Why and How to teach Collocations


Why and How to Teach Collocations

It is accepted that choosing our words carefully in certain situations is more important than choosing grammatical structures.We cannot use structures correctly if we do not have enough vocabulary knowledge.Language consists of chunks that produce coherent texts when they are combined.

Here are some tips for teaching collocations:

  1. Make students aware of collocations. Students need to know that learning collocations is crucial for learning English, and noticing collocations is an important stage in learning.
  2. Teaching individual collocations. We should present collocations as we would present individual words. At higher levels, when students learn less common vocabulary items, they need to be made aware that some words are used in a very restricted number of collocations. Students also need to know how to use new vocabulary items, which makes it necessary to know about their collocational field and contexts in which they are used.
  3. Storing collocations. Students need to have an organized vocabulary journal to record collocations. They can organize their journals in different ways: grammatically, by common key word, by topic, etc. They can also make use of tables or spider-grams, which work well with visual learners. For example, students can record certain collocations under headings such as have/take/do or make.








Average: 5 (1 vote)


lilitbee's picture

An interesting post, Armine! And how do you help the learners produce collocations in speech?

Armine Gatrjyan's picture
Armine Gatrjyan

 Dear Lilit  I'm glad that you are interested in this topic.I usually ask my students to make up stories using the collocations. But before that I give them activities with collocations to cosolidate them. I give them papers divided into two halves with the task of matching them. or just fill in the gaps using a part of collocation. Sometimes they read a text and find collocations there, or after reading the text they match the definitions with the underlined collocations. In short I recycle them in different ways until I'm sure they learn them. Armine