MA IDS Thesis Projects

Collocations: The Effects of Explicit, Repetitious, Corpora-Based Instruction on Speaking Proficiency of ESL Learners

Jennifer Conrad, Concordia University - Portland

Abstract

This study examined how explicit, frequency based instruction, utilizing a corpus-validated target collocation, influenced the speaking proficiency of beginning-level, Spanish-speaking ESL students. Previous research has shown the value of using corpora to provide valid and authentic input for second language (L2) learners of English. Also, methods utilizing inputs of frequency paired with explicit teaching methods have been shown to positively affect the learning gains of collocations by ESL students. The participants in this study were 13 adult Latina students enrolled in a 4-week summer program. The quasi-experimental design focused on the target phrase enough +noun as a companion to the ongoing student curriculum. Post-experiment data analysis revealed positive learning gains by the students in the experimental group and insignificant gains by the control group. As a result of this evidence, the teaching of collocations may become an essential element in improving the speaking proficiency of English language learners.