We need to know what lexis is when we are learning a second language because sometimes idiomatic expressions can difficult our learning, especially in English.
Sometimes words do not mean exactly what we know or what we have conceptualized; that is why we need to understand or being aware of the context: where we are and who are with. Some forms can play with our minds, like compounds forms; it’s hard to translate them because those words are made up from more words or collocation which need to be together to make sense, for example bookshop or heavy rain. And there are also the false friends, which sounds like a word in our own language but they mean another very different thing.
We also need the help of the phonology to be able to understand and produce language in an active way, like speaking or listening.
Every word is formed with a combination of different and little sounds (phonemes), which with a small variation can change the meaning of a word, so if we are conscious of these sounds we can distinguish them more easily and there for have a better communication and understanding of the language.
We need to know how to apply the stress for example in certain words that help us to have a better understanding. Also we must work in our intonation or rhythm so we can have a better speech or connected better.
All this concepts are very important for us to achieve a better communication. Communication is part of our lives, we always have something to express it could be saying: Good morning, asking questions, like, what do you mean?; thanking, etc.
The register of formality can be present in the four skills of language, when we read or listen to a formal text like an essay, an article, etc, we can read or listen to a very logical discourse, coherent enough for us to understand the main idea especially when we have an assignment to do. We can use and improve the sub skills of our reading or listening; two receptive skills, which mean that we are not producing language, we are receiving in it.
If I read a or listen to a book for pleasure I would be developing my extensive reading or listening, if I need to memorize the information for a school project or for an exam, then I would be reading or listening for detail. We also can deduce or predict vocabulary or information from the context, or just read or listen for gist in a search of specific information.
On the other hand we find the productive skills: writing and speaking. There are different text types to write, which depend on the formality of what we want to express, a formal writing is more complex and we pay more attention to accuracy, coherence, cohesion, grammar structures, etc. especially if we are narrating a story or summarizing a text from school.
For speaking the phonology can help us for, example if we have to ask for clarification we need to use the correct intonation to make our questions understandable. Speaking is much more complex because we must speak fluently so people can understand what we really want to say, if we hesitate too much or repeat the same over and over it can be hard to understand. When we speak, we have an important tool: our gestures, the way we move our bodies can help us to express better or to make it more difficult if we move too much.
If we are conscious of all the factors that I have just mentioned we can help our students, because we can guide them through their learning process instead of trying to teach something that may not be able to be learned.
Teaching is not as easy as it seems because not everyone wants to learn a second language. As teachers we need to put some extra effort in motivating our students so they can feel confident enough to produce language. Students need to know that they have achieved so they can become into independent learners and take response for their own learning and set their own goals. It is not easy but if we encourage our students we all can achieve it.
I believe that the secret is working with them not for them, so they can acquire English in a natural way, picking up the information through exposure, interaction and feedback.
Interaction is good as they have assimilate the language after their silent period, while their brains have process enough information to start producing the new language; pressure them can demotivate students because learning a second language is more difficult we must learn in an artificial way, learning structures, forms, and when we learn our mother tongue is a simple cognitive process we listen, our brain process and we produce; the motivation is everywhere, and learning a second language can be boring due to controlled practices.