Objective and subjective collocational frequency
Association strength measures and EFL teacher intuitions
Research states that when deciding what target lexical items to focus in their syllabi, textbook designers tend to use their intuition and establish their framework for vocabulary teaching accordingly rather than using a systematic method. With the advent of computational methods for language analysis, contemporary EFL publishers also claim they have begun to design corpus-informed textbooks reflecting actual language use in their products as evidenced in a representative corpus. In an attempt to offer a more rational method to form corpus-oriented and pedagogically convenient target vocabulary lists, the present study, exploiting different association measures in a representative corpus, seeks to detect the collocational strength of 50 target word combinations presented in the two EFL textbooks as an initial step. Additionally, inspired by Ellis et al.’s (2008) research, the current study aims to investigate if/to what extent the association measures indicating collocational strength correlate with EFL instructors’ intuitions regarding collocational frequency. The results indicate that EFL instructors’ collocational frequency intuitions correlate strongly with an objective collocational frequency measure (t-score). The findings are likely to guide decision makers in tertiary level schools in constructing their vocabulary syllabi and designing materials for teaching collocations in particular.
Keywords: collocation, frequency, association measures, intuition, teaching vocabulary
Published online: 02 March 2021
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