Instructional Efficacy of Corpus-Based Tools in Teaching Collocations to Iranian University Students with Different Majors

Javad Akbari, Hamidreza Haghverdi, Reza Biria


Coxhead’s (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) has been frequently utilized in EAP classrooms and reconsidered in light of various domain-specific corpora. Although well-received, the AWL has been criticized for ignoring the fact that words tend to show irregular distributions and be used in different ways across disciplines. Such difference concerns collocations. The present study investigated the instructional efficacy of corpus-based tools  in teaching collocations to Iranian university students with different specialized domains. After administering the Solution Placement Test, participants were divided into control and experimental groups. Each group included seventy-five students with three specialized domains, namely; law, dentistry, and physical education. The experimental group was taught the collocations and lexical chunks through using corpus-based tools and the control group was taught through traditional method in which they did not receive any instructional tools, innovative materials, and instruments. The findings indicated that teaching collocations through corpus-based tools was of significant help to the students' retention and learning of collocations. Furthermore, the results showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in both post-test and delayed post-test. The findings of the present study may offer implications to EFL teachers, materials developers, and curriculum designers.    


corpus-based tools, specialized domains, chunks, retention, collocations

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