The lexical approach: collocability, fluency and implications for teaching


  • Amelia Torres Ramírez Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


lexical approach, collocations, formulaic language, noticing, fluency


The lexical approach identifies lexis as the basis of language and focuses on the principle that language consists of grammaticalised lexis. in second language acquisition, over the past few years, this approach has generated great interest as an alternative to traditional grammar-based teaching methods. From a psycholinguistic point of view, the lexical approach consists of the capacity of understanding and producing lexical phrases as non-analysed entities (chunks). A growing body of literature concerning spoken fluency is in favour of integrating automaticity and formulaic language units into classroom practice. in line with the latest theories on SlA, we recommend the inclusion of a language awareness component as an integral part of this approach. The purpose is to induce what Schmidt (1990) calls noticing, i.e., registering forms in the input so as to store them in memory. This paper, which is in keeping with the interuniversity Research Project “Evidentiality in a multidisciplinary corpus of English research papers” of the University of las Palmas de Gran Canaria, provides a theoretical overview on the research of this approach taking into account both the methodological foundations on the subject and its pedagogical implications for SLA. 


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How to Cite

Torres Ramírez, A. (2012). The lexical approach: collocability, fluency and implications for teaching. Revista De Lenguas Para Fines Específicos, 18, 237–254. Retrieved from