فروشگاه

توضیحات

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners:

A Corpus-Based Analysis

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I am indebted to so many people that listing and thanking them all for the different ways they helped me is simply not possible in this
limited space, but I thank each one of them in my heart. First and foremost, I am honored to thank Dr. Fahimeh Ma’refat, my supervisor, for her unfailing patience, constant encouragement, and invaluable comments during the preparation of this thesis. She has been extremely
Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

indefatigable, patient and supportive in all my years as a graduate student in Allameh Tabataba’i University and has enormously contributed to my understanding of EFL domain throughout her courses and in various classes with her effective teaching and constructive criticism. I shall not forget her name for the rest of my life.

I am deeply indebted to Dr. Mehdi Nowruzi Khiabani, my advisor, who kindly provided me with invaluable insight in his field of expertise and continuous encouragement. I also wish to thank him for his informative article on the sources of collocational clashes between Persian and
English, and his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
My most sincere gratitude also goes to Dr. Gholamreza Tajvidi, a man of noble character with a heart of gold, who kindly accepted the responsibility for reading my thesis and made undeniably helpful revisions to the final draft of the paper.
Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

I have learnt about English Language Teaching from many professors, all of whom are devoted to academic excellence and the promotion of the students’ knowledge. I would like to appreciate Dr. Parviz Birjandi, Dr. Zia Tajuddin, Dr. Mansour Fahim and             Dr. Mohammad

Khatib all of whom, in one way or another, broadened my knowledge of teaching methodology and linguistics.
I can not thank my parents especially my late mother, Shahrbanoo, whose love for learning was always inspiring. Had not been for them, I
could not have finished my master’s degree. I am also very fortunate in having siblings like Katayoon, Homayoon and Muhammad, and nephews like Farhad who have continuously comforted me during our phone calls when I was away from home and have actively encouraged me to carry out my studies.
I owe special gratitude to Mrs. Arezoo Asgarifar, a wonderful spouse, who has provided me with abundant emotional support since the first moment I met her.
Last but not least, I greatly appreciate the help of all English language learners, among many others, who provided me with needed data.

 

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ABSTRACT

 

This thesis reports on an exploratory study that analyses the use of different types of collocations by Persian-speaking learners of English in order to provide answer to four research questions regarding the degree of difficulty the different types of collocations cause for Iranian EFL learners in relation to their language proficiency levels, and the negative transfer of L1 collocational patterns to L2 setting. For this purpose,

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

an attempt was first made to define collocations and to dwell on their significance in language learning. Then, the types of errors that the learners made when producing collocations were identified and analyzed as to their source and frequency of occurrence among Iranian EFL learners.

The data for this study came from the written productions of 72 adult Iranian EFL learners with the female-male ratio being slightly in favour of males (37 vis-à-vis 35). At the time of the study, all the participants had been learning English under formal instruction for at least four years at university or two year in language learning institutes. The age of the participants ranged from 21 to 29.

The analysis of the corpus revealed that prepositional collocations in general and verb-preposition collocations in particular constitute the most challenging type of collocation for Iranian learners of English. The results also indicated that collocations do not present as much difficulty for high proficient learners as they do for less proficient ones. Moreover, each of the 6 collocational categories (i.e. verb-

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

preposition, noun-preposition, adjective-noun, adverb-adjective, verb-adverb and verb-noun) presented different degrees of difficulty for EFL learners of different proficiency levels. Verb-preposition collocations, for example, were the most problematic category for low proficient

learners, while they were the least difficult one for high proficient learners. Instead, what posed the greatest difficulty for Iranian advanced learners of English was the choice of appropriate adjective to modify the nouns.

As far as the sources of errors were concerned, 34.4 % of errors were due to first language interference that goes far beyond what earlier (small-scale) studies have predicted. It also turned out that the less proficient learners tend more strongly towards isolated words rather

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

than multi-word units, whereas the more proficient learners prefer to use more word combinations and ready-made constructions as a way to achieve greater fluency in the second language.

