Chapter 1: 1.1 I.2 I.3 I.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 There is nothing as practical as a good theory. . . . . . . . 10 Morgan Lewis .... 10 ....... 11 ....I2 .......14 . . . . . . . . 15 .....17 ...18 .....20 .......27 .....21


\\ tr

... . 8

3.9 3.10 3.1i 3.12

Tea Chc Ped Sun

Chapter.l 4.1 ^ +.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9

Introduction Learnersdon'tleamwhatteachersteach Knowingawordiscomplicated... Theintermediateplateau The grammar-vocabularydichotomyis invalid AdvancedEnglish Leave'used'languagealone. Someclassroomactivities Actionresearch Cdnclusion

I ne

Etp The The \Iak Reri Con Con

Chapter 2: 2.I 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.lI

Collocation- encouraging learner independence. . . . . 28 GeorgeWoolard ....28 .....28 ...30 ........31 . . . .32 . . . . . . . . 33 ........36 ........39 .....43 .....44 ."....46 ...47

Chapter 5: 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.1

Introduction Collocation Raisingawarenessofcollocation... Highlightingandteachingcollocation Choosing key words The independentlearnerandleamer strategies R e s o u r c ed i:c t i o n a r i e s s Resources:corporaandconcordancers Lexicalnotebooks Wordgrammar... Summary

Intro Gene Actil Actii Exeri Your Sumr

Chapter 6:

PART 2 Chapter 7: 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7

Chapter 3:

Revising priorities: from grammatical failure to collocationalsuccess Jimmie Hill

3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4, 3.5 3.6

Languageandlexis Languageandlearning Whatiscollocation? Collocationalcompetence... Collocations,idiomsandphrasalverbs. Collocationsandsrammar...

.....47 ........48 ....48 ...49 .......50 ........52

Descr Intuiri Termi From Collor Collig Other



.......10 ......10 .....11 . ......t2 ......14 ......15 ......17 ......18 . ... .. 2 0 ......27 . .. . . . 2 1 e.....28 . . .. . . 2 8 ......28 ......30 ......31 -.....32 ......33 ......36 ......39 ......43

3.1 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12

Whyiscollocationimportant? Collocationintexts Teachingcollocation Choosingwhich collocationsto teach Pedagogicalimplications Summary-lessgrammar,more.exis l

........53 ....56 . . .59 . . .63 ......65 ........67

Chapter 4:

Integrating collocation into a reading & writing courseT0 Jane Conzett ....70 . . .7I .....72 .......73 . . . . . . .j4 .......-15 .....83 .......85 .....86

4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.1 4.8 4.9

Background The needto build vocabulary Explicitvocabularystudy. Themissinglink:collocation.. The needfor guidancefrom the teacher M a k e s t u d e n t s a w a r e o f c o l l o c a.t.i.o n Reviewandtesting Concordancesforteachersandstudents Conclusion

Chapter 5:

Classroom strategies,activities and exercises. . . . . . . . 88 Jimmie Hill, Morgan Lewis and Michael Lewis .....88 ......90 ....98 ......99 ..... 106 ....116 .....116 .....118

5.1 5.2 5.3 5.5 5.6 5.7

Introducingcollocationtoleamers Generalstrategies Activities-exploitingatext. Activities-usingacollocationdictionary Exercises Yourownexercises Summary ......


Chapter6: Calloway'sCode. A short story by O. Henry

......46 )

Chapter 7: Language in the lexical approach Michael Lewis . . . . .126 ......126 ....126 . . .129 . . 130 ....I32 ....136 . . 138

......41 ".....48 ......48 ......49 ......50 ......52

7.1 7.2 1.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7

Descriptions English of Intuitionandevidence... Terminology From idioms to idiomaticity . Collocation Colligation Other multi-word expressions

22I 10.....184 Chapter 11 Chapter 8: g. ..14 words T h e c e n t r a l r o l e o f ' o f. Collocationandtesting for Necessity change Summary Learning in the lexical approach Michael Lewis . . .158 .'.6 Sources ... .'..6 8.' Grammar Lexis.10 8.I45 . ...7 Lear \\ hr The Sem ColU Con Surr Bibliograpl Chapter 9: 9.native-speaker .1 Introduction . -....6 9. ... ... ..2 How do we define different levels? . ... .3 8..4 9...10 1..168 ' .g 7..11 8.3 Testingvocabularyknowledge ...12 1...... 151 . 186 Michael Lewis .3 9... .205 Chapter L0: Collocation and testing Peter Hargreaves ..153 . ..'. .206 I0. ...191 Languagecorpora ..1 11. .'.I49 ... .205 10. . ..12 8..2 8..5 Sources . i55 .'. ...2O0 Referencematerials..1 8. ..155 .-----163 .4 8..."150 .1 9.13 7... ..173 .9 7..161 ... '203 Summary . .i89 Subject-specificlanguage.5 9.. ..156 .I7I .2 9.. .. Acquisitionisnon-linear Which is fundamental lexis or structure? Thelexicalchallengetomethodology'.. .Contents 7.4 Grammatical patterns and collocations in testing .147 .7 8.186 Choosingtexts. '1eve1'? What do we meanby paradigms Teaching The Lexical Approach and the Natural Approach Towardsaleamingtheory Summary 11.'217 and dictionaries.8 8. .142 .-220 to 10.. corpora 10.13 Introduction Twokindsofknowledge... . . . ..182 ..9 8..198 Concordances. .. ...tI 7.5 8. Acquisitionandnoticing Noticing Theimporlanceofexamples.1 11.188 Genre .the learnercorpus(CLC) .'... .. .5 I1. ZI8 10. ' '. .3 ll.+ 11..'.5 11...8 Summary. 181 ..'..I14 .7 Approaches testingcollocation .177 .7 Materials and resources for teaching collocation... .208 10. .-.215 10.

...163 ..155 ..6 ILl Leaming new words Why word lists are dangerous T h e i m p o r t a n co f c o n t e x t. .... .208 ....3 11...186 ...........1 8 4 )n.r77 .242 ......189 ...232 ...... .. .... e Semanticprosody Colligation Concordancing.......... ... .z2r ..... 224 .168 ...2t7 ....174 Chapter LL: A world beyond collocation: new perspectiveson Yocabularyteaching ...... ... ...r42 .......151 .... .182 ... .205 ...153 .227 ....................233 .Contents .4 11........ ....203 .224 Michael Hoey 11. .... 1 5 5 . .244 Bibliography .........5 ll..145 ..r13 ........150 ........230 ..........206 .....215 ...156 .. ...191 ..158 ........ ....... ... Summary .1 llz 11.205 .2t8 .........200 .flr ....238 .....186 ..t49 ......t47 ..198 .....188 ...181 ...161 ..220 ....

. argumentsabout exactly what types of multiword item make up the mental lexicon are unfruitful. The centrality of lexis Increasingly. \\'as.i language iru. or ttri first. as 1is l1 lin_euistics. most liequen-j: u'ho have a cl to heip leamel teachersder er From pracfic Books of rhis order. The mental lexicon is larger than we previously thought. A modified role for grammar The centrality of lexis means that the teaching of traditional grammar sffucturesshould play a less important role than in the past. The contributors all argue that expanding learners'phrasal lexicons and knowledge of word grammar are the two most important elements of any if languagecourse. Recognising that every word has its own grammar. T arise not tton are alreadr I radical. . belore rei The contrihrLlt ' learirers nrenli ranse oi liti-ct l. We now recognise that the principal difference between intermediate and advanced leamers is not complex quit.s..There is a seriouschallengefor teachers our new insights rnto ihe size or-eru'he in-l 'r'ocabuian' Er en thing ir teachersen. It is clear that the learners'taskin acquiringa sufficiently large mental lexicon is considerably greaterthan we previously thought.Introduction Introduction 'Without grammar little can be As David Wilkins observedmany years ago. conveyed.We now recognisethat much of our prefabricated chunks of different kinds.then. Although grammar remains an important part of language acquisition. and i'. ln Increasing ur Ser eral conr:i The basic rdr rr ar. If native speakersstore large amounts of language in chunks. what strategiesshould language teachers adopt if they are to help learnersbuild mental lexicons which are similarly phrasal? From a teaching point of view.the patternsin which it is regularly used.rr: .B ul a gt da-r'r. is enormous. The prefabricatedchunks stored in our mental lexicons ready for use are often larger than previously recognised.!tt. without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.Failure by some teachersto recognisethis simple fact can condemn their learnersto a lifetime on the intermediateplateau. ! to Chapters teaching. Three themes Three themesre-occurregularly in this book: . inrol chan_ses.however.i.meansthat any approachbasedon the central role of lexis is in many ways more grammatical than any traditional grammar syllabus. even for an intermediate leamer. languageteachershave turned to the question of how language is stored in the brain. the lexical memory load. Ihe aur as a result rf Part I descntt lan_eua_ue I and Part 1. . The single most imporlant kind of chunk is collocation. Really 'knowing a word'involves knowing its grammar. Self-evidently.Iiclrce! Le. but the greatly expanded mental lexicon available to advanced learners. teachingcollocation should be a top priority in every languagecourse.' The single most important task facing language learners is acquiring a sufficiently large 'vocabulary' consists of vocabulary. Developing I Tlrc Le:.

before returning to the more detailed practical suggestionsof part 1. others are more radical.but from what they are already doing.But a greatdeallies behindthat formulation. importance and nature of the mental lexicon are not simply to overwhelm students. methodology. of The basic idea is extremely simple . The contributors to this book have one principal objective . Some of the suggestions are modest. Introducing modest changes.Frequentcollocation(nice day). Hove. in is Increasing understanding Severalcontributorsstress their own increasing understanding collocation. January 2000 . and with that.It is a worthwhile objective. is quite different from strong collocation (wage war).or thoseon in-servicecourses may prefer to read thesetwo chapters first.Implementingthe Lexical Approach (199j) was.rather than applied linguistics. bfi neither the most frequent nor the strongestare the most useful for learners.some words co-occur in interesting ways. Teachers who havetried someof the suggestions in Part l. to give those leamers a far wider rangeof life-choices. Mike Mccarthy once eloquently described the 'vocabulary'part of language learningasmastering'the chaosof the lexicon'. Teacherswith a lot of experienceof lexically-based teaching. The authors in Part 1 describe how what they do in class has changed as a result of their developing awarenessof the lexical nature of language. Pafi 2 describes in more detail the present state of our understanding of language and acquisition. Developing the Lexical Approach The Lexical Approach (1993) was a combination of applied linguistics and languageteachingmethodology. a climate of action research. as its title develop learners'mental lexicons. Michael Lewis. more importantly. this book reversesthat order. and want to take their understandingfurlher.The first half of this book is even more practical. surely the best way forward. Everything in this book is designedto help bring order to that chaosfor both teachersand. From practice to theory orv language languagein are to help pes of multilear that the considerably an important . part 2 of this book is designed help in to teachersdevelop this clearer understanding. their learners. The chapters arisenot from what teacherscould do in their classrooms. should turn particularly to chapters 7 and 8.only teachers who have a clear understandingof different kinds of collocation will be able to help learners the bestpossibleway. more practical. involving a reversal of traditional priorities.'ven for an the principal not complex to advanced can condemn nal grammar :ognisingthat rachbasedon cal than any for use are : pattems in iexicons and lments of any r new insights Books of this kind tend to go from theory to practice.Introduction iittle can be srngle most :iently large consistsof tant kind of ould be a top into the size.

Shouldmy lessonplan rule the proceedings? . after afew yearsin the classroom. as a result of more theoretical study of the nature of both language and learning' to change his classroom priorities. The Present-Practise-Produce paradigm I startedwith seemedsuch a neat. A better understanding of language means he gives much more attention to collocation in all his classesl a better understanding of language acquisition means consciously bringing more language into every might have assumedthat the chapter was written by an applied linguist who will lemove you from the classroominto the far off land of academia.I increasingly found. Why is it that what my students leam doesn'tmore closely resemblewhat I teach? . ' J -'l There is nothing as practical as a good theory Morgan Lewis .I beganasking myself questions .some more explicitly than others.. I seemedto have less control over what studentswere learning than my initial training had led me to expect. 1. What can you do for advancedstudentsafter they have met the third 'advanced'English anyway? And what is conditional? .that leaming did not follow the same tidy model.such as: . Should I spend so much time trying to achieveaccurateglammar from my students? . . -.In fact. . What is the most efficient way of improving students'performance. and to believe both in the importance of a good lesson plan and the close relationship between what he taught and what his students learned. What can you really do for those 'intermediate plateau' studentswho need a breakthrough and a feeling of progression? .given they don't have a lot of time to leam the language? . Experience led him to question these ideas and. Perhapslike you. I am a regular classroom teacher with about ten years' experienceof teachingmostly multi-lingual classesin the UK. : . t - Morgan Lewis describes how his initial teacher training led him to value grammar and explaining. however. tidy and sensibleway to go about teaching. while accepting that the teacher cannot be sure exactly what learners will do with the language which is presented to them.10 There is nothing as practical as a good theorl Chapter I J ' -..1 Introduction Seeing the title of this chapter.. . He believes many teachers with a few years experience behind them will recognise the story he tells' .I beganto question some of the received wisdom of my initial training.

ithin my training.2 Learners don't learn what teachersteach {lthough it is hard for many teachersto accept. at Tlsr Whatpercentage thetimein yourtraining of wasspent lookingat teaching and what percentage was devoted to learning? After a lesson now. Surprisingly. If they do.' This has had an important implication for the way I teach: I no longer expect srudents masteran item or items of languagebefore exposingthem to more. The fact is. hich lies behind classroom procedures. probably neededto be re-evaluated. I neededto get below the surface. \faking slight methodological changes the light of theseconclusions in would not have satisfied me.Leaming is complex and non-linear. the grammar/vocabulary '3ichotomywas spurious. audiences and rnr self that teaching does not causeleaming. learners and leaming were hardly discussed simply is not true that our srudents necessarilylearn what we teach them. there was no guarantee thai leamers learn what teachersteach. 1.Thereis nothing as practical as a good theory 11 reory him to value I a good lesson lt his students result of more to change his he gives much Ierstanding of nto every class.'*.eacherswith a I beganan extendedperiod of extra study free from the constraintsof day-today lesson planning and thinking about my particular students.but it is a mistake to think that leaming is the same. given entswho need the third . It was concerned exclusively with how the teacher should teach. As Diana Larsen-Freeman writes in a disconcertingfootnote to an article in the journal -\pplied Linguistics: 'I am constantly reminding students. and decide what the real implicationsfor the classroom could be. they may or may not acquire what you teachthem.linear and systematic. on the whole. organised. or about the leamers? re chapterwas :lassroominto n teacher with ciassesin the questlonsome rctise-Produce /ay to go about r11ow same the u'ere leaming l. I found myself drawn more and more to considering the nature of language itself and the nature of languagelearning . and the central role of grammar. Teachingis. Let me explain in more detail how I rame to these conclusions and show how they relate to the importance of teachingcollocationin the classroom. in what order they will learn and how fast they will learn.its acquisition is far from systematic. Firstly.'. my initial training had not included study of this at all. they mav acquire it immediately.what the processin which I was engagedand for which I was trained was really all about. and although the result may be a s] stem. do you tend to think mostly about what you did.This allowed me to stop being preoccupiedwith my teaching for a while and as a result. rarners will do . to Erpecting mastery in the immediate shorl term is an unrealistic expectation. Secondly.We cannotcontrol what students ieam. mance. at least as defined . later or only partially.. explore the theory .self questions 'esemble what nmar from my I very soon came to two broad conclusions.

Can yor Can 1. oneofthequestionslposedformyselfafterteachingforanumberofyears wastheextenttowhichmylessonplanshoulddominateproceedings. though acquisitionencouraged(bu"tnot..or want to concord Which r or the li L. But an languageontheedgeofthestudent'slexiconhasbeenmissed.3 Knowing a word is comPlicated Relatedtothepointthatlearnersdon'tnecessarilylearnwhatweteachisthe step-by-step in nature.smoke' scenario to which I can add a handful of studenterror or finding a collocation in a text capturedby Peter wilberg's other useful collocateslThis mindset is perfectly andquoted by Michael Lewis at discussion of responsibility in One to One' thebeginningofTheLexicatApproach:.and move on. Whathasthistodowithteachingcollocation?Imagineastudentproduces the student with the t'"19*i He's a strong smoker'You could simply supply ideal opportunity to activate collocate _ heavy .caused')bythisparticularbitofteaching willbe. whereas fact that teaching tends to be linear and time' This is becausenew input learning is holistic.Theteacher'smainresponsibilityis response-abilitY.whether prompted by a heavy/occasional/chain/nin. The same B 'negative' c alternatives- can be undet fine until th assess what teacherma1the dffircnc training .These the languageaims in my plan and difference bre are at best dictionary d< injury. and t collocationa or rather mor Tnsx Look at lt'Of Tlsr what your students How much control do you think you haveover learn? rigidly? Do you still try to follow your lessonplan fairly respondspontaneously How willing areyou to forget your plan and inPut? with unprePared hou und. or are you happy introducing find this more confusing? evenif learnersmay. cyclical and evolves over From the cX evolving the lexis. you might or all of them' Adding They might remember none' one' two of them introducing one. or two new collocation to your teaching by consciously in this way increasesthe words and re-activating other half-known words you cannotbe at all sure what the chanceof acquisition titi"g place.12 There is nothing as practical as a good theory Tlsr more or lessmasterone new item or areabefore Shouldlearners new points to being exposed more.Itrequiresvery chain and non as more little extra time or explaining to add: occasional' know whether students will collocates of smoker' Given that you cannot as well give them three more' remember and use heavy smoker. it follor met will wic I . I am less concemed about achieving to opportunities like the more concerned about spotting and responding ." means indi\ have alreadl learner re-ot do not realh simple and t thesediffere isolation frc pafiicular tel it used or n tenses. ln the shortterm.

The same principle of meeting new uses. The difference between the two does not lie in dictionary definitions but rather that we say.leads you to answer such a question by trying to define the differencebetweenpairs of this kind. rem. Tlsr Look at these pairs of words: work / job house/ bwilding wnderstand/ realise Can you define the difference between each pair? Can you list a few collocates of each word in each pair? (You may want to look them up in a collocation dictionary or use a computer concordance program. it follows that giving studentscollocations of words newly or previously met will widen their understanding of what those words mean and. and the relationshipsthat the meanings of all thesedifferent verb forms have with each other.For example. or rather more precisely.ure what the t of teaching nber of years :dings. In other words.tudentswill Lthree more. whereas rusenew input From the classroom point of view. but this only leadsto problems and what are at best half-truths. other tenses.ponsibility is means individual learners constantly need to make adjustmentsto what they have already internalised. and in (implied) contrast with. whether grammar or lexis.the definitions or the lists of collocations? .These my plan and ities like the impted by a i a handful of :ter Wilberg's hael Lewis at .for example. Sfte) then has to reassesswhat injury means in the light of the new discovery.and my initial training .learners do not really understandthe presentperfect until they understandthe present simple and the past simple too. Adding or two new increases the . it involves the learner re-organisinghis or her previous interlanguage.r'eteach is the rrure. Learning is not simply additive.stab woundnot stab injury.the difference betweenthe ways the words are used.) Which do you think would help your learners more .70nas more . Tensesare not understoodin isolation from each other and it follows that learners' understanding of a particular tensedevelopsas they encounterdifferent usesofthat tenseand see it used or not used in preference to.choosing one item implies rejecting several similar alternati.Take the word injury. This word can be understoodby a student from its dictionary definition and all will be fine until the student comes across the word wownd. more . a discovery the teachermay wish the learner had never made when the leamer asks: What's the dffirence befween'wound'and 'injury' 2 One's instinct . it is the collocational frelds of the two words which reveal the difference of meaning.ves applies to items of vocabulary. if learners are slowly but continually evolving their understanding of the target language. and internal injwries not internal wounds. and becoming more aware of 'negative' choices .There is nothing as practical as a good theoryt 13 lnt produces the standard to activate requfesvely .

-h: 1. tlli. it may be weeks.Tanrp lose their cr threeu. Taking a few minutes to supply these collocationsin a lesson shortcutsthe processof building up meaning and therefore acquiring. Explaining and exploring is surely better than either alone. and insteadsimply leamed to use the words they alreadyknow in the huge number of collocations of which thesewords are parts. while this doesnot directly causeleaming. along with their grammatical ll3il. : a " _ _ L ) .monthsor yearsbeforestudents meet thosecollocationsand therefore the process of evolving and deepening understandingis they are actually used and how they collocate . Granrr iansuagi il -'r^ ig '.1 . t disperst Are the To me. widel. reasonso many students not The are making any perceivedprogressis simply becausethey have not been trained to notice which words go with which. rather than trying to improve their grammar or giving them a lot more new words.. which can so easily mean obscure. A great deal of time is spent in many classroomsexplaining what things mean. Actively introducing collocations recycles half-known words and.. particularly explaining things. If you do not actively introduce additional collocations.5 The -\r-1.. The answer lies in teachers continually bringing useful collocations to students' attention and helping them to remember them. r . For the reasonsabove. Most intermediate studentswould improve dramatically if they spentless time trying to perfect their grammar and leam new. how they are used.rll-i:i lf:lnlnlr - I Jo.--r l_ a -i_ .ords ltems can e\ Trsn alt ooii' What:.thl. thin_ss t. -:. a gc haven't spol . A shift in approach of this kind will almost certainly need to come initially from the teacher as (s)he trains studentsto re-direct their priorities in ways which are most likely to produce both perceived and genuine progress.there are too many other important things to do..i i-s The item 'i sanctioned what it is apan: Langua-e"ii expressson occur. They may know quite a lot of individual words which they struggle to use.:1 | storcdir [r Tlsr Are you happy with the idea of explaining less and giving and discussingmore examples instead? Thesechur thrngs. it accelerates it. dcmgerous t Notice. 1.r jusi'u'orris force or are srtuationsc dattgerorttnnrne.4 The intermediate plateau Referring to my earlier question: what can you reaily do for those 'intermediate plateau' studentswho need a breakthrough? big part of the A answerlies in the strategy just discussed.rather than explaining what they mean. but they lack the ability to use those words in a range of collocations which pack more meaning into what they say or write.l4 There is nothing as practical as a good theorl imporlantly. Some teachersmight say at this point that there is not enoughtime to explore the collocations of words in this way . I suggestthat ar least some of that time is better spentshowing students what words do . rare words.:. ther dentist. rarely used words.

which include collocations. let no teacher pull apart! Languageis full of such examples.For example. a visit to the doctor or dentist. 1.I*lher ihan !3l-ter than l L . .i individual I kno. No wonder students make so many grammarmistakes!They areusing grammarto do what it was nevermeantto do. j . These chunks of lexis.There is nothing as practical as a good theory 15 -:IL'. I u.1e1a\ed. they also have a pragmatic more than just name things.and then struggled to use grammar to talk about those things. police action after an incident. riiions r.. Taking it apart would do damageto what it does.hat Lldants . storedin their mental lexiconsjust waiting to be recalledfor use. They enable you to talk about things. Tasx What event.items such as thesemust be . r r -r'nlnra :r L]l pofianl r :: Spent1n :ls rbo\-e.. they suggest:talking about a new product.Many collocations haveimmediatepragmatic force or are situationally 'do'things. ior rlrcse r'r rt nf fhe .en trained :. This raisesthe statusof collocationto much more than just 'words which go together'. Grammar enablesus to construct language when we are unable to find what we want ready-made in our mental lexicons. Iearn lots of words and then you will be able to talk about whateveryou want. what collocation has put together. it is not simply that an adjective has been added to the word corner. Tampering with items of this kind in any way meansthey completely lose their communicative power. it is hard to think in which situation someonemight say: This is a corner. This view of languagehas meant that studentshave learnedto name a lot of things .ords. But so much of the language of the effective language user is already in prefabricated chunks.-i:lCnS nd a i s . rarely tically if they and fe \\. This is ct dangerowscot'rler. But if I say to yotr'.r.5 The gramrnar-vocabulary dichotomy is invalid So much of language teaching over the years has been based on the dichotomy of grammar and vocabulary: master the grammar extensivevocabulary. The item dangerowscorner exists as a prefabricatedchunk with its own sanctionedmeaning. Therefore. so one of these items can evokea complex situationvery precisely. newspapers. it immediately suggeststwo people in a car as they approach a corner where lots of accidents have happened. __ _ : r J 3 l 1 0 n s . these -:=.irnts arenot b. a government aim.r hrle this . even what it is. In the classroom. Although such items may be only two or threewords. situation or topic does each of these collocations suggest: routine check-up widely available boost employment disperse the crowd catch wp with the news Are they typical of spoken English.i'1edge. Notice.:riI1q and .The collocation dangerowscotrler is immediately evocative of a situation or a speechevent.predominantly nouns . hu-ee number :ome initially nties ln ways ro_qress.novels or what? To me.two (or more) word collocationswhich expresssomething specific in precisely the form in which they typically occur. and friends who haven't spokenfor a while.vhich ls ir teachers and helping Erammar or bscure. a greatdeal of meaningmay be packedinto them.

trf. bearing in mind that the structure of the expression may be very different in one languagefrom the equivalent expressionin the other. meetthe demand.the fewer collocations studentsare able to use. revisededition a\ '.:l C) 1 .6 Adrr I rel-erb:L. you are ignoring alarge set of items which expressoften complex ideas very simply and yet precisely. Jrt gt-'i.h :oh:sicn . knowing the lexical item.Anyone who hasthe collocations adeqwate supplies.-p *r'1 introduce til emphasr: r-o 1.the non-nativespeaker.llo :.-as I o n g u e .t6 There is nothing as practical as a good theory brought to students' attention and the bigger context they suggest must be shown.ri.the less they need to grammaticalise.k -r. as part of their mental lexicon is able to recall them as complete phrases. Notice too. Firstly..-\ ilJ J f ') f.rdetii.\ l L r l do not h:lp.iJ. i ! i. it is safe to translate the item into the leamers' mother tongue.rcr nullt-ri orc p I no iLrng-r '. The messagehas. .h pr. This in turn means more brainspace is available to generateand processcontent. I . has to use not grammar to express the idea in a way which they have not heard in that context . this can lead to more grammar explanationsand practice when what is really neededis work to expandthe learners'mentallexicons.-. which further increasesthe chanceof grammatical error. They are in as: Itrt . Once this has been done. hen usrn: Students' attempt You must know what you want to do but it must not be too much for it to be possible for you to do. the more they have to use longer expressionswith much more grammaticalisationto communicatesomething which a native speakerwould express with a precise lexical phrase and correspondingly little grammar. . inanr.mmaiiJtl '. r nno- i - .'fl1nlUn1iilt 1rr. .i: -\dr an'-ec s rt'our id. that if native speakersusually express an idea lexically with a collocation.I r.irel-itiilcii .they have no model to guide them. If the teacheris not careful. Not word-for-word but whole phrase to whole phrase. been successfully communicated this casebut most teachers in would probably feel obliged to stepin andhelp. There are two important points here.. This meansthe more collocationslearners have at their disposal.ethese. u. if you do not teach collocations.: fiJ * ). The student who doesn't know the expressionadequate supplies to meet the demand is forced to construct somethingllke: We clon't have things enoughso that evety person who will have one can have one.:a 1.. .tiarnpies .ked noul :dlerbisl nh .Secondly.'.r. t. An example may make this clearer. perhaps. make problems which you think have no answers a very important moment when things changed completely a new book which is very similar to the old one but improved and up-to-date :)l* rihich \\ e cal {J cause insurmountabledfficwlties major tuming point T = E -. adl arl g. ) r " '\t --".\n importan not ne$' or d not include I very fact me worth ther a teachereven slips by urLn leamers..1. a i l F t h--1 " | : b*a = r.:J ts a' # i: C) Asking stude a helpful qu notice the co goesmore lil . Here are more examplesof natural collocationsand students'attemptsto constructthe sameideas: Collocation set yowrselfa realistic objective It is a majo erTors are a oi these err. i. in nl:.

6 Advanced English I refer back to anotherof my earlier questions:what can you do for advanced studentsafter the third conditional? And what is 'advanced'English anyway? Advanced studentsbecome fiustrated when they are unable to talk or write about ideas which they can comfortably talk or write about in their mother tongue.ii: vill *.As the first two adverbial examples show. For example.t h e r rn:. . among the most important phrases are those which create cohesion across written text. a major turning point does not include any individually difficult words for an advancedstudent but this very fact meansthat both teacherand studentcan too easily assume is not it worth their attention. b i r s e dt o a : t t : € e ltl l e .s:lulhr . Asking students: Are thereany wordsyou don't understand? therefore. unfortunately. I simply keep my eyes open when using a text for collocations which I can bring to their attention and which we can then explore together.the item. of course.:. They may indeed understand all the words but fail to notice the combinations thosewords are in. . it is often true to say that neither learnersnor the teachereven recogniseit as a new item. be necessaryto introduce this idea to learnersand persuadethem of the value of putting more emphasis collocationand other lexical work. later that year. and that the best response many to of theseerrors at intermediateand advancedlevels is to do more lexical work in place of grammatical correction. The imporlant thing to note is that all these multi-word phrases collocationsof differentkinds. not a helpful question.trnfact. My questioningof students now soesmore like this: i'.-.. this has been the standarddiet of many advancedmaterials. r . the continuing decline of educational standarcls) and adverbial phrases (in marked controst.-i - C) a1!3 L/l\ 'F'-a* il " r \ .-e iq r -r. An important point to make is that very often the words in the collocations are not new or difficult at all. so an extremelyuseful collocation slips by unnoticed and is therefore unavailablefor storageand re-use by the leamers. .rlr}jllLe l . The language which helps leamers to communicate more complicated ideas is not convoluted grammar structures like these. . lita . on 1.Fj {(! ts" ?q- r-] I s f: r\ n tl hh*J r . is... in the late tutentiethcentwry). 'rnrnlrto r .. '-.particularly denselypackednoun phrases(firm but relaxedparental discipline. \ -- ' ! .modern cities in the developed world. i 3 1 .natUral .More complicated or this-will-challenge-them grammatical structures do not help them to do this. are I no longer woffy about how to challenge my advancedcrasses with obscure grammaticalconstructionsor unusual " ]r. referring back to my earlier point.struct . the kitchen wowld have caught fire. It may. ! .itrle i:ru II F4s 1lr I / -i .There is nothing as practical as a good theory t7 It is a major changeof mindset for teachersto realise that many grammatical effors are causedby lexical deficiencies. encouraging learners to produce such convoluted gemsas: wereI richer I would definitelybuy one or Had I not arrived in time.'.t be i.but different kinds of multi-word phrases.

