Lesson Planning

Teaching Collocations for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Exam

A. Teaching Collocations

No piece of natural spoken or written English is free of collocations. A student who chooses the best collocation will express himself more clearly and will be able to express not just a general meaning, but something quite defined. For passing IELTS it is paramount to use a variety of words with adequacy and appropriacy. One also needs the ability to equivocate (get round a vocabulary gap by using other words) without noticeable hesitation. According to Nation P. (2001) ‘Knowing words involves knowing what words typically go with it’. We can speak our first language fluently as we choose word sequences that make us sound like native speakers.

A.1 Collocations and EFL

Carter and McCarthy (1988) claim that 'vocabulary study has been neglected by linguists, applied linguists and language teachers’. Nevertheless, McCarthy (1990) tells us that 'in vocabulary teaching there is a high importance of collocation', and describes that 'the relationship of collocation is fundamental in the study of vocabulary, and collocation is an important organising principle in the vocabulary of any language’.
The above quotes make two points relevant to the EFL learner. First, those collocational relations are an important part of the language to be mastered. Second, that it is an area which requires special, systematic attention. Apart from the unpredictability and low generalability of collocations, another factor that poses difficulties for learners is that “in many cases, one language will use a multi-word where another language employs a single lexeme” (Lyons, 1977).’(McCarthy 1990 and Lyons 1977 cited in Costas Gabrielatos (1994).

A.2 Class Profile

IELTS, the English proficiency test, consists of four parts that test your command over four basic aspects of English i.e. Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. You are gauged on a scale of 9, known as...