Oct 26, 2013

We are lexically indebted to him

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I opened my Facebook yesterday morning and was saddened to see Chia Suan Chong’s post about the passing of Dave Willis. I went over to Twitter and the feed was already filled with RIPs and condolences. For most in the ELT world Dave Willis’s name is associated with Task-Based Learning. But his contribution to lexical approaches to language teaching is just as outstanding. In fact, his pioneering work on the first Lexical Syllabus predates Michael Lewis’s seminal book by three years, the main difference between the two being words as a starting point for Willis and collocations for Lewis.

Oct 9, 2013

Learners' use of collocations: insights from the research

By jjpacres via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
I often cite research in my talks so in this series of posts I would like to share some interesting studies which looked at how second language (L2) learners use collocations. This post reviews three studies which sought to answer, among others, the following questions:

1. At what level of proficiency are learners more likely to make collocational errors? 

2. To what extent are learner’s errors caused by negative transfer (aka interference) from L1?