My story with collocations
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 read about as a teacher. I started implementing its teachings straightaway.
These are some of the points I found most useful:
Your 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 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 a free poster)
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 Blackboard English
Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach: The state of ELT and the way forward. Hove, England: Language Teaching Publications.