Although we call this or that it has beenin any way damaged language'used'.particularly speech. noteLro Do r.o: Do r ot-t similar Do rou 1 translar ln order ibr I enough to si hcln lea-. Are you sure?I don't believeyou.and thereforemotivation. (more silenceand looking) What about the expressionwith risk? In all my time as a teacherI've never heard a student say or write run the risk of.This goes against thinking which encourages a student-centred.are .ictionttt *hich rle fit keepthe chu cleanin-e upnot adding.: also be transl .has often been thought to need a good clean up 'good'input.. and the determination to find generative systems. develops. of Take the hir Foilou'il si Tum a blin.on n central roh. Better than me asking Are there any words you don't know?. then. Edl conr. write it in Perhaps your notebooks." Being more proactive in pointing out useful languageand getting leamers to record it is an essentialrole of the teacher.h. they should not be taking responsibility for choosing which language items are more linguistically useful.Seep 95. Hort i'. Belou. better than them asking only What does this What does begin askingIs this a commonexpression? word mean? Students a represent real Thesequestions mean?Is this a collocatiorz? this expression learners are now asking about language which improvement as they mean they hadn't even noticed before.aluedbecause this obsession with breakingdown usedlanguage. I have found that higher level studentssensevery quickly that they are gaining useful ground when collocations are drawn to their attention in this way. that is not to suggest with grammar becauseof the preoccupation soiled in the process. Becausethey are being equipped to say or write more complicated ideas.r recorded son n^t)ntioll\ri ieamers.and start asking me about items in text.And the questions they ask are better.[Deborah Petty makesthe samepoint abouther leamers. OK. While I agree that learners should take responsibility for their own learning. thet to be used al can actualli-l processrnstll the lan_euage recorded: '.j To rule ourri Stand on ru. Once cleanedup. Interestingly.7 Leave 'used'languagealone 'IJsed'.language what David Brazllhas evocativelycalled languagewhich is has already been used naturally in speechor writing. On the othet It's not rr-orl I searchednr Of these eigh I also suggesi eYocatl\ e an. a new senseof satisfaction.Perhaps over the years.r \ofino nrrllr recording ir" at best. \\-hat actualh \\ ere taken: 1. used language.18 T There is nothing as practical as a good theory SS T Is there anything in the first paragraphyou think you should write in your notebooks?(silence while students scanthe paragraPh)Nothing? No. learnersbegin to notice more of this kind of languagefor themselves. it has usually beenbroken before it can form dou.exploration approach to language. after a period of teacher-dominated instruction (I prefer to call it learner training) of the kind exemplified above.n irito individual words. thus becoming more autonomous in their approach. Collocationhas been ignored or at least under. Perhapsmy studentshave never noticed it' (generalshakingof heads) Do you use this expression? you have never noticed it either.

her-dominated :rpiilled above.]qeltems are . I searchedhigh and low for it. they Ll. despite my efforts to guide the learners.rn-ious in their ne asking Are '. It goeswithout saying that manipulation requiresmore processingtime. -: I til . which language ush we call this or rl. and gives more opportunity for grammatical error. Ed] this Below are some examplesof languagewhich my learnersrecorded. is not its it enough to simply have an understandingof what it is and a sensethat it can help learners increase their communicative power. Wecan't nile owt thepossibility of +.They recorded some of them in the form in which they found them. or using the languagein an unnatural way. a !Deborah Petty In order for collocationto assume rightful place in the classroom.which is what actually occurred in the texts and dialogues from which the examples were taken: Take the hint Follow in someone's footsteps Turn a blind eye To rule out the possibility of Stand on yow own two feet On the other hand It's not worth it.Others.J' does this hat :'i: | \\/hatdoes iepresent a real which trn-euage :he\ are gaining ':'n in this way. The left hand column is what the learners recorded. OK. .they are more situationally evocative and they are.which meansthat if they are to be used again.. I also suggestthat because they havemore context. On the other hand It's not worth it. recording it.. I searched high and low for it. I decided to tum a blind eye. keep something of the context and keep the chunks which are recorded as large as possible.They can also be translatedmore safely. While I r:arnrng.'a)-damaged n u'ith grammar used : s1'stems. at best.p 230. so these are potentially re-usable if It's timeyou stoodon your own twofeet.Avoid grammatical cleaning up. and trying to remember it in that form for re-use later has been. and start . Of theseeight items.There is nothing as practical as a good theory t9 Tlsr How do you encourage learners to record language in their notebooks? Do you ask them to record examples exactly as they find them? 'clean Do you the examplesup' so that what learnersrecord is similar to a dictionary entry? Do you encourage them to write (or prevent them from writing) translations? !l-11' -ri-J IL. not adding. the learners will have to manipulate the items before they can actually use them. therefore. they recordedin a 'cleanedup' version. on the periphery of language teaching. La good cleanup a1lybeen broken rr at least underan_suage. Avoid breaking it up. He's following in hisfather's footsteps. I can take a hint.:ii learners to n:niring which i:ge. only the last three are recordedin the most useful way. Noting multi-word vocabulary in exactly the form it is found in text. fMichael Hoey cliscusses point at somelength. There needs to be a conviction that we should leave as much languageas possible in the form in which we frnd it. and rememberattempting to generalisemay result in you losing. .:1r es.the right hand column is what I wish they had recorded. rhcated ideas. more likely to be remembered. relevant information about how the languageis actually used. when in fact it deservesa centralrole.

give some extra collocations as well .three or four for the price of one.20 There is nothing as practical as a good theora The argument has been advanced that leamers can generalise from the traditional to take one's time. Can I give yow a hand? Such an argumentis surely wholly illogical. a leamer who makes a collocation mistake when trying to talk about somethingprovides the ideal opportunity to expand and organisethe leamer's lexicon in a very efficient way. as the leamers will only have to put them together again in order to use the original expressions. similar to the strong smokerexamplediscussed earlier. that's ight. (T indicates mistake by facial expression) S I have to make an exam. With this lan the collocatir Tasx Youma these in I ant toc If you ltt opetI v L' Evertbo Which r to elicit You can exte main word expressions I smoker exam smoking. So. Used examples provide a perfectly adequate basis for other generalisations and havethe addedadvantages being both more memorable of and more immediately usable. the teaching of collocations is inevitable if you wish to remain true to the subject matter you are teaching. or taking thern apart in order to establishthe meaning of get is ridiculous.{ a Sl T pasi Ea-* \bs. as well as individual words.For example. The important point is that it is most commonly used in relatively fixed expressionswith collocations . (Writes 'exam'on the board) T What verb do we usually use with 'exam'? S2 Take. r S T Fai. let T \ e . So. or to give somebodya hand but may not be able to generalisefrom the actually used examples:Takeyowr time. us considersomepracticalways this can be done. \-es \Ixd \\tjr rI{-r _\o. (Writes 'take'on board) What other verbs do we use with 'exam'? S2 Pass. Once you have realised that the mental lexicon contains many multi-word chunks. Don't correct . T Yes.rIi-r Tl + \. but this is a long way from being able to talk about the concept.l For advance similar to thi take re-It pass fail scra 1. Ant Suddenly1'or you elicit od . we got thrown owt. I've got a bad cold and so on.collect Knowing a noun allows you to name a concept. \\h \\hi \o.the meaning of get is impossible to pin down until it is used and has co-text. Ignoring these expressionsin the forms in which they occur. The transcript below showshow this works. the cleanedup infinitive versions are themselvesneither more nor less than generalisations the used of examples.they're getting married.Don't just correct the mistake. having laid a theoretical basisfor collocation having a central role to play in the classroom.8 Some classroomactivities 1. I have to make an exam in the summer. we got wet. Related to this idea of respectingused languageis the fact that there are a lot of words in the lexicon that have very little precise meaning until they are actually used.

. I passed comfortably.And the opposite? Fail. .You can re-take an exam. ice of one.r'not. Everybodymustagreewith the law if we want a good society. And from there you could add: I wish I could give up smoking. What aboutif you get 5l%oand the passmark is 50Vo? What can you say? I . 'an I give you lup ffinitive rs of the used . (Waitsfor response) No? I just passed. or we often say 'comfortably'. long way from s a collocation opportunity to lvay.whal can you say?I p a s s e d. an exam With this language. I use formats similar to this to organise responses: the take re-take pass fail scrapethrough ral role to piay rc done. similar to ct the mistake. re-take. rr taking thern e leamerswill I expressions. In the heavy smoker example it is only a very short step to elicit or give the item give up smoking. as you elicit other vices from your students. What's the verb for that? (Waitsfor response) No? OK. (Writes 'pass'and 'fail'on the board) And if you fail an exam sometimes you can do it again. . Which nounsare you going to explore?What questions will you ask to elicit or teachextra collocations? You can extend this activity further by thinking not only of collocates of the main word in question.studentscan not only name the concept exam. .There is nothing as practical as a good theory 2l Lsefrom the able L.The Tlsr You may like to think how you would respondif a learnersaid one of thesein your class: I am toofat so I have to makea strongdiet. (Writes 're-take'on the board) If you passan exam with no problems. If you have a problem with yourself it is good to talk abowtit in an openway to a nearfriend. Yes. they have the collocations they need to talk about exams with confidence. . Suddenly you find yourself with two minutes practice of I wish I could . You can alsojust for other ie memorable thereare a lot until they are rin downuntil rst commonly wt're getting fd and so on. lr-multi-word rs is inevitable Ig T S T 52 T Yes. All this from responding to a . but also of other common collocations and expressionslikely to be said or written around the same topic. Easily. (Writes on the board) For advancedleamers you may also give them scrape through.

improving students'performance is an imporlant part of the job. rather than spending too much time explaining the difference. of. I know you want to comebut.x.'. point out the options: bitterly/deeply disappointed.position.22 There is nothing os practical as a gond theory collocation effol and thinking aloud and so stimulating the classto ask: What and smoking? elsedo we say when talking about smokers 2. thepoint is. at the right time and in the right way.that is. yes.lea-. Petr u similar proil In rhis . it's want to write excellent not just mistakes that are opportunities for teaching but also the kind of circumlocutions we discussed earlier. action. The most important part of this is knowing a large number of its collocations. make the most of the opportunity. give three or four contextualised examples of each word . In other words.. . way. well. Make learners be more precise It is obviously demotivating if every time studentscommunicate . However. The same procedure is particularly useful with those nouns which have very little meaning unless used in collocations. do some overtime.r nl ' 0n-tl. that's a good Point.J ICI ] \ ilnn . That's a good point. 3. do your best. the teachernitpicks and asks for perfection. and what students need. [f in douh Dn-' ot rhe r: l:rltrlers he". with make and do you might give: make a mistake. fot two words of similar meaning such as wownd/injwrydiscussedearlier. point. 1I \Ou Alrhrrnoh n.You will see that thesenouns have very 'knowing' a word like large collocational fields. if a studentproduces:I was vetl' teacher's disappointed. .'^l'' 1 let's sar-the r. you're not old enough.. So.What does lessonbut it's sometimes mean? T Point .Here are sometypical ways we use it.You say it in every S Excuse me but you said 'point' different.t i'rnleiirnfi h lhe tert is lt'r Collocation. Can yow do me a favour? and so on.< . Donot explain .explore When students ask What's the dffirence between. .r I TIS ! L{11Y l UUN .such as effect. If you notice the roundabout lexis. provide the appropriate collocational language. more ven' qr recordin_ethe found that a collocations i . the clan channel have'oa Simple quest nn. you will which are the symptom of the lack of the necessary expressions frequently recognise opportunities for helping students be more precise or more concrse.."rtrlocatirrns I n.) Consider this classroom scenano: T .licin_ an*n I -]n not [o "ir3 iericons. 'point' coul. {. har ._. make an enquiry. grownd'(If you look in a collocation dictionarY.For example.. . using the c Instead of as board or ovel I often do thl then have tc collocations.. Ot if a studentwrites: Thereare good possibilities for improvingyowrjob. L aF r g i. . (Writes on the board): Why do you want me to do that? I can't seethepoint. Marco.i'otll. I LJ: \. you may promotion prospectsin the margin. we use it in different ways. I hadn't thoughtof that' I always make a point of saying thank you to the bus driver {t's. .c "iet'initlon. and it's very common.-nn-.

a . I elicit or give more very quickly.rtntirrclrr ! r r ! ! L r Y v r J r rt jiime and in 1r part of the '-<.must be pointed out by the teacherif students are not to 'look straight through' language which will expand their mental lexicons.est.and they also ask iri 0 \\'ords of rran spending .. .ontextualised . it's .rsk: It?rl/ . They then have to go back and search the text for the missing parts of the collocations. Check with if you agree. I often do this while studentsare engagedin a more global reading task.:. board or overheadprojector to list parts of the useful collocations in the text.If you meet one outsidethe class. -oumay t3f l\'ords. and are worth noticing and recording together. ltre knd of iLrundabout :etis.raprecrse or It's difficult to say exactly what point meansbut you could learn these expressionsand there are lots more so let's seeif we can collect more. to Oncethat hasbeendone.irrb.e trtistake. but rather in the way it channelsattention and brings into awareness what otherwise would have beenmissed.quickly add someothers:take. surely meeting four typical uses is time better spent than trying to get to grips with what would have to be a vague. 4.. point them out One of the reasonsstudents have not learnedcollocationsis simply because teachershave not pointed them out in the texts they are using. you can preparea simple worksheetor use the Insteadof asking questions.i.t : pli. I have found that after a short period of time. If in doubt.oilocational '-.J. the role of instruction is not necessarilytherefore in the clarity or in the explanation it provides. This happens sometimesbecausethe teacher's approachto dealing with the vocabulary in the text is to ask the class:Are thereany words you don't know? Collocations are missed with this approach because the words of the collocations may not be new. If you hear me use one. \\'as vet)) I 'r:. complicated and ultimately unhelpful definition. Although possiblymore time-consuming than an explanationof point. makethe most let's say the verb was rulss ol usingthe collectionandrecording technique discussed above.eaning growtd.For any collocationswhich are worth adding to. students begin to ask me about collocations in texts .There is nothing as practical as a good theory 23 I.When you look at them later. rllns have very le' a word like this classroom . try to think what you would use in Italian to express same expressions the Paola or anotherItalian speakerto see ideas. stop me and we'll write it with the others. (If r. 1'ouwill r.write it down and tell us at the next class.'.Id lriver. Do not assume students are noticing collocations and recordingthem for themselves. do some r procedure is unless ].Or if a \ .grab. Simple questionssuch as What's the verb before 'opportunie' in the ftrst paragraph?draw students'attention collocations. They won't unlessyou train them to. Peter Skehan(A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning) makes a similarpoint whenhe writes: In this view.whether they are worth recording . but the fact they occur together.


There is nothing as practical as ct good theory

for extras becausethat is what they have learned to expect from me. [Jane Conzett also points out in her paper that students do begin to collect once they havebeen introducedto the idea. Ed]. collocationsfor themselves, 5" Essay preparation - use collocation Studentssometimescomplain that they lack ideas when sitting down to write complain that they do not want topic. Teachers a compositionon a prescribed what to write. There is a simple to spendhalf the classtime telling students answer.Many teachersbrainstormwords connectedwith the topic in class before setting the composition for hornework. When the words are on the to board,the next stepis to add,where possible,useful collocates eachword. It is particularly important to introduce the nouns which will be central to the content of the essay.As we saw with the exam example above,this provides students with language items with more communicative power than individual words can offer. Also, as we saw earlier,collocationsare much more situationallyevocative and correspondingly far more likely, therefore, to spark the imagination for Collocationsis writing. A dictionary such as The LTP Dictionara of Selected give the students eight With a classset,I invaluablefor selectingcollocates. 'education'topic, key nouns centralto the essaytopic. For example,with an I might give them: school, education,qualiJication,teacher etc. I then ask them to look up thesewords in the dictionary and note down collocations for each of the words that catch their eye or which they think they might use. They might choose for school: drop ottt of, leave, skip, go to, single-sex, mixed, state, private. Draw their attention particularly to the importance of verb + noun collocations.If studentshave their own dictionary, they can do this at home. When the written work comes in, I often find either collocation mistakes or caseswhere studentshave used simple or vaglre words when they could have usedmore specific or interestingones.For example,if a studentwrites very intelligent, andbig mistake,I write in the margin other optionssuchas highb, intelligent and disastrowsmistake, or ask them to refer to the Dictionaryt of beforerewriting their work Selected Collocationsto maketheir own selection with the improvements. 6. Make the most of what students already know 'simple' words but are not awareof what Some studentsalreadyknow a lot of those words can do for them becausethey haven't noticed their common collocations.I regularly take such words, usually nouns, and brainstorm adjectives and verbs which studentsthink go with those nouns. Very often, thesecollocations are already half-known by students- they sensethey have met them before - but they havenot yet internalisedthem. Time spenton halfknown languageis more likely to encourageinput to becomeintake than time that ". . . very often spenton completelynew input. Again, Skehansuggests

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Do you think it is better to teach learners a lot of riew words, or to extend their knowledge of some of the words they already halfknow? Is your answer different for learners at different levels?

:r;. I then ask ':,.nocations for r;r rnight use. ;tt. shtgle-sex, imporianceof t'. the)'cando Lrrx mistakesor her could have inl \\'ntes very ; suchas highly : Dictiona: oJ rtinetheir work

For example, I take the word situation and ask students to give me first adjectivesand then verbs which they think collocate. The number they give me is usually very small, even for advancedclasses. then supply extras, I perhaps: awkwctrd, complicated, critical, desperate,farcical; accept,analyse, dr,se,s.s, in command of, make the best of the eIc. Again, a dictionary of be collocations is a very useful resourcefor this kind of systematicexpansionof students'mental lexicons. If you want to, you can ask follow-up questions such as: Can yow rememberthe last awkward/farcical/desperate situation yow were in? Do you always analyse sitwationsor do you just accept them? Becauseso many collocations are situationally evocative,studentsoften find they have somethingto say in responseto these questions- somethingis triggered becausecollocations evoke bigger speech events than individual words usually do. Note that it is better to ask questions with or rather than simple yes/Noquestionsbecausethey elicit more languagein response. or-questions also create an opportunity for the collocations to be used immediately. Typical questionsare:Do you sometimes breakpromisesor do you alwayskeepthem? Do yowalways comeby bus or do you sometimes comeby car? Have you got job or a cushyjob? I must emphasise, a challenging however, that I do not see it as very important that students actually use the collocation there and then.From the point of view of acquisition, would ratherspendtime adding I more useful collocationsto the noun than spendtoo much time in laborious practice of fewer items.

What percentageof the 'new vocabulary' you present in a lesson do you expect your learnersto acquire from that lesson? Do you think your expectation is realistic?

t a\\'areof what their common and brainstorm rns. Very often, they have sense le spenton halfthan time Lntake "...veryoften

I do not expect studentsto remember or acquire all or even the majority of language exposethem to. But for the reasons I discussed earlierin this paper, I believeexposingstudents more increases chances some acquisition to the of taking place.Recently,I was observed teachingin this way by someteachers on a refresher course. At the end of the lesson with the board full of collocations, one teacherremarked:It would be a miracle if thet remembered


There is nothing as practical as a good theory

50% of what you teach them. I replied, It would be a miracle if they remembered 10Vaof what I presented.We discussedthe difference in our views at some length but I suspecthe remained unconvinced.We simply had different mindsets.The teacherin question apparently believed that step-bystep teaching produces step-by-stepleaming, even mastery of what was presented. Both researchand reflection on classroomexperienceshow that this simply is not the case.Students not have enoughtime to find that out do for themselves;it is our job to provide the most effective learning based on our professionalunderstandingof both languageand leaming. 7. Record and recycle It is becoming clear that the lexicon is much bigger than anyone previously thought. This implies a greatermemory load, an increasedlearning load - or ceftainly an increased input load - and this being the case, careful and systematicrecording of collocations which ensures accurate noticing of useful languageis essential. During classtime, I encourage students write to down collocations in their main note-taking books and ask them to transfer them later into the collocation sectionof their lexical notebooksusing formats such as the one shown earlier.As much as possible,I encourage students to recordcollocations topic groups. in I use a simple and time-efficientapproach recyclecollocations. to Before the lesson,I make a list of all the collocationsI want to recyclebut deletepart of eachcollocationbeforephotocopyingthe list for each student.Students then searchtheir notebooksto fill in the missing part of the collocation. If the collocations came from the same text, I sometimes ask students to reconsffuct the main content of the text, or parts of the text, using the collocations as prompts. This activity has the added usefulness of encouragingand including those studentswho may have trouble answering comprehensionquestionsabout the text for linguistic reasonsbut who are able to participate by rememberingparls of it, however falteringly. One important point: when deciding which part of the collocation to delete, leave the word or words which most strongly suggestwhat the missing part is. For example,for the collocation a window of opportwnlf, it would be betterto deleteopportuniQ,as a window of . .. . . is more helpful than . . . . . opportuniQ. Your choice of deletion, therefore, is a principled one with the aim of helping leamers to remember,not trying to make the task artificially difficult. A slight variation is to dictate part of the collocation and students have to remember or find the missing part in their notebooks before I dictate the whole item. Other ways of recycling include: domino-typegames- match the cardsend to end by matchingthe collocations;'find your partner'activitieswhere twoword collocations are split between members of the class who then have to

find their 'p the table an time hoprn: recycling is

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9 Action research All of theseideascan be incorporated painlesslyinto most teachers'current practice to a greateror lesserdegree. studentstake it in tums to turn over two cards at a time hoping to find the collocations. andperhaps onceeveryotherunit ofthe coursebook. grammatically flawed ways? Do you think first of building their lexicons or correcting their grammar? -{tttt*rnm--- . the way it is stored in. tr one with the ask artificially rdents have to e I dictate the l the cards end . and recalled from. why not allow yourself a trial period over the next few weeks to regularly incorporatesome of the ideas into your lessons?Then take a moment to reflect on the effectivenessof the ideas and activities or even ask the class whether they have found the input helpful .Before the deletepart of then Srudents cation. the theoretical basis behind the teaching of collocation will only play at introducing it into the classroom.Teacherswho do not stop to consider. that is how I saw it up until about three yearsago . however.the way it is organised.A thoughtful evolution is more likely to be beneficial than a recklessor impatient revolution. unpredictable and holistic nature of learning. Discussion Questions In what ways can you help learners on the intermediate plateau to gain a feeling of progress? What do you do when your learners express themselves in roundabout. If the ldents to rert. There will be no deep commitment to giving it a prominent role . but are sceptical. Indeed. Your teaching doesnot need to be turned upside down to make room for collocation. e previously ing load .or careful and noticing of tentsto wdte m to transfer rsing formats e studentsto rs. step-by-stepform of action research.useful. the nature of natural language.collocation is just another way of presentingvocabulary.iesrvheretworo then have to 1. or fail to grasp. in groups.a simple. the mental lexicon collocation will become so central to everyday teaching that we will wonder whatevertook up so much of our time before.10 Conclusion For many teachers.the old argumentswill crowd it out'. with some variation. exercise two-word an on collocations appears and it is seen as a welcome change to the regular vocabulary building that goes on. using the isefulnessof rle answering t n ho are able tion to delete. l missing part .....There is nothing as practical as a good theory 27 rcle if they 3nce ln our simply had hat step-byI what was e show that find that out ng basedon find their 'partner'. There won't be enowgh time to practise. They still can't do thepresent all perfect! However. Theywon't remember that. 1. if we take a deeper look at the non-linear.If..There isn't enough time to explain everytthing. it would be fulthan. or a simple memory game with cardsplaced face down on the table and. A helpful principle to work with for recycling is little and often.

dictionary' corpus or computer concordance in ways which help them expand their mental lexicons efficiently. establishe I ieach. function. and uses part of the tirne in class to give his learners a real understanding of techniques for searching a text. to speciticI adopteduh inr-olves loc re-examlne anticipatea srudents$-iI to the cornl such as /rea naturalh'as SEA OI A SInC 2.-e s al a ven'clear of pattem th different ki traditional r This means reason-for a pafiems. from a learning point of view.I prefer to adopt a definition of collocation that does not overlap or clash with any of these What dr ov.This is particularly important in an age where 'electronic' text readily availableto technologyhas made large amountsof our studentsthrough CD-ROM and the Internet. It text with eas in both abso . even without the presence of a teacher. a processof matching meaning with linguistic patteflr. in its most basic form.28 Collocation . IIe discussesthe importance of searching for and recording certain types of collocation which are particularly useful to learners" Throughout the 2. language teachingcourses of how I have brought collocations into my classroom and how my teaching has undergonesmall but significant changesas a result.encouraging learner independence Chapter2 Collocation .ir si feel u'e nee prer-iouslr overlappin_ SLTMC SCNSE uhich are chance suei unhelpful. In order to avoid possible confusion and even antagonism. grammar. readers may like to reflect on whether George's experience mirrors their own. and the non-literal meaning categoriesof idiom and phrasal verb. and whether they are happy with the increasing emphasis George places on collocation in his classes.encouraging learner independence George Woolard George Woolard describes activities he uses which encourage learners to make the best is often instructive to remind ourselvesthat languageteaching is. I believe that the arbitrary nature of collocation is ideally suited to independentlanguage learning and that we need to equip our studentswith skills to enable them to develop their knowledge of coltrocations independently of the teacher. Language teaching courses and materials tend to classify the dominant patterns under the traditional labels.q.2 Collocation As teachers.1 Introduction In recent years collocation has emerged as an important category of lexical patterning and it is fast becoming an established unit of description in The following is a personalaccount and materials.n cla Would r )/ou thir The definitir definition. He encourages learners to take responsibility for their own learning. of language which they meet outside the classroom. I also recognise the importance of students recording the vocabulary they meet. and I outline a simple extensionof the traditional vocabulary notebook to accommodatecollocations and other co-textual pattems' of u'ordsrr'h also the con free product I have aiso adjectir.

for thoseco-occuffences of words which I think my studentswill not expect to find together. They can easily seethe type of pattern that is the f.I reservethe term collocation. The reasonbeing that I expect my studentsto naturally associate quality of being heavy with objects. that it is a new and different kind of focus on language. Tlsr What definition of collocation do you think is most suitable for your own classes? Would you include any areassuch as idioms or phrasal verbs. it avoids overlap with traditional vocabularyexercisessuch as those of 'dependentprepositions'. and the p. A typical definition is 'words which are statistically much more likely to appear together than random chancesuggests'.I now re-examine contentof the texts in my coursebooks the and lessonsand try to anticipateand highlight groups of words .For example. it provides a very cleardefinition of collocationfor students. have I adopted what I feel is a more transparent and practical definition which involves looking at the languagefrom the point of view of my students.It is simply too abstract and generalto guidemy students'attention to specific elementsof text in a clear and directedway. adjectives and adverbs only. depend on.A number of overlapping definitions of collocation exist. Therefore.refer adopt a to rih any of these The definition of collocation I have adopted is essentially a pedagogic definition.but not with the the seaor a smoker. First.collocations. Secondly. I have also restrictedthe use of the term to relationsbetweennouns. it simply extendsand enriches it. many of which have at their core some senseof the 'co-occurrence'of words. It took me a while before I felt I could seeuseful collocationsin text with ease. and furthermore.verbs.which I think my studentswill not expect to find together.I do not draw attention to the combinations heavy fwrniture/ a teacher.encouraging learner independence 29 lndence trners to make ]' meet outside for their own rarners a real us or computer :ons efficiently. This serves two usefulpurposes.Theseare also the combinations that I would not expectmy students producein their to free productionof language.then. In response.Collocation . and exercises exist in the book that focus on such co-occulrences.My current textbook has alreadyclassifiedthese patterns. ce of searching rlarly useful to ct on whether rappy with the gorl' of lexical description in :r:onal account '* n'ry teaching a111suited to with r students i collocations n an age where i1r availableto rrcabularythey rr-r1ary notebook established categories. me collocationdoesnot re-defineor re-orderwhat For I teach.I find this type of definition unhelpful. reason for as collocations. for teaching purposes.ocusof attention. This means that I do not label co-occuffencessuch as gwile of.Unfortunately.which suggests that teachers and students need to investtime in both absorbingthe concept.I feel we need a definition that confines itself to a level of patterning that has previously received no explicit focus in our classrooms.and practicein noticing useful collocationsin . or do you think it is best to confine the term in the way just suggested? rguageteaching u ith linguistic to classify the rutction. whereas I do for combinations such as heavy seas/smoker.

the first sentenceshould be: Biochentistsare of doing researchinto the causes AIDS. costs. isolate the major grammar pattems and any items of useful vocabulary almost automatically. if the individual communication is effective. -{ T hnne hol- I r. . The result was an extremedisappointment. Before I becamefocussedon collocation.We need to make them awarethat this is simply the way we say things in English and that's that! The problem with the second sentence lies in the use of extreme..lpplemenisl . are Note that all three sentences grammaticallysound. this partictlar verb + noun pattern has been recognised and given attention in most traditional EFL courses and coursebooksso'rnake and do'collocationsprovide a useful starlingpoint for . It is very much a caseof seeingmore than you usedto in a text. do u'e 2. The expression(X) was extremelydisappointing is very common?so it is not surprising that the student produced the sentenceabove.encouraging learner indep endence text. 'slot and filler' approachto the teaching of grammar and vocabulary has our not sensitised our students to the collocational constraints on word combinations. is a good idea to keep a record of thesemis-collocations you It you can bring them into the classroom at your students' essays that so correct appropriatetimes to improve and extend vocabulary teaching. This is an extremelycommonverb + noun mis-collocation in which the verbs make and do are used with inappropriate nouns. irr..r. aspectand subject/verbagreementis accurate.Brown (1994) cites the following as typical examples of the mis-collocations into the causes of producedby his students: Biochemistsaremaking research We'll experiencemany AIDS.there is no reason to studentsat this stage why it should be make a decision rather than do a decision. It is important to recognise that the grammar transformation exercises we use in grammar mis-collocation. and as a result. the students' use of tense.4 IJigh Teachersh: collocation Brou'n abor approach. Interestingly. It introducingthe notion of collocationto learners. words are known by the listener/reader. Howevet. and typical of the ELT profession.that is.For instance.r. The third keywords rl looking for benefitswil 2. r g1b -. Howevet.andfew benefitswill come. extreme does not collocate with disappointment. Now I find that it is collocations that are first to spring out of the texts I read. great and bitter. adjective + noun mis-collocations.3 Raising awarenessof collocation do One obvious way of finding out which words our students not expectto find togetheris through the mis-collocations they make in their production of as language. An effective platform for raising awarenessof collocation is to focus on a At selectionof your students'mis-collocations. is important to get across that theserelations are arbitrary .'* conte\tu! Hou' slnuld be t standard tecl s\ non\ inl nararnhr:* -r r -' . ral students'af t:rt hiehligh Dl languaoe \\-hen the er '. teachingcan encourage Althou-ehm those worki wrltten cofi tied to parti topic-spec follows that will be dete collocations must becon Purposes co To sum up learnin-e ner we make th new words. It seems a likely using class u'hen tbllou.30 Collocation .I would look at a text.The students' choice of vocabulary is also appropriate. then. The most likely collocates are big. first I suggestyou restrict your examplesIo noun + verb.

An exploration of the left cotext highlighted useful relations of collocation. I found myself directing the students' attention to the surrounding co-text.few benefitswill accrue.'Jany .hold views. to a certain extent.It follows that languageproficiency within science.What are your views? I However. then. ocabulary has nts on word ochemistsare )mmonverb + Lre used with rn pattem has L coursesand nling point for rt to get across re ls no feason e need to make andthat'sthat! ' extreme. the sentence In above we would be looking for strongercollocates suchas: We'll incur substantial costs.The use of studentmis-collocations the type given by in of Brown above is one strategy but teachersneed to adopt a more proactive approach. The rn.Collocation . To sum it is . A in I adjective + noun .This left the students with a useful 'chunk' of language. This means that a focus on collocation must becomea major priority in BusinessEnglish and English for Academic Purposes courses. She thinks everybody showld be married in a church. it could be arguedthat topic-specific collocations are a major defining aspect of these areas.ive. When the exercisesdesignedfor the reading text were completed. My initial responsewas to employ the standard techniques: synonymy:views= opinions yiews = what you think of something paraphrase: contextualisalion: think it's wrong to kill animals.4 Highlighting and teaching collocation Teachers have a prominent role to play in helping the learner identify collocations texts. I added a supplementaryexerciseaimed at activating this chunk: . you restrict tions. so it is not seems a likelY lisappointment. and commerce will be determined to a large extent by the students'mastery of the common collocations particular to each field. s important to se in grammar 2.However. l11ld 31 " r.verb + noun .encouraging learner independence :1 :. thoseworking in the business field would do so more hold strong views .medicine. I was using a reading comprehensiontext with a multi-lingual intermediate class when one of the students asked what the word views meant in the following: She holds very strong views on marriage. descriptionof how my teachingdeveloped this direction will.This is an indication of how collocation is closely tied to particular subject areasand.:h. Brown .strong views. it is often learning familiar words in new combinations. do we help the learner to develop their mental lexicons in this way? rot expect to of )roduction rtlons as you at classroom o focus on a . especiallyin written communication. By focussingour students' attentionon mis-collocations we make them aware that learning more vocabulary is not just learning new words. Although many native speakers would not instantly make thesemodifications. and. rather than move on in the lesson.rather than a single word.'erymuch a ' The third example is very much topic-specific: benefits and costs ate keywords in the languageof business. How. for many students learning more vocabulary simply means learningnew words.-collocations of the causes many ?rtence the students' Ihe students' ihe individual ..

encouraging learner independence Exercise Look at this part of the text: 'Sheholds should very strongviewson man'iage.' Most people hotrdstrong views on something.Shethinkseverybody be married in a chwrch. must become part of that planned language input. our One immediate implication for teachersis that they should re-examine their which focus explicitly on cocoursebooks collocation.Then completethe following sentence: My father .the selectionof keywords needsto be informed and this necessitates a greater awareness the nature of lexrs. think. To adjective+ noun. of -+. . then. On the other hand. think cigarettes banned. He thinks that thesedrivers should be banned. .verb + adverbcollocations. . views on drinking and driving.W . Students with limited time available for study will not learn high priority lexis if it is not deliberately selected and incorporated into iearning materials. vocabulary will not take care of itself. As Swan (1996) points out. .32 Collocation .Personally. This natural ability to notice pattern should not be underestimated.Test this out by trying to think of adjectiveswhich collocate wilh penicillin. _ A furthi Deconte adequat contextu carn'the nf nre set aware of especial The rr and it In ge co11o ltma In selec awarene that diffe reference develop I provide lexicalise common rather tha 2. . returnto the exampleabove. Collocations.forlift. However. . . This exerciseresulted in studentsproducing personal opinions such as:Most I should be people hold strongviewson smoking.s\\'e il decreas e. Words llke penicillin are high-content words and as a result have few common collocates. Note how such responsesdemonstratethat students tend to notice more patteming than that which is the focus of the exerciseswe give them.cllc vocabuh lexicaiis thesecor aitentlon expressl h_i_ e ^h_l^ i-o'h t s _ .. .-u. .addict ive/eJfe t ive/fa st -act ing/powerful etc.6 Th A major 1 the classr needs. a Note how you can readily generate numberof adjective+ drug collocations . c Technica easilyide lexicalise are excell we needt our leamr 2. Here the noun + prepositionpatternviews + onhas beennoticedand used. the next time I used this particular reading text I added a number of short vocabulary tasks to the comprehensionexercisesthat accompaniedthe text: Find a verb and adjective in the text which collocates with the word views. . Note how few come readily to mind. . Personally.adding exercises for text and which draw the students' attention to significanl verb + noLtn. .What about you? Write some sentences about yourself following the pattern. and is the basis for the that we need to develop in strategies developmentof the independenttrearning students.drug is lesslexicalisedand will havea much greatercollocationalfield. .5 Choosing key words Lexicalisation is to do with the amount of information a word carries and this is a useful spectlum to guide our selection of words to target for collocation with the grammatical structureI think X should be (done). . I Most people hold strong viewson .

