is collocations. Collocations
Collocations are the perfect model to show the students that perfect synonyms are rather uncommon. By definition, collocations refer to the habitual juxtaposition of a particular word with another word or words with a frequency greater than chance. More often than not, in collocations, the concept of perfect synonyms is not applied. For example, synonymous set of "make, do, and build" conveys the meaning of an action of constructing something, usually useful. On the other hand, we can use only "make" in collocation "make a loss" which means "to be in the negative financially". It is rather usual to see "do a loss" or "build a loss" to imply the same meaning as "make a loss".
For applying knowledge of semantics for teaching English, our group decides to use synonym and collocation concepts to help students memorize vocabulary and know how to use each vocabulary appropriately. The lesson will run as follows: 1. Warm-up
Teachers come to the front, and ask students to find the odd one among the four of us. To do this, it is to call students’ attention and point out the benefit of knowing synonym which can help them memorize vocabularies which have the same meaning at the same time leading to more effectiveness when doing the test.
Teaching synonym, we provide the song that contains many vocabularies; it’s the song that is composed to teach vocabulary especially, and it’s available online for anyone to access.
This is just an example of the song that helps students to memorize...
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