On Second Language Learner Acquisition of English Collocations

by James Martin Rogers (Meijo University, Japan)

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Research suggests that mastering collocations is crucial for learning English as it enhances both accuracy and fluency. However, many questions remain regarding how to promote English collocation learning effectively. “On Second Language Learner Acquisition of English Collocations” by Dr. James Martin Rogers offers a thorough review of existing research on collocation learning and outlines a novel process of creating a research-based list of useful English collocations. This book is significant as it introduces new methods to identify useful collocations and provides valuable resources for facilitating the acquisition of English collocational knowledge. I recommend this book to instructors, researchers, learners, materials developers, and anyone interested in teaching and learning English collocations.

Dr. Tatsuya Nakata
Professor, College of Intercultural Communication
Rikkyo University, Japan

Collocations are words that commonly co-occur, such as ‘jury’ and ‘verdict.’ Collocational fluency is an essential aspect of second language fluency. Learning a language via collocations improves upon the efficacy of language acquisition because it essentially kills three birds with one stone: students learn vocabulary, collocations, and also subconsciously absorb the grammar patterns of language through mastery of these chunks of language. This is, in fact, similar to the way native speakers learn language and an efficient way to become fluent.

This book will detail efforts to create and then apply a methodology to develop a large-scale high-frequency collocation list and custom-tailored collocation resources for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean learners to study directly and for practitioners to utilize as reference materials to create additional resources.

Presented in this book is a novel approach taken to fill a major gap in the research and to create large-scale resources that were previously unavailable. Therefore, this book should be considered a valuable contribution to research that aims to help second language learners more effectively achieve fluency in English as a second language.

List of Figures and Tables

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Review of the Literature
Overview of Second Language Learning Research
On Learners’ Lack of Collocational Fluency
On the Learning Burden of Collocations
On Approaching and Defining Collocations
What is a Collocation?
Types vs. Lemmas vs. Word Families
On Semantic Transparency
On Concgramming, MWU Length, and Colligation
On the Value of Collocations
On the Lack of Research and Resources
On the Direct Teaching of Collocations
On Utilizing Corpus Data to Identify Collocations
On Using L1-L2 Congruency to Identify
Useful Collocations

Chapter 3 Addressing Gaps in the Research
The Gaps in the Research
Research Methods and Techniques
Research Paradigm
Data Source, Collection Methodology, and Analysis
Filling the Gaps in the Research
What is an Ideal Corpus Frequency Data Cut-off for Identifying High-frequency General English MWUs?
Is Corpus Dispersion Data Reliable for Identifying High-frequency General English MWUs?
Is Corpus Chronological Data Reliable for Identifying High-frequency General English MWUs?
Is Consideration for Colligation an Important Criterion for Identifying High-frequency General English MWUs?
What Percentage of High-frequency General English MWUs is Deemed by Fluent Speakers Worthy of Expanding Beyond Their Most Frequent Exemplar?
What Percentage of MWUs Most Representative of High-frequency General English Lemmatized Concgrams Has Low Semantic Transparency?
What Percentage of MWUs Most Representative of High frequency General English Lemmatized Concgrams Has Low L1-L2 Congruency With Japanese, Chinese, and Korean?
Is Fluent Speaker Intuition Reliable Regarding High-frequency Vocabulary Usage in Context Creation?
What is Japanese University Students’ Knowledge of MWUs Most Representative of High-frequency General English Lemmatized Concgrams?

Chapter 4 Implications and Applications

Chapter 5 Conclusion


Dr. James Martin Rogers is an associate professor at Meijo University. He has published over 50 publications on English as a second language-related topic, including publications in top-tier journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, English for Specific Purposes, and Language Teaching Research. He has also led or been part of research teams that have received over 30 million yen worth of Japanese government grants to do educational research. Dr. Rogers is also the creator of multiple language-learning smartphone applications that have been downloaded over 200,000 times. His research interests include corpus linguistics, vocabulary acquisition, collocation, and C.A.L.L.

collocations, vocabulary acquisition, corpora, concgram, concgramming, linguistics, corpus linguistics, second language acquisition, foreign language acquisition, English as a second language, ESL, English as a foreign language, EFL, Teaching English to speakers of other languages, TESOL, Japanese learners of English, Chinese learners of English, Korean learners of English