Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Teaching Collocation

Although not exactly a resource book, we have chosen this volume to feature in the last post in this series as it is an excellent combination of accessible theory and useful practical ideas for classroom activities.

The activity we have selected is the collocation game. This game can be used to revise all kinds of collocations, and the examples given include:
verb + noun: collect, provide, volunteer, conceal, gather, withhold information
adjective + noun: huge, growing, profitable, domestic, export, black market
adverb + adjective: fairly, relatively, ridiculously, comparatively, dead easy
verb + adverb: carefully, thoroughly, properly, closely, in minute detail examine

Tell the learners that you will read out a list of words, all of which collocate with one noun (or adjective, etc.). As you read, the students have to guess what noun it is. When they think they know what it is, they stand up. Once they are all standing, you check their guesses.

This activity only works properly if you choose the order of the words carefully, moving from more general words to stronger collocates. Make sure there is one word at the end, like withhold (+ information) which collocates very strongly and will enable everyone to find the word they're trying to guess.

Michael Lewis (Ed.) (2000) Teaching Collocation: Further Developments in the Lexical Approach Hove: Thomson Heinle Language Teaching Publications

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