A Corpus-based Study of Collocation Production of Chinese EFL Learners

Bowen Gao, Lin Zhu, Lin Zhu, Ziyan Luo, Ziyan Luo

Abstract


It is of great difficult for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners to acquire collocation. This research investigated V + N collocation production of Chinese middle school university EFL learners based on TECCL (Ten-thousand English Composition of Chinese Learners) corpus, aiming at discovering the difficulties in collocation usage. In the study, collocations in the writing samples were identified manually and evaluated by dictionaries, corpus and native speakers as right or wrong. Collocation accuracy was figured out and errors were examined. Therefore, difficulties in collocation usage were discovered. The data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively to yield the following three findings: first, middle school students and university students respectively produced 79% and 83% correct collocations among their collocation production. Second, collocation accuracy did not improve significantly as overall L2 (second language) proficiency increases. Third, wrong choice of verb and noun was the largest problem for Chinese EFL learners. The results also suggested that L1 (first language) influence and deficiency in L2 knowledge affected collocation usage. Based on these findings, pedagogical implications were discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ije.v11i4.15895

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