"Minimum Input, Maximum Output, Indeed!" Teaching Collocations Through Collocation Dictionary Skills Development

Sugene Kim


This study examined the teachability of collocations through cultivating EFL learners' collocation dictionary skills. Fifty-nine EFL college students participated in the study, and they received two 75-minute instructions between pre- and post-tests: one on the definition of collocation and its importance, and the other on the skill of looking up collocational information in the Naver Dictionary — an English–Korean online dictionary. During the second instruction, the students were trained to consult the dictionary for collocation production in the order of node word selection, word sense distinction, collocate type location, and feasible collocate identification. A comparison of collocation production test scores through a paired-samples t-test indicated that teaching collocation dictionary skills substantially improves learners' ability to produce natural collocations regardless of proficiency differences. In addition, the survey data collected at the end of the semester suggested that the participants perceive the instruction as necessary and helpful in gaining collocational competence and that their dictionary consultation behaviors have changed after receiving the instruction. Equipping EFL learners with collocation dictionary skills was also found to help them raise a sense of learner autonomy.


collocation; collocation dictionary; dictionary skills; EFL writing; L2 writing; collocation errors; L1 interference; collocational competence; learner autonomy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5788/27-1-1403


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ISSN 2224-0039 (online); ISSN 1684-4904 (print)

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