EFL Learners’ Writing Progress through Collocation Awareness-raising Approach: An analytic assessment

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Department of Language and Basic Science, Faculty of Petroleum Engineering, Petroleum University of Technology, Abadan, Iran

Abstract

There is insufficient rigorous research examining which features of EFL/ESL learners’ writing can be improved through their awareness/knowledge of collocation. This study, therefore, addressed this issue and examined the effect of this awareness on Iranian EFL learners’ writing performance with respect to the specific features of each writing sub-component (i.e., content, organization, vocabulary and language use) in the short and long term. The study was a quasi-experimental using a within- and between-group approach utilizing a pre-test/post-test design with a control group supplemented with the qualitative information obtained from the interviews with the writing raters. The results showed that developing knowledge/awareness of collocations effectively improved the participants’ quality of writing in terms of ‘vocabulary’, ‘organization’ and ‘language use’. A deeper analysis of the results revealed that the observed improvements in these sub-components were in terms of some particular features: the range of sophistication, lexical choice and usage; succinctness, fluency and clarity of the expressed ideas; and the accuracy of agreement, tense and prepositions. In addition, the sub-findings emerging from the results accentuated the significance of instructional intervention, in general, and first language-second language contrastive analysis, in particular, in helping L2 learners notice, note and incorporate collocations in their output.

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