On the other '. character. .ld to nottce e give them. vocabulary books and vocabulary lessons tend to focus on the more lexicalisedwords rather than these less lexicalisedwords. plan. In general. we e. They have to become aware of the need to incorporate co-textual information into their teaching.amhe their rircirir on coti'lt + lloL{n.This will almost always be less than the student meers or needs. nber of short Lrrd the text: r th.and therefore. and provide practice in separating nouns into high-content items and less lexicalised items. Decontextualisedleaming of individual words such as translation may be adequatefor high information words like penicillin. teachers must develop their awarenessof the differing degreesof lexicalisation of words and recognise that different types of vocabulary may need differing degreesof co-textual reference. leavingthem to explorethe collocates ofthe less lexicalised keywords in thesetexts.aiional held.Collocation . As we need to prioritise the developmentof this kind of lexical sensitivity for all our leatners. idea. problem. necessltates L:. A further problem lies in the way vocabulary is traditionally taught. especially with theselesslexicalised items.words llke drwg rather thanpenicillin. This means that these common and useful nouns often do not receive the amount or type of attention they merit.r collocation s i result have i ::tir-eswhich 1.the more important it is to meet. :rr collocations 2. and the wider its collocational range.:.. rr r. for example..6 The independent learner and learning strategies A major problem remains over the amount of languagethat can be coveredin the classroom. imple above.What is essential is that the teacher equips the students with search . different teaching techniques. As we move further along this spectrum and as the degree of lexicalisation decreases. Instruction leaflets and operating manuals are excellent sourcesof material for encouragingthis awareness. For example.\\'ord that :self. as iatural abilrty rasis for the trr develop in ::.As Lewis (r99j) notesand argues: The real definition of a word is a combination of its referential meanins and its collocational field.Students :'. common semi-fixed expressions containing useful collocations of the following sort are not highlighted: The most ffictive way of (losing weight/falling asleep/etc) is.r fiD ::uil:r l nnrrt rryq!. acquire and record it in a collocation.' ou? Write ach as'. find someof the most commonand usefulnounsin the lexicon. whlle paraphraseandlor contextualisationof more common words llke drug are usually sufficient to cary the meaning of the term.g.Most r e ss J t o u l d e b :. leris if it is rS rnaterials.'iiri and this ies i:. way etc. and used.encouraging learner independence 33 i. In selecting vocabulary items from texts.Teachersalso need to develop their students' sensitivity to this spectrum of lexicalisation. teachersshould be wary of presenting uncollocated nouns to their students. teachers.however. tool rather Ihan wrench. unfortunately.sltould . the more de-lexicalised a word is. [See also pp 14314] Technical texts are useful for this purpose as the high-information items are easilyidentifiedby students. so that studentsfocus their co-textual searches the more on common and useful items in the texts they meet. with the word way. In general.. situation.

repair which immediately invalidates the apparently attractive machines'ruIe. 'treat people.Look 3. in the languagethey meet outside the classroom. Look I've added searchstrat select thosi example. We need to remind ourselvesthat collocation is mostly an arbitrary pairing of words. the example The natural tendency of the body to repair itself. We took the dog to the vet but he said it was too late to treat her. We should resist the teacher'sautomaticreflex of seeking explanations for all aspectsof language patterning.As teachers. If you use unedited concordances. He has had to work hard to repair his damagedreputation.It is a fact that much of the grammatically accurate then. more importantly. treat the damage. Can you adviseme on how to treat the problem? You can treat tired. The natural tendencyof the body rs to repair itself given the oppoilunity. repair the whereasblr noticing an< We need. They have a tendencyto treot small customerswith contempt. While strongly suggeststhat examplesshould be carefully selectedfor intermediate learners. in both the language they meet in the classroom and. no explanationsto our studentsfor the particular choicesthat are selectedand 'this is simply the way sanctionedby the speechcommunity. examples. and lookir seekingat Tlsr Do you think you can define the difference between the vetbs treQt and repair? One impo from sele mlnol on€ mode. this can be helpful for more advanced leamers. Isolat in fact not used. I believe n basicgram categories This can b stageis to be the focu around the collocation Searchstra reflect the encourage them routir 1. As developm very real : mostly a n to explorr collocatio those collt much in li from simp skills. to explain the fact that repair does not collocate with patienr by looking for subtle semanticdifferencesbetween the verbs treat and repair. for example.treat customerswith . Notice that two of the concordance . Almost al and probl relied onl. the colloca Here are some authentic examplesfrom a computer concordance(seebelow) of the two verbs repair and treat: One child was able to repair engineswithout being instructed.encouraging learner independence skills which will enable them to discover significant collocations for themselves.lifeless hair with this new shampoo.34 Collocation .although not selectedto conform to a preconceivedpattern. Some dentists claim it is uneconomic to rrear NHS patients. we can offer languagethat we could use. it frequently arise. Notice particularly. to try. It was no way to treat a dog. We can say treat the patient. beyond saying the languageis'. Hor. It will take years to repair the economic damagecausedby this policy. but not repair the patient. It is one of the few drugs approvedto treatAlzheimer'sdisease.could confuse as they contain examplesof treat with no way to treat a dog problems such as this a different meaning. In my profession. you learn how to treat yoar ownwounds. Look 4.

Not only should they notice common collocations in the texts they meet. Look for (unexpected)verb collocates 3." lookmg for Almost always. r oFportunlty. and through practice make them routine and automatic: 1. How. then. we need. and trained studentsshould be able to explore texts for themselves. we encouragethe student to follow the steps below. this policy. . e s"'ebeiow) :. Look for (unexpected)adjective collocates 4.therefore.encouraging learner indeperulencer 35 cations for and.i het. where there is a shift from simply teaching the languageto helping learnersdevelop their learning skills. a list of authenticexamplesmakesyou aware of both patterns and problems which you would have almost certainly overlooked if you had relied only on your intuition. For example. that we tend to build the information up around the nouns. :.accurate .tt. and reflect the procedures we followed in teaching collocation above. contempt. but for learners to select those combinations that they do not already know or theseare the categorieswhich are the focus of co-textual searchstrategiesfor collocation.5€. adjective.. '. mostly a matter of noticing and recording. Look for (unexpected)adverb collocates I've added 'unexpected' in brackets as a reminder that the purpose of these searchstrategiesis not to notice all collocates of a word. the collocation big disappointmentis not surprising or unexpected whereasbitter disappointment is likely to be. but more importantly. ii. Search strategiesthemselves are relatively simple and straightforward. Isolatekey nounsin the text 2. can offet e and selected way rn11-the :i of seeking example. which makes the latter worth noticing and recording. people. itlt => of treat with ms suchas this :rd leamers..paidng of ..1.The next stageis to highlight the pivotal role of the noun. collocation is more varied than we tend to actively encouragethe developmentof theseskills and .Collocation .it :r intermediate frattem.I repair the llll.more l. verb. This is very much in line with modern trends in languageteaching.and adverb.can we encourage developthe students'abilityto notice and the collocations which are significant and useful for them? I believe most studentsneed to spend some time initially in identifying the basic grammar categoriesof noun. and looking at authentic exampleswill nearly always be more revealing than seeking an explanation basedon subtle semanticdifferences. they should select those collocations which are crucial to their particular needs.Notice r:. means that they are the most suitable headwords for collocationsearches. repair itself. The fact that nouns tend to be the focus of information in a . This can be done through traditional exercisesin sentenceanalysis.

One useful way of monitoring their developmentis to establishregular slots in the courseprogramme where students report back to the class on interesting collocations they have encounteredand noticed outside the classroom. they will need some guidance and training in using the dictionary in this way.It is probably true to say that the teacher's role today is becoming more and more one of facilitating leaming.who will naturally want to explore its collocational field further. the stude homeworl which wor for increa 2. Dictionaries can. which using a persc the book for former has tr AdvancedI-e configured to word or phras . dictionaries tend to focus on the decoding process. the studentis now using the dictionary as an encoding tool. dictionary'. An approachwhich I find useful. rather than a decoding one. Teachersshould encouragestudentsto browse theseexamplesfor collocations. and th has comeit One obvior languagepr is lookin-eft not provide the task abo wanted to k the opposit growmg sel assume thal old/new wlll 2. if encounterswith particular words are left to random or chancemeetings in texts. However. and one issue of importance centres on how we help our students maximise their leaming of collocation outside the classroom. I ROM. and these will probably contain one or two useful collocates of that word. is to set exercises which actively direct the students to the dictionary to explore a word's collocatesrather than its meaning. Traditional dictionaries One would expect dictionaries to be an obvious source of relevant information.However. This needsto become an automatic habit. That is. However. and as such. to work ou severeand is vital to t own produr I then aske met. we can partially resolve this situation by heeding Swan's earlier point that we provide a more concentrated exposure to collocations through careful planning of the vocabulary input to our courses. To a certain greater num solutions ar technology. After dealing with the meaningand highlighting the collocatesreceive and heavy. For most studentsthis is new. 1. The Government In one of my classes. learning will be extremely haphazardand inefficient. The organisation reflects the students' approach to the dictionary as a resourcefor answeringthe question What does X mean?A major drawback is that most dictionaries give relatively little explicit attention to collocation and other co-textual featuresof words.I asked critic or sol disad for st beett From the t.encouraging learner independenc e give them sufficient focus in the classroom. outside the classroomwe need to direct our studentsto concentratedsourcesof this kind of information. they provide excellent descriptions of the meaning(s) of words through synonymy and other word relations such as paraphrase and approachedin a different way and prove to be a worthwhile sourceof information on collocation. however.7 Resources:dictionaries A particular word may interest or be important to a student. Electroni What is clea studentsu.A good English-English dictionary usually provides one or two expressions or sentences demonstratingthe use of a word. By switching the focus to the collocational field of a word. word criticism in the sentence the has received heavy criticism for increasing taxes became a focus. Such exercisescan be free-standing or integratedinto a lesson.36 Collocation .

of relevant 1in_e process.when I askedthe dictionary to display all the examplesof use iil naturally runterswith eaming wiil :an partially lr ide a more mng of the n u.The relevant entry in the coBUILD dictionary is: criticism 1. the cD-RoM version of the o$ord Advanced Learners Dictionary has a full text searchfunction which can be configured to searchall the examplesof use in the dictionary for a particular word or phrase. The idea was to seeif they could find other verbs and adjectives which would completethe sentence The Governmenthas . udentis now . statingan opinion on their faults. More often than not. My Government has comein for severecriticismfor . From the two instancesof use given by the dictionary the studentswere able to work out that the phrasal verb come in for could replace receive.. criticism for increasing taxes. and that severeandfierce were appropriatealternativesto heavy.This is certainly a problem if the student is looking for a particular collocation. . one of the easiestto use and understandis the . .encouraging learner independence 37 monitodng nme where they have to say that lacilitating ur students the studentsto look np criticism in their English-Englishdictionariesfor homework. a number of solutions are becoming available through developments in computer technology. We had earlier noted that the opposite of heavy cold was slight cord. Most of the major ELT dictionariesare now availableon cDRoM. Fortunately. . and this led to a number of responses with the pattern. -ri of words rphrase and r:ach to the I rrteon? A r:it aftention i lror.ercepublic criticism of the ptan had beenvoiced. and wanted to know the contextual opposite of heavy. The students' growing sensitivity to collocation had made them aware that one cannot assume that simple oppositions between adjectives such as heaty/ not light cold.e to be rlish-En. our students need a greater number of examples of use to browse. I then asked the class to talk about the criticism that their governmentshad met.e need to nai10n.r 1. the dictionary will not provide it.The main advantageof the electronic format over the book format lies in the powerful and speedy search functions that the former has built into it. For example.This kind of noticing is vital to encoding and enablesstudentsto transfer their findines rnto their own production.someof my students attempting the task abovefelt that the criticisms of their governmentsweren't heavy. most For rr I trqinino rfu1.Collocation .is to set t r :r-n lnra q :ree-standing . old/new will work in all contexts. I asked . by or disadvantages speechor writing. weaknesses. [Seealsop 200] For example.t'tlirnent hAS \1ter deahng . one obvious limitation of this approach lies in the rather small amount of languagepresentedby the dictionary. EG. 2.electronic dictionary'. . which allows the contentsof the dictionary to be accessed and searched using a personal computer. somefi. The Governmentcame in in for severecriticism. criticism is the expressionof disapprovalof someone or something.ehsh I SCIITCIILCS n Oneor two rts to browse a:ir-habit. Ideally. Electronic dictionaries what is clear is that dictionary entries in their presentformat cannot provide students with a sufficient range of collocates. .


Collocation - encouraging learner independence

which contained criticism,I was presentedwith about a hundred sample phlasesor sentences, of which could usefully be browsedfor collocations. all the information available is clearly shown by this selection: The richnessof The new play has attracted considerablecriticism. The head teachercome under a lot of criticism from the parents. There was growing criticism of the govemment's conduct of the war. criticism. I'm sick to deathof your endless She received a lot of unjustified criticism. The power and speedof the electronic medium in providing a larger sample of examplesof use to browse for collocation meansthat, in order to promote and assistthe independentlearning of collocation, we need to make this type ofresource available to our studentsand train them in the constructiveuse of their powerful searchtools. 3. Collocation dictionaries A further lesoulce has appeared recently in the form of dictionaries of collocations. These dictionaries deal exclusively with co-text and provide a much more comprehensiveaccountof a word's collocatesthan the traditional dictionary. Used in tandem with a traditional dictionary they help to provide some of the co-textual information that the former lacks' The LTP Dictionary of Selected Collocations presents a range of common collocates of words in a clear and concise manner. Here is the entry for criticism: CRITICISM
V: accept, agree with, answer, arouse, atftact, be discouraged by/exposed to/impervious tolrattled by/subjected tolupset by, blunt, come in for/under/up against, crush, defend oneself against, deflect, deserve,encounter, escape,evoke, express,forestall, give rise to, ignore, invalidate, justify, level - against sb, meet with, offer, overcome,provoke, react to, reject, reply to, rise above,run into' shrink from, silence, soften, stifle, subject sb to, suffer, voice, weather, withstand, yield toV: - centreson sth, comes from sb, died down, grew, hardened,hit home, is relevant, mounted, revolved around ... A: adverse, basic, biased, bitter, blunt, common, constant, destructive, devastating, (un)fair, ferocious, fierce, friendly, fundamental, furious, harsh, helpful, hostile, implicit, incisive, lively, merciless, mild, muted, objective' oblique, open, overt, penetrating, perceptive, personal, savage,searing, severe,sharp, sincere, stinging. stringent, strong, subjective, tough, trenchant, unjust, unprecedented, useful, useless,(thinly) veiled, widespreadP: chorus of, flood of, spateof, tonent of, wave of, whiff of -

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Collocation - encouraging leanter independence


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Intelligent browsing of this kind of resource can both guide and enrich the students' production of language. My students have found this to be an invaluable resourceto have on hand when writing. It is becoming clear that dictionaries are underusedresourcesin language teaching and that they must be given a greater and more central role to play in language leaming. In particular, browsing the exemplifying expressions and sentences dictionaries can provide useful information on collocation, in and teachers need to encourage and train their students to approach dictionaries in this way. I now encourageall my studentsto invest in a good English-English dictionary and a dictionary of collocations.

2.8 Resources:corpora and concordancers
vast amounts of text are now stored on computers and many of the major English Language Teaching publishing houses and universities have establishedextensivebanks ofEnglish or corpora.Theseare being constantly added to and updated. Some contain over 500 million words of both written and spoken text. These huge banks of data provide a basis for researchinto the use of English, and are used as a basis for modem dictionaries and teachingmaterials. some of theselarge banks of English can now be accessed by individuals. The recent developmentof the Internet and the world wide web has greatly increased the amount and diversity of 'electronic' English that can be accessedwith comparative ease by individuals anywhere in the world. Today's students of English in non-English speaking environments are no longer restricted to the limited amount of language provided by the coursebookand classroom.They now have an endlessamount of real English to explore and exploit. The question arisesas to how they can use this wealth of text constructively, without being overwhelmed by the sheer amount or density of the information. A great deal of thought and developmentis going on in this areaat the moment, but with our presentconcernsin mind, I would like to focus on one activity, that of 'concordancing', and how I have used it to help my studentsdevelop their knowledge of collocations. A concordancer is a relatively simple piece of computer software which allows a constructive search of large amounts of text for examples of a particular word or phrase. Below is an edited example of a concordance producedfor the word disappointment.Note how: ' the searchworddisappointmentis placed in the middle of the page where it is easily seen. ' only a single line of text is listed for each example and these are usually not completesentences. ' the list is ordered alphabetically in some way. In the example below the word to the left is the focus of organisation.This makes searchins much easier.

ries of r\ ide a Jitional provide olnmon ntn, for

:-, oke. slrirtk - iield ier.ant, itaflng, Iosti1e, m$ng, useful.

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Collocation - encouraging learner independence


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Concordancesprovide much dcher sources of co-textual information than dictionaries,and they can lead to a more efficient exploration of the collocates of a word. As with the dictionary, studentswill need time and training in how to do this constructively.Simple exerciseswhich familiarise the studentswith the material and format are essential.For example, I presentedmy students with this frame and askedthem to suggestways of completing it: I got grade E for Mathematics. The result was a . . . disappointment.Next"I asked them to explore the concordanceextract above, and they were able to extract big, deep and greot as appropriatecollocates for disappointment. As students work through more and more exercises on collocation, they become more and more sensitive as to whether two words are possible collocates or not. Such sensitivity is particularly important for their own production. For example, one student of mine had written the sentence:I think there's a big possibility of rain today, but expresseddoubt about the collocation big possibility.Ratherthanjust answerhis questionwe ran a concordance the for phrase big + possibility and found no examples, suggesting that this combinationif not impossible, at leastunlikely. It is importantto recognise is that it is not useful or appropriateto say it is a wrong collocation. We only searched corpusof 2 million words,consisting a mainly of newspaper articles, and a searchof a larger and more varied corpus might well reveal an example of big possibility. The purpose of the searchis to uncover probable language,and my role as teacheris to show studentshow to find this for themselves,so that they will have the confidenceto decide on their own, not 'whether somethingexists' or not, but whether it is probable. Decisions about collocation are about degrees of likelihood.not cerlainty.

bery but

to there


c1y stateC ned by tit€ a

on today ly exist,

defeat f ina11y, d that

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From these and becam work out so to his dictic a contextua

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After encouraging him ro try to work out some of the word's sensefrom the concordancelines. there cfy stated.rong alw a defeat finally. possibility possibility possib-Lljty possibility possibility possibility possibility possibility possibility possibility.<p> waning of the ov The most of ned by t.l an example Ldmy role as that they will dng exists'or rbout degrees bery che further to be no obvious Beta-one the real learning be excep but.ions she might retaliation brough separated gove also by other a particularly worrying and r urge everyone. .As a result. I referred him to his dictionary. A rarge number of occurrences were taken as an indication of a common and therefore useful collocation.agion effect being be now a stronq discuss raises the the prosecut. possibility possibility possibility possibility possibility The is of that that of is to manager fet said he off was doing issue in taxe even he :he :e11or i:-erk's 'c-rr'l efect of pr I onnad :er husband :. conserv From theselines the studentnoted a number of instancesof remotepossibility and became interestedin the word remote.Below is an extract from the concordanceoutput for possibilie rhat the studentexplored.We onlY raperarticles. appeared an early that the breakthrough.encouraging learner independence agenc a e s ^i uf ^-i vIr! fa r Lf 4l -s ren f"lfot that was Cup 'rJent to --d^6f6n-a . Resourceswork best when their use is integrated.Collocation .he value are advanced of in by smith and pet. he edited his own writing to I think there's a strong possibility of rain today.and that all this can take place without a teacheron hand.ers a on today ]y exist.There are times when directing the student to a concordancer is more constructive than simply making alterationsto the student'stext.and concordances can and should be used intelligently with dictionaries. <atem> d make good progress. Subsequentuse of a dictionary would also allow the studentto seepossibilities in mounting and. . from the lines below. it into as a people is better his afbeit as a remote even a remote is the st. they are possible rr their own ink there'sa llocationblg lance for the ng that this to recognlse Lon. from which he was able to understandremotepossibility as a contextual opposite for strongpossibility. the fiefd' then it becomes a possibility.the student ran a concordanceon cost + of and. In response.Anocher they the have also ruled of out any yourself supporting these a rights recognition co consider Lhe cJear increases might nation than e collocates ning in how udents with n)' students I got grade {ext I asked le to extract cation.!adr-en c to sa when This parlicular student then ran a concordancefor possibility and noted a number of examplesof strongpossibility in the readout. facing efimination England. spiralling. d that refused fuR's o is was not there Lhere even action is to Money fell that of that of hands wiff a cont. concordancing is a useful tool to employ in correction. I pointed out to the studentwho wrote the following: we will have to increase our prices becauseof the increasing cost of advertising our products that it contained increase andincreasing and that i1 could be improved by changing one of these words. quickly found an alternative in growing and rising. What is important to recognise in this processis that the studentcan searchthis type of data and make informed decisions. An example of the interplay betweenthesetwo resourcesis exemplified by the samestudent.

As of the co Dictionat In a ven developir decodin-e .Banks of material can also be graded for level to allow the less advanced student to concordance to good effect.^ U €l 1 r t U a C l n g r u. . officiaf he took tunnel water in t works and decking <p> Th quality.encouraging learner independence cost cost cost cost cost cost cost cost cost cost cost cost cosL cost cost cost hioh hioh Fhar6 q=rrinos eXtrfOSUIe 1e Th6 l-o \r^a :n avccnrional f. coupled with a simple but powerful searchtool like a concordancerempowers today's student. terms includes of developm tend trainingand up the them to It is im1 single et subsequ essentia Ievrsltln Lhe Government (1) the the Eo the huge ncludes: ies increasing increasangl -lLe jnicial shoufder eao'rrr Lo and enable aeVinn if-Lced meet the mounLirg rising rising z:l 1 i no <p> The CBI fea corruption out itself to pick and trJstraced r Vl]hit "---nnami wich escape c Tha the the cni to The increasing availability of vast banks of English stored on computef.The programs are not complex and it only takes one short induction lesson to train studentsto use them for collocationsearches. Graded IeadeIS and General English coursebookmatelials are becoming increasingly available on CD-ROM and provide ideal sourcesfor the creation of appropriately graded banks of text.42 Collocation .It would seemessential. research the household living.9 L " There is awareness ^^m^^nl' hl:mad nrrr T r iP h vf r r ^ h u L qr ir rnv n vl vo d J + with e rPcrs the facL han:rrcc that nf ehe lLa high hlae inventory compuLer memory chips. that all studentsshould exploring collocation. theseresourcesale ideal for then. the both loan the franchise bills.This is particulally useful for subject-specific English. ^ the growang rho lhe reduc due to the staff <p> 'We are happy to borrowinghedge simple money.In particular. This means that it is possible to provide mole efficient collocation sealchesby building up banks of text which match your students' courseslike Business needs.At the time of writing. and proble computer memory chips 2. to be trained to use a concordancerand given access the wealth of English text that technology has made so easily available. concordancerslike Wordsmith ale available for well under f100 and they run on relatively small desktop computers. Many teachersshy away from technology in the classroom. doubt over cha raised tunneflinq the railway improvingi technology. This is a fairly simple operationif the material is availableas computer files. It is worth adding here that a concordancercan be used to searchany bank of electronic text.many also labour undel the misconceptionthat this kind of activity is an expensiveand unnecessalyluxury. I would argue that concordancingis an essentialtool for effective independentleaming. I have started building up banks of material for elementary and intermediate students of English. <p> Called high level scientific research. on the hard disk of a computer. and add that the software and hardware requilements are relatively cheap. where teacherscan build up a relevant bank of material by storing businessletters.he exLra of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of of materials finanee r L r^e ui of r. Even the very elementary studentcan develop a degreeof learner autonomy. If all of this is not you can build up a lessambitiousbank by the more laboriousmeans possible. of scanningtext into the computer. memos etc. pomts t( significa vocabul notebool Many ol or three the bank the fran informat Previ CRIT (pron to ex1 The g Revis CRIT (pron to extr The g V: rec A: he Verb and which ha It is im1 vocabula just listec increase their lists word. as we have noted. Recently. from CD-ROM' or downloads from relevant sites on the World Wide Web.

ge rcco:rah :nd nr^lrl | ^rlt a r n\7ah bt : over donlz i na cha r ::v. r ixltonomy.^ i .-1 4. . cited earlier from the LTP Dictionary of Selected Collocations. revisit and re-activate the significant vocabulary they meet. alrrrrr9 ::D:iOn -nialz and rrn -: afrd the computer.Items in the notebook are not just listed and left. the notebook is not just a decoding tool. A: heavy.. as theseexamplesshow: Previous format CRITICISM (pronunciation + translation) to expressdisapprovalof something or somebody The governmenthas received a lot of criticism for increasingtaxes.oEramsale siudentsto :.. They are revisited and extendedin the light of the leamers' increased exposureto the language.-R.Collocation . We also know that a >ilgle encounterwith a word is not enough to ensureits acquisition.. have modified I the framework which I previously encouraged learners to use to record information about a word by adding two extra lines. It is important for both teachers and students to recognise that learning vocabulary is an ongoing and organic process. I Li-\ : . td[r] I of fi efficient Lxr srudents' i. ..Business 1 L. devoting two or three pages to each letter. n] -+^--i-^ StUI[rB ^ 4 f^:*1. In a very real sense...^. nentarY and I r iI E*-li^L Lll_gllDll f.'el1 under ..come in for.O\I and n-ts of text.complaining.occwpatior?s. andtopics .are essential.9 Lexical notebooks f^ -= hrhhl/ ::pIe - hed. and that subsequent encounters.A11this points to the need to train our studentsto record. severe. r.researchsuggestsa minimum of perhapsseven. .this is not ntr|is means r sraded for Irrild effect. It is important to record what is noticed in some way. ^ 2.Furthermore.If these are to be helpful they need to be organisedin some way.I expectmy students As to.their personalrecords incorporate more of the collocates listed under the entry criticism.a Lrulu 4r5uu armlg. .-- <p> rlarra 't'n l nnm :en . a lexical notebook mirrors an individual's uniquely developing mental lexicon. V: receive.encouraging leanter independence 43 . Revised format CRITICISM (pronunciation + translation) to expressdisapprovalof something or somebody The govemment has received a lot of criticism for increasingtaxes. As their proficiency increases. Some pages are also devoted to situations . Verb and adjective collocates are recorded in a clear and compact format which has the advantageof taking up little extra spacein the notebook. Many of my studentskeep notebooks organiseda$habetically.add to their lists of collocates for criticism through subsequent encounterswith the word. fierce. and r+:n A t the 'r.r flgm There is more to the successfullearning of vocabulary than simply noticing.1. such. : empowers re ideal for 3nLts should :n_s1ish text 3U ar.! to tend .a. A traditional way of recording vocabulary is in small the bank... but a resource which individuals can use as an encoding r-ption that . One simple tool for this purpose is the vocabulary notebook.€ t .. functions . it is now acceptedthat acquisition is facilitated by revisiting an item and recreating it in the production of language. More importantly.

Our orientation is one of moving out from the word to uncover the particular syntactic patterns associated with it. a has received lot of criticism over its decisionto raise taxes. begins with the word. the explorationsof the of words views andcriticism were confined mainly to searches the left co-text of occurrencesof thesewords. Traditional grammal teaching tends to operate on a slot-and-filler approach. ?Thegovernmenthas receiveda lot of criticism over deciding to raise taxes. Traditio of gramr asnoted which is produce gramma directing It direct language compete I now fu words ar collocate The smal neatly su Prac wori It is prec establish presentm As with recorded thesenotr to record particular all have personal i this: Curre CRITI (pronu to expl The -ec V: recr A: hea G: F: . it seemed appropriateto re-name it. and we need to encouragefurther exploration of co-text. Ihey noted that criticism was followed by the prepositionpr and the -ing form of the verb. Thegovernment The government has received a lot of criticism for deciding to raise taxes. Lexis is a secondaryconsiderationand fills the slots in the syntacticframes that define such patterns.. and I now refer to vocabulary notebooks as lexical notebooks. Consider the following combinations: The governmenthas receiveda lot of criticism for its decision to raise taxes. These patteffIs are traditionally with. form. . We summarised encounters this information as . However. .L0 Word grammar The definition of collocation that I have adoptedin the classroomhas a clear but fairly nalrow focus. Subsequent prepositions and would obviously enrich the students' knowledge of other verb patterns which occur with criticism.However. and to relations betweennouns.encouraging learner independence instrument to guide their own ploduction of language. In the examplesI cited earlier. follow the broadpatternof nown+ preposition+ . In order to give the expandedfunction and format of the notebook more pfominence. criticism fut raising /axes. 2.All this suggeststhat this particular pattern is improbable and therefore of no value to the The last two sentences most native speakersare uneasywith the final combination.. I think there is a useful pedagogicdistinction to be 'grammat'and what I havecometo term 'word grammar'' The madebetween difference lies in the way we approachgrammar pattems. However. It is now cleal that we need to give vocabulary notebooks a far greaterpriority in languageteaching. T] . adjectivesand verbs..A word grammar approach. as noted earlier.44 Collocation . with broad syntacticpatternssuch as the tensesas the primary focus. students can and do notice more. and taught as.and I think it is appropriateto retain associated that association. When I askedmy studentsto look at the right co-text of criticism in the sentenceThe government has receiyed heavy criticism for increasing taxes.Encouragementto use a notebook in this way should lead to fewer errors in their production. I was unable to find a single example of this pattern in any of the large corpora I consulted.. grammar.on the other hand. and raise our students'awalenessof the dynamic role they have to play in the process of learning a language. Furthermore.