The study ends with the discussion of the results and their pedagogical implications for foreign language learning in Iran, most importantly the role of L1-L2 differences and that of language teachers in highlighting the collocational restrictions of the words. The research reported

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

in this study reveals how corpus-based analysis can shed light on the nature of collocations and the extent to which the foreign language learners are aware of the collocational properties of the words.

The Iranian EFL learners’ rather unsatisfactory performance in different types of collocations implies a general unawareness of the semantic range and selectional restrictions imposed on English lexicon. This problem may stem from their habit of learning English vocabulary as

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

isolated words rather than in combination with other words. Thus, the teaching of collocations inevitably needs to be integrated with the teaching of vocabulary, and the foreign language learners need to know that not every word combination that is easily understood can be

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

as easily produced in English, nor in any other language. In addition, given the empirical evidence that first language transfer is a real phenomenon that also affects production of collocations in the second language, the selection of collocations for teaching as well as the way a language teacher teaches them should be with reference to L1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                       Page

 

Dedication                                                                                                                               I

Acknowledgment                                                                                                                  II

Abstract                                                                                                                                III

List of tables                                                                                                                        VII

List of figures                                                                                                                       VII 

 

Chapter 1:                                                                                                  

Introduction

۱٫۱  Background ……………………………………………………………….…………………۱

۱٫۲  Statement of the Problem …………………..………..………………………………………۲

۱٫۳  Significance of the Study …..…………………….…….…….…….………………………….۳

۱٫۴  Research Questions ……………………………..…………………………….…………۵

۱٫۵  Limitations of the Study …………………..……………………..……………………………….۵

۱٫۶  Definition of Key Terms …………………….……..………………….……………………..۵

Chapter 2:

Review of the Related Literature

۲٫۱ Importance of Collocations ………….………………………………………………….۷

۲٫۲ Definition and Types of Collocations …………………………………………………۱۲

۲٫۲٫۱Definition ……………………………………………..…………………….…..۱۲

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

۲٫۲٫۲Types ……………………..……………………….…….…………………….۱۵

۲٫۳ The Place of Vocabulary in Language Teaching………………………………….……..۱۸

۲٫۴ Collocations in Generative Linguistics…………………………………………….……..۲۲

۲٫۵ Empirical Studies……………………………………………..………………………….۲۷

۲٫۵٫۱Collocations and Language Proficiency …………………….………………………..۲۷

۲٫۵٫۲Collocations and Language Transfer ……………………….………………………..۲۹

۲٫۵٫۳Iranian EFL Learners’ Problems with Collocations …………….…………………….۳۰

 

Chapter 3:

Methodology

۳٫۱ The Research Questions ……………………………….………….…………….………..۳۴

۳٫۲ Participants ………….……………………….………………………………………….۳۴

۳٫۳ Materials and Instrumentation

۳٫۳٫۱Learners’ Corpus………………………………………………………… …………………………..35

۳٫۳٫۲Dictionaries of Collocations and BNC……………………………….…… ………..۳۵

۳٫۳٫۳Michigan Test of Language Proficiency………………………………………….…۳۶

۳٫۴ Data Collection and Analysis Procedures

۳٫۴٫۱Measuring Language Proficiency…………………………………………………………..۳۶

۳٫۴٫۲ Data Collection………………………………………………………………..…..۳۷

۳٫۴٫۳ Data Analysis…………………………………………………………………….۳۸

Chapter 4:

Results and Discussion

۴٫۱ Analysis of EFL Learners’ Collocational Competence………………………….. ……….۴۰

۴٫۱٫۱ Collocational Errors Made by Iranian EFL Learners…………………………….……۴۱

۴٫۱٫۲ Collocational Errors across Different Language Proficiency………………….……….۴۴

۴٫۲ The sources of Errors in Learner-made Collocations……………………………..………۴۸

۴٫۲٫۱ Incorrect Collocations due to Interlingual Transfer…………………………………….۴۸

          ۴٫۲٫۲ Incorrect Collocations due to Overgeneralization ………………………………………..۵۱

          ۴٫۲٫۳ Incorrect Collocations due to Collocation Structure……………………………………۵۲

Chapter 5:

