The collocation Love story

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?

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

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.