.. not just collocates.... However. which is one reasonfor the large amount of improbable languageour students produce.. It directs the student towards probable language rather than possible + . a lot of languagewhich is grammatically accurateis not (G) to record significant grammar patterns... The small but significant changesthis brings to my approachto teaching are neatly summarised Michael Lewis when he suggests: by Practiceshouldbe directedtowardshelping students collocate words and grammaticalise from words ro sentences..come in for . The samecriticism has been levelledat .tronto be rmar'. criticism for raising taxes .t0 letaln r..n-LLrination. has a cTeat ilons of the leii co-text ecti\-esand re.) F: .rmmarised arcounters sr:ionsand 'lirinnollrr L-. This last categoryis important as we all have our own particular affinities for certain chunks of language.Lexis is ..i5etaxes. It is precisely this kind of practice that we need to prioritise and add to the established practiceswe employ in the classroom. t'. G: . then. criticism for its plan (to build . criticism over the decision(to spend.. that is. t'. V: receive. fierce. word A grammar approach complements the traditional approach to grammar by directing the students'attentionto the syntacticconstraintson the use of often over-generalises.which is extremely important. Grammar not only generalises. and we -irudentsto ttirtent has ii:'lSl/7 WaS . The a :nntnach iis. it is important that elements of word grammar are recorded in lexical notebooks.encouraging learner independence 45 nent to use rctiont It is priority in Licrole theY to give the e.Collocation .but also as having their own particular grammaticalsignatures. I think it useful to see them as having.I suggesttwo further categoriesfor entries in thesenotebooks. As with collocation. . come under heavy criticism for not providing .. is very much a caseof It presentingour studentswith a richer picture of languagepatteming..) ..the other (F) to record 'favourites'.Ln8 . i'Jtse taxes. are essentialcomponentsof grammatical competence.-.'.. it seemed ks as lexical Traditional grammar teaching allows the student to generatea large amount of grammatically accuratelanguage... as noted earlier. pattems or expressions which the individual particularly likes and will probably use... not just meaning.lse taxes.Both approaches. A personal entry for criticism in a lexical notebook might look something like this: Current format for a learner notebook entrv CRITICISM (pronunciation + translation) to express disapproval somethingor somebody of The govemment has received a lot of criticism for increasins taxes.. I now find it helpful to extendmy own and my students'perception what of words are. A: heavy.hat define ns uith the :ncover the inl _ _ ' 'I-orvin_ o __o i'tlt5€ tClX€|. r in rnrr nf 1f pallern ls .

and power over. in what ways can you provide them with similar information? What sort of information do you encourageyour studentsto record in their vocabularynotebooks? In this ch the centr revolutior intermedi of langual number c teacher to so that thr they mee emphasisi from the i 3.Plenary IATEFL Concordancedata generatedby MicroConcord. M (1996) Language teaching is teaching language. OUP fContact Oxford University Pressfor details of Wordsmith. yearsofm the past 1 thinkin-eal alone. 3. No. ref'erredto on p 42. LIP Crowther. R.encouraging learner independence z. LTP HilI.Vol.lL Summary The growing awarenessof the rich contextual relationships in spoken and written discoursemeansthat collocation and word grammar need to become established categories of description for both the teaching and learning of languages.46 Collocation .We of lexis.] Devotion study and acculacy. (1997) Implementing the Lexical Approach. Oxford University Press Swan. cupboard. 2 Lewis. Cha Revis colloc Jimmie l DiscussionQuestions Do you have learners who would use computer-based corpora and concordancingsoftware with confidence? Do you think it is useful to give all your studentsthis confidence?If not. Th McCarthl'. Finally. (1997) Oxford Advanced Leamers Dictionary. (1997) mP Dictionary of SelectedCollocations.In particular.and as such. P. their own leaming. a primary aim of teaching must be to raise the students' awarenessof their increasing responsibility for.1 Lan References: Brown. Modem English Teacher. M. Ed. teacherstc The more phenomen ililnniltrnnnrnur(ruBruuil$ilnililililntuilt[MilIHil{ildll . and Lewis. training needsto be given in the constructiveuse of dictionaries and the vast and varied sources of English that modern technology has made available. It is probably true that the role of the languageteachertoday is moving more and more towards that of learning manager. developm ideaswhir still assoc of doing t most inhit bring to te When I I grammar added. (1994) Lexical Collocation: a strategy for advancedlearners. guidance in managing this learning through frameworks such as lexical notebooksneedsto be provided. J. M. greaterfocus needsto be placed on developing the independent A language leaming skills that will help students develop their proficiency in theseareas. Eds.

Jimmie Hill suggeststhat putting lexis rather than grammar at the centre of language teaching is more than just a modest change. That 'skeleton' image has been consigned proverbially to the cupboard. then to guide learners so that they can become independent collectors of collocations from input which they meet outside the classroom. manner of ideas are All still associatedwith the obsessionwith grammar: standards.We now know that languageconsists largely of prefabricatedchunks of lexis. it is a revolution.Revisingpriorities 47 Chapter3 spok6n and C to become leaming of independent :oficiency in uctiveuse of hat modern this learning ded. and methodology.the expectationsboth teachersand students bring to textbooks and courses.1. and emphasises the need for the teacher to choosethe right kinds oftext for their learners. and suggeststhat this means greatly increasing the amount of language input provided in language courses. perhaps. corpora and rce?If not. with the study and practice of grammar seen as synonymous with the teaching of accuracy. The work of John Sinclair. an idea that for the first 15 yearsof my careerin ELT I hardly gave a moment's thought to. He stresses the size of the mental lexicon needed by even an intermediate learner.Language and lexis Devotion to a structural syllabus has dominated ELI for too long. ControversiallS he suggests that overemphasising grammar is a major factor in preventing learners from moving on from the intermediate plateau. and most inhibitingly of all. we were encouraged to think of grammar as the bones of the language. the more we know that many of our previously cherished Modem English . how tests are consffucted. When I first started teaching English.r increasing Revising priorities: from grammatical failure to collocational success Jimmie Hill In this chapter.materials. has all contributed to the way teacherstoday think about lexis and what it meansfor their teaching. We are at present in one of those awkward stages in the developmentof ELT methodology when teachersare still putting into practice ideas which most theoreticianshave long abandoned.A central feature of lexis is collocation. has come to play a more and more central part in my thinking about English. how textbooks are written. The more we have become aware of language as a predominantly lexical phenomenon. LTP versity Press nl . in ecord in their 3. but which for the past 10 years. and many others. Michael Lewis. Ron Carter. and vocabulary as the flesh to be added. Michael McCarthy.traditional ways of doing things. Dave Willis. the classroom. He draws attention to the sheer number of collocations to be found in texts. noving more mary aim of .I am not alone.

is very different from the way they learned their L1. It is true that leaming anL2 is not the sameas leaming your L1. A lexical approach to language and to leaming does not break everything down into individual words and structures. that huge area of language commonly referred to as idiomatic usage. proverbs. tha summans assumed i compiete lexiconoI leamedpf collocatio all narural For teache .their relationships with other words. and expect their students to learn a secondlanguage. is clearly learned lexically.t L -'r 1i Il -.r lrnsuistic :a rr r 4 r !.nursery is a recognition of ways of thinking which we all knew.48 Revisingpriorities structuralistideas are false. into insig expresslo the typica must dor grammar knou. Firth definedcollocationas 'the companywords keep' . When we think of the number of words in English.en erio ii3r-h-rS . In particular.Pastassessments of the number of individual words known by an educatednative speakerpale Even if the problem ol often do str can. 3. idioms. asmetalpails have now been largely replaced by plastic buckets. This is one of the most exciting tumaroundsin our thinking for a very long time. or knowing what collocation is. parts of speech.poems. stress. During our Ll acquisition we are happy with the idea of making 'mistakes'..bedtime storieswithout necessarily understanding eachword.but seeslanguagein larger units.:-q u . To deny the many similarities seemsperverse. And for many children the illustrated 'pail' in the nursery rhyme book willbe the closestthey everget to one in their lives. expressions. We wait for the natural process of acquisition to take its course.4 Coil 3.2 Language and learning All languageteachersknow that the way they teach.R. the first and most important fact about the nature of collocation is the sheer numberof individual collocationswhich exist in English.the numberof potentialcombinations runs into many millions. No young native speakerof English exposedto Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water is awareof concepts suchas simplepasttenseand irregular verbs.r:lt tlnni irrlUpS rrtr : lit Alll'tit€ i ?ltotile1lt S 1 rlinking. It could be seenas a sensiblereturn to traditional ways of learning after a rather futile trip down the dead-endroad of structuralism. We acquire our Ll efficiently without any explicit knowledge of grammar rules. but which many teachershave denied. Another definition might be 'the way words combinein predictableways'. but it is also true that the human activity closestin nature toL2leaming is L1 learning. So. ht 3.3 What is collocation? Many yearsago.It seemssensibleto take on board what lessonswe can from the lexical nature of languageand the lexical ways in which natives learn their mother tongue. One of the most important areas of idiomatic languageis collocation. We know that our children learn huge chunks of lexis. songs.and intonation pattems which will remain with them throughout their lives. but v'e and It's ttic open air? A restaurant? or the studt conceptof collocation Any analys competenc mistakesbe collocations then focus c make no dil but a lack r cumbersom iiuxnintinMu!iiiuultuliltl . J. We now realise that in learning such chunks they are also acquiring the pronunciation.In one sense. They are also leaming the grammatical system of the Ll.:b-.

The complete lexicon of English. Grammar .was a superficially attractivebasis for our syllabus.t .^. when we believed that grammar was the basis of all language learning. expressions. it was quite comforting to know that we had discovered all the English tenses and they could be summarised on half a dozen pages of a gtammar book. idioms. we need to add the concept but of collocational competence to our thinking. .words. The mental :nse and nursery t:l neil s 'r-rach to dir idual i-n as a ip dou'n lt is also rino Tn 3. This fact of the size of the mental lexicon must dominate all our methodological thinking.Revisingpriorities 49 Csin our u'ays of students ed their remmal our Ll t ior the :hildren rhrmes. ri'ord.which exist in the mental lexicon of the typical educatednative speaker. and collocations. on the other hand.^ _Jt \\dyS ar"'a of ieamed :u30e 1s conceptof its assumedfiniteness. is enormous. hL ing the m them n of the i un tltp into insignificance when compared with the total number of items .r n< S n he sheer mentsof fter pale . .4 Collocational competence ln board -.l< L-een' Any analysisof students' speech writing showsa-lackof this collocational or :r u'ords i .-..

As ment verbs an spending methodo help thei always rr clear . collocation is an old problem.It is often metaphorical:He pwt the cat among the pigeons. 2. we knew that the lexicon was complicated.while introducing the term collocation to name and categorisethat languagewhich has previously been ignored or undervalued. what they produce often sounds 'intermediate'.idioms and phrasal verbs . Even if learners successfullynavigate the grammar. So shoulders common have lunc because a leamer.The rest we labelled only recently through the rise of corpus linguistics that the extent of the fixednessof much languagehas been more widely recognised. to the fairly loose yet still predictable (go on holiday).If the sameverbs are not usedin the learners' L1. Studentswith good ideas often lose marks becausethey do not know the four or five most important collocates of a key word that is central to what they are writing about.). as of could think of catch the bus or fired with enthwsiasm idioms because the inherently metaphorical use of catch and fire. we were keenly aware that multiword expressionswere important. I make exerciseevery morning in the gym. L. Not all idioms are aspictorial as thesetwo examples. Collo 3.idioms and phrasal verbs Even during the height of structuralism. Only now. The native speaker has no problem with the idea that bolh fish and buses can be caught or that nonphysicalthings can be on fire. put. make. how can we use thesetetms most usefully? It seemssensibleto continue using thoseterms and categorieswhich language teachershave found useful in the past . spe from one mind. We need to broadenour conceptof idiom to include much more metaphorical usage.Apart from individual words.Let us look more closely at each of thesethreecategories. it is probablethat they will havea problemwith the English idiomatic use. however. B a more ob Teachersr different I adjeoi. take. are we beginning to see it might be a new solution to many of our leamers' problems.5 Collocations.It is two importantareasfor students. . which is frequently hardly even recognised as idiomatic by native soeakers. do.Idioms An idiom is an expressionwhich is relatively fixed and allows little or no change. . Don't We cowntyour chickens.50 Revisingpriorities i I i i j verb + adjective + noun collocation He has a permanent disability. In one senseall collocation is idiomatic and all idioms and phrasal verbs are collocations predictable combinations of different kinds. So.Phra Phrasai the ligh words. For example.r camot l on the b distincti phrase categon identify 3. Analysis of students' essay writing often awkward and very 'de-lexicalised' verbs shows a seriouslack of collocational competencewith such as get. In this respect.i< more catl A colloca time. bring. noun + verb + verb + adverb adverb verb + I Collocatio afticle + ad situation ir of languag . We identified phrasal verbs and idioms as 'idiomatic usage'. through the semi-fixed (What I'm saying/swggesting/proposing is .We know that fixed expressionsrange from the totally ftxed (An apple a day keeps the doctor away).

it as verb plus preposition. Arguments aside.Jit"where the patternshave been clear . wilr be of interest: adjective + noun a hugeprofit noun + noun a pocket calculator verb+adjective+noun learn a foreign language verb + adverb live dangerously adverb + verb half understand adverb + adjective completely soaked verb + preposition + noun speak through an interpreter collocations can. some learners may find eat runch or take runch a more obviouschoice thanhave tunch. We auseof the ier has no r that nonLe learners' )matlc use. Phrasal verbs Phrasalverbs contain a verb plus one or more pafticles: make up a story. but rather than spendingall our time describing and sorting expressions. however. the real issuefor the methodologist is to try to help teachersto make simple categorieswhich will help their studentssee some order and organisation in the lexicon. Collocations As mentioned above. :1COn WaS hat multiidioms as sage'.Don't rmples.ed'verbs :tseevery ausethey rrd that is is an old be a new 2. spring to mind. some 'sfong' collocations have the status of idioms . Becauseof their Ll. others think of "onrid". Some may be so common that they hardly seemworth remarking upon . native speakersmust be careful.all colrocations are idiomatic and all phrasar verbs and idioms are collocations or contain collocations.) Teacherswill find it useful to draw their learners. :taphorical by native . becausean item which seemsunremarkableto them might be a problem to a leamer. be much ronger.attention to collocations of different kinds.they are not guessableand are non-generative.a big Jtat. ELr has always recognisedtwo types of multi-wo. minirat ior"r. Again. some teachers get on (in get on the bus) as a phrasal verb.r. in fact.whiie aeewhich e11' each at little or no otts. learnersmay have no trouble with the riterarput the cat outbtt cannot relate that to put the right out.'.idioms and phrasal verbs. (As just mentioned. The distinction is not helpfur for the classroom where ttre emprrasisis on the phrase as a whole rather than any analysis of a sense. the category of phrasal verb is a useful one for both teachlrs and leamers to identify certain items which they are tryrng to teach and learn. A collocation is a predictablecombination of words: get rost.roun = seriousryaffecttheporiticat situation in Bosnia. put the light out' The meaning may or may not be obvious from the individual words. The term 'collocation' shourd nerp oring ail thesechunks of languageto students'attention as single choices.Even if :n sounds ing often .shrug your shoulders . is It :nt of the know that I'eenr the 'proposing e sense all ocatlonsICSC TCITNS r language rs . Some combinations may be very highly predictable from one of the component words foot the b. in particular.make upfor rost time. It is time to introduce our studentsto one more category of languageas it really is _ collocation.Revisingpriorities 5l . 3. a nice catl have lunch. speak your mind. I suggestthat the following. For example: adverb + verb + article + adjective+ noun + prepositioni.

but it I is to be fou 4. The ler let the cat owt of the bag. my I'm brushingmy teeth. . The role We know c< our mentai memory.One can imaginea husbandsayingto his wife: I'll be with you in a minute. Ed. . One of the most common structures in which it will occur is Have you brushedyowrteethyet?. e1 definition we cannot 2. it is not unreasonableto assumethat learning certain chunks containing these structures will help learners in their acquisition of English grammar pattems as well. . Children may never use the question themselves until they are parentsthemselves. The simple collocation brush your teeth is for native speakerspredominantly used in the dentist's surgery and in the home when speakingto children or other family members. it is important that teachersare aware of this. When we know that native speakerslearn language in lexical chunks.So. I'm . The child is hearingthe presentperfectin a natural context.just going to brush my teeth. There are two important pedagogicalconsiderationshere. cannot be divorced from the grammatical context in which they occur. Predictr The very p givesus an The preser to an exte collocation which are where lear teachers ar pattemin-e 3. I imagine few husbands would ask their wives the question that they would ask their young children. Firstly.l The first z way worc lexicon is substituti structures speakertl listener's r mineral y expectatto drunk by a former are to a relatir standing a limited. idioms have a grammar and can be minimally variable to fit the speaker'spurpose: Don't He She'sjust If only you hadn't Why did you 3. . Collocations.7Wh Collocati I suggest 1. too. Perhapsthe inability of our studentsto acquire some important grammatical areas is based on the implausibility of many of the examples to which we expose them in current EFL grammar books and textbooks [See also pp 163-167]. . I'd brwshed teeth. [This is another plea to teachersto encouragelearners to notice and record language in a linguistic environment in which it naturally occurs.a parentteachinga child habitsofpersonal hygiene usually at bedtime. my Secondly.rin question.6 Collocations and grammar It is always an oversimplification to divide languageup rnto categorieswhen all the elementsof natural languageuse are interdependent. .<7 priorities Revising 3.It is clear that the acquisitionof generalisable rules must be partly related to the acquisition of lexical chunks containing the gramma. when the child hears the parent asking Have yow brushed yowr teeth?somethingelse is going on. What the children have been exposedto is an archetypical example of the present perfect without knowing anything explicit about grammar English tensenames. The size Collocatior seen.enorl huge perce vary. We can speculatethat sentences such as the following will be rarer than the presentperfect and going to usesabove: I brwshed teeth. . For perhaps ten years of childhood a parent may ask the question.

The latter liquids are drunk by accident.enormous. 3. The lexicon is not arbitrary The first and most obvious reasonwhy collocation is important is because the way words combine in collocations is fundamental to all languageuse.hear. The listener'sexpectations predicta largenumberof possibilities: tea. Estimates vary. the very definition of collocation .ltedyour nt perfectin -nal ask the LtLX they are archetl. sulphuric acid. mineral water orange jwice. we then retrieve them from we our mental lexicon just as we pull a telephonenumber or addressfrom our it a statuswhich we cannot deny. The lexicon is not arbitrary. places where learning is encouragedby using the most efficient means known to teachers and where leamers need to be encouraged to notice predictable patterning. The size of the phrasal mental lexicon collocation is important becausethis area of predictability is. Two.the choice of objectsis limited to a relatively small number of nouns or noun patterns. his reputation.the way words combine .Looking at arater verb . as we have seen. but there would be no expectationsof engine oil. it in which ctrllocation le dentist's . coffee. I suggestat least thesenine are important for teachers: 1. when a speakerthinks of drinking.To an important extent vocabulary choice is predictable.There are parts of the lexicon which are organisedand patterned. 2. the honourable thing. The role of memory we know collocations because have met them.7 Why is collocation important? rrieswhen iL1ms have -t5c. even teqwila sunrise. but not a mistake. Predictability The very predictability of the collocation examplesin the previous paragraph givesus anotherclue as to why collocationis an importantpedagogical issue. milk. rer than the u:. linguisticallythey arenot 'probable'in the way that the but former are. eg his best. he may use a common verb such as have.we do not speakor write as if languagewere one huge substitution table with vocabulary items merely filling slots in grammatical classroomsare.Revising priorities 53 3. there are patterns to collocations which can make learning easier. collocation is important from a pedagogicalpoint of view for many reasons. 4.t'ooks and n:akers leam h:t learning :rs rn their .but still limited. the choice is far greater. So.giene ['ll be with husbands le children.enhance. but it is possiblethat up to 70voof everything we say.pical phcit about rXegrammar Intairdngthe u-t]Uile SOille nirnv of the . The presentsimple is irnportantin classrooms because can predict its use we to an extent which helps learners. by definition. or write is to be found in some form of fixed expressron.ther plea to La trn-euistic .lf the verb is do. shampoo. In a similar way. rnembers. the standing of the company. four and even five-word collocations make up a huge percentageof all naturally-occurring text. trIate you ral hl. spoken or written.

Impoverished input will lead to impoverishedretrieval. but the density of unrecognised collocations. Similarly.How do I know lead on Macduff. There was a leaction against these ideas during the sixties and seventieswhen methodologistsreactedagainst any suggestionthat leaming by heart had any place in L}leaming. Communicativemethodology mistakenly assumed that early production was all important. Indeed. The main difference between native and non-native speakersis that the former have met i made chur much faste 6. 8. Try recognised I that colloca EFL methor worked in S this to be fal lots of oppot more chunli pointedout.We also know it is more important to hear or read an item than to use it. ready for use when required.clich6s. proverbs. We do know. 'present'a practiceis I by speakin5 we needto I input at lov is obvious that we have underestimatedthe role of memory in language learning. Pronunci I wiil alwal Michael catchphrases. Native speakerscan only speakat the speedthey do becausethey are calling on a vast repertoire of ready-made language. each and everyone of us. knowing them is simply part of what we mean by being a native speaker. sayings. and idiomatic language. however. that the most crucial element in a leamer's acquisition of a lexical item is the number of times it is heard or read in a context where it is at least partially understood. As language teachers. were scol'nedin favour of the all-powerful grammatical model of languageleaming. in our heads.I may be allergic to anyonewho doesuse them! The fact of the matter (itself a good exampleof a fixed phrase)is that every native speakerhas a vast store of these obviously fixed expressions. 1 complexifl complex n more expo they develc and eventu The traditi< orthodoxy. ranging from poetry.flavowr of the month. addresses. What is obvious is that what the language learners are exposed to from the earliest stagesis crucial.We have a much bigger store of collocations. Linguists now give a much greater importance to memorised. free gratis andfor nothing. Phrase-books. often we have made no attempt to learn theseitems. Good quality input should lead to good quality retrieval. similar in st vocabulary t readthe poel . they can listen at the speedof speechand read quickly becausethey are constantly recognising multi-word units rather than processing everything word-by-word' One of the main reasonsthe leamer finds listening or reading difficult is not becauseof the density of new words. Collocat Paradoxica thought is t allows us manipulate words. Comple Typical int time. Not enough research is available to us at presentto make useful statementsabout how memory can be influenced. Most idioms.As adults we all have a huge store of memorised text telephone numbets. Don't forget thefruit gums I Mum. 5. adverlisingslogansandjokes.which had played an important part in language learning for centuries.54 priorities Revising ELT has not given sufficient thought to this idea. Fluency Collocation allows us to think more quickly and communicate more efficiently. and ideas. Every native speakerparent knows how children love to hear the samerhymes and storiesnight after night to the extent that they can say the rhymes and tell the stories themselves. immediately availablefrom their mental lexicons. Thir expresslon language. and evenThat's the way the cookie crwmbles? may never use them. coughs and sneezesspread diseases. familiar.

Complex ideas are often expressedlexically Typical intermediate student speech.a language in similar in structureto English.knows or this to be false. As Stephen Krashen has pointedout.hemis simply kstow lead on ie ntonth. Try to say manipulate ideas or brainspace more efficientlyl Both are recognised verb + noun andnown+ nown collocations.This doesnot meanthat practiceis unimportant. . Simple language is ideal for the expression simple ideas. acquisitionof tntext where it :tantto hear or ikenly assumed . This inevitably causes problems. 6.they are even more difficult to expressin simple language. crucial.when in reality the 'present'and 'produce'stages the are most important. It is one of the sacredcows of EFL methodology that fluency comes with practice.Most . ie chunking it correctly. on 8. Advanced studentsdo not becomemore fluent by being given lots of opportunitiesto be fluent.The that the former . Any teacher who has worked in Scandinavia Holland.ite frwit gums :i er use them. is a safeconclusion It that collocation is an important key to fluency. 7. BecauseI was able to read the poem meaningfully. which enable them to process and produce languageat a much faster rate.But the complexity needed here is not convoluted grammar.entieswhen heart had any rortant part m e all-powerful 3 samerhymes hvmesand tell remorisedtext rers.proverbs. Collocation makes thinking easier Paradoxically. The more exposure studentshave to good quality input and the more awareness they develop of the lexical nature of language. where English is widely spoken.for example. we needto place a much greateremphasison good-quality written and spoken input at lower and intermediatelevels than is currently the case. for so long the accepted The traditional Present-Practise-Produce 'practise' orthodoxy. one word at a time.frequently made of supposedly'easy' words.. acquisitioncrucially depends the quantityandquality of input. They becomemore fluent when they acquire more chunks of language for instant retrieval.Revisingpriorities 55 \ give a much is only by speakingthat you can developconfidence. but with enough significant differencesin vocabularyto make it only pafiially comprehensible.tends to over-emphasise the stage. it is usually lexical complex noun phrases.There :r. is laboured. Pronunciation is integral I will always remember a lecture at TESOL France some years ago when Michael Swan askedme to read a poem to his audience Scots. Collocation we allows us to name complex ideas quickly so that we can continue to manipulate the ideas without using all our brainspaceto focus on the form of . :r of the matter 'ekerhas a vast ligger store of ted the role of Llableto us at We i:rt-luenced. and uses simple vocabulary to express both simple and complicated ideas.the reasonwe can think new things and speak at the speedof thought is because are not using new languageall the time. immediately r at the speedof 'ing multi-word re of the main of because the rllocations.While it is true that you do not 'learn'new language by speaking. rd jokes. that what the . paradigm.However.Complexideasare difficult to express complex of in language. the audienceall laughed runlcate more they 1o because e.the more they will recognise and eventually produce longer chunks themselves. Good =hedinput will have met far more English and so can recogniseand producethese 'readymade chunks'.

2. Students cannot store items correctly in their mental lexicon if they have not identified them correctly. and was in low spirits. but is important even in a literary text considereda classic: Overworked Mrs Dagley . off-the-s There ar would a6 their owr it is in th partly rer physicali own. It soon emergesthat collocationis an important feature of all such texts. In class we should do no unseen reading aloud and less silent reading. Financir 3. so during silent reading studentsmay be chunking totally wrongly. from whose life pleasurehad so entirely vanishedthat shehad not even any Sundalz clothes which could give her satisfactionin Ueparug_fql_Ehulqhhad already had a misunderstandingwith her husbandsince he had come home. . however. In one sensethey 'understood'the poem while not understandinga large proportion of the individual words. Most teacherswill have had the experienceof watching and enjoying a Shakespeare play. making some texts more suitable than others for the EFL classroom. Newspap The wc of a bal Juli".a thin. Few will understand fully the nuances of Shakespeare'slanguage. 1. worn woman. George Eliot's Middlemarch The following short extract shows that collocation is nothing new. The actors.put simply. speakthe lines meaningfully. Collocations which are of interest are underlined.56 Revisingpriorities in the coffect places. their pronunciation. Recognising chunks is essential for acquisition There are immediate methodological implications.expectingtheworst. their stressand intonation will be better. The temptationis to think that 'good writers' do not use such 'ready-made. incorrectly chunked. a newspaper article and finally. Correctly understood and stored. studentscannot learn from input which they mis-chunk. shat"ply. correctly chunked for us. And mischunking matters. the input will either not be stored at all or will be wrongly stored. Frank The stuff and 1 whic Here a mc lines of te McCourt argumentl hold here of express suggeststJ precisely r 3. and intonation.8 Collocation in texts It is interesting to examine written texts from different genres from a collocationalpoint of view. Teachersshould read texts aloud in class so that studentshear the text correctly chunked. u El Juli. The reason studentsfind unseenreading so difficult is becausethey don't recognise the chunks . shd Any course collocationa leamers for trend which 4. lexical items should be available for immediate use. can be difficult for the listener. 9. although different kinds of texts do exhibit different collocational characteristics. a typical EFL text. Becauseleamers createmuch of what they say from individual words. In either caseit cannot be available for retrieval and use . Share yester marke The sl difficu Financial I severalof r. a financial report. stress. The great addedbonus to knowing a large number of collocations and other longer expressionsis that if learnersleam the stresspattern of a phrase as a whole. Let us comparefiction.they read every word as if it were separatefrom every other word.

by definition. severalof which are used in this short extract: shares recovered. Few he actors.but they do. And it is in the breaking of the conventional that the greatnessof great literature partly resides. Here a modern novelist usessix identifiable collocations in the spaceof a few lines of text.which fell sharply last year after the company spoke of difficult tradingrose l4p to 263. .. shares rose. 3. to describeMrs Dagley as a 'worn woman' evokesher physicaland mentalstate. while writing something original and creative both Eliot and McCourt rely on their store of ready-for-use expressions.'rank McCourt's Angela's Ashes The new rich people go home after Mass on Sundaysall airs and stuff themselves with meat and polatoes. And mis. 2. . Any coursein Financial English would need to identify some of the common collocational patterns. My previous argumentthat we use collocations in speechto give us thinking time doesnot hold here since the writer has lots of time to think of new and original ways of expression.The fact that Eliot and McCourt use collocations so readily suggeststhat the other reason they are common is because they express precisely what we wish to express with or without time constraints. buck the trend.A novelist. Financial report Sharesin IndependentInsurancerecoveredby more than 5 per cent yesterday after the company bucked the trend in the insurance market by reporting a 22 per cent increasein underwriting profit. who has becomethe youngestfully-fledged matadorever.has been booked up for the i readtexts n classwe he reason :ognisethe )ther word.5p. 4. the insurance market. and they think nothing of drinking their tea from delicate little cuos which stand in saucersto catch the tea that overflows. but known as "El Juli".. The phraseis Eliot's very own.In either ents cannot nes from a n important bit different ur othersfor Lne\\. should be t1r' in their 11'chunked.So.sweetsand cakesgalore.verbs which combine with share. El Juli.spapef lnterestare 1. Newspaper article The world of bullfighting has discovereda new legend in the form of a bablu-faced16-)'ear-oldcalled Julian Lopez.1911. . 'tricks off-the-shelf such as collocation. f. *n. dfficult trading.ords.but could not be guessed. while also preparing learners for the large number of metaphorical expressionssuch as buck the trend which are common in such texts. The :herlonger s a whole.sharesfell sharply.Revisingpriorities 57 'm ldle not uhers. but most readers would agreewith those underlined. Financial English is dominated by a number of predictable collocations. their other words. The shares. to break our expectations. will plev. is free to make their own word combinations. There are argumentsfor more collocations in this extract. is but rse life Sunday rurch he had ready-made. a shy and introverted teenager.

theyoungest. .Thesetexts are clearly more suitedto the EFL classroomthan the extractstaken from fiction.. awarded the ultimate accolade is a very strong collocation typical of such newspapertexts. half-bird.The 'level' of an item will always be a subjective issue. . still just 15. . awarded the ultimate accolade. Over-exploitation of any one aspect will kill students' interest. Looking at the bullfighting text from a teaching point of is suitable for their level and it has some common culrency. . Advanced: a shy and introverted teenager theforthcoming season. The teenagerhas spent most of his time in Latin America since he qualified as a matadorlast Octoberwhen he was still just 15. .in recentweeks Intermediate: the world of .. His skill and couragehas seenhim awardedthe ultimate accolade in bullfighting .. The first and most obvious point to make about factual texts like this is the high percentageof words which occur in fixed phrasesand collocations. b) he re-appearedin the form of a creature half-human. . becausethe language is of a quality to which students should be exposed. e) Finally. because there is language which might be immediately useful.being carried out of the bullring on the fans' shoulders. Quite a lot of this languageis worthy of comment. but I suggestthe following rough divisions from the text above: Elementary: spendtime. The remai those whir them.This is completely typical of such texts.58 Revising priorities b[g bullfighting toumaments of the forthcoming season and is in expectedto kill more than 200 bulls in his first full season Spain.and gr . it is in more than a dozen Latin American cities in recent weeks. A collocation will be worth drawing to students' attention if it satisfiestwo conditions . it would be madnessto try to bring all the collocations to the attention of students.Class time should be spent on a few useful collocations.. ever. ever: the youngestfully-fledged matador ever the best holiday eve4 the most expensivemotorbike ever d) There seemto be two collocations combined in: A baby-faced16-yearold called. .Students should then be encouragedto study the rest themselvesat home.We choosetexts for classuse for different reasons:becausewe think studentswill be interested in the topic. . words. such as the phrasequalify as a . In grammattc 'milk'ever 5. EFL cor In some lr inclusionil dealingwir from the pr identify at I to leamers' plan aft have a p shareint a lovell. knownas . . . c) the (superlative adjective) . qualifuas a. . . namely a baby-facedl6-year-old anda 16-year-oldcalled . . Collocation is either so commonplacethat it is unremarkableor so inherent in text that it should have a central place in all teaching. Notice thesepatterns: a) the world of sport/art/opera/ballroom dancing etc.9 Teach In order to tea methodology i stress. went to J a teenag I told he) And the foll have the it mighr ) have a sa I seeher This meansr ones contain in a text of r chosencours get the most and density c There are irn should be as identifying ar underline u: notebooksiri I collocation. .

it r. along with the L1 equivalentof the whole collocation..students will r"-h might be rhich students kltr1students' lons.aysbe a ttom the text And the following are arguablyjust as useful: have the one child by the time I'd it might have beennice to .eve\ tftlfitg season. 3. so in a lexical approachit would be misguided to 'milk' every text for the last drop of lexis.i a[coiade he t'ans' m recent The remaining collocations fall into the most important teaching category those which are not worth spending class time on unless studentsask about them.. and grammar.J llr flrliL : 15 59 rni5Fatn.9 Teaching collocation In order to teach collocation we have to give it the samekind of statusin our methodology as other aspectsof language such as pronunciation. This rnonplacethat rntral place in . we were closest have a son they'd gone away Iseeheras. . Students ie" it satisfies two mon than the .Examining a single two-hundred-word extract from the popular Headway series(Upper Intermediate p 77) it was easy to identify at least the following collocations which teacherscould usefully draw to learners' attention: plan afamily have a problem share interests a lovely agefor (a child) went to school a teenzgedaughter/son I told her off my best.. The conclusion one must come to is that wellchosencoursebooktexts are full of collocational expressions.1 tnatador f 'ti I6-t'ear'. 5.'ridcalled. and encouraging them to store them in their notebooksin someretrievableway. stress. We should be asking studentsto notice and underline useful ones. ?€5t..ould be i srudents. this is the ocations. Making sense of text involves not only understanding new words. :. !i atl0n rk. intonation. We should be asking students to predict collocations which are in the text by identifying and gapping them. their attention has to be drawn to that wealth and densityof collocation. ilLtr alu. There are immediate classroomimplications for how we deal with texts. $irJe he i. For studentsto get the most out of such texts. for days afterwards This meansover twenty useful collocations . . it is intimately bound up with the ability to identify collocations. EFL coursebook texts In some ways.including some relatively long ones containing important grammatical features as part of the lexical item in a text of only 200 words. ..texts of the type teachersare used to dealing with every day in class. the most interesting texts to consider are those chosen for inclusion in popular EFL coursebooks.Revising priorities . We L. . In a structuralist approach teachers did not comment on every grammaticalpoint in a text.. We have to see it as being as central to language .r.friend have the samesenseof humour completelyobse sed with s grow up suddenly grow away from (your family) an endlessstream of(people) in front of (my) friends l patterns: ird...

