Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study investigated the effects of first language (L1) congruency, second language (L2) proficiency, and the collocate-node relationship (i.e., verb-noun, adjective-noun, noun-noun) on collocation processing by logographic L1-Chinese learners of English. Comparisons were made of accuracy rates and response times to a collocation lexical decision task completed by L1-Chinese English as a Foreign Language (EFL) English Majors ( = 30), L1-Chinese EFL non-English Majors ( = 30), and L1-English Native Speakers ( = 26). Analysis of the data revealed that while congruent collocations were processed more accurately and faster than incongruent collocations by both L1-Chinese participant groups, the English Majors showed a processing advantage over their non-English Major peers. Further analysis revealed a processing advantage for noun-noun collocations, providing additional evidence in explaining the difficulties L1-Chinese have in acquiring verb-noun collocations. These results and other nuanced statistical findings are discussed in relation to pedagogical means of enhancing L2 collocation acquisition by L1-Chinese speakers.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Altenberg, B.
    (1998) On the phraseology of spoken English: the evidence of recurrent word-combinations. InA. P. Cowie (Ed.), Phraseology: Theory, Analysis and Applications (pp.101–22). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bahns, J.
    (1993) Lexical collocations: A contrastive view. ELT Journal, 41(1), 56–63. 10.1093/elt/47.1.56
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/47.1.56 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bahns, J., & Eldaw, M.
    (1993) Should we teach EFL students collocations?System, 21(1), 101–114. 10.1016/0346‑251X(93)90010‑E
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0346-251X(93)90010-E [Google Scholar]
  4. Benson, M., Benson, E., & Ilson, R.
    (1986) The BBI combinatory dictionary of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.bbi1(1st)
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.bbi1(1st) [Google Scholar]
  5. Biskup, D.
    (1992) L1 Influence on Learners’ Renderings of English Collocations: A Polish/German Empirical Study. InP. Arnaud & H. B. B’ejoint (Eds.), Vocabulary and Applied Linguistics (pp.85–93). Amesterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1007/978‑1‑349‑12396‑4_8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-12396-4_8 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bruton, A., López, M. G., & Mesa, R. E.
    (2011) Incidental L2 vocabulary learning: An impracticable term?TESOL Quarterly, 45(4), 759–768. doi:  10.5054/tq.2011.268061
    https://doi.org/10.5054/tq.2011.268061 [Google Scholar]
  7. Conklin, K., & Schmitt, N.
    (2008) Formulaic sequences: Are they processed more quickly than nonformulaic language by native and nonnative speakers?Applied Linguistics, 29(1), 82–89. 10.1093/applin/amm022
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amm022 [Google Scholar]
  8. Crystal, D.
    (2008) Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley. Retrieved fromwww.ebrary.com. 10.1002/9781444302776
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444302776 [Google Scholar]
  9. Edmonds, A.
    (2014) Conventional expressions: Investigating pragmatics and processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 36(1), 69–99. 10.1017/S0272263113000557
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263113000557 [Google Scholar]
  10. Erman, B., & Warren, B.
    (2000) The idiom principle and the open choice principle. Text, 20(1), 29–62. 10.1515/text.1.2000.20.1.29
    https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.2000.20.1.29 [Google Scholar]
  11. Fan, M.
    (2009) An exploratory study of collocational use by ESL students – A task based approach. System, 37(1), 110–123. 10.1016/j.system.2008.06.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2008.06.004 [Google Scholar]
  12. Foster, P.
    (2001) Rules and routines: A consideration of their role in the task-based language production of native and non-native speakers. InM. Bygate, P. Skehan, & M. Swain (Eds.), Researching Pedagogic Tasks: Second Language Learning, Teaching, and Testing (pp.75–94). London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Garnier, M., & Schmitt, N.
