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Collocations in ESL writing: head verb frequency effects and malformed collocations responses

Abd Halim, Hasliza (2019) Collocations in ESL writing: head verb frequency effects and malformed collocations responses. International Journal of Education, Psychology and Counseling, 4 (27). pp. 91-104. ISSN 0128-164X

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Collocations are words that commonly occur together or near each other in a text (Coxhead, 2006), for example, make a decision and foot the bill. Collocations and phrases are important because they help with fluency in writing and even speaking. This study explores the vocabulary knowledge of speakers of Malaysian English as it is assumed that non-native speakers of standard English do not share similar advantages to native speakers. It is due to the fact that non-native speakers, particularly adult learners, are normally expected to acquire words rather than phrases (Kuiper, Columbus & Schmitt, 2009). In addition to that, Wray (2002) claims that non-native speakers acquire individual words separately which later pair for correct collocations. Thus, this study examined the collocations acquired by Malaysian learners with exposure to local English. The study is looking at restricted verb-noun collocations of written English. The objective of the study is to assess the effect of head verb frequency on the acquisition of English restricted collocations. A group of foundation students who participated in the study have answered a set of cloze tests (Halim, 2014) and produced an essay each. The results show that there is a moderate and positive relationship between the head verb frequency and the test scores in the case high (light) frequency verbs of giving, stop make, get, and one medium frequency head verb, clear. The set of malformed collocations revealed the types of responses learners tend to come up with and indirectly illustrate the challenge the learners encounter in mastering restricted collocations. What is observed is that many of the non-idiomatic responses are from high light frequency and high frequency verbs.This suggests that the second hypothesis, that the verb choice made for the non-idiomatic answers would be at the high end of the frequency spectrum, was supported.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Verb-Noun Collocations, Malaysian English, Head Verb Frequency, Malformed Collocations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: School of Business Management
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2020 06:58
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2020 06:58
URI: http://repo.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/26793

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