helping students composetheir own text. love. and we do not want to replace teaching obscure words with teaching obscure collocations. we must be aware that some words ale used in a very restricted number of collocations. 1 1 Theseexa clearly sh difference 2. Today it is central to much medical research. This idea that knowing the meaning of a word is uselessunlessyou also know something of how the word is used is relatively new in ELT. There are many pairs or groups of words such as date/appointment/meeting broad/wide where the or differencebetweenthe words is onlv clear from a knowledse of their different collocationalfields. Tns wh autl 1.Rather than wait for studentsto meet common collocations for themselves. take the initiative. 8.But you might want to choosewhich classyou 'strongest'collocations of teach beggar belief to . teach: go on the carferry a roll-on roll-off ferry take theferry from (Liverpool) to (Belfost). Here are some examples'. Collocation is not an added bonus which we pay attention to once students have become sufficiently advanced. need to presentthem in contextjust as we would present we have a bath. Makinl As mentic number ol limited cl: methodolc lesson. q 10. only add vocabulan individual collocation What teacl languagelr think big-e expresslon underline i Taking a cc can will be with a com .without giving a few common collocates. when students are leaming less common vocabulary. 1. teach some of its most common collocations at the sametime. At a higher level. designed to help studentsunderstandthe meaning of words they were not sure of.Collocation should play an important part in our teaching from lesson one. It 'know'or is definitely worth emphasising students to that they do not really 'own' a word unlessthey also know how that word is used.A good rule.impetuous behaviour. have a belief. It is probably asking too much of any one dictionary that it does both. fall in individual words. acquisitionasthoseotheraspects language of 50 years ago nobody in the medical world had heard of DNA. Strong collocations tend to be rare.The same is true of lexis in general and collocation in particular.gir.particularly a noun . Until very recently. makefriends.even if it is one of the belief. They were to not seenas encodingor 'productive'.60 Revisingpriorities which we havelong recognised. When teaching a new word. dictionaries were seen only as decoding devices. which means knowing something about its collocational field. If the word is belief teach'. If the word is ferryt. however. There is no point in knowing the meaning of the words impetuowsor initiative unless you also know the collocations'. belief in God / the power of medicine/ yourself.we need to teachcollocations. Teaching individual collocations In the same way that we teach individual words * vocabulary .is never to teach a new word .strong beliefs.

as methodologists tell us. .say. Making students aware of collocation As mentioned above.always to look for the two. 2. On the simplestlevel. they've alreadyappointedsomebody. tell fit best into the gaps in these authentic examples? 1. .. . .and they are only a small selection of these three verbs clearly show that it is not possible to give a simple explanation of the difference of meaning with words of this kind. It may be that actions will .. You'd better do exactly what the doctor . . 6. I can't . What teachersmust do is make studentsaware of collocation as a vital key to languageleaming. we should teach no more than 10 new words per lesson.Noticing is an important stage in learning. )ut giving alsoknow -Intil very :d to help lhey were their own es both. It "know'or Lchmeans I parrs or where the r different .or three-word expression. Asking students to underline all verb + noun collocations in a text will be a typical exercise. Don't wolry. Shall we . you the truth.. As I . . . The same is true for idioms. for the rest of the staff. If. . 10. . As with a common verb like speak we cannot say that studentsreally know the God / the classyou .given that half might be learned. louder than words. 7. . e need to llocations ld present ds.ations of lo replace rood rule. I was half expecting it. oday jt is rneral and h we pay rllocation Tnsr Which of the verbs speak. . With limited class time teacherscan only teach some of the most common.Revisingpriorities 6l cognised. .. though. whether an agreementcan be reached. . to Mr Harrison.please? 11. . This strongly suggests vocabulary learning techniques are more important than the teaching of individual words.fall in rulary. Can L . . two o'clock? 12. we saw above. . me is confidential. These figures don't . 9. the agreementgoes much further than any previousone. To . Taking a common word and asking studentsto find asmany collocatesas they can will be another typical activity in awareness-raising. 8. It's too soon to .meaboutit! These examples. . . 2. . us what will happennext month. UN sources. Everything you . fixed expressions and collocations. . 5. . a normal school year of lessonswill only add 500 words to a student's vocabulary.we umber of he words mpetuous catrons at 4. teacherscould encouragestudentsto think bigger than the word . the most significant feature of collocation is the sheer number of individual collocations needed for a mature adult lexicon. 3.

A different studentwith 2. adiective+ noun.10cr Justas imp to teach.000 words. A studentwith a vocabulary of 2. As we saw in the task above' however. but collocationally competent with thosewords. in particular the take.If cc your pastti of all kind: and let thel rare and collocation involves ut lmportant collocation 1. By common key word: collocations with do. will also be far more communicatively competent. revised ar listing ner that this countries r UK-produ 3. travel. work etc' We do not that we sl instantly. do. the more common words. Weak col Many things can make ct coloursin Et is not as sim .exploring the collocational field is far more helpful than any explanation of the differences. adverb + adjective 2. make. Storing collocations An organisedlexical notebook is essentialfor all students. The simplest looseleaf binder with blank pagescan be turned into an organisedlexicon very easily. writing it down. Prel although thi We often hi even moved that any knc would be s collocates.62 Revising priorities word unless they know at least the following possibilities: speakaforeign language speak(French) speakfluently speakwith a (welsh) accent speakclearly speakyour mind sPeakvolumes speakopenly speakin public Sgch a verb would have receivedscant attentionin the past and such attention 'explaining'the difference as it did receive would be likely to concentrateon betweenspeak.000 words and six collocations with For each. put. Extending what students already know Extend students'collocational competencewith words they already know as well as teaching new words. Grammatically:sectionssuch as noun + noun. the words with least content are closest to traditional grammaf. Unique i It is useful are probabl commentat collocation coffee. Stmt 2. and looking at iL againalong with other similar items is all part of the constant revisiting of language which is part of the learning process. supposed 3. up. Students' lexical notebooks do not need to be glossy professionally-producedproducts. The messagefor ELI is that more class time needsto be spent with some of 'de-lexicalised'verbs' qet. example: for make: makea mistake/ a meal / trowble/ a complaint/ friends / space the end / come to an end / to the bitter end / at a end: at the end of / in loose end / at the end of the daY at: at once/ at first / at work / at school/ at college/ not at all As the last example shows. By topic: collocations to talk about holidays. speak eic' 3.000expressions. get.Deciding where to put an item.000 words will only be able to function in a fairly limited way. Strong c A large nu strong.Studentswho know 2.A class. make etc.We need to manage students'notebooksin the sameway we manageother areasof their learning' It is easy to imagine a collocation section arrangedin the following ways: 1.know 12. 4. 3. Many native speakersfunction perfectly well using a limited vocabulary with which they are collocationally competent. The discriminating exploration of word-grammar is more likely to help learners than either the more exotic parts of traditional grammaror teaching'difficuit' words. verb + artdtell.

In resource-poor countriesmost students often have access a simple notebookwhen glossy to UK-producedcoursebooks financially beyondthem. Choosing which collocations teachand which onesto ignore. We often have ulterior motivesor harbowr grwdgeswhile being redwced or evenmovedto tears. but it is clear ihat any knowledge of the words trenchant. grwdge. are strong or very strong. 3t C .t.thersimilar part of the r be glossy ' . one of the advantages this is of that this makes learning less 'materials-dependent'.. although not unique.000 3 rar more :t:tiy well :n someof .rili .but no other part of our anatomy.rth 2.ce i. 1. Unique collocations It is useful to think of collocations on a cline or spectrum from those which are probably uniquefixed/strong to those which are flexible/weak.10 Choosing which collocations to teach . it They areeverywhere. As we shall see. Such strong collocationsare not unique. Several commentatorshave pointed out the uniquenessof foot used as a verb in the collocation/ootthe bill.Do not.If collocationis an idea you may not have been very consciousof in your pastteaching. or simply listing new items without organising them. know as r. l'. closestto :IAITIMAT 13 'raditional r-q rvhereto . they can apply the coiours in English in a similar way to their own language.1! o Justasimportantas choosingwhich collocations teachis decidingwhat not to to teach. Weak collocations \{any things can be long or short. Storing lexis in an organisedway in a notebook so that it can be revised and retrieved quickly must be better than not storing it. with rii. Texts of all kinds are packed with them. We cannotimaginefooting the invoice. Set. Ing ways: t10L{n.. . 2. cheap or expensive. Students can make combinations such as blue shirt.confuse rare and obscure collocations with important ones.In fact.ithblank J to manage eir learning. or tears u'ould be seriously incomplete without some knowledge of these strong collocates. but for most teaching purposeswe pretend that it is. Strong collocations A large number of collocations.Similarly.or footing the coffee.pWt. speaketc.given limited classroom to time. 3. the picture is not as simple as that. involves understanding collocational strength.fierence :rploring rn of the We do not know how we store languagein our mental lexicons. motive. Draw students'attention to irnportant ones and let them find and record others for themselves. We do know that we store it in patterns of different kinds which allow us to retrieve it instantly. the most important for the classroom are what we may call medium-strength collocations.we may talk of trenchant criticism or rancid butter although tlris does not mean that other things cannot be trenchant or rancid.. however. good or bad. Predictably. red car elc.:iccent r!tentlon 1. are 3.Revisingpriorities 63 : .r.ordswill '. is very easyto go overboard.ons for l1. .Avoid the temptation to teach every collocation which comes up in class. we shrug our shoulders. rancid.

he had a big operation. Ir which -ei also have In classir are also a learnin-etr listenin-e on radio i interact n internet. a big . a government.there is something'more predictable'.11 I Althou_u into therr and collc langua-re Theories linked. Each individual word may be known to students. a joumey.l This. a blue film. They are more likely to build the idea phraseby phrase:My father . Suitabilil rmportant p natlve-spea Such items i context. Revien It is clear syllabus" i sentence -q on gramm emphasis r vocabularr than teache The sheeri the learnin greater) me teachagree a.but in the middle .Ed. Similarly. Most intermediatestudentswill know the words hold andconversation. while stressingto them the need to acquire more new words on their own through independentreading. Frequel rmpofiant. A nomadic tribe is a sftong collocation becausenomadic collocateswith a very limited number of nouns. but may also be a componentof many fixed or semi-fixed expressions. students need to be made aware of their more predictable collocations. and are recognised and stored as single items. white wine.flat is a weak collocation and of little interest to teachers. but more of an effort for both speaker and listener. i may be hi_e highly freqr b. He'll do it in his own good time. If misundersto intend.but He's recoveringfrom a major operation is a complex medium-strength collocation. we need to recognisethat easy words have many uses. [Remember the key point about lexical items is precisely that they representsingle choices of meaning. then. But notice what happenswith some slightly larger multi -word expressions containinggood : It'll takeyou a good hour Oh. 4. but have not stored make a mistake in their mental lexicons as a single item.a meal.and so more collocational. It is this area of medium-strength collocations which is of prime importance in expanding leamers' mental lexicons. he's a good age. 3. most teacherswould agree that the adjective good is not very interesting from a teaching point of view. It can be applied to anything . about these examples:a white shirt.they are part of many weak collocations. Full marks for communicating meaning. I have come to the view that the main thrust of classroomvocabulary teaching at intermediate level and above should be to increasestudents'collocationalcompetence with their basic vocabulary.6-+ Reisirtgpriorities However. c. red hair a black mood.L elementin l.but they probably do not know the whole collocation. Medium-strength collocations The main leaming load for all languageusersis not at the sffong or weak ends of the collocational spectrum. They may know a lot of words.those many thousandsof collocations which make up a large parl of what we say and write. Level: the . red wine. but their collocational competence with those words is very limited. explains why learnerswith even 'good vocabularies'still have problems.but may not know that you can hold a conversation They know the words make and mistake.he's getting better.

a r slightly 3. Theories of language and theories of language learning are inextricably linked. many leamers interact with the language. seemsthat what we now know about the nature of lexis. This is a subjective. pronunciation and context.recognising and adopting collocation as a major element in our teaching has severalimportant implicaiions: l. Most r may not . newspaper.' mental In class we may adhereloosely to a present-practise-produce model.t"y do not intend.on the intemet.000 (and probably greater) means that the sylrabus must be reviewed. We are readier to accept that the best leaming probably happensoutside the crassroomwhen studenis are reading. heir own :s with a I of little complex nown to are more ztter. listening. Such items often depend on subtle features of intonation.but not in another.mke and ons as a sely that stored as .000 items but nearer 400. and criteria for what to teachagreed. in classrooms. The sheer size of the learning road makes change inevitable. gtammar still tends to rule. and collocation in particular. c.Increasingly.Revising priorities 65 cational. Accepting that the learning load is not 40. frequency arone should not be the over-riding parameter. Review the language content of courses It is clear that lexis should be one of the central organising principres of our syllabus.The dividing line is muchless clear_cut than teachersand textbooks often which gives at least equal importance to the lexicon as to the grammar.he ore of an strength . Although very important. unfortunately.'they risk being misunderstood. Another item may be highly frequent in native-speaker English but may be unsuitablefbr learners. on radio or TV or with a native speaker. Accuracy must be rreated as a late-acquired skill. a black not very hing . watching and interacting with the languagein a book. we also have a more horistic view of how secondlanguagesare learned. of many :mi-frxed edictable 'eak ends rsands of ite. If learners have not mastered these features. and sentence grammar atthat! Greateremphasison lexis must mean less emphasis on grammar.11 Pedagogicalimplications Although I meet many teacherswho are trying to incorporate lexical ideas into their teaching. In this environment. too. giving offence or at least giving an impression. Experienced teachers are aware that some common native-speakeritems will sound silly or inappropriate if used by learners. but important parameter. Greater emphasis on 'larger chunks' of ranguage also means that grammar and vocabulary merge into one another. In ELT we now have a more comprehensivemodel of language.till have npetence dn thrust hould be cabulary.with both native und non-native speakers.An item may be highly frequent in one genre. raisesimportant issuesfor everyone involved in languageteaching. but we are also acutely aware of its limitations. basedon four parameters: a' Frequency of occurrence in spoken and written text. Level: the lexical learning needs of elementary students are very different . suitability for foreign and secondranguageuse.

2.the r shouldbe t 3. a library of graded readers. providing the talk is controlled to provide good quality.The quantity. Transl There ar discarded English a A colloca unique sk 5. 3. Languagepractice. Intermediate studentsneed more new words with more collocateswhile also increasingtheir collocational competencewith words they already know. the classroom.12 Su It is accept changeour many of ou . This might even .there is no point in learners knowing the word holiday unless they also know that you go on holiday.while for general English it may be possible to predict a certain number of basic collocationsfor someof the commonest words of the lansuase.One of the major failings of the communicative approachwas that one leamer's deficient output became another'sdeficient intake. While recognisingthe need for expert direction and monitoring by the teacher. Different kinds of item and different learning strategiesare appropriateat different stages" d.they focus very much on student output. the teacher should be first and foremost a languageprovider and the expert who helps studentsnotice useful and interesting language. and materials a1l need to be changed. but they will probably be intermediate before they learn a package/ beach/adventureholiday.In short. These are best learned along with a small number of collocates. student performance. At leve imposs studen new w( inefficii colloca advanc but hou a co) a bu: We also ways revision advance systema At prese difficult colrespo work in compete 4. For example. Nobody would deny the importanceof output. Increase language input If languagesare to an extent learned lexically. The main implication is that learners need a great deal more input than they received in most traditional languagecourses. The classroomshouldbe a language-rich environmentwith interestingEnglish on the walls. type.horror of horrors . This means maximising the amount of appropriate quality input available to the learners. the sheer size of the mental lexicon has implications for vocabulary teachingstrategies all levels.mean increased teacher talking time. and quality of input need to be reviewed. The role of the teacher.the emphasis shouldbe on activitiesand strategies which aid acquisition. Modem task-based approaches in danger of are falling into the sameffap.and internet-access possible. this should be reflected in our methodology.66 Revisingpriorities from those of the advanced student. Langui This rais< throughou students r collocatio collocatior othersare everycollc secondary.while important.At elementary level the priority is to increase at the number of individual words learners know. Type of course:it is clearthat items typical in business English or any form of ESP may have little or no place in a generalEnglish course. Review strategies at different levels Again. appropriate input. but the main thrust of language teaching must be to create opportunities for students to acquire more and more language. Instead of being a language practice facilitator.Publishedmaterials should if contain more natural languagewith more activities focussedon the language and on individual learning.

Revisingpriorities 67 i different r SnVforrn o. lailings of lut became danger of rectronand rut. 4.The main thrust of vocabulary work in most classes should be to make students more collocationally competentwith the words with which they are already partly familiar. Advanced students will always be adding to their store of collocates evenof words they learnedaselementary students. language tllitigt . Language model r ocabulary tro lncrease med along in learners .ways which reveal patterns and which are easily accessible for correspondingly of limited use to the learner. . and rp :! nronti^o yr 4L trLU At levels above intermediate. or at least very inefficient. package/ .i'ords with tence with every collocation mistake than they should correct every grammar mistake.ti holiday. Translation olider and ua_se.This means it is time for a re-evaluationof many of our accepted ideasaboutlearningand teaching. 3.Iessgrammar. student rf language rnore and ate quality .all For advancedstudentsare familiar with the words book. rearn. more lexis It is accepted that recentdevelopments corpuslinguisticshaveforced us in to change our view of language.corpus hnguisticsis . example. This krn_etime.i hile for r of basic :ted in our deal more : quantity. By this stage studentsshould be autonomousleamers and have understood that learning a new word without some of its collocatesis a waste of time.As usual.studentsneed to read widely and it is virtually impossible to predict what items a student ' ihouldbe a r Libraryof iatrs should . the communication of meaning and the learner's current intergrammar shouldbe the decisivefactors.ta 5. farnity.12 Summary . holiday andright but how many would be familiar with the following collocations: a coffee-table book the nuclearfamily a bwsman's holiday a blinding light we also need to develop techniquesto help studentsto record lexis in helpful waIS. nate input.

time is limited. regularlyrevisited. and collocational competencein particular.Progress English and are in for all post-elementaryleamers dependson sufficient lexical input.The acquisitionof individual items depends on students'using not them 20 times in one lesson. and all held togetherwith fairly simple structureswhich we call grammar. It is lexis in general. we would acquire the language. The fact is. many current coursebooks ministry syllabuses masteringthe lexicon. Competencedependson being able to decodeand take part in discourse.We now know that this idea is so at odds with the way both first. Within the lexicon. language courses are finite .l the tex How n single really r How r.the content of what we teach. and trying to set up situationsfor studentsto use them. To be efficient. Similarly. in different conlexls. different at times. Helping learnersto become 'advanced'needs huge a injection of lexis. What kinds of texts do you think will be of most use to your learners? Are there kinds of texts which you think will not be particularly useful? How doesyour choice comparewith . restricted to a small rangeof traditionalEFL 'structures'. understand more quickly. advanc learner Do you from de Discussion Questions Different texts contain different kinds of collocations.The largest learning load and the one which is never complete .68 Revisingpriorities going to change the content of what we teach a rule-govemed systemand if we couldjust leam the rules. The answermust be to spendless time on formal grammar work. there is little point in spendinga lot of class time presentingindividual items of vocabulary. Languageis proven to be a mixture of the totally novel. collocation is one of the biggest definable areasto which all learnersneed to be introduced from lesson one. perhaps10 times.even for native speakers . the relatively fixed. of which collocationis the singlemost importantelement. which allows students to read more widely. and subsequent. second A fact is that most students are intermediate.but on meeting them. we must stop teaching somethingelse to make room. Insistenceon accuracyinhibits production and makes studentsconcentrateon language at or below sentencelevel. By taking a finite list of grammatical structuresas their basis. the absolutelyfixed. These ideas on collocation are only the first rumblings. and speakmore fluently. [Parts of this article ffust appeared in Issue 11 of English Teaching Professional.whether spokenor written. In ELT we have grown accustomedto the idea that language.practising them. If we are to start teachingcollocation. languagesare learnedthat there is no point in hanging on to it as any kind of model for leaming. learning must reflect the nature of what it is we are leaming. Spending a lot of class time on traditional EFL grammar condemns learners to remaining on the intermediate plateau.

lish Teaching the texts you find in coursebooks? How many items do you think you should presentin a singre lesson. of texts which e comparewith . oncentrateon being able to rnilarly. there dual items of tudentsto use ts'using them s. as Jimmie Hill suggests. The largest rtive speakers of the biggest t lessonone. in different i. restricted to A secondfact :lass time on ining on the 'needs a huge :ompetencein ierstand more .Revisingpriorities 69 )se ideas on :recontent of arn the rules.learning proven to be fixed.many curTent ressin English nput.a matter of the size of the learner's mental lexicon? Do you agree that over-emphasisinggrammar can actively prevent learners from developing beyond the intermediateplateau? nds of texts do . and all r.e are to start l make room. at odds with re is no point ient. k.or on a single day of teaching? How many of those do you expect your learners to really master so that they can use them themselves? How would you explain the difference between an intermediate and an advancedleamer? Is it. of which .

Term length ranges from 8-16 weeks. but many of her experiences and conclusions parallel those of George Woolard and Morgan Lewis described earlier. how this came about. students'abilityto use English for academicand professional most often in preparationfor academicwork in American collegesand universities.or they may be taught as single-skill courses. and they complete severalhours of homework outside of classeachday.the latter becausethe Test of English as a Foreign Languageis the proficiency test most often required by American universities for admission degree programs. my discovery and understandingof collocation actually resultedfrom my own Before I describe frustrationwith vocabularystudy in the classroom. despite careful.70 Integratingcollocation Chapter4 Integrating collocationinto a readingand writing course Jane Conzett Jane Conzett works on a typical Intensive English Program in the United States. Jane writes from the perspective of an American Intensive English Program. T US in the 1 the notion inferring fi with severa acquisition .2 Tr 4. their r produc classe serend heard c of colk Learnit. contextualized study of vocabulary in my reading and writing classes. computer skills. The approachto curriculum is frequently content-based. class size averagesabout 12. or listening/speaking.Students in classan average 18 to 25 to are of hours per week. a brief outline of a typical American IEP may be helpful for readers familiar with suchprograms. Non-American readers need to be aware that language teaching in the US may vary from what is usual in the British and European tradition. Like Morgan Lewis. and guided her towards teaching strategies that she finds more effective. not The goal of most IEPs is to improve purposes. She emphasisesthe importance of both context and collocation in presenting new words. or TOEFL preparation. and core coursesmay be integrated so that students enroll in combined skills courses such as reading/writing. stumbii vocabu haveres Asmyr approac In the cr describe to imple 4. studentsoften used my Asdom as an 1r thematic 'society vanety ol the En-el encounte nonrnatt\ vocabula point in o at a tfeme native spe and others vocabular estimates i this same speakervc thosewhot How can tr up the hill thinking.1 Background As an instructor in an Intensive English Program (IEP) in the United States. she found that some theoretical reading helped her understand the problem better. She describes how her reading and writing classeshave changed as a result of her dissatisfaction with the way she was reacting to errors in her students' written assignments. Many programs offer electives such as pronunciation. My frustration as a teachercame about when.

work and careers. guessing and inferring from rich context.000 words.000to 100. Since that time.m o s t rlir ersities.11:e\tualized Ltsotien used .and sharesomepracticalways to implementpracticeand training in collocationswithin existing cunicula.r skilis.a word I had previouslynever heard of. often grouped thematicallyaround a particular content area such as .that this was preciselywhere I and my studentswere stumbling. testingand trying methodsthat haveresultedin more accurate language productionby my students..000words _ for a this sameaverage student.This approach mimics the typical interactionwith the English language that future graduate or undergraduatestudents will encounterat the university. my overall of approach teachinghas changed somesubtle.r . Students read articles or texts.even to thosewhoselanguageis quite 'advanced'.can certainly seetheir point. t t l l . and then respond to the readings in writing. Teachingand Leaming vocabulary. a typical one in the united States. we aredefiningvocabularyasjust individual words. f _rm nlv own :e horv this : reiptul for s io lmprove r t s e s . As my knowledge and understanding collocationhas grown. the inaccuracy of some of the 'guesses'. popular in the uS in the 1970sand 1980s. I have changed my approach to teaching vocabularyin my readingand writing classes.downplayedexplicit vocabularyinstruction. or L: a Foreign -. naturalresponse for students bemoantheir lack of a is to vocabulary. crow estimates much greaterpassivevocabulary 60.Integrating collocation 7l u'riting nited States.or 'society and aging'. to in In the context of our IEP. The communicative approach to languageteaching. T h e : r r e sm a y b e 'ri such as : srngle-skill . is a result of er students' : theoretical her towards r mlportance the US may r v rites from manr. In fact.2 The need to build vocabulary As do many American IEPs today.but eventhe most conservative estimateof nativespeaker vocabularyis enoughto be discouraging every ESL student.n1\'ers1t1es : eo f 1 8 t o 2 5 L outside of r. using a variety of discourse types.of her lnd \Iorgan their new vocabulary incorrectly when they moved from receptive to productivelanguage.L2leamers are at a tremendousdisadvantage when one comparestheir vocabulary to that of nativespeakers.but importantways as well. The proverbial light bulb went on. How can teachers help their students feel lesslike sisyphuspushinghis stone up the hill as they study vocabulary? current approachesreflect a shift in thinking.with the notion that students could learn vocabulary implicitly. our program teachesreading and writing as an integrated course.I would like to describe how this gradualchangecameabout.and we teachers most of us secondlanguagelearnersat some point in our own lives . . 4. Sokmen has describedhow this approachmet with several problems relating the slowness rhe merhod to of and the raleof acquisition. I headed to the library for some help and stumbled almost serendipitously upon the notion of collocation. I struggledto remedy what wasn't working in my As classes. its disregard for lr t:d States. I recognized from a description of collocations that was included as part of Nation's book.When thesereading and writing tasks are given to non-nativespeakers..Nation If and othersestimate sizeof a native-speaker the undergraduate student's active vocabulary (words used in speech and writing) at 20.

explicit study of vocabulary is vital to gaining language proficiency.while not advocating total abandonmentof inferring from context. All of thesechoiceshave their advantages. others study vocabulary in context in teacher-createdlists based on the readingsthe students in class. do With limited time one can see the efficiency of studying high-frequency vocabulary. In-contextstudy of vocabularyencountered in reading has the well-known advantagesof point-of-need relevance to the student. something often went disappointinglywrong. Bec Wei AFe 4. The powerful. etc. some choosebooks basedon roots and affixes.back to the middle: implicit and explicit learning. perhapsbecauseit has the initial appearance being somethingreassuringly of concretein the complex world of secondlanguageacquisition. with the added benefit of helping students who strugglewith English spelling patterns. snake. ar and the othe . laudably. booksbasedon roots and affixescan help students makeeducated guessesat the meaningsof new words. verb + I adverb Smadja po explained students ari can see tha adjective+t that informr snake. Interestingly.evenif the students scoredwell on passiveskills exams. supporlsthe notion that some systematic. The vocabularybooks I have used have been for the most part well-written.4 Th The reaso of colloca they conta definition but don'r might be simple del Elsewhere perspectt\ Even with may be of verb + adjectii.As Sokmenconcludes: The pendulum has swung from direct teaching of vocabulary (the grammar-translationmethod) to incidental (the communicative approach)and now.3 Explicit vocabulary study Recognizing the imporlance of explicit vocabulary study. fill-in-the-blank. motivated students. with ample opportunities for studentsto practice the vocabulary through incontext cloze exercises.and natural. I felt destined for success.real-life examplesof usage. but how to go reassuringto studentsto know that medicine and medical have the sameroot spelling of medic. our IEP has in recent years made it an explicit part of the reading and writing curriculum.the students have always been enthusiastic about explicit vocabulary study. Recent research. and especially.matching. dependingon the teachers'preferences and the students'proficiency levels. even though one would not be able to guessthis from the way the words arepronounced. nor. when they tried to actually use the new vocabulary. With good books. Here are some sentences that were produced by studentsin our IEP after they had received explicit vocabulary instruction for the underlined words: My usu partiai c the wori on their toxic nte bwt we ct and dis commun langua-u certainhaccurac\ successf 4.It can. for example. The meansof achievingthis vary.and plenty of practice. The question today is no longer whether or not to teach vocabulary explicitly. Instead. which is a valuable reading skill in its own right.the lack of retention of the new vocabulary.72 Integratingcollocatton individual abilities and learning styles. Some teacherschoose vocabulary builder books basedon word-lists.

and certainlya goal of the college-bound students themselves. but we don't usually use it that way.-itlru Be careful. and in that regard was successfulin language production. That snake is toxic. hear oUorl adverb + adjective + noun highly irregular situation Smadja points out that why these words occur together cannot easily be explained on semantic grounds. when a student asked.ish ins1r'.what is collocation? you might get a different definition from everylinguist you askedbecause terminologyis not yet fixed. weil.nor.but one does go collocate .all of that informationneitherhelps the studentto produce the expected poisonows snake.word choice. or how it might be preciserydefined.andmay learn that 'the meaning'of toxic is poisonous. Similarry.Integrating collocation 73 tion of l from notron 1_quage 'lt rli. which left both of us feering fiustrated and dissatisfied. en went lier they . Elsewherein this book different kinds of collocations.t toxic meanpoisonous?I wourd give a response along the lines of. I should point out that the student obviously had communicatedthe intendedmeaning. one meaning of potent is powerful. discussed more detail. on the Lxtages.cLllum.4 The missing link: collocation The reasonthat 'we don't usuaily use it that way. However. and u -or" theoretical perspective. to avoid the non-standard/unacce ptabretoxic snake. r'. The three student-produced sentences incorrect because are they containcollocationerrors. the ! JLUUIT suringly destined i eKams. Sometimes wrote . Wewill sever this class becauseit is too larpe. one of the objectives of the course. and in this regard we were not always successful. was to increase the accuracy of their production. has in . yes. and the sentencesproduced by our IEp studentsare good examplesof the probrem.luency :ucated helping -rrle. The same is true for the potent Ferrari. I on their paper. and both are adjectives. equaily is easyto seeimmediately that collocations may be ol several differenttypes: verb + object disputefindings adjective + noun wnuccompanied mino. A Ferrari is a verTW[e]xt:car My usual response production elrors of this type was to to give the student partial or half credit because they had obviously understoodlhemeaningof the words despitethe awkward sentences. verb + preposition engagein.But croesn. severecr c/ass is another coilocation enor. '.be ne root rom the teredin : ro the .with Ferrari and the other does not. . but don't at this stagewo''y too much about what collocation is. Retuming to the toxic snake we can see that although the student may learn the grammatical collocation of adjective+noun.s and builder utlixes.r rrtfAn 4.indicating the error type. I have found it easier to work with this very simple definition: Two or more words that tend to occur together(collocate).is explainedwith the idea of collocation. are in Even with my simpledefinition.

