The importance of studying the morphemes for english teachers

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Cumaná, Enero 2010

What is the importance of studying themorphemes for English teachers?

Before explaining the importance of morphemes for English teachers is necessary to know what a morpheme is. According to Stageberg (1971, p.85), a morpheme is a shortsegment of language that meets three criteria: a) It is a word or a part of a word that has meaning; b) It cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts without violation of its meaning; c) and itrecurs in different verbal environments with a relatively stable meaning. Therefore, taking into consideration these criteria, all words are formed by morphemes which are divided into free morphemes(segments of language that may stand alone or combine with other morphemes) and bound morphemes (segments of language that are always attached to other morphemes), making the first ones the basis orroot of a word. For instance, the word brighten has two morphemes: bright and –en.

Example: bright = light / -en = make = make light

According to this /-en / is a part of a word thathas meaning. It cannot be divided into smaller meaningful units and it recurs with a stable meaning in words like: cheapen, darken, soften, etc. (Stageberg, 1971, p.86).

In relation to thequestion, English teachers as any other who teaches a language need to understand the importance of morphemes in any language. They are extremely important because they are the basis of words andwithout morphemes there will not be words. Morphemes are like the beginning of a chain that ends in the discourse. In other words, they are the true essence in a language, in this case the Englishlanguage.

It is a requirement for an English teacher to know or, at least, to comprehend the rules of grammar related to word formation when teaching English. This will give him / her the...
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