Investigating the viability of a collocation list for students of English for Academic Purposes.
English for Specific Purposes
A number of researchers are currently attempting to create listings of important collocations for students of EAP. How- ever, so far these attempts have (1) failed to include positionally-variable collocations, and (2) not taken sufficient account of variation across disciplines. The present paper describes the creation of one listing of positionally-variable academic collocations and evaluates the extent to which it is likely to be useful to students from across a wide range of disciplines. A number of key findings emerge. First, cross-disciplinary collocations differ in type from the collocations on which most researchers have traditionally focused in that they tend not to be combinations of two lexical words, but rather pairings of one lexical and one grammatical word. Second, most of the words which are found in academic collocations are not found on Coxhead’s influential Academic Word List. This, it is argued, reflects a serious methodological weakness in Coxhead’s listing. Third, the vocabulary needs of students in the arts and humanities are characteristically different from those of stu- dents in other disciplines. Researchers and teachers therefore need to deal with these learners separately. The paper finishes by making a number of recommendations for future developments in this area.
Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp. 157 - 179