Conclusion and Educational Implications

۵٫۱ Summary of Research Findings ………………………………..………………………۵۴

۵٫۲ Pedagogical Implications …………………………………………………………..…..۵۷

Suggestions for Further Research ……………………………………………………………………..65

 

References

 

Appendixes

Appendix I: List of Collocations Produced by Adult Iranian EFL Learners

Appendix II: List of Collocational Errors by Adult Iranian EFL Learners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF TABLES 

Table 4-1: Syntactic Patterns of Collocations ………………………………………….…۴۱

Table 4-2: Frequency and Percentage of Collocational Errors ……………………………۴۲

Table 4-3: Types of Errors in Collocations …………… …………………………………۴۳

Table 4-4: Collocational Errors by Learners of Different Proficiency Levels ……………۴۴

Table 4-5: Adverbial Collocations across Different Proficiency Levels …………………۴۵

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

Table 4-6: Interlingual Collocational Errors across Different Proficiency Levels ……….۴۸

Table 4-7: Intralingual Collocational Errors across Different Proficiency Levels…….…۵۲

Table 4-8: Collocational Errors due to Unfamiliarity with Collocation Structure…….….۵۳

 

 

LIST OF FIGURES   

Figure 4-1: Distribution of Collocations among Different Proficiency Levels………….۴۶

Figure 4-2: Errors of Different Collocation Types in Different Proficiency Levels ………۴۷

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

۱٫۱ Background:

For decades teaching professionals were constantly preoccupied by how to segment the language into pieces and specify what learners actually learn when they learn a language. Pure and applied linguists often used to divide the language into such traditional units as sounds,

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

words, and rules of grammar and discourse. But since the 1930s, a number of prominent figures have come to advise those involved in the profession against this classification and urged English teachers to recognize that there are particular words which tend to occur in the company of other words and that achieving language fluency depends on learning to use these word groups. In 1933, Palmer (as cited in Kennedy, 2003) was the first to adopt the term collocation for these recurring groups of words.

However, despite the fact that collocations (i.e. word combinations such as fragile peace, strong economy, bitter disappointment, fast colour, harsh criticism or mass destruction) are an important part of a native speaker competence, and the need for their inclusion in

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

foreign and second language teaching is widely acknowledged today (see for example Hussein, 1990; Bahns & Eldaw, 1993; Farghal & Obiedat, 1995; Hills, 1999; Nesselhauf, 2003), a considerable amount of efforts in applied linguistics research are still being concentrated on the grammatical and phonological levels, while the lexical level does not arouse the same degree of interest and very little attention is paid to an amazing property of lexis, i.e. a tendency on the part of some lexical items to co-occur, otherwise known as collocation.

In fact, until relatively recently, the true complexity of collocations was largely hidden. Over the past two decades, however, huge developments in computerized corpus linguistics and the availability of wide collections of text in electronic form has offered new insights into how words or groups of words are distributed in a given language. Sophisticated

Collocational Errors in the Speaking English of Adult Iranian EFL Learners

software for the analysis of first or second language corpora has allowed researchers and L2 professionals to explore more deeply the nature of collocations 

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REFERENCES:

Akbari, R. (2018). The role of language-specific collocations on the written production of intermediate Iranian students learning English as a foreign language. Unpublished MA thesis. Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

Bahns, J. (2019). Lexical collocations: A contrastive view. ELT Journal, 44, 56-63.

Bahns, J., & Eldaw, M. (2019). Should we teach EFL students collocations? System, 21, 101-114.

Bonk, W. (2020). Testing ESL learners’ knowledge of collocations. ERIC.Retrieved March, 15, 2008 from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_ storage_01/0000019b/80/16/43/0c.pdf

Brown, H. D. (2020). Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy. 2nd ed.

Brown, H. D. (2018). English Language Teaching in the Post-Method Era: Toward better diagnosis, Treatment and Assessment. In Richards, Jack C. & Renandya, Willy A. (2002). Methodology in language teaching: An anthology of current practice. Cambridge University Press. (pp. 9-18)

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Celce-Murcia, M. (2019). Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

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