English / Thai Learners' Knowledge Of English Collocations

Thai Learners' Knowledge Of English Collocations

Autor:  mprima  05 August 2012
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Words: 8106   |   Pages: 33
Views: 377

Abstract

This paper investigates Thai learners’ receptive and productive knowledge of English collocations. It analyzes their problems in the usage of 3 types of collocations: lexical, grammatical and bound. Data was collected from multiple choice, error recognition and gap-filling tasks. Quantitative analysis was used to identify whether any type of collocation posed more difficulty than the others. The results indicate wide-ranging problems in Thai learners’ collocational knowledge. Difficulties were observed in both reception and production of all three types of collocations. Students showed different orders of difficulty in the multiple choice and gap-filling tasks. While grammatical collocations posed a problem for learners in both tasks, lexical and bound collocations caused more problems in reception than in production. In the error recognition task, a further interesting finding is the difference in correlation between students’ ability to recognize and correct a collocational error. While students were more likely to be able to identify and correct false lexical and bound collocations, they were less able to correct a false grammatical collocation even if they could recognize it. Plausible explanations for these findings are provided. Finally, the researchers strongly advocate the lexical approach to help develop Thai learners’ collocational knowledge.

1. Introduction

The teaching of collocations to L2 learners has gained more and more importance during the last two decades. Most ESL teachers nowadays are well aware that in order to achieve a native-like command of English, their students need not only to know grammatical rules but also to be able to distinguish grammatically well-formed sentences that are “natural” from those that are “unnatural”. Collocational knowledge is an essential part of this proficiency. While this knowledge is one of the key components of native speakers’ intuition, it is very unlikely that non-native speakers als...



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