Stealing a march on collocation
Full text affords language learners many opportunities to observe a wide range of linguistic features whose typicality they can ascertain through corpus searches. The particular features investigated in this chapter revolve around the collocations of key words in texts. Given that knowing a collocation in no way guarantees its correct use, a procedure referred to as Collocation Plus has been developed in which learners explore the lexical and grammatical environments of collocations in the contexts in which they meet them. This is an important process in making receptive vocabulary productive. Learners may then formalise their findings into ‘word templates’ which are then available for production. This work combines some recent findings in linguistics, language acquisition and pedagogy to help learners produce language that is more accurate, fluent, idiomatic and sophisticated, whilst developing their autonomy in using the resources available and raising their consciousness of the processes involved.