Ed] teachin-e collocati their mer 4.These students simply learned the wrong meaning. and weakercollocationsto the left. the burden of theL2leamer suddenly seemseven greater. friendly dog oM car strongcffie weaker heavysmoker sibling ivalry stronge Starsand Stripes mitigatingcircumstances throw inthe towel leam al sibling the 20. nor would fixed expressions idioms llke throw in the towel. We should also discourage students from going overboard.btrtto In somer Insteadol why don somethin the studer it and pr< make stu< ways clas of their la 1. for amorous and suggestive. when the collocatescan vary a great deal. and correspondingly probably not appropriate for most learners (reducedto penury).6 Mt 4. or collocate. using the wrong word with the wrong meaning. or strong ones which are very unusual. or the wrong context. but they also know much more about how thesecombine.In 'obvious' answerswhich fact. Adapt t Currentl1.. This means they must be discouragedfrom recording very weak items (nice house.the presenceof one word means you strongly expect the other word to be there too .It may have seemeddifficult enough for our studentsto learn the word sibling. I hope I will be vetj amorowswith them.74 Integrating collocation For the native speaker. the teacher has the responsibility to direct leamers' attention to the most useful collocations. I treat as collocations those items that appearin the middle of this continuum.or weak. This is wise. This is demonstrated the way most native speakerswould automatically add exactly the samewords to complete thesephrases: sibling . Teach r Collocaiic limited pr concept. When one realizes that native speakersnot only know an enormous number of individual words. When I have children. Some are substitutionor contextual errors. those which hold high priority in the context of the curriculum. On such a continuum. J English ia Once expl when appr 2.( speake leamers evidenc colloca and po incorpo matenal collocat rmportar After thr come to quesfion in part d are availi 'problern 'treatsas'collocations. units made of freelycombining words llke friendly dog or old car would not be treated as and collocations. I have found it helpful to conceptualize collocations on a continuum like the one below.5 The need for guidance from the teacher For the study of collocations to be successful. Collocations may be strong . . Not all vocabulary effors are collocation errors. and Owr trainers are vety helpful and suggestlve. Some examples of vocabulary effors of this type produced by our students are. with stronsercollocationsto the risht. mitigating You almostcertainlyselected sibling rivalry andmitigating circumstances. and recording every collocation they meet.rather than theoretical decision. teachersneed to make a pedagogical. knowledge of acceptable and unacceptable by collocations is largely instinctive. tt is quite difficult to think of alternativesto the are plausible and likely. ratherthan getting [Janetalks of what she involved in long discussionsof what exactly is and is not a collocation.good vacation).

Instead of feeling frustrated and a bit ineffectual when a studentasks me.6 Nlake students aware of collocation In someways. i rovel ---> S:. rrr. After the intrial Aha!feeling one has when realizing how much collocations come to bear upon language. it is a relief to bring collocationsout of the closet.Ilr 3rs which . you can save a great deal of class time by using the term when appropriate. 4. Edl learn also that native speakerstrsesibling rivalryt and do not generally use sibling competitiottmakesthe task even more daunting.Today.Swan reminds us that vocabulary .tpes rtrngettlng rllocation. if not more. some teaching suggestionsfollow that can help students understand the idea of collocationand enablethem to use collocations their advantage buildins to in their mental lexiconsin a systematic way. and points out the pedagogic necessity of deliberately selecting. and recycling high-priority vocabulary into classroom materials and activities.collocation' Collocationsexist in the students'L1. 'ater. it really is not difficult for them to understand the concept. despite contextualizedpresentationof new vocabulary. Bzl why don't Americans say 'mitigating situations'? I can answer with i 1-rasthe . l. in part due to technological advances. incorporating. few textbooks for ESL students address collocations .iLocations. \\-e should rng every I recording t:l are very :i learners )i1tUtlon OI Ling. . t]ltlnuum. Once explained.the classroom teacher has to consider the questionofjust how to go about the explicit teachingof collocation. to collocations which students lesslikely to notice unlessguidedtowardsthe are importanceof collocationby their teachers. combinedwith the 'word choice. It is helpful to remind them that.Integrating c ollocation t3 )Jeptable '. 2. Adapt books to include collocations currently.It may l:1lng. Teach students the word .so to speak.3)' most complete 'iltces. but to ways classroom teachers assisttheir students taking control of this part can in of theirlanguage learning. This point applies just as much. and some that do not. he left. Some Lidents afe. so.000-word vocabulary forms onry the rudimentary base of the native speaker's mentallexicon..the English language has some words that go together. strongly I can vary ons on a ri freelrr- i-ated as :irc towel.This. and Our learned the lus number ).t. just like their native language.errorsthe L2 leamers make. more researchand resourcesthan ever are available help the classroom to teacherspecificallyaddress collocation the 'problem'.will not take care of itself .we suddenly realize the 20. explicit instruction in collocations. collocation has often been a source of student e[or. except for studentsof extremely limited evidence that ESL students need additional.combine.

it's also possibleto check someof the corpus-based references mentionedbelow. Context and Collocation.For example. facetious (adj) (flippant . Teachers should feel confident in supplying frequent collocations from their own knowledge of the English lexicon. authority. you c Ifyou sar day!) 4. use -. a book for native speakersand leamers which we have at times used in our advancedreading and writing class. I have found it useful to presentto the students'the two C's' of context and collocaflon. heor Collocatio simple qu subsequen to the collo subsequen questlonroutine for rtemsto the 5. [used for taking US did not always help them avoid pitfalls with new vocabulary becauseindividual words and multi-word items can operate within a restricted context as well as with particularcollocates. to provid much safr No.the following is a sampleof somecontext and collocation information I gave to some students using Goodman's Advancing VocabularrySkills... handle sth with -. r preposlt phrases pleasur Where < example obtained Collocatt based di modified addition.whenever we work specifically on vocabulary.I write the two headings. I model how to record the context and collocation of each word. and write the relevantnotations under eachheadins as we work down the list.When I first stafiedpresentingnew words with only the collocations. pomt out exi . exactness) John deals with the accountsand he's absolutelyscrupulous. judgment) Collocations at your/someone'sdiscretion verbs: exercise. During one of the first class meetings. Selectvc By domain looselythe s domain miE might incluc Though prot a good basis observing th understandtl domain sucl whimpe4 ho. but if desired.often negative) noun: . Word discretion (n) Special context? (caution/privacy. 3. Tip at your discretion. and also comes ready-made with two columns thal are ideally suited to record context and collocation in their respectiveplaces.attention fairness. Students can make notationsabout frequentcollocationsnext to the word lists. following the initial word entry and definition. leaveto sb's show adj: complete/total/utmost- some\\becaus words. on the blackboard. Context and collocation notebooks Within the specific area of vocabulary building. What works especiallywell for this purposeis a stenographer's notebook. and this can be accomplished fairly easily. scrupulous (adj) (relatingto honesty. Thejob applicantswere hired at the discretionof the hiring committee. For When first things ctre limbs. He handledthe private matter with completediscretion.Addar Thereare no servicechargesaddedto the bill.] It's a portable size for recording vocabulary. noun: . Ed. have students adapt them.76 Integratingcollocatnn Modifying and adaptingexisting books is a good solution. and then for the remainder of the course.If using vocabulary-builder booksbasedon wordlists or roots and affixes.remark I wish Bill wowldstop makingfacetiowsremarks.

(A word of advice: it is much saferfor a teacherto tell students:I rJon't think I.a mixture) collocations can be elicited from the studentsor provided by the teacher.loathe. there is every chancea studentwill hear or read it the next day!) 4.what kinds of things are . students come to understandthat the English lexicon is not an open system.All it tat<es to durins subsequent encounterswith the vocabulary item is a quick repeat of thl question . First. For other words. by observing the lexical variety related to a single concept. and. . teacherscan ask. recording rre ideally following I neetings. .basedon a 'parent'domain. cherish. economic ties.sometimes slightly modified (rather than the definitions) can be ideal for this ever heard. ? rt can become an easy. Though probably not intendedto. bellow. haveno notationin either column. shed tears. In addition. or it may be severalcommon phrases frequently associatedwith that particular word. (a vicarious thrill. rd then for cabulary.that than No.and he list. If you say the latter. automatic routine for studentsand teachersthat is effective in helping studentstransfer itemsto theirlong-term memories. chemicals. I where do I get my information? context I can suppry myself.for exampiethe LovE domain might include adore.experience).Integrating collocation 77 can be n wordn make . or from examples in the vocabulary book. For .the gruesome limbs.what kind of things are (potent)?(drinks. students will see . Add a question retron ile sth sb'srost ot1.This simple questioning is especially effective as a reinforcing technique in subsequent lessons.this is becausethe particular word might combine freely with other words. Information about collocations can be obtained from a collocation dictionary like the LTp Dictionarv of seleited Collocations. Sometimes. treasure.I can also use my own knowledge of English to provide collocation information to the students. despise. while the HATE domain might include detest. pleasure.for two reasons. tvhimpe4 howl. suggestedby Hollisky and including weep.when they learn a domain such as cRY. Select vocabulary textbooks that use domain vocabulary By domain vocabulary I mean the study of different vocabulary items with looselythe samemeaning.and ensuresthat the studentshave the repeatedexposure to the collocations necessary fix them in their memories.thaLwords with similar meanings are frequently not notebook. my notation under the collocation column may be as simple as the preposition that follows an adjective (adept at). othergood ESL corpus_ or based dictionaries in which the example sentences. should rwledge e of the Lsefulto :n I first t always rrds and as with l context odman's rs which somewords I might only note a restrictivecontextand no collocations. books basedon domain vocabularyprovide a good basisfor training and practicein collocation.I ooard. sob. heads). 5.what kinctsoJ things are (severed)? (the connectionwith. Utree. like any other teacher. you can't say that when the classencounters questionable a collocation. when first presentinga new vocabulary item.and teachers should point out explicitly . which I usedherefor manyentries.

often with collocations: Many people are interested in old things and events which happeneda long time ago. a One series I particularly admire is Walk. reinforce Again.or createadditional exercises and activities specifically geared to practicing and retaining the collocations. Some of them only go to the most recent movies. Second. events old antique ancrent new recent cuffent modem T T The Wa sentenc example Pape Han'r (fout Teacher with an. If using a domain vocabularybook in class. Similarly. which is crucial to retention. Stroll (Levels 1 and 2.the teacherneedsonly supply the blank grids after modelling the first unit.the authorspresentthem in context. Other people are more interested in new things and new ideas. fr When Did a Has I'r was fir (Italics mr the compc Again. a collocationgrid.). This is also an excellent way to review and practice. One such activity.when the words relatedto basicconcepts such as the OLD-NEW domain are introduced. Tlain st One semes and writinl rnterestin_e 'vocabulan the studen lmpoftant Il word units 1 furniture T T history ideas movles T + T ? T ? T T T T + T ) + + + T Because E thematicalil presentan ir reading.r Two C's o For some collocatior 6. This domainprovidesan ideal opportunity to point out that we don't say old histoty or antique history.78 Integrttting colloctttion collocationally interchangeable. Amble.the teachercan simply point out the collocations.and teachercan I collocations themselves woffy wheth any other wa and writing. Hollisky et al. we do not saynew events Dependingupon the goalsof the but . In thesebooks. the way that domain vocabulary books are arrangedaround a particular concept provides an ideal set-up for adding studyof collocalion. ideasof 'pns . adjectivesand nouns. suggested Channell. Using the OLD-NEW domain from the previous example. Thesecan be by done for many groups of words with similar or related meanings. I haveaddedthe italics to showthe collocations. the grid might look like the one below. class. verbs and objects. Ihe standardexpression ancient historlt. and the studentscan complete the grids with the collocations they discover in each chapter.Do you prefer old or new movies? Are you interested ancientor modern history? in The underlined words are those selected for presentationby the authors. They like to have moderufurniture or read about current events. w. and for different kinds of grammatical pairs such as subjects and verbs. Some of them like to buy expensive antique fwmiture and others enjoy reading books about Julius Caesarand other leaders from ancient history. we say cwrrenteventsand is recentevents.

produced) Teachers can mimic this techniqueof forced-choice practiceof collocations with any words the class might be studying.However.the oldestuniversityin the US. If it is important. Again. Here are two examplesof the lists I made using the ideasof 'prisons'and'the workplace': . in 1636.Integrating collocation 79 Yocabulary L1 set-. .thowghtup. and note particularlythe last examplewhere. movles The Walk. Train students to observe and note collocations in reading One semester choseto study vocabulary'words' in context in my reading I and writing class. I include it. I would pull out the 'vocabulary' that was important to that particular subject. in China. rather than use a vocabulary builder textbook. I do not for woffy whether a phrasefits a particular definition of collocation.the Two C's of contextand collocationoperatein domain vocabularybooks. or analyzeir any other way. For some words (whimpea sob. weep).. but in nearly every case had lists of expressions . r erbs and rn from the r supplythe ompletethe s is also an n. (fuunded.multiword units that I cameto recognizewere often collocations. . and make lists for the students. u'hrch r-ns1ve Julius rle are rr have n only :oties? e authors.useful vocabularyfor the students'reading and writing. Hollisky et al take this reinforcement one step further in their questions for discussion or writing. and an interesting thing happened.collocation is not the only area of interest. Some examplesfrom the BUILD domain: Paperwas first . constructed) Harvard. the r eventsand goalsof the : additional rtaining the -lese can be lg:s. was . . from their BUILD domain: When was your country establishedas an independentcountry? Did a personor group of people/oundyour countryT Has your country'ssystemof governmentchanged very much sinceit was first organiled? (Italics mine. 6. nceptssuch r m context. and to note and use these expressionsin their writing. Later. context is much more important than collocation.Working through each unit.or as a class. I soon noticed that I was not generatinglists of important words. the teachercan model the kind of list neededby making a list of vocabularyand collocations for a thematic unit.I . Because ESL reading and writing books are commonly organized thematically aroundsubjects such as'the workplace'.too.on this occasion.) of Again.Srrollbooks follow the introductionof each domain with sentencecompletion practice that frequently reinforces collocation. leamer autonomy. .manufactwred.up for ls 1 and 2.or'prisons'this can present an ideal opportunity to train studentsto observecollocations in their reading.Amble.les an ideal itistorl.and for '. students can generate the lists themselves. (manwfactured. At first.At this juncture. we must remember. the components the collocationoccur quite widely separated.

Ed. These chunks improve the fluency and accuracy of the English students produce.but by simply calling students' attention to the collocations in the readings.Th as my inst experlence traineeaski at the appr envisionins no actualla to approac through our informatior phrases cr Typical exa experience Cowldwe gt He's tied up not so far of Perhaps the functional nc its langua_e emphasize le English in a students'at speaking. high turnoverof pre-schoolteachers.emotionalwell-being.working outsidethe home.etc. note on the board and discuss the meaning of expressions llke: physicalwell-being. they can review with their students a list of collocations and expressionsthat are important to accurately expressingthe ideas relevant to the topic. Teachers also ensure can that students thesenew expressions use by giving short 'forced choice' writing and discussion assignments. Collocations in writing Writing is frequently taught as an integrated course with reading in many IEPs. 1 Once thel from thet collocatio how to u_ 9. described below. you might first want to do a pre-writing exercise and in this context.more than worrying whether or not somethingis a collocation. family. When teachers in give writing assignments basedon the readings. A writi The single most important thing for teachers.'Look Students dictionar construc the accul friendll.1 For example.where students will haveto use the expressions order to answerthe question: in Are alternative sentences a good idea when prison capacity has reached its maximwm? Are self-help coursesofferedto prisoners in your counttj before their re-entry into society? Alternatively. 7. child-careworkers. When our Purposes accustom emphasizi degree.if you were going to haveyour students write an essayaboutthe pros and cons of child day to shift their and their students'focusaway from individual words to chunks of language. double-income womenin the workforce. this can be discussed with students before they begin writing.teacher-child ratios. This can be accomplished without changingtextbooksor even modifying the course.teacherscan quickly preparea short list of common collocations and phrases used in the context relevant to that assignment. so the above-mentioned technique is easily adapted to reinforcing collocations writing. [Morgan Lewis makesthe samesuggestion. Na their book Ze at the end of t 'useful invan variableslots .quality time. and repeating and reinforcing them in writing assignments. studying them as a paft of a vocabulary list.80 Integratingcollocation Prisons prrsonsentence corections officer prison-issue clothing self-helpcourses kill time re-entryinto society doing time alternative sentence prison capacity The workplace mental challenge prospective employees job autonomy hourly wage straight salary employee turnover incentiveschemes unskilledworkers extemal recognition 8. for a writing assignmentwhich doesn't follow a reading selection.

. one particular traineeaskedif I could give him 'a list of expressions can memorize I and use. to emphasizingthe functional and pragmatic nature of English to a much greater degree. . certainly the relevant books and training materials emphasize lexical phrasesas a matter of course.and teachers can attest to the mangled constructions confusingmeaningsthat often result.but : readings.look it up twice'. at the appropriateplace and time.? He's tied up at the moment. etc. Students writing in or translating a second language rely heavily on dictionaries and thesauruses. I assuredhim that was not at all asound way to approach improving his English.The traineewho askedfor usefulexpressions was not so far off the mark.Though I remain primarily a teacher of academicEnglish in an IEF.memorize.the pragmatic and functional notions previously referred to .perhaps tiom their bilingual dictionary . once they have found the basic word they want to use in writing .. \\ hether or ocusaway nprove the is can be :ourse. .Nattinger and Decarrico have written about exactly this concept in :heir book Lexical Phrctses LanguageTeaching. patterns s m many reinforcing ised on the ations and relevantto ressions by nts.telephoningfor information.clarifying. where re stion:Are . Hoey's book.a dictionary or ref'erencethat includes collocation information such as those given below is necessary to find out how to use it accurately.puts collocations at the forefront of its language work. as my institution employs specialized trainersfor corporateclients.eached its ntrty before a reading :oliocations this can be s makes the ar. reinforcing 9. ". by calling :tudents' attention to the 'useful expressions'of academic writing and speaking.describingtrends.high . Interestingry. the ts. put off by his word . Perhapsthe very nature of ESp and businesstraining .though.. Is that everything? a C o u l d w e o o v e r t h a t a g a i nL e t m e c o n f i t m . w o u r d y o u m i n d i f g ? r.rreaTizedthat we were in fact presenting lexical phrases collocations. .[ntegrating collocation 81 8. of a student_ tiiendly phrase that is another version of Lewis' decoding and encoding.Students and can improve the accuracy their writing if they are taughtto . etc. and The teachingsuggestions et the end of their book provide recommendations having stuJentspractice for 'useful invariablephrases'commonly used in written discourse. my first experiencewith businesstraineeswas an eye-openingone. 'Look it up twice.Ie home.Those who teach academic English in an IEP can benefit their students in the same way. Typical examples were: I'll get back to yow Jirst thing tomorrow.some with ''ariableslots that students can fill in.and asking our traineesto practiceand retain them.aboutthe pre-writing meaning of n'time. the academicEngrish we were accustomed teachinghad to be modified to meet the needsof the trainees. A writing lesson from ESp/Business English when our IEP firsr branched out to include ESp (English for Specific Purposes)programs for corporate clients. Relatedto this. and envisioningsome sort of mechanicaltraveler'sphrasebook that would build no actual languageproficiency. The market e-rperienced sharp drophlight decline/remainedstable. as we worked throughour language units on negotiating.

which requires internal citations. When teachingthe common academictask of summary writing for example. . classifiescollocation as the second of two types of lexical cohesion (the first being various types of reiteration). Addition Vocabulary . . . . I have beenpleasedwith the resultsin the students'writing.. . . h has beendetermined . Cohesionin English.and an earlierbook by Halliday and Hasan. teacherscan emphasize any such phrases as appropriate for their students' proficiency. When we address the importance of objectivity in research papers. Supportfor this point existsin . Collocat in marked contrast draw a conclusion jump to a conclusion a fundamental difference the logical conclusion on the contrary a hasty conclusion ln summarv This techni has alreadlcan compie competitive 2. demonstratesthe cenfal role lexis plays in cohesion. These ideas are certainly not new. I have my studentspractice with a list of commonly-used phrases and verbs: that (+ clause) contends maintainsthat (+ clause) the addresses issueof (+ noun phrase) In his/her article/book etc. even acrosssentence boundaries and over distances with texts. To make a point. Similarity/comparison strikingly similar in like manner Difference/contrast: Conclusion Agree. we also light-heaftedly compare them to biased phrases suchasEverybodyknowsthat. Though concerned at first that these approaches might soundtoo 'canned'or formulaic. genera unanln out of i 4. arepresented the students for to practice.A few examples follow. Theyhad a craly idea that. John Doe disputes(+ noun phrase) (that) suggests (+ phrase) discwsses nown points out that (+ clawse) These same verbs prove useful later on when we introduce the documented research paper.7 Rt As our repetitio students meanin-e needsto 7. but. thou-s teachin-s expenenc informati Convincii it operate can be dii word = d. along with instruction in the general conventionsof summary writing. by . . they fell out of favor with many teachersduring the era of the communicative approach to teaching. . etc. . and electr not enou-s a word tha knowing I so system goal of g Fortunatel help teach enjoyable accomplis Listed herr classroom want to cot ways their 1. to I have also successfully incorporatedcollocationsand lexical phrasesin the writing curriculum by introducing and having students practice the multiword items that indicaterelationships betweenideas. . .... How could this work in the IEP classroom?Teacherscan give their students shortcutsto more fluent and natural academicwriting by having them practice the 'collocationsof writing'..82 Integrating collocation of Lexis in Text. Recentfindings support . and pleasantlysurprisedat how well they are able to adapt the phrases their own writing topics. neutral phrases such as: Evidencesuggests . much like the explicit teaching of vocabulary.

2. or as either competitive or collaborative teams working for both speedand accuracy.:n ?Sthe .iut phrase) ' documented the ir.ilirut. Where . .Teachers hold students accountable testingthem. the importance of repetition and reinforcement can't be over-emphasized.hrases in the rice the multiimples follow. teachers As adaptand createtheir own techniques.'.Lier book :.r:t that these with r pleased h.and can be accomplishedwithout overly stressingstudent or teacher. help teachers tests and practice exercises.' rvell they . teachers know from experiencethat there must first be systematic.i.many of them matching exercises. either as an individual review. The brightest of studentswill not be able to recall and use new words without repeated.ddress !:s SuChaS: r:.7 Review and testing As our understanding of the human memory grows. These can also be enjoyable and game-like .era of the . to make a studentacceptthe notion that there is more to knowing a word than knowing its basic definition.meaningful practice. Additions to tests for vocabulary-builder textbooks Vocabularytests often only ask studentsto know a word's definition. particularly in this instant-gratification age of computers and electronic dictionaries. Collocation grid .mentioned above.Integratingcollocation 83 .l f l . 1. Estimates of the number of times a student needsto meaningfully encountera new word range in the researchfrom 5 to 7. I by so systematic testingof vocabularyshouldinclude collocations.A new grid can be supplied. and students can complete them again. is especially good for review when a class has already completed a grid once.this is not difficult to accomplish. though classroomteachersare probably not sulprised by this.and many resources exist to produce qluizzes.e V e i l :. Fortunately.a1 conclusion conclusion ItLll \ This technique. Convincingstudents that they don't really 'know'a word until they know how job.etc. meaningful contact with the words.detennined to ni students i-m to biased ..-. they might also want to consider current researchon learning styles.l. meaningful contact with them. a race. or the new information will not be retained. and consider in which ways their review work complements their students'various leaming styles. Listed here are some of the review and testing exercisesI have used in my classroom.-: I\pes Of 1-rr students tem practice rmic task of tire genelal r ith a list of Agree/disagree Listing/enumeration generalconsensus another/yetanother unanlmous agreement in a number of wavs out of the question Cause/effect leadsto resultsin unexpected result or finding 4. tlieir students' sion : irnclusion l conclusion . with the twin goal of giving students additional. : : 1 . Telling a student that something is important is not enough. It it operates with other words and contextsis also part of the teacher's can be difficult to wean studentsfrom the idea that Ll word = L2 word and word = definition. ri teaching of th. Whether teaching the multiplication tables or collocations. they need to be held accountablefor knowing how it is used..

reality -face reality.but is paid a fixed wage.. harsh reality.add questions that elicit collocationsthe classhas studied.Again. For matching For all levels:matchingcolumnsof collocations(passive exercises other than those designed to test material already learned. E available informatio http://wwv After lean engrnes or collocation those colio fMichael t disguisedc for leamers Finally.. . Collocr Teamsor pafiofar the two p studentsfl 4..potent weapon. Producing example sentences 'vocabulary sentences' Require only more advancedlearnersto write and then hold them accountablefor using correct collocations..8 Coi Computer excellentr is an on-l English. it is usually best to have the strongestcollocationsfirst. which may actually be above..For example: What collocation or phrasemeansa method of payment in which a worker is not paid by the hour. 'use Sincechildhood. usually arrangedas an annual contract? (a straight salary) What collocation means competition between brothers and sisters? (sibling rivahlt) 4.collocation error can causegreat difficulty.84 Integrating collocation applicable. The student must provide the correct collocationor multi-word unit. 3. Backwards vocabulary test Use this technique in a reading class where a list of expressionsand collocations has been generatedby the class for a thematic or content-based unit.) it Prelimin increase students such as r who are a be expec advanced produced very pote.potentdrwg.. This is especiallyvaluablein helping students retain their reading vocabulary. (Wewill severthis classbecawse is too large. 5. This is a fine task for native speakers. with the added dangerof reinforcingenors. 'Odd one out': Intermediate leamersor above. skill)...we as native speakers havebeenaskedto the following vocabulary words in sentenceswhich demonstratetheir meaning'.)The teacherpreparesa set of longer descriptions or explanations. add one or more words with which it might be expected occur: to ...potent weapon Advancedlearners: more activetask. about collc programs at introductior program to car. but when teachers require this of second languagelearners.. askingthem to supply collocations: the For the following words.. useful collocations ls lmportant. Crossout the word which doesnot belong in the group: potent caf potent drink... wh forget that. potent drwg. virtual reality. Much o is readily ar between Br expressrons . potent . so that the whole practice gets easieras students work through it. (See number 6 in the section Make students aware of collocations 'definitions'. this is where the teacher'srole in selectinghigh priority. Putting the most ambiguousexamplesfirst makes the whole activity more like a frustrating guessinggame than useful review and testing. and doesnot eam commission. The more ambiguous examplesshould come later.

You don't need a computer program to tell your studentsto say that a Ferrari is a powerful.particularly if they will be writing about these subjects. A to match the two parts. and regional variations of certain expressionsmight also be more easily explained by a local native speaker. Edl Finally. .If we have studiedpotent. as fluent speakers ofEnglish.corTect i students r 3 \l'Olker r. searching tools are point and click.Advanced level students who are askedto write sentences with vocabulary that hasbeenstudiedshould be expected use it correctly. they have a greatdeal ofknowledge about collocations . Therefore.tcations -r rqllrr he r. [Michael Hoey explains on p 238 how an informational text is a kind of disguised concordance. like traditional dominoes. This is a of second Lthe added too a fixed . The information is available [at the time of writing] on the Cobuild website at http://www. produced by one of our studentsis: 11lsLong Island lced rea [a cocktail] was vetj potent.) . 5.suggests that collocationalknowledge increases along with language proficiency. Much of the collocation information that studentsneed in the classroom is readily available from the teacher's own mental lexicon. is betterto testpassive it vocabularyand collocationskills with tasks such as matching. for lower-level students.Integrating colloccttion 85 :.eachof which containsone are part of a useful collocation. '-CIS and .collins. studentsuse databases search or engines on the Internet. 4.\eain. but not vital to the introduction of collocation in the classroom.-c at1'0ns :riallOnS: rieht be Preliminary research.JiIe SI1flS.':i-based i: .though sparse.8 Concordancesfor teachersand students computer technologyhasprovidedlanguage learnersand teachers with some excellentresources collocations.. Thoseinterestedcan try a relevant arlicles are an extremely useful resource for leamers to find the particular collocations they need. Collocations Dominoes Teamsor pairs of students given setsof cards.. nr rrr-hino n. The differences between British and American English. it is l-1llgUOuS s lludents tl: s'hole I. Extraction of concordances.and word frequency are available from the corpus. when explaining collocations in the classroom. collocations. Encouragethem to observeand note those collocations.The task.i sisters? s' andthen iollowing .their own personal databases. cross-outand fill-in the I haveusedis Cobuild Direct which on is an on-line service for accessinglanguage data based on the Bank of English.teachersshouldn't forget The cards can be re-used and presented again to the same studentsfor more review. not potent. Expensive computer programs and well-stocked reference libraries are nice.d. they may discover on their own some frequent collocations related to a particular topic. After learning about collocations.I no longer give my to advancedstudentshalf-credit for a potent Ferrari.

of contextand collocation. My primary coursegoals of helping students improve to their reading.but I have found it more than anything to be a change of attitude. In the context of ordinary lessons. Nation.F Oxford Univer Smadja. I. J.4(: Siikmen. of that fer To what e by: .A. teacherscan emphasize. they are able to produce language that is more natural and accurate. Until textbook writers addressit explicitly. It is up to the teacherto call students' attention to these useful collocations. Teachers'attitudesin presentingcollocations can affect whether their students perceivethem as useful. not knr . M.In larger ways. are rich. (199 IAIEFL Confe . (i and M.A.particularly writing. but possible. practice them in a regular. and hold students accountablefor them through testing and in their written language production.It has been my impressionas an ordinary classroomteacherthat thosestudents often dubbed'good at learninglanguages' in fact unusually are good observersof language.S.of language. as if they were no more unusual than parts of speechor word forms. (l! England:Lanl Nation.more than they mighr t encount picture' collocati as langui [This c] Convent Discus Do you s other asp Do you u learners'.and work to help them leam and retain them. I. listening and speaking materials. and by providing training in the use of collocation references to improve their students' productive language. which is itself a satisfying achievement. writing gramm expres Referen Channel. adding the study of collocation to the curriculum does require a little extra effort on the part of already-busy teachers. When studentsleam that it does indeed matter 'what word goes with what' and have the tools to discover this information on their own. and.positive way. Reading.M. and notebooks can be kept by studentsto record context and collocation information. particularly those used by IEPs which follow a thematic or content-basedapproach. Existing vocabulary-builder books can be modified to include information about collocations. TeachingJou Crow. systematic manner. not knl .S. T.If teachers present collocations in a matter-of-fact. this attitude is picked up by the students. compuhng. writing and vocabulary have not changed significantly. Part of teaching collocation includes training students to use available resourceswhen they move from receptiveto productive language.They are also correspondinglybetter able to expresswhat they wish to.chunks . McCar University Pre: Swan. I EnglewoodC Halliday NL Longman. Teachersin IEPs can apply the ideas in modest ways. F. M.Realizing this through my own frustrations in the classroomhas changedmy overall approachto teaching in some subtle ways.I call my students' whenever attentionto multi-word units . Hoey. necessary information or as just one more thing to learn in their seeminglyendless tasksas language leamers.but recognizehow much they come to bear on language production. (1! Lewis.p Nattinger. J. J. useful. strong collocations can be highlighted everywherewe find them both in plannedreading and in language which comes into the classroom serendipitously. I no longer disparage'useful phrases'and collocationsas shortcutsunworthy of'real' languageteaching.86 Integ rating c ollocation 4. in particular.9 Conclusion The English lexicon is not an open system. by incorporating the study of collocation into their traditional vocabulary work. (19 Hollisky et al Hollisky et ai Lewis. M.P. authentic sources of collocations.

amble. (Ed. Alexandria. information rrrd context :s'attention llc manner. Boston.MA: Heinle & Heinle. Hollisky et al. ambie. Cro% J. Hollisky et al. level 1.with an eye toward their 'big picture' effect on the English language. Nation. Hove.cambridge University Press.The lexical approach. NJ: PrenticeHall Regents. I.Integrat ing collocation 87 :h my own teachingin to lmprove cantly. Lewis.Lexical co-occulrence: The missing link.S. (1996) Languageteachingis teachinglanguage plenary address IATEFL.Walk. Cohesionin English. (1995).stroil. Mccarthy. rorating the 1 providing ir students' re than they might have previously done. (1990). particularly essays? so. (1991). England: Language Teaching Pubiications. & Hasan. New york: Newbury House. M. but ts . Teaching & leaming vocabulary. Regardlessof the approach to collocation.Seattle.1 DiscussionQuestions Do you see any advantages disadvantages separating or in vocabularyfrom other aspects language of leaming? Do you use a code indicating the type of error when providing feedback on learners'written work. Nation. J' (1981) Applying semantictheory to vocabularyteaching. (1992) Lexical phrasesand languageteaching. J.Walk. .1998.s.A.MA: Heinle & Heinle.163-168.English Language TeachingJoumal 35(2) lI5-122.London & New york: Longman. stroll. R. (1992). England. Ievel 2 Bosron. Swan. & Decarrico. Nattinger.). Lewis. Hove. (1994). I. the collocations and multi-word units encountered naturally in all of their courses.vA: TESoL.s. N.. A. England:LanguageTeachingpublications.n.Cambridge. [This chapter is based on a presentation given at the 32nd.oxford: Oxford University Press smadja. eil students )re thing to )-rs present rre unusual re students.P.P. (Eds. (1997) Implementing the lexical approach: putting theory into practice. TESOL Convention. not knowing a (single)word that they need? . acquisition and pedagogy. (1986). Vocabulary for advancedreading comprehension:the keyword approach. M. vocabulary: description.our goal as teachers remainsthe same:to empowerour students as languagelearners. EA. J. grammaticallycomplicatedexpressions.. (1997).rnusually location. h:ir written e available parlicularly d _soes with . M.New ways in teachingvocabulary. current trendsin teachingsecondlanguagevocabulary. does collocationform part If of that feedback ? To what extentdo you think faults in your learners'written work are caused by: .R. 34.they are Levare also h is itself a rllocationto iready-busy of attitude. perhapsincluding grammarmistakes. Siikmen. Oxford: Oxford University press.). (1989). M. ns can be in language tening and a thematic ollocations. Schmitt In and M.K. M. (1993). Halliday.of 'real' n language that "'acher t r.Pattemsof Lexis in Text.chunks no longer Lt. T. not knowing the correct collocation? ' writing long. Hoey. to IAIEFL Conference Report. (1976).because they do not know the appropriate multi-word expression? References channel. EnglewoodCliffs.38.4(3). Literary and linguistic computing.