    (2015) The PHaVE list: a pedagogical list of phrasal verbs and their most frequent meaning senses. Language Teaching Research, 19(6), 645–666. 10.1177/1362168814559798
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168814559798 [Google Scholar]
  14. Gyllstad, H., & Wolter, B.
    (2015) Collocational Processing in Light of the Phraseological Continuum Model: Does Semantic Transparency Matter?. Language Learning, 66(2), 296–323. 10.1111/lang.12143
    https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12143 [Google Scholar]
  15. Jiang, N.
    (2000) Lexical representation and development in a second language. Applied Linguistics, 21(1), 47–77. 10.1093/applin/21.1.47
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/21.1.47 [Google Scholar]
  16. (2002) Form – meaning mapping in vocabulary acquisition in a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24(4), 617–637. 10.1017/S0272263102004047
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263102004047 [Google Scholar]
  17. (2004) Semantic transfer and its implications for vocabulary teaching in a second language. The Modern Language Journal, 88(3), 416–432. 10.1111/j.0026‑7902.2004.00238.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0026-7902.2004.00238.x [Google Scholar]
  18. Jiang, N., & Nekrasova, T. M.
    (2007) The processing of formulaic sequences by second language speakers. The Modern Language Journal, 91(3), 433–445. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2007.00589.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2007.00589.x [Google Scholar]
  19. Jiang, J.
    (2009) Pedagogic materials for L2 collocation use. InA. Barfield & H. Gyllstad (Eds.), Researching collocations in another language (pp.99–113). London: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230245327_8
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230245327_8 [Google Scholar]
  20. Kroll, J. F., & Stewart, E.
    (1994) Category interference in translation and picture naming: Evidence for asymmetric connections between bilingual memory representations. Journal of memory and language, 33(2), 149–174. 10.1006/jmla.1994.1008
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1994.1008 [Google Scholar]
  21. Laufer, B., & Waldman, T.
    (2011) Verb-noun collocations in second language writing: a corpus analysis of learners’ English. Language Learning, 61(2), 647–672. 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2010.00621.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00621.x [Google Scholar]
  22. Lennon, P.
    (1996) Getting ‘easy’ verbs wrong at the advanced level. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 34(1), 23–36. 10.1515/iral.1996.34.1.23
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral.1996.34.1.23 [Google Scholar]
  23. Lewis, M.
    (1993) The Lexical Approach: The state of ELT and a way forward. Hove, UK: LTP.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English for Advanced Learners (English-Chinese). RetrievedJanuary 1, 2015, from: www.ldoceonline.com/
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Martinez, R., & Schmitt, N.
    (2012) A phrasal expressions list. Applied Linguistics, 33(3), 299–320. 10.1093/applin/ams010
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/ams010 [Google Scholar]
  26. Nation, I.
    (2016) Making and Using Word Lists for Language Learning and Testing. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/z.208
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.208 [Google Scholar]
  27. Nesselhauf, N.
    (2003) The use of collocations by advanced learners of English and some implications for teaching. Applied Linguistics, 24(2), 223–242. 10.1093/applin/24.2.223
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/24.2.223 [Google Scholar]
  28. Oxford Collocations Dictionary. RetrievedJanuary 1, 2015, from: oxforddictionary.so8848.com/
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Parkinson, J.
    (2015) Noun – noun collocations in learner writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 20, 103–113. 10.1016/j.jeap.2015.08.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2015.08.003 [Google Scholar]
  30. Papadopoulou, D., & Clahsen, H.
    (2003) Parsing strategies in l1 and l2 sentence processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 25(4), 501–528. 10.1017/S0272263103000214
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263103000214 [Google Scholar]
  31. Paquot, M., & Granger, S.
    (2012) Formulaic language in learner corpora. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 32(32), 130–149. 10.1017/S0267190512000098
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190512000098 [Google Scholar]
  32. Peters, E.
    (2009) Collocation and attention-drawing techniques. InA. Barfield & H. Gyllstad (Eds.), Researching collocations in another language (pp.194–207). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  33. (2016) The learning burden of collocations: The role of interlexical and intralexical factors. Language Teaching Research, 20(1), 113–138. 10.1177/1362168814568131
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168814568131 [Google Scholar]
  34. Reynolds, B. L.
    (2016) Action research: Applying a bilingual parallel corpus