The phraseological patterns of high-frequency verbs in advanced English for general purposes: A corpus-driven approach to EFL textbook analysis

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This chapter sets out to give an account of the treatment of the two high-frequency verbs <i>make </i>and <i>take </i>in three series of English for General Purposes (EGP) textbooks at the intermediate and advanced levels. The focus is on the delexicalised (and hence more phraseological) uses of these verbs, which, recent corpus studies have shown, represent a stumbling block to native-like proficiency. The principles underlying the selection and presentation of the <i>make </i>and<i>take </i>phraseological patterns are investigated through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a new corpus of textbook material, the TeMa corpus. The methodology used proved particularly effective in shedding light on issues which cannot be tackled in traditional page-by-page textbook research. Two main observations emerged from the comparisons made across levels on the one hand, and across textbooks on the other. First, there were striking discrepancies between the treatment of the phraseological patterns of <i>make </i>and <i>take </i>at the intermediate and advanced levels. Secondly, the three textbook series display great consistency in terms of pedagogical choices. Overall, the results obtained provide conclusive evidence of the need for redefining the principles underlying the selection and presentation of phraseological units in EGP textbooks.


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