Lexical level of language

Subject: Language classes
Activity length: Duration is 45 minutes.

Students know the meaning of the words, which they use in their oral presentation in line with the different contexts and communication situations, or s/he is able to check the meaning of unknown words using available information sources.

Student are able to search for the meaning of unknown words in dictionaries.


Computer / mobile phone / tablet with internet connection

Language Dictionary


Part 1: The importance of definitions and the defining in the academic debate (definition of space-frame for debate, clarifying of the various positions …), the importance of the definitions in the dictionaries (scope and content of the concepts)

Part 2: Presentation of the most common errors in definitions. In terms of language it is important that the definition does not contain the root of the defined term. From the logical point of view, it is possible to distinguish several errors, for example:

a) unknown through unknown – definition is not understandable for the addressee because the unknown is defined by other unknown terms,

b) a broad definition – if the definition includes several objects (as if home is defined as anything that can be used for living, then the addressee can decode it not only as a house, but for example also a cave)

c) narrow definition – if the definition narrows the characteristics of an object or phenomenon (if the house is defined as a building of brick, which is used for living, then buildings made of wood, concrete panels are not included in the definition

Part 3: The definition game

a) First, begin with a classical child’s play. The first person in line says a general noun in the nominative singular (This specification applies to the entire game), and the next person in line creates a word starting with the last letter of the previous word. This will last the whole first round, so that everyone tries it.

b) During the next round of the game, the conditions remain the same, but the change is that instead of words, the game participants say only word definitions. First person won’t say a word, but its definition. This should be clear, so that the next person is sure about the word. That person thinks of a word starting with the last letter of the word that was used as the last, but s/he only tells the definition, not the word. And this is how it goes till the end. The whole group checks the correctness of the definitions, because if someone deciphers a wrong word and creates a word starting in a different letter, then the group re-assesses the correctness of the previous definition. If the group decides that it was clear, the following definition is considered false.

c) competition version can be played as follows. The thinking about the definition is time limited (in 5 or 10 seconds, the participant must begin to define the term) and if there is an incorrect definition, the author of the false definition leaves the game, so that eventually there is only the winner of the game.

Part 4: Reflection. Set of questions: How did the activity go? What caused problems? …


Assessing the accuracy of definitions is happening in the group through the teacher and students themselves. In case of uncertainties, the definitions are verified online or in dictionaries.

Additional notes:

During the game, it is important that all the players concentrate, because in the case somebody drops out, the next one should build on the previous player. In the case more players drop out at the same time, the next player can be further in the line.


GAHÉR, F. Logika pre každého. Bratislava: Iris, 1998, s. 358–366. ISBN 80-88778-77-8.