TKT Module 1: Part 1 – Lexis

Hello Exam Seekers,

I know you were probably expecting me to talk about lesson planning… However, I decided to leave it for next week.  My life is still erratic, which means that I’m still struggling with administering my time. I also had a terrible headache the past few days, which didn’t help me produce content. I promise that I’ll be organizing my time better soon to have an organized posting schedule!!! If you still want some information about planning a lesson, here is the link for the Preparing a Lesson Plan [PART 1].

Meanwhile, today I decided to post about the TKT. There’s been a while since I post something about the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT). Actually, it’s been almost a year. If you didn’t check my last post out, it was about  Module 1: Part 1 – Grammar. Make sure to check it out.

On the other hand, if you haven’t read anything I posted about the TKT, go read the other texts before reading this one!!! Take a look at the overview I wrote a while ago: What is the TKT?; TKT: Modules 1, 2, and 3, which I wrote about the three core modules, and the TKT Bands, the one which I describe how the grades work. There are other two texts about the TKT: TKT: CLIL and TKT: Young Learners (YL).

Today, I’m going to talk about:

  • MODULE 1 – Language and background to language learning teaching
  • PART 1 – Describing language and language skills         
  • UNIT 2 – Lexis

Last time, I wrote about Grammar, which describes how we combine, organize, and change words and parts of words to make meaning. Another aspect of the language is the Lexis. Both Lexis and Grammar are important, but if we don’t have the words, we cannot combine them to make meaning, right?

So what is Lexis? It is an individual word or sets of words, i.e., vocabulary items, that have a specific meaning, for example: tree, get up, first of all. Here is a sample of how Cambridge assesses your knowledge about the Lexis:

Are you planning to take the TKT Module 1? I've already given some tips on Part 1 - Grammar. Now, take a look at Part 1 - Lexis and get to know what is vocabulary and what you need to know for the TKT.

As you can see, you need to show that you know the categories of the vocabulary you use. Why? Because, for instance, if you are going to ask your students to write some antonyms, they first need to understand what an antonym is. Secondly, they need to know how to form an antonym, and by telling them that it is a word with an opposite meaning, they can write DIRTY for CLEAN or write UNTIDY. For the second word – untidy –, they need to understand it is a word formed by prefixation. As teachers, you need to know before explaining. You must know the categories to teach about categories.

So you need to study Denotations, Synonyms, Antonyms/Opposites, Lexical sets, Words with prefixes and suffixes, Compounds, Collocations, and Figurative meaning.

It is not that difficult, but many teachers (especially students), don’t have a clear understanding of these concepts, which impedes the learning process. Take a look at the table:

You can see from this table that some words might have more than one denotation, but you always figure out the meaning by the context the speaker is using. Words can also change their denotations according to what part of the speech they are, e.g. the adjective clear and the verb to clear. Another interesting aspect is that not all the words have all kinds of forms, and that is not always possible to find synonyms for words, as very few words are very similar in meaning.

So, now that you know what to look for, why don’t you try and answer the task above?

Keep in mind that really knowing the words means knowing all of their different kinds of meanings. Moreover, it involves understanding its forms, how they work grammatically and how they are pronounced and spelled.

Well, I do hope I have helped! 🙂 If you still have questions about Lexis, please comment in the comment section below.

And for more information, check the TKT 3 Core Modules Book (link for the book in Brazil here):

Cambridge English TKT Core Modules


That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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PS: All samples are provided by Cambridge. And here are the answers (OBS: There is always one extra):

1. F
2. B
3. A
4. E
5. D

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