My story with collocations

BlackboardEnglish.comThis is a guest post by Halima from BlackboardEnglish.com.

If you would like to publish a guest post on PurlandTraining.com, please do get in touch!

I used to teach vocabulary differently than I do now. I taught single words and grammar. I had taught in a classroom setting before I started teaching online. My students learnt all the new words well. I even had tests to help them remember new words. They always did well when they did the tests. However, when they tried to use the vocabulary during a speaking or written activity, they would sound so unnatural. That’s when I started my collocations journey.  I started researching, and reading and I found out about the Lexical approach by Michael Lewis. A new approach to teaching vocabulary and grammar. It was the most exciting thing I had read about as a teacher. I started implementing its teachings straightaway.

These are some of the points I found most useful:

  • The brain stores and retrieves word chunks quickly
  • Collocations are words that sound natural together to native speakers of English
  • Collocations help you produce natural English
  • It improves your spoken and written fluency
  • It helps you to build a larger vocabulary bank
  • Successful language is more important that accurate language

What should you do now that you know this information?

  • Use a collocations dictionary online and if you can buy a hard-copy (watch my video to help you learn how to use a collocations dictionary)
  • Start taking notes of new word chunks
  • Start listening and reading more
  • Learn the seven different types of collocations and examples and start noticing them (download the poster to stick on your wall)
  • Don’t be afraid to start using your English!

I hope this article helps. Send me an email and let me know what you think! HS@BlackboardEnglish.com

Written by Halima from BlackboardEnglish.com.

References:

Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach: The state of ELT and the way forward. Hove, England: Language Teaching Publications.

My video:

https://youtu.be/k0_a-C6Vqho

The free poster link:

http://eepurl.com/cWbw0j

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