even if relatively infrequent.firstly. which may be more exciting than any regular encounter. lt wai studen togeth and pr Here. more long-term purpose is to make learners more aware of collocation as a powerful way of improving their ability to write precisely and well. Morgan Lewis and Michael Lewis This chapter begins by describing ways teachers have introduced collocation to their learners. Model z Most learn small par-t aeroplane. are the most important in our lives . bv 1. It is essential. but also a vast number of multi-word items. creative encounter. instructions to assemble recognisabi 4. The sz rnto re The paralle to have a i.1 Introducing collocation to learners Learnersnaturally assume that the word is the basic unit of language. intense relationships which.a serendipitous one-off. 2.then.the person who travels on the sametrain to and from work. The sz . Readerscan no doubt extend the metaphor and use it in different ways. not part of everyday life. the immediate one of practising new collocations and building learners'rnenfal lexicons. five days a week. and teachers need a number of different strategiesto introduce the idea to different kinds of leamers. After t. activ ities and exercises s Chapter5 Classroorn strategies. We all feel comfortable when we are sunounded by friends and acquaintances.The chapter then presents sample activities and exercises which can be taken into the classroom immediately.r the idea Once he 'As a doubt once. There is also the one-nightstand . The sr . for example. There is a detailed description of how one teacher.himself .and then adopt classroomstrategies which constantlyremind learnersof the importanceof thesemulti-word items. however sadly. It discusses some general strategies for making your classroom approach more lexical.close. that teachersintroduce the idea of multi-word units to their learners. YouSa to whi ability longer colloca noticed 3. activitiesand exercises Jimmie Hill.loved ones who live abroad. A fan Deborah learner. Words are like people Leamers may find it easy to understand the parallel between words and people. All the activities and exercises suggested have two purposes . Deborah PettS has introduced more collocational work for different kinds of classes. some single words. this but book is basedon a differentassumption that language storedin our mental is lexicons in different ways. appropriatefor different groups of learners. followin-e r build the p1 . But we also have relationshipswhich are frequent but unimportant . The second.Here are a few.We have friendships of different kinds . All th . anxious in unfamiliar situations when we are surrounded but by strangers.but.The phrasalnatureof language can initially seemstrangeto learners. which have been usedsuccessfully teachers. The relationshipsbetween words closely resemble the relationships between people. l did not 5. Molecule An analogy say.88 CLas room stratep ies. Many of the activities and exercises are particularly helpful in preparing learners for any more adyanced examination.

but no instructionsand no picture of the finishedplane. albeit rather imperfect. feeling that it improved his ability to communicate. I noticed that when he used collocations.i. a ords and iends and urrounded e. was an example to which he could relate directly: he did not need.Classroom strategies. who initially wanted to understandevery individual word and resisted the idea of translatingphrases. The samebut with verbal and diagrammatic instructions.but with verbal instructions. that the same was true in German" Here. Model aeroplanes Most learnerswill be familiar with the kits you can buy which provide all the small parts needed to build a complete and complex model. For once.suchas wings. he initially wanted to know why particular words went togetherand othersdid not. the benefitsof a phrasalview of language.may appealto older leamers with a scientific ]s location to classroom re teacher.needless by to say. A familiar example DeborahPetty reports on how a single examplepersuadedan adult one-to-one leamer. and had to build the plane as quickly as possible: ' All the improvement he noticedhimself. and the most helpful of all is unquestionably having recognisable pre-assembled chunks. or ask for an explanation. with examples. 4. i i shereports: he the 'As a banker. . he made fewer surface effors .. soonrecognised benefits. The verbal instructions('grammarrules') areprobablylesshelpful than diagramsof how to assemble certainbits. This was important because. .suggested Graham smith . however. ' The same. The parallel with producinglanguageis easyto see.theyjust do.The i.. he was not concernedto analysethe item. :e.he accepted othermulti-word items as 'that is what you say'much more readily. like many students. George woolard has suggested asking learners which of the following methodsthey would prefer to use if they had such a kit." 3. such as an aeroplane. rt kinds of Lichcan be .we did more collocationwork to which he responded very positively. simply accepting that it was the corect term. I had alreadyexplainedthat .i:riir ililt:i . rntense rponantm also have travels on one-night' be more I everyday atronships i use it in lllTllllTlilllJliltirilllrrir:.As a result.riii: . Molecules An analogywith basic chemistry. realisedthat if he knew a coilocation. of the finished whole. After this example.himself a trained chemist . suggested :ationsand rpose is to oring their ercises are rmination. the learner knew the collocation bear market and had no doubt that he could use it when speakingto other professionals. The is enormouslyhelpful to have a view. but this rur mentai rumber of he idea of lres which items.but with many of the smaller pieces already pre-assembled into recognisable chunks.actiyities and exercise s 89 2. and pointed out. of once he had beenpersuaded.he no He longer had to paraphrase as much.teachers 'rent kinds teachers.

with . at the ends of the string are different combinations which form potential 'hooks' which can connect the molecule to others which have appropriate'hooks'.when the write-mark-file pattern was repeated.and then the classmoves on to a new topic and a new talk. both contradict what we now know about the nature of language and acquisition. 'The same thing twice' activates collocations One of the most interestingmethodologicalinsights of recent researchinto secondlanguageacquisition. Breaking things down too far and concentratingon the brand new rather than the relatively new. such as an episode of a soap opera. 'doing the same activity more than once'. of recognisable combinations of atoms. The analogy with words. increasesthe possibility of leamers transferring items to their mental lexicon within these global organisingschemata.while we moved on to a new essay. which combine in standardcollocations which.the teacher may provide correction. [See chapters and 8.Using larger units in the value of what we might call. most of them spendtheir existence components molecules. Leam< four min 2. Rehearr This activ teachersar producesir in suchsaf a situation essential th is not the s the place consequen in the real- Graham Sr centralidea lexis . th 3. Researchevidence shows that both of these proceduresrepresentmissed 1. closeand revealing. rather oversimplistically. and at worst actively unhelpful. better ways of saying something. The sa group. of is opponur learners lexical wfltlng ( 3. situation or schema.90 Classroom strategies. have characteristicswhich make it possible for them to combine into larger stretches language.2 General strategies It is increasingly clear that the tradition of presenting lexis as individual words. Again this time Changing new infor Reducinon better The resea measurab final versi leamers fi not retrier attention . in turn.More interestingstill. activities and exercises background. Repeatin-e better colli being tumi 4. as it in no way mirrors what we now know about the organisation of the mental lexicon. 2. are made of atoms.4-3-2 In the cz helpful ir 5.1 7 1. Larger frameworks In general. possibly even discarded. Grouping those sentences according to some arbitrary linguistic feature seems also to be counterproductive. moleculesare of different kinds and if we imagine a molecule as a string of atoms.only for them to be retumed 'marked'and at for them then to be filed. Many of us rememberwriting essays school. learners are more likely to acquire new language so that it is availablefor spontaneous if it is incorporatedinto their mental lexicons as use an element of some comparatively large frame.but most atoms do not wander around looking to make more complex as compounds. Similarly.Al1 chemical substances.or doing practices basedon individual decontextualised sentences at is best inefficient. however complicated. many learners are asked to make a short oral presentationto their classmates.

Learners work in groups: one student in each group gives a short talk for four minutes to one of the others in the group. more fluent. eculesare of i. Reducingthe time limit has a similar either writing or speech. when so much of their attention was devoted to deciding the content of what they wish to say. In particular. and that the final version shows both grammatical and lexical improvement.tidy lessonbut get in such safety little may be learned. versionsof the same content. leamersfind and recycle collocationsin the later versionswhich they could not retrieve from their memories at the first attempt. Rehearsal in safety This activity reverseswhat so often happens in classrooms.The hich.* about the too far and :th contradict . Again with a new pafiner.risition. changing partnersis important becausethe speakeris less inclined to add new information than they would be if talking to the same 'audience' again.i1so to be :.encouraging speaker focus the to on better. The same studentthen gives the same talk to a different student in the group.and feel more confidentlater so in the real-worldsituation.can produce real improvements in the lexical . r. way of using the centralidea of the Lexical Approach.with more advanced classes. in turn. this time restrictedto two minutes. )resentmissed . Here is the basicprocedure: :s individual entences at is lse sentences . The classroom is not the safe place where you do not make mistakes.corect language and teachers a is safebecause is it the place where you can rehearse and make mistakes without serious consequences.[See : so rhat it is l:i lexicons as .This activity deliberately puts learnersin a situationwhere they are likely to producea lot of defectivelanguage. changeof classroom a procedure giving feedbackthen asking learners to repeat the same task . 4. ctctiv itie s and exerc is es 91 rre made of ore complex rf molecules. Graham Smith has devised a powerful. is It essential that teachers explainthe rationalefor this to learners.quality of learners'production. Using increases the r rr ithin these lesearchinto Ll. 3. that you will perform better.the following procedurecan be extremely helpful in developinglearners'fluency: 1. Repeating meanslearners havemore time to processthe language leadingto better collocationaluse and increasingthe chanceof the improved language being turnedinto' into larger opportunities. but very simple.Too often. the studentgives the same talk a third time. The researchevidenceshows conclusivelythat for most learnersthere is a measurable (statistically significant) improvement in fluency. this time restrictedto three minutes.4-3-2 minute talks In the case of spokenlanguage. at the ends looks'which hooks'. 2. teachersand learnersenter a kind of 'conspiracyof safety' where learners producesimple. 3.languageconsistsof grammaticalised lexis .C las sroom strate Ri es.ratherover\lany of us i 'marked'and loved on to a rtation to their ir s of saying particula-r collocational.

or even in classa day or two later.92 C las sroom least for most learners . and the focus is exclusivelyon the language usedto express content. then four and so on. and then identify a single central collocation which expresses the basic topic. in effect. 2. help if asked.Graham reports his learners often produce what is. a short paragraph. Essay Teachers mosr diffi While it r in their or is very cl phrasal. 5. This may be done as homework. If they find this difficult.whic rs param( classroon evidence relevant c can help by providing input directlv relevantto learners'needs. and the bigger the mess they seemto get into. containing as much true and relevant extra information as they can add. Then in three. Allow time for this stageof the askedto describe a singie sentencesomething(s)hedid recently.a choiceknow the . Expand the event PeterWilberg has suggested similar activity. 5. This often involves: more collocationswhich express ideasmore conciselythan the the often over-grammaticalised expressions leamershaveproduced. Ask learners. but might be somethinglike: Who is it for? When did/will it happen?How often did it happen?Why was it a problem? etc. The leamer. Once they have produced their sentences. The sentenceshould be as long as possible.As we saw above. activities and exercis es 1. Explain that the longer the sentence.n a It should not be necessaryto remind ourselvesthat these last.can havea major role the to play in converting input into intake. verb + rt (struggle expfessln lexicon is easily exp In prepar vocabular this proce the brains collect no for verbs which col and mor€ possiblec Collocati classroon both He t possible: amenable are verb better u. linking expressionsto arrangeand order the information naturally.the centralpulposeof which is a to diagnoselanguageneededby the leamerswhich they do not know. the correction of some surface srammar elTors. What they say must. and it must be made clear to the learner that a real description of what they would like to (be able to) say is all that In additio co-occur. the more you will be able to help them with language they actuallyneed. 6. 3.or at least cannotexpress easily.but to try to write what they really want to generate extrabits of information.but emphasise to leamersthat mistakesin what they produce do not matter and encouragethem not to play safe. this is usually averb + (adjective)+ nowncollocation. The learner then describesthe sameevent in two sentences.Thesevary accordingto the English. however.the least importantpart of the editing process. maners. although perhaps worth pointing out.identify something they genuinely wish to talk or write about. With pafiicular learners. are .an event in that (s)he would like to be able to talk about.research evidenceshowsthat redoing the activity when the content is already decided. are an es opposite language mto a col say. working alone or in small groups. 4. ask them to use a series of Wh-questions. Finally learnerswrite a good copy.Wilberg originally devisedthe activity for one-to-one teaching. to write a sentence containing the true. The purpose is to require more and more detail which the learner cannot express.

:portshis learners nelp by providing . -rnnaturally. In event :n describes the on.This is because theseare rarely alternativeor better ways of expressing single idea. not know. are verb + noun collocations. the ra1lyneed.. -t|hile it may be true that many learnerscould not write well on similar topics in their own language. Instead.mental lexicon.are the most preciseand economicalway of expressing particular 'idea'.way of expressing :rntly .nlch expresses "r-.Classroomstrategies. but more important for learners.thanthe produced. is alsoimportantto rememberthat this lack of .or at leastof precise. he-v can add. :e 1ast. then look for verbs and adjectives which collocate with the noun. Equally importantly. predict the fwture) or verb + adverb (struggleunceasinglyagainst). the latter is merely more descriptive than the first. Explain that m to get into.S: 6. Collocations are of different kinds. In addition to the formal definition of collocation as words which frequently co-occur. to thebasic sentence. easily expressible both He ambled dotvn the street an:d ambled slowly down the street are He possible. and not all are equally accessiblein the classroom. however.the least rrtework.cation.ose of which is .activities and exercises 93 '.the unmarked. il it happen?Hoyv but emphasise to rd encourage them l say.ilte a sentence ong as possible. \Vh-questions.r'to the learner : r say is all that . at least or relativelycompletelexical form..ideas' it very closely associated ls with lack of a sufficiently large.ready-made. The purpose . The rne teaching. if the brainstormingprocessincluded an explicit collocationalelement. example for verb + noun (accept the owtcome.. and sufficiently phrasal.although ners .This processshould produce a much largel and more phrasal preparatory list. Much less amenable to classroom practice. so that lack of a sufficientlylarge collocational a lexicon is the samething as a lack of ideas. the exploration of possiblecollocatesis also an explorationof ideascentralto the essaytopic.It should be immediately obvious that this process would generate more ideas. to talk or ish '. Essaypreparation r:achers who prepare studentsto write essaysoften compl ain thatthe single :iost difficult problem is that learnerssimply lack ideasaboutwhich to write. then for adverbs which collocatewith the verbs.A learnerwho doesnot the know the expression will be unable to expressthe idea easily in English.they are typically the firsta choice. In preparing learners to write essays. Adiective+ noun andadverb + verb collocations add meaning..First collect nouns strongly associated with the main topic of the essay.or even ce showsthat relnd the focus is ^iil\eamalorrOle . many teachers brainstorrn suitable vocabulary as part of the is importantto realisethat many lexical collocations.

asslgnment in this war'. they find the idea of writing an extensivepiece daunting. although designed to encourage them. I used a marking code and brief notes for error identification.verb+ noun collocationsare central. to this is simple and quick to do. I realised that many of my comments. before askins for corrections improvements.'h symbol I 1 commentsr Step 2 I re surface errc relevancear draft and rer Step3Ir coherence. The resulting product was stil1 unnatural. failed to provide concrete practical help in actually improving their writing by.the importanceof the teacher of this type. proactivelyproviding more collocations Hence. in other cases several alternatives. for example.u'ir whole proce Originally.If you have access the intemet. stilted English and sometimesstill difficult to follow. it takes only a few moments to create a cloze-type text by gapping the text. you needto go well beyondadjective+ noun combinations. There may only be one natural choice. One way of doing this is to find a text on the topic of the essayand use it to introduceuseful collocationsto the class. or say something they can say. combined with an encouraginggeneral comment at the end of a piece of writing. I returned their papers and gave them a moment to look at my comments while I listed selected errors on the board. DeborahPettyexplainshow shechanged way the essays: sheprovidedfeedbackon her First Certificatestudents' "Writing is a difficult task and however well-motivated learnersare. whrle at the same time introducing lexis which they may needfor their own essay. This also applies to the kind of feedback you give learners after they have produceda pieceof writing.actiyities and exercis es class this means leamers frequently say nothing. knew about processwriting but had I hesitated to extensive E My studen reduce the writing u'it explained tl Step 1 Stud anything u I is a colloca theyknou-i replace tlrc symbol v. 7. providing more collocationally-orientated suggestions. Essay feedback If you wish to build your learners'collocationallexicon. and some continued to feel threatened by extensivewriting tasks. postpone their first extensive for writing assignment many weeks. of while faithfully doing everythingelse requested them. Many learners avoided rewriting the longer sentencesor paragraphs which we had talked about. In the past. request add procedure p before the er .94 Clnssroom strategies. The most effective way to do this is by deletingverbs from verb + noun collocationsand asking learners working in groups to think of as many words as they can which could go in the gaps. The idea is not to recreate the original text. without even attempting to say what they would like to if they had the same linguistic resourcesin English as they have in their mother tongue. Many Cambridge course students. may be grammaticallyand lexically possible. possiblychangingthe meaningof the original text. or This procedure concentrated too much on surface errors. If you download a text. but to encourage learnersto seethat expandingtheir mental lexicons is at least as much to do with acquiringnew combinationsof words as it is with learning words which they have not met before. r pr unableto for any rem Step 4 Ther This approa by the writir partly becalr the stages n' of writin-e i essentialca directed tor monolingua recognise ch More effect lexicons.

I add a symbol they know means:Do you know a collocationto replace the wnderlinedwords? For a more difficult collocation I have a symbol which means:Simplify with collocation including .their first drafts quickly begin ro improve. Any positive commentsrelateto specificlexical items. the faster they become at writing. learnersare no longer intimidated by the writing process.e-ricons. My studentswere generally positive to collocation work. Dri_qinally. With this symbol I give the stronger member of the collocation. ctctivities and ererc is es 95 they can v had the r tongue.while the increased awareness chunksaidstheir reading. Becausethe feedback is meaning-driven. Step 3 I read the reformulated version. postpone dentification.The more we use the procedure. and many of them actually ::quest additional tasks. necessary. riting but had . look at my -e asking for fhe resulting ill difficult to ol paragraPhs threatenedbY :nts.hole processis cyclical and improvementis self-perpetuating. . Step 2 I return their papers. partly because practiceis lessstressful. they develop better nonolingual dictionary habits. rf a piece of . iiically and r\t. so I decided to reduce the overall number of written assignments and introduce process writing with a collocational emphasis as a potential solution.If there is a collocationwhich replaces learner'soften clumsy phrase. They take away this first draft and reformulateit. This in turn.1to go well :re central.and I think the they know it. This approach has severalbenefits.The .I expected the procedure to reduce the number of written -issignments they produced. rnly a few t effective rnd asking can which iternatives. they find ddge course :nl. again for meaning and textual coherence. and therefore more enjoyable. rr they have rge the waY d ire. reading enlargestheir mental .Clas sroom strategie s.Secondly. which in turn providesthem with more communicative power.The more they write -a this way.I also give concretesuggestions ratherthan hints for any remainingsupra-sentential problems. . alsobecause any but going throughall the stages more thoroughly acquaints them with how a more extendedpiece of writing is constructed. A third substantialbenefit is that.. but to at least as iih learning introducing hesitated use it because didn't want to overloadlearnerswho alreadvhad to I extensive English homework.Firstly. . all agreedto try the following procedure: Step 1 Studentswrite an initial draft which I read for meaning alone. These have the exam-related bonus that the :iocedure producesa perfect final version. provide in full any collocationswhich they were If I unableto producecotrectly. When I explained this.This has not been the case. although ctical helP in rr rding more .They become more aware of collocation as an essentialcarrier of meaning. but now focus on meaning-basedrather than surface errors.'. Step 4 They take it away and write a third and final version. improves their ability to recognise chunks. liocations d use it to e intemet. more enthusiastic the they . of \lore increasesthe relevanceand memorability of any reformulation. which is a useful revision tool j-tore the exams. by being directed towards the stronger part of collocations. noting anything which I don't understandor which puts a strain on the reader.

one approa( introducin-e with you.or reformulating those they had misheard. which were used becauseof a missing and paraphrases misunderstanding.while simultaneously following a transcriptof what was said.the more I noticed how collocationally and lexically rich this contentlanguageis. Many times learners confirmed that they needed and appreciatedthis confirmatory feedback.firstly leamers called out what they (thought they) had heard.ESP studentsneed their own content language as much in a rneeting as in any other situation. who had little difficulty in understandingwhat had been said. with the name of the well. After listening for content. th expenmenta concentratel was coffect not always confirmation needed to tu changes r she if at times rz willing to inc forms of actio almost certair encouragethe traditional foc . Collocational feedback in businessEnglish whoseprincipal objective students with business She useda similar technique is to make their English more effectiveas a result of a short. This endorses other contributors to this book who report learners 'looking straight through' the text in front of them. I experienceda certain amount of resistancefrom some students. used. To aid exact noticing. Many report that they believe it not only benefits their writing. but also their English overall. personwho usedeachone. Secondly. The classbrainstormed I recorded a topic and agendawere agreed.which items which may result in on video. even though they understoodthe aim was to have mi underst in those changet small ciz however themseh psycholo someone watchin_ I follow I expressto think thel their pror surprising pronuncla the succes These pro improved .recordingexactlywhat leamerslistenedagainfor the exact expressions they thought they heard. Within the framework of the content is lexical approach. and the longer I worked with the idea that lexis.leamersheld the meeting. situations. represented adjective+ noun + verb collocations. had real difficulty in noticing the exact words. forms the basis of language. But still she remained convinced that something more was needed.' me a more Severalpot times. as a procedure. based business on 'useful She began using listening materials. tr diminish. she asked the learners to listen again. Doubtful at first of the value of this herself.Also noted were phrasesused correctly.functions are often realisedby fixed expressions. even when but also studentsare often unsure they have used it correctly. she addedtwo stepsto her procedure.intensivecourse meelings.however. not grammar. with the teachereither echoing their correct examples. collocation. Many students." 8. activ ities and exercise s become.95 balanced by most often and collocations. Then I made notes of mis-collocations.vsroont strategie creating their own simulations. and in a radical departnrefrom her previous practice. she soon concluded that it representeda real methodological improvement. proved a r.however. without hearingexactly what was said. Once topics for a meetingand made a rough agenda. or understandingwhat was meant.She lexical input involves both (semi-)fixed expressions and her describes dissatisfaction her new procedureas follows: the "spending time on expressions alonefails to address key problem . concentratingon the kind of expressions' with which teachers are is motivatingto be told you did something that somethingreally is correct.

Thirdly.ither echoing ':ard.evenwhen i that they needed . r"rpal objective course ntensive 'useful lind of no for content. I follow up with a handout listing items containing wrong or cumbersome expressions.Classroom strategie activities and exercis s s. . but on the half-known. Stress and pronunciation follow I finish by putting up a ffansparencywhich contains all the successful the effect of any change.concentrating largely on correct versions of language which I think they will already have met. even ii at times rather uncertain. -'. Secondly. I've heard /hal. when I provide the correct expression.Secondly.explaining why she thought one approachor activity was better than another.As every teacherknows. erperimentation lead her to the conclusionthat feedbackshouldprobably has concentratenot on the entirely new. Confirming what '*'ascorrect was od the aim was to . in introducingany changeof contentor methodology. Lcl something 'crrect.content is . in many different teaching situations. This was the psychologicalkey to the problem of resistance. it is surprising how often someone says must caffy the class rr.rh agenda.i'hat was said.irstly learners 'r .rns. or at least greatly diminish. Finally. however.she involved the learners. lu exactlywhat nie difficulty in icing the exact :epofi learners rndingwhat was -. These procedures are easily adapted to any exam or ESp group in which improved writing is one of the aims." Several points of interest arise: firstly.'. hich I recorded i. Now. it does not always follow that they have fully internalised it.rliocations.however theoretically sound.''illing to incorporate small changes. experimental. If every teacher behaved in this way. All in all. e 97 but . or her students'dissatisfaction with the current procedure.. she remained ':irrework of the :irrns. who then create frameworks as before. It has.rlcluded that it i. Resistancefrom the learners can invalidate. Developing a product for someone else engaged their interest both in preparing the task and while watchingthe othersholding their meetings. made me a more effective languageteacher.Just because learnersget somethingright. theory.:d the learners ri . instead of having them prepare a meeting which they conduct balanced She . but which has not yet been incorporatedinto their productive a result of her own.Their resistanceprompted me to make an important changeto the way the topics for the meetingswere chosen.:cationallYand Once .Now I divide even small classesinto two groups. l]Ot gramfilar.and to engagein and evaluate simple iorms of action research.Many readers rLmost certainly do this already.and basedon an explicit. however.'riting.many leamerswould feel the benefits. they do the preparation for the other group.ith you.'-. and a simple ionfirmation of the kind described above can be the critical intervention needed to turn the half-known into fully internalised intake. . her procedure has changed several times.'. 'S : have meetings similar to those they participated in in real life. rather than the more :raditional focus on grammar. . They also understoodthat I was trying to introduce the exact lexis they actually needed in those situations. : . " . the -'hangesshe made were gradual.. one of the purposes of this book is to 3ncouragethem to do it with the focus on collocations.ESP ]seting as in any \. '' problem.dents.process writing with the emphasis on collocational input has proved a very effective addition to my range of skills. '. I believe.:h may result in tuse of a missing L ihe name of the well.

as every The simple teacherknows. so teachers must learn to select some. is message to do with collocationswhat 2. the most helpful notes will usually be some 2.exploiting a text Here are two activities which exploit the collocational content of any text. they can be asked as a class which collocations they think are of interest to the group. The si while ICCONI 5. it is better to draw attention to a particular kind of chunk. in boxes to add otl appl] be ou find a hunt f reslgn 4. that they will be much more useful with factual rather than narrative texts. choosing the words and order carefully. Reconstructing the content Working in small groups. into individual words. you previouslydid with words. such as prepositional phrases. after the language has been exploited for preconditionfor input to becomeintake. Recor Encoura kind are way of e. blut love is not) in a text they have studied. They should choosethe words so that another group has the best possible chance of reconstructing the main content of the original text. asking about every new word is counterproductive.chunks which help the reader through the text (discourse markers). task is to encourage teacher's Near the beginning of a coutse. Certain types of text contain huge numbersof collocations.4 t Many by usi using z essent adapte and sui In usin browse entry t( words. Remember.Later. check a third time and. studentsread a (relatively short) text and then write exactly 15 words which occur in the original text on a sheet of paper.howevet. Now underline the verb which is used before the noun.98 Classroom strategies.underline the whole phrase in which the collocation is used. take a relatively short text and show all the chunks of different kinds on one occasion.may be a necessary languageleamers seemto have a natural tendencyto break the input down too far. rather than 15 individual words. and perhapsonly three or four individual words. This explicit focus on form. Now.l it is oftr vocabul learners intermec 3.3 Activities . Finding collocationsin a text Ask learnersto underline all the nouns (words used as nouns if you wish to be strictly acculatewith advancedlearners. 1. if appropriate. Guide studentsby reminding them in love letter the wotd letter is underlined. if there is one. using only the 15 words as a framework.or 3-word collocations. As leamersbecomemore proficient with chunks.activities and exercises 5. Essayp If we ltt Choose tr a Ask leame about the tr prrcon Have leamr adjectivesz they must r nnnnnnunnnnniltnniiiiif tiinliiixuniiiiniiM$lllllf lllll{ . This is the lexical extension of traditional vocabulary teaching where. rather than trying to draw attention to all. A recurrent theme of this book is that part of the noticing of larger chunks. Groups exchangepapers and try to expand the notes to recover the main content of the original text. verb + noun lexical collocations and so on.Second meaning.

and ipers and try l\t.ior. Some of the activities can be easily adaptedfor use with corpora and concordances these if are available to you and suitablefor your class. The to single most important kind are verb + noun corocations which representthe standard. 3.Altr of theseactivities are suitable for use in class with intermediate or more advancedlearners. Learnersneed to meet a word severaltimes before they acquire it. attentl0n Luntrls which rlrllr lexical :runks. however. as every The simple . that using a collocationdictionary will be a great help. Encourage leamersto record new nouns you may want to leave in boxessuch as these. and most importantly. ignoring unknown words in the collocates as they use the entry to remind themserves known.Second ut down too r part of the .ploited for ake. for IJ we had moreprisons. Teachers wilr find. words.Do you agree? Ask learnersto write down four or five nouns you think they will need to write about the topic. for example: prrcon criminal crtme sentence Have learnerslook up the nouns in their collocation dictionariesand choose adjectivesand verbs which they need to expresstheir ideas. ctual rather The sameactivity canbe donewith a broadcast newsitem.using a collocation dictionary \ ou wish to ord letter is rderline the a third time rllocation is . teachersneed to train learners to scan or browsethe entry.i' all the l\\. 4. 5..sintuition or by using the standard EFL dictionaries.4 Activities .exe i ses rc 99 )f any text. groupsmakenotes while listening. one or two spaces leamers for to add other words which they meet later. example. and it is often more effective to work not on brand new.trrst-choice way of expressing certainconcepts.tob a one-man a historical a tounng a retrospective a contemporary I I I exhibition rd then write :t of paper. Recording collocations Encouragestudents record words in a 5-1 box. activiti es and. apply fbr a beoutofa Irnda hunt for a resign from a I I I I I . This is '-. we wourd have fewer criminars. they ierestto the . then reduce their notes to 15 words. il rvords. so teachers r all. Many of the following activities work on the basisof the teacher.Classroom strategies.r ords. In using a collocation dictionary.the cations. i ordsso that rq the main ork. of half-known.Emphasisethat they must not wony if there are some words they do not know. and such a dictionary is essentialfor some of the activities. Encourase . but on relatively new vocabulary if words which are known passively are to become available for learners'active use. Essay preparation Choose topic for a discursive a essay. then exchaneeand reconstructas before.

runaJ a very small change a changethat upset people a changethat pleasedeverybody With man Activity 7 provide a i the basic problem the most urgent problem a problem that can't be solved a problem that makes you feel bad If yon t flexible.100 Classroom strategies. bright. for example. effect a bad effect an effect which helps a very funny effect 2. the likely to br larger chur language th .Now do the samewith thesewords: 1. One oJ' countn. fc a silly idea a nice idea a vetl interesting idea 0 very good idea cln eni a bey' a tricL Here are some possible choices: innovative.activities and exerctses them to look quickly through the dictionary entry and notice the words they do recognise. This activi possible co frame. Help them to choose useful phraseswhich will help them to write a good essay: somebodyto (7) yearsin prison go to / sendsomebodyto / sentence bom / dangerous/ hardenedcriminal prevent I crack down on I petty lviolent crime death lheavy I lite I severe Q)-year sentence I Exploring collocations of key words with the classbefore they write will help them to avoid mistakes and to express their idea better when they write. striking. Real Some r adjectil English need to has a vt suchas: ACCO CTTCI disctt metlt progl srtua) VISrc As a sir adjective board. it is and nowherenear as commonin the sort of short (120/180word) descriptions narratives which ale common in. encouragethem to use a collocation dictionary. Find a better word Using a collocation dictionary. will tend to use if not guided towards more interesting alternatives. look up the word idea and try to find a better eachof these: way of expressing a new idea an unwswal idea 6. When learnersare writing. Cambridge First Certificate essays. Collocation is particularly important in texts about opinions and ideas. only . 5. problem a very very small problem the real problem a problem that happensoften a problem that nobody expected a big effect an effect nobody expected an effect that put things right Ask learn a sentenc One reasr different each of th rell a J. imaginative. ridiculous. to their look up the noun they want to use to find an adjective which expresses or which they idea more preciselythan the most common adjectives phrases. change a very big change a very very small change a changethat made you happy 3. . bizarre.

relationship. ideas. one of the most controversial issues which is being d. method. issue. Specific examples suggestcontexts.ll only. change. This. position. sele.such as: If you want to . As a simple five-minute activity.Classroom. . behaviour. problem. information. system. is likely to be retained. or one reasonthese words are so common is becausethey are used in many different contexts. suchas: :eu. effect. . question. argument. interest. policy. . solution. stotj. yoLr're more rikeryto swcceecr yowadopt a logicar/ if flexible/cawtious approach. The larger the frame. programnxe. the more useful information. It's an isswewhich tenclsto is iptions and Certificate account. scheme. means learners are more likely to store larger chunks and that they will make fewer mistakes when re-usins the Ianguage themselves. strategies.feature. Really useful words has a very long entry in a collocation dictionary is suitable for this activitv. Take six adjective collocations from a collocation dictionary and write them on the board.mto r prtson 6. consequences. view. clffirence. choose one of these words. tell a. discussion. .iscussed my (in country) at the moment is .activities and exercises 101 \ ords they ip the. . performance. If yow aclopt a more . for example: an ernbarrassing situation a bewildering situation a triclq sitwation n uniquesitwation an extraordinary situation a tensesituation Lnda better Ask leamers to think of a real example of each from their own lives and write a sentence tell a paftner about someof the situations. result. move. This activity rerninds us that teachers should keep language in the largest possible context or frame. rn turn. circumstances. way. you may want to sort examples first (see Activity 7).decision. . plan. . answet approach. approach.illhelp :he1'write. use. . rather than trying to break it down. . theory.project. vision. reason. then put some of the collocationsinto sentenceframes which provide a context. what context does eachof theseexamplessuggest: l si-lt e rr body concoctan implawsible storlt believesomebody's sob storlt with many of the nouns above. idea. condition. . state. u'hich they J\. . situation. . you. action. work.manner. to lressestheir . .theme.funny story run afront poge stoty rived i feel bad 1ctlonary. . including grammatical collocations.

If you choose words of similar meaning.proportions 8. account profession 7. task. Sorting Ask learnersto work in groups and selectitems from a collocation dictionary 'rule'.look up the verb changeand find collocates entry using a 'quickly'. 4.activities and exercises 7.not black and ANSS expect have. For example. Near synonyms Take two or more words with similar meaning. solution. instructions. style. answer. Coller Learners r already kr know. adjectives which meansmall / slight / minor . enter fi You can d as:proble job. view. adjectiveswhich mean big / strong / serious . The difference in the way similar words are used is often largely the difference in their collocational fields. 8.shape.regulations. fault. hope. sinister. overnight. Thans When yor often noti< modify tlu attentron i units. of pieceofpaper. Rapid sorting Give leamers two nouns from a collocation dictionary. image. Five-r Look up c eachwhrc place. gift. More advancedlearnerscan use groups of words of similar meaning. skill. reform. amount. defect directives rules. work. immediately.and This actir providesa as do. with anstr the verb c 10. which they write on a from the entries. abllity.friv olous. problem. pattern. Remember that collocation is about probabilities. tttc perhapsir With a _se econotn\" mone]' econor 12. for example: result. this will help learners build an understanding of how the English words are used. verbsor adjectives which seempositive or negative . aptitude 5. Dc collocatio . 3.conclusion.102 Classroom strategies. eror.explanation. rules. 9. strike. verbs which mean somethingchangedin a certain way 'rules' work well with thesewords: Many of these crisis. file. role. size. for example: far-fetched. quantity. 11. document. Wh verbs whi collocates familiar rr list .structure 6. must be preparedto discusspossibilitiesand sort out possible confusion.occupation. search.fotm. risk scheme. p erverse. 2. dimensions. 'rules'which you can use with many different Here are some more general words.a detaile If you wa activity b. design. Ask leamers to translate some of the collocations into their own language. measures.Readout a selection about 10/12collocates Studentswrite the collocatesin one or both lists as appropriate. such as: abruptly. solution 1. mistake. For example: iniutlt wound Ask learners to look carefully at the adjective and verb collocates of both words in a collocation dictionary. talent. half-known words. marriage. Searchfor: . story. Try to choose relatively new. verbs which mean something started/ stopped .job. career.Or look which suggest up the word reason and find adjectiveswhich are negative in different ways.

perhapsin a 5-1 box. particularly halffamiliar words . place. Five-word stories Look up order andexaminationin a collocation dictionary.insist on have. Make sure they note any relatively new words. choose the words you practisefor particular classes. receivean order enter for. : rvords of rd sort out rilities. product. audible detailed.pointed If you want to wake up a sleepy class.eam. invest.insist on appropriate. Collecting collocations :s of both rvordsare k leamers n'i11 help sed. will often noticeverb + adjective+ noun collocationssuchas eanxa proper wage.or with a specialistgroup economy. modifi the original proposal.againa collocationdictionarywill provide you with a helpful list . re-sit an examination You can do the samewith any noun which suggests extended an processsuch as:problem.Classroom strategies. different ANSWER expect. out a list of about 10 verbs which may collocate with it and ask learners to note all the correct collocatesas you read.activities and exercises 103 black and white choices. REPLY expect. attention and ask them to translate them into their own language as single units. when an interestingnoun comesup in class. Find five verbs for eachwhich suggesta 'story' if they are in a particularorder like this: earch. . 11.stimulate 12.complete detailed. the right hand wall if it collocates with reply. revise for.and add two or three others which do not make correct collocations.get. take. Translating collocations \\rrlte on a theentries. expand. then use the following lists where the non-collocates marked *: are *gain. research.Draw these to students. Or look 3ntways. you can tum this activity into real activity by having learners point to the left hand wall if the verb collocates wirh answer. not when you are browsing a dictionary or reading a text with a class. use sevenor eight correct words.spend money: bot:row. *break. take regular exercise. *do. Doing this regularly will help students become more aware of collocationand lessinclined to translateword-for-word. change. economy: boost. both walls if the verb collocateswith both nouns. with a generalcourseyou might choosemoney. have. *reduce. take.More erample: Learnersoften do not realise how many words collocatewith a word they already know.kick start. This means they do not get full value from the words they know. wa4 negotiations. steer. make.make.system. This activity reminds us of the importance of negative evidence.send. It also provides an opportunity to remind learnersof words they often overusesuch as do. relationship.Here is an example: lCtlOnary roliocates . despatch.

outline. As easy as possible Learners work in small teams.104 Classroom strategies. moving from more general words to stronger seriously.export. 'guess')the headwordwhen they haveall five collocates.withhold test. take language: foreign. If they do not work out (not. corroborate huge.bracket. Continue till everyoneis standing. Team B does the same.loss.calculate.gather.Traditl 1.disgusting.recover. profitable. The interest lies in the fact that collocatesshouldbe chosenso that Team B's task is as easy as possible. Traditior glitter: s gleam: -e glisten: g shimmer . volunteer.conceal.domestic. When Team A has gone though its 10 words. Explor Peter Sund group of e: a pomt ma( "I am incr grammar le approachbi and teacher the student of langua_e An advancr recognlseg uses. If they guessa noun from one collocate.Here are somewords which you can useto demonstrate how to choosewords: examination: revisefor. minimise. explain.provide. Team A then say these one at a time for each headword to Team B who have to write the words down and try to guessthe noun. 8. 2. This activity only works properly if you choose the order of the words carefully.activities and exercises 13. look for. Give each team a list of. advance.horrible interested: not remotely. bar of collect. allowance. chocolate information a theory market tax the cost of Example Example You can r 7. put forward.Check guesses. they stand up. fairl1. 10 nouns which are headwordsin a collocation dictionary. definitely 14. two teams competing against another. which they must try to guess.TeamA scores5 points. terrible.a collocation dictionary is a big help. sign. lose. so there is a systematic elementbuilt into the designof the year.vaguely. taking into account the class level. so that the activity does not become unnecessarily frustrating for learners. Choose these carefully. white.pass. 5.carefu After yor dictionari 15. Notice the game is constructed so that the team which uses the strongest and/or most frequent collocatesis likely to win. growing. Repeatwith a new word. Noun English ri nouns as comfortab that these which tear dominoes blank c board - table r mana-g assrsta 16. dark. bitter. plain. 6.Here are some examples: 1.hold down rules: obey. Tell the leamers that all the words you read out collocate with the same noun. meet. we hope.haven. They list 5 collocates from the dictionary for each noun.awful.evasion cut. When they think they know the noun. spoken. re-sit. words met recently etc.written. using the dictionary. extremely. Each group has about 10 minutes to prepare.4 points and so on. 3.stick to. get. 4. Make sure before you start that there is one word that means everyone will recognise the noun. upsta 10. TeamA scores for 0 that word.Learners write down the collocatesyou read out. say. if they need two collocates. amortise cover. exfex 9. bend.change smell: delicious. The collocation game Choosea noun with a lot of verb or adjectivecollocates again. strong job: apply for.

They recognisegritte4 grow. fighting fit 9. oily surfacedoes shimmer: gleam tremulouslyor glisten Location ead out rs wnte un..ible. fairly. upstairs.sandwich board . as a wet. res0 for loes the rongest . if you have a number of quality . Issue 19) describes the advantagesof exproring a group of examplesrather than looking for distinctions of J"anirrg.apt into a collocation game such as collocation dominoes. properly.tematic vou can Example 3 is suitabre for an English for Academic purposes club club sandwich.activities anrJexercises 10S a ripe old age live 10. "I am increasingly coming to see no distinction between vocabulary and grammar lessons in my mind. You can do the samething with adverbsand adjectlvesor verbs: 7.Classroomstrategies. nouns as adjectives and so on. real chunks of language. Give location l. carefully. words sing the Team A to write iact that . closely. blank cheque. Le!need 'e hope.beyondyour means. 15. the end product of my lessonsis maximising the students'communicative power by exposingthem to useful. so verbs can be used as nouns. replacing them with the belief that a lexical approachbasedon teaching chunks of language is of greatervalue to student and teacher' correspondingly. studentscan do the activity independently in small groups. relatively. Noun + noun combinations English word classesare unusuallyflexible.remarkably. alone. ridiculously. Exploring examples Peter sunderland (Arena. An advanced class want to be able to use words other than shine.board room _ room servtce_ service charge_ chargecard table top .reasonably. Traditional standarddictionary definitions: glitter: sparkle with light gleam: glow or shine not very brightly glisten: gleam or shimmer. they t with a : words . Here are two sequences such combinations of which teacherscan easily ad. in minute detail examine After you have played this game several times. Even advanced leamers do not arways feel comfortabre using noun + noun combinations.quality rime time manasemenr _ managementcourse _ course work _ workshop _ shop assistant_ asslstant manager 16. comparatively. Make ne will "^ssarily rcolate nation lheory rarket tax :ost of . gleam etc but have little idea of the distinguishing uses' luxury. superbly.chequebook . dead easy 8. there have been four ways of distinguishing uses: 1. refrecting a point made by GeorgeWoolard in his chaprer. and Examples4-6 for a business English group. extremely. and may need to be reassured that theseare standardEnglish. thoroughly.

We go sffaight to the real. As with native knowledge of the collocations may be enoughto provide an instinct speakers. .1 Th 5 ." 1 . . eyes. success/hope/interest of shimmer: moonlight on water glow: embers/ashes. Typical EFL dictionary distinguishing information: glitter: many little flashes gleam: reflect/clean glisten: wet/oily shimmer: unsteady. 4.dew drops on grass glimmer: lights (in the distance).activities and exerctses Theseare of practically no useto EFL learners. 5 . the typical and the frequent. of for what is correct. 2. wl 6. I'n 7.The basisof teachingand leaming is observation used language. 6. looking up the word in bold in a collocation dictionary. 4 .106 Classroom strategies. .Yerb Somer. All the mistakes are similar to those made by candidatesin the First Certificate exam. a sanitisedversion of the truth but more user-friendly. wet or oily shimmer: shine with a fairly unsteadylight Theseare slightly more helpful as all the definitions revolve around variations of shine. actual combinations of words as the starting phrases. 3. He. . (eyes) with excitement. career. Typical EFL dictionary examples: glitter: star. I dor 7. Ge 9.I .5 Exercises L.I .This procedurerecognisesthat it is often collocational field which distinguishes thesegroupsof words which have similar meanings. Ohi 5. like those in 3 above. . (gold/black) glisten: sweaton the face. diamonds. Typical EFL dictionary definitions: glitter: shine in a sparkling way gleam: shine brightly as reflecting light or as very clean glisten: shimmer brightly as smooth.and may or may not work back point. wl wl .prize.As can be seen. Coul .I'm 2. I f l 1 0 . 1 . To 1 1 . She< 8 . Correcting common mistakes Correct them by There is a collocation mistake in each of these sentences.I f : tz. 3. eyes(with tears). skin/complexion with health. the probable.I f l This t1' done a I The folr modifie exercls rememt which i such as learners balance 2..the definitions are interchangeable and rely on each other. anay gleam: white a little over-simplified. Studentslearn native-speaker towards distinguishing definitions. 9. If: 8 .soft light Better still. praise/tribute/ report/terms This last approachis of greatestuse. We. car (new).( to comF dictionar cate legit 1. 10.I v 2.

This type of exercise is parlicularly useful as feedback after learners have done a piece of written work.I . . 3. . . you need to make more exercise. . We . She can . 10. Getting on a diet will help you. arlverb + adjective.If in doubt. 9. . .refusedtohelp. If you don't keep to your diet. . . categorically legitimately confidently hardly completely flatly readily strongly fulb tentatively 1. you need to make a diet. Verb + adverb probable. I . check the verb in a collocation dictionary.that activities and exerciseswhich introduce collocations which identify or name a concept. 12. The holiday I went on last year was a full disaster. e starting rork back Lth native m instinct rn of used eld which Some verbs collocate strongly with particular adverbs. deny that it was anything to do with me. It is imporlant to remember. I was completely disappointed when I failed my exam. 7. . . 6. . claim that she had the idea before anyone else. 4. verb + noun collocations such as make a mistake ot propose a toast are perhaps more important if leamers are to build their lexicons in a way which is both systematic and balanced. . you needto miss someweight.Classroom strategies. .. . What happenednext was a really disaster. verb + adverb. . for example. 2. I . If you want to lose weight. I don't think you . for example. . When I did badly in the exam it was a strong disappointment.activities and exercises 107 initions 1. If you want to be really fit. Oh it's you! I . . I . . . recommendwe wait until we have more information. 10. If you are too fat. 11. These exercises are useful and comparatively easy to write. 7. you won't have the result you want.however. I'm sorry. suggestit might be beuer to wait? 8. . appreciatehow seriousthe situation is. . . 6. . 5. 2. . To improve your health you need to do some sacrifices. 4. 3. matlons 8. .. recognised you with your new haircut. 5. Could I . DUtmore Ublack) The following six exercisesall focus on collocations where one of the words modifies the other. expect to make as much profit this year as last.Use each adverb once to complete these sentences. 2. admit I did not expect things to change so quickly. forgot to passyour message on. 9. I'm afraid I would like to do a seriouscomplaint. when you decide what to study. . . He. t them by stakesare . you must make a planned choice.

it . exhausted disorganised handicapped disillusioned greedy honest inaccurate remarkable sceptical theoretical 5.but I can't find it. 11. 4. His w diffen 8. out of hand the possibility of 2. . 12. The government legislation. .. .activities and exercises 3. . . If in doubt. low. 5. 3. .. The governmenthas . . . 3. . . 6. . 6. 9. . If yor 6. . .somewhat sceptical.. look up the verbs in a collocation dictionary.. . Everything's agreed. Alternativesto very you With manyadjectives wantto usevery. . When the news got out... changing the law.. 10... 6 .. high and J .. 5 .. Have you seenmy briefcase anywhere?I've . dotted line.You need to use each of theseverbs once: accept reject I 6 'l I Now cc 1. .. . try to record a word with it which meansvery. 8.. for example. The I parry change search live sign prove spread refuse think 2.. example: with a similarmeaning highly qualified bitterly disappointed encouraged unexpected recommended prepared Use a collocation dictionarv to add a word which meansvery to eachof these: 1. 4..108 Classroom strategies. The Ir and tt 5.. . IhopeIwill... 4. point-blankto consider iritroducing new 1. beyond all shadow of doubt that he did it. . . 8. . 8.we're just waiting for them to .7 Ci 9.. to a ripe old age. Often you can also find a word which means a bit. . grateful impractical offensive ruthless sure unacceptable Some advert a collc l When you put an adjective in your notebook. .. 7.7 . like wildfire. 7.Thet the fi .r h 10 Ir a) An ex to lea phrase 5. Verb + adverb phrase Some adverb phrasessffongly suggestone particular verb.. 2. on the 4.. The P so hel . . . .. Can you add the verb (in the correct form) to each of these?The clue is in the adverb phrase.bluttherearelots of otherwords For or which aresffonger moreprecise. This .. slightly inaccurate. . She's somo 4. .. The d 7. 2. Adr Now do the samewith these: 1.

different sectionsof the audience. In this exercise. associatedwith b. f o r t h ej o b _ w e d o n ' tw a n t ' ' ' ' ten minutes from the sea' 4. situated . the idea from the start. The Presidenthas been so he's very anxiousthat it is a success. . . . . . . closely 3. you're 6.Thenewproductionof'Hamlet'was.. . 5.i. S h e ' so o . Either . highly 5. .. ideally 7. . hese: 8. 9. .. List I 1.. The band's tour of Japan . . t someonewith a degree. out of all recognition.. . chosen d. . enthusiastically 4.activities and exercises 109 vords. . The houseis . .. 2. Match each adverb in List 1 with an adjectivein List 2. If you think I'm going to agreeto that.Classroom strategies. . mistaken e. 10 It was years since I'd been there and the town had . . badly 8. qualified should find allihe answers in a collocation dictionary by looking up the adjectives. I seewhat you mean.complete with the verb.ith it ightly ld the ilase. . at the moment.. they need to leam the whole phrase. balanced c. in triumph witha sell_out concertin Tokyo. whenthefirestarted.. . the first night audience. Adverb + adjective some adverb + adjective collocations are often fairly strong... and ten minutes to trr" -ounr. . reach Now complete each of thesesentences with one of the expressions: . 8. We're obviously . . . carefully 6. 5. delicately 2. 3 .. dangerously List 2 a. . alonR the same lines. overcrowded f. His words were .Thediscowas lready a the . . An exerciselike this can be used to encouragelearnersto seethat it is better to learn language in chunks. 7.. received h.. The election is very party could win. to ensurethey appealedto .

Diana hasjust 2. . . rewarded 7. damaged d. . considered be Goldine's most successful book. appalled to hear they were discussingbringing back the death penalty. A new . illustrated f. . bitterly 2.activities and exercises 6. look up the verbs in a collocation dictionary.near the citv and surroundedby beautiful mountains. Adverb + adjective Use eachof theseadverbsonce to complete the examples. for supplying personaldetails. .been . You can 3. 3. Oasis'snew tour was . I'm . tempted to keep the money . eagerly 5. biographyof Princess . anticipated b. absolutely heavily richly 1 Rumour 2. If some investi-e 5. supposedto be . List 1 1. Are you 6. heavily 8. lavishly 4. . You cal densely hopelessly severely fatally ideally sorely generally narrowly strictly 2. . by interest appeared. Everl dese 9. . . populated parts of 4. All rh Now complete thesetexts using each of the expressionsonce: and ticketswere . The house is . 3.on the coast. . Expo handi 72. seemsto have been .I was .limited h. but in fact they were to two per person. widely 7. 6. supplied by in America. extensively 1. . . generously 6. . You can 6. situated. 5.110 Classroom strategies. limited. rather so-calledfriends ofhers who have. available c. . You can This type samething 9. You can 7. z. Suppliesat this low price are . Opposil Use a coll the one in 1. 7.I could do with some extra at the moment. There are some new. . You car to 1 . I was . I rea roun( 8. It personalphotos. by so-calledfriends. You can 8. . The t 10. Johnis have evl 7. We thor JOUme) 4. News ca 5.I'm reputationcan be glad I'm not famous. . . Famouspeople often don't realise their . influenced by g. I had an to the fr . . 'Lord of the Flies' is still . . Synonl Use a coll word in br doubt. Central California is one of the most the United States. List2 a. The p in the 8. You should find all the answersin a collocation dictionary by looking up the adjectives. strictly 3.If in doubt. disappointed e. You can 8. Adverb + adjective Match the adverbsin List 1 with the adjectivesin List 2. You grc 4. . . that I couldn't get any tickets all.

Synonyms 9. . . . . 3. ll. . All the newscomingfrom the regionis. .confused. public opinion. . but the damageto the back was . 8. The theory tumed out to be )Ie use a collocation dictionary to find another word similar in meanins to the word in bold: l. . . 7. . 10. . 8. certainminimum qualifications. News can slip out or .. . Yotcan get into a row or get. Opposites use a collocationdictionary to find a word which is oppositein meaning to the one in bold: 1. . . . .Iwas. . 8. . . 2.find all 7. employees. . 7. Yolcan impose or . which gives leamers altemative ways of saying the samething. . . . deserved. . The polls suggestthat the govemment will be . . which was . This type of exercise. . 9. 8. we thought that crossing the Kalahari would be a fairly dangerous joumey. . . . is only suitable for advancedlearners. There was some sright damage to the front of the car. flawed. instructions? 6. . You can galvaniseor. . . . . . You can make a guess or. look up 'ino'q 3. . . . . . def-eated in the referendum. I had an accident in my car rast week. censored. . .. You can either Ioosen your grip on something or . an embargoon a counfy.Classroomstrategies. . but it turned out to be quite . . . in one. . 5.activities and exercises 1ll :'iuid. You can see something clearly or . . you can instigate an investigation and then it if it is causing too much troubre. it. 12. . . .but Tony is one of the most guestsI have ever entertained. . . 6. a guess.I ' m ubt. I realisedI'd taken the wrong road. . up in it. . . You can dismissor. John is the perfect guest. out. . and when I cameto the second roundabout. . . . 5. Rumours are rife trr . 4. Exporters who do not have foreign languageskills are handicapped. . . . . hasjust rnlerest lied by ise their i s . . You grow up in a neighbourhoodor are . . Are you the sort of person who follows or . . . 4. 2. You can demand or. . . If somebodyis stealing things at work. . . Everyonewas delightedat her success. h some parts of olno ! and .

Our holiday in Iceland was an minute of it. .. .so once again remind learners of the need to learn words in collocations or larser chunks. .. . assumptionthat he will passthe exam easily.. . 3.112 Classroom str(ttegies. . .. . . .. I l. again. giftforhelping otherpeople. 10. margin. . weaUstrong teabutthe opposite of strong cheeseis mild cheesenot *weak cheese. . . .. crash.If in doubt. . The missing verb What are the missing verbs in the following collocations? The same verb completes all three examples. The enth 12. analyse. 6. accept. . 2 ..a 7. . acclaim. danger to an understanding an accident toadecision aquestion concem embarrassment fear 1 . coincidence. I found myself in the . 5 6 11.L Complete the sentences using each of theseadjectivesonce. . Your parentsgave you very . 1 0 . build up. . . check the nouns in a collocation dictionary. . . . The team won the championshipby a very .r 2. come to. the biggest ever. Odd vr One verb i which does 4. .a 2. . disappointment when I couldn't get onto the course liked most. deal wirtt 5. It's a . accept.. . . d 5 .lntet You dor house/pn always a the noun Add one more thal 2. . . 13.but four out of five membersof the team come from the samevillage.. arrange. . The old part ofthe town suffered . . 6 . .. 8. . amistake a statement an observatiofl 4. 4. . . Notice how important it is to learn words in phrasesrather than single words. come up 4. . . you need to go on a . t 3. panic a problem smbarrassment 11. . .. . . If you're seriousabout losing weight.. It's a embarrassing remarkable extensive genuine sound strict inspired wide powerful wild 7 . 8 . . 1. position of having to apologise 2.. Interesting adjectives . Exercises used carefi . 9 . . damagein the war. . .. . We enjoyed every 3. . It was a. t . . . . choice.< . 5 to a complete standstill 5. .. . .activities and exercises Sometimesthe oppositeof weak ts strong. Thet you 12. . to them. In each caseone ofthe adjectivesis the fairly obvious choice. fin Now try the 1. He has a.. diet. advice. describe. bitter safe 1. . .You'd be wise to listen . . .. ..

. reach.. give rise to... respond to 5. repair.. The performancewas absolutely wonderful and greetedwith enthusiasmby a large audience. crash. service.complaint .determine.exaggerate. decide.consequences . require.go to.. do. arrange.answer. endorse. accident .make.. disparage. Add one or more of these adjectivesto each of the nouns below. Odd verb out one verb in each line does not collocate with the noun. hire. describe. reduce 2. write off 8.. 1. praise. interestingjob/person/book. put off. Interesting adjectives . come to. study. complete heavy special great serrcus strong excellent total successful caseone rful .. cross out the one which does not fit. have. 11. throw Now try thesemore difficult words: 1.activities and exercises 113 )ositeof learngrs 11. set up.. Sometimes more than one is possible.Classroom strategies. 4 5 6. argumentfor spendinga yeur at work before you go to university.confusion 8. 9. 10. examine.. ne verb location her than 12. analyse. 3.. takebver. 13. run... gatecrash. recall.establish..... sign 3._reject 6... get.. deal with... do. 12. 13.agreement ban career .. share he 7. it is always a good idea to leam at least one adjective which you can use to make the noun stronger. have. reject. close down... enjoy. 'correct' answersneed to be used carefully so that they help rather than confuse leamers. defeat doubts emphasis example feature flavour Exercises like this. ..advantage ..act on. ... ignore..When you leam a noun. 12. expect. 7.. take 2. accept. check in your dictionary.. 2. listen rery 4. ignore.... make. You don't want to use the same few adjectives all the time: a big house/problem. trace AN ACHIEVEMENT AN AGREEMENT THE CAUSE . wind up ADVICE AN ANSWER A BUSINESS A COMPLAINT CRITICISM A CAR A pARTy AN EXPERIENCE 1.come in for. There is a . park. build up. disregard. .. which do not have unique. supply 3.. make.implement.. finish. If you are in doubt.. solicit. come up with..follow.. ... accept.

. . i t w i l l a l w a y s . they are ready for all eventualities.provide.But it grew back. The situa no choice Remember. move.apply.put.realise for.endorse. meet. . Look vp news in a collocation dictionary. the emergencyservicesswing into action. stragglyhair shehad she hated even from childhood. . To prepare students to write an essay. which verbs suggesla chemicctl/mathematical formwla. . . . Won 5. o u t . . and which suggest more generalplan? a Notice that some of the most useful nouns are rather generalwords which do not caffy very much meaning: answer. . . Today as soon as news . No matter what they do t o s t o p i t. . . it is flashedacrossthe world by satellite.Shehadeven.are ol teachingma to develop a . . adopt. . Then ffy to complete this shorl text: A hundred years ago news was slow to in. sign a provisional agreement.. As part of their everyday work. . gather.the same. classify.compensate outweigh. withhold sensitivematerial. . 3. news. . Words like this are often used with a verb with a very precise meaning. . collate. acknowledge. Then try to completethis short text: Emergencies can never be . off . When they take . . . Match ee verbs in l Group A: Group B: Group C: Group D: Group E: Group F: Now do tl ana( In No 8.organise.changes. . . announce. . THE DISADVANTAGE(S) MATERIAL A NEED A POLICY A FORMULA 15. It's a -eo 2. relax propose.policy. cause. 14. .activities and exercises 4. moderate. 2. condemn.test.She hadtried. . Look up emergency. There are 5. and often with an adjective too in phrases llke act on professional advice. she had it all . .ll4 Classroom strategies. . fin.It is almost impossible for govemmentsto . I decidec decision 3. emergencies happen all the time and cannot be .cteate.start from scratch. . said. text .work out 8. Group A: GroupB: GroupC: GroupD: GroupE: 16. The desr politiciar 4. . . . . Look tp hair. .Senten Put the foll in fa tn re) 1. . . . deny. even with the best planning. She had tried every kind of shampoo. introduce radical changes. . . withhold 6. hair. . .Unfortunately. itpure white just like Annie Lennox. . it a differentcolour. they . establish. Then try to completethis short text: Sandrahad dull .do. . . .cause. answer. Eventually.first ask them to write a paragraph similar to those aboveusing five or six collocations of an important noun they will needfor the essay. . . for an emergencyso that when one . . .. Short paragraphs 1. respondto 7.

Classroom strategies.ED )OLICY {TMULA J which u'hich do ls like this n with an :e radical 15. it was the wrong decision. huge Group C: heavy.severe. declare.\GE(S) ERIAL I NE. excessive Group E: appropriate.poor.. go into. capital. She re white :art from shehad a paragraph rt noun they .things haveto changeand changesoon! Remember. lose. hefty. prolong. It's a good idea in theoryt in other words in practice in particwlar but it will neverwork 2.mount. long. on-the-spot.go to.lenient. wage. 3. immediate. be vulnerableto. reduced Group B: harsh. Group A: Group B: Group C: Group D: avoid.firm.face.phraseswhich help the reader through the text . intervene in. politicians are starting to take it more seriously.step up Group E: fight. the all verbs thegroupmustcollocate in with thenoun. provoke. pick.brutal. there are simply not enough hospital beds. harsh 16. take up in.suspended. Leamers need practice of this kind of languageif they are to develop an adequatelexicon for writing. put an end to. in fairness m retrospect 1. The destructionof the rain forestsis a disaster. lenient. caffy out. lead to. attack battle dispute fiSht struggle war be engaged continue. token Group D: effective. force. Sentenceadverbs Put the following sentenceadverbsinto the sentences below.are one kind of collocation which is frequently under-represented in teachingmaterials.discourse markers . The situationis getting worse and worse. roo. I should have stayedon and gone to university. I decidedto leave school at sixteen. join. slack.get involved in. resolve Now do the samewith these: fin" penalty punishment sentence discipline Group A: heavy. give up.the r work.stiff. this short soonas almost they do . There are many problems with the presentHealth Service.. ihey are happen 1ng. although.stiff. .start. life.activities and exercises 115 . 4. get into. resist. death. launch.Remember.Wordsinto groups Matcheachof thesenounsto oneof the groups of verbs. fit. win Group F: aggravate.heavy. we have no choice.

have. or can easily be adaptedto have. but very wide collocationfields [See activity 6. which are common and useful. Generalnouns. Very rarely are the lines betweentwo this kind clear. sometimesit must come after. perhaps more importantly. This involves an important change of perspective for many teachers.perhapssome of the verbs are used with the headword mostly when it is literal. which learners overusewhen they do not know the appropriateverb collocate. langua-ee tlme. In addition to the activities and exercisesdiscussedin this chapter. is ensuring that learners notice the collocations and other phrases in the input language. it is one of the best ways you can yourself develop a clearer understanding of collocation and in tum help your leamers to notice.activities and exerctses 5. one use tends to overlap and merge into another.that is how real languageworks. two wamings. tea successf these rea balanced which hel activities encourag of input b Discuss Think of a it so that rt Do you thl the classr collocatior How woulr the idea be 5. be wamed that collocation is never as simple as it seems. Learners think they 'know' thesewords. Finally.7 Surnmary All of the contributors to this book stressthe importance of making leamers more aware of the phrasalnature of language. The single most important kind of collocationis the type which names a concept. Finally. *make a hard diet). but they are a source of many mistakeswhen leamers(mis-)usethem in speechand writing. which cannot be used with a parlicular noun (xdo a complaint. You need to pay special attention to: . De-lexicalised verbs such as do.particularly those used to emphasising the languagethat studentsproduce. a collocational focus. record and leam language from the texts they read in a way which builds their mental lexicons efficiently and systematically. get. make. others mostly when it is 'diffetent'uses of more metaphorical. They need to learn both which can be used with a particular noun. the single most important contribution the teacher can make to ensuring that input becomes intake. p 101]. which have little meaning on their own. .usually verb + noun (move house)or verb + adjective + noun (take the wrong turning). and. and sometimeseither position is possible with very similar meanings. Some adjective + noun or verb + noun combinations are much more common if they are used in the negative. Although writing exercisescan be very frustrating. keep.put.The single most important kind of multi-word item is collocation.We now recognisethat it is noticing the input .116 Classroom strategies.sometimesthe adverb must come in front of the verb.6 Your own exercises If you write your own exercises using a collocationdictionary and copying one of the above formats.many of the 45 Activities and 30 Exercise-types discussedin Chapters 6 and 7 of Implementing the Lexical Approach focus on collocations. and many familiar activities either already have.

At the same time. A balanced leaming programme also involves quiet reflection and homework which helps to reinforce input. Discussion questions Think of a vocabulary activity you use regularly in class. teachers and learners expect to produce language in class. that all activities and exercisesshould be designedto support the central activity of encouragingleamers to notice languagein ways which maximise the chance of input being retained as long-term intake.however. many of Lnd7 of familiar rcational Ieamers tant kind kind of Ln(move he single rat input Lndother tange of ising the the input . How can you adapt it so that it focusses collocationsratherthan singlewords? on Do you think your learnersleam most of their vocabulary in class or outside the classroom? what do you do in class to ensure that they can acquire collocations and phrasesfrom the languagethey meet outside the classroom? How would you introduce the idea of collocation to a classwho had never met the idea before? mrngon . productive activities and exercises are important.activities and exercises ll7 opymg rle as it :imes it similar : much :rbs are en it is usesof is how ng. For these reasons alone. Teachersshould remember. rt rs ding of rnguage exicons language which is crucial to expandinglearners'mental lexicons.Classroomstrategies.earners :s when learners needto ls more mplaint. and any successfulmethodology needs to maintain involvement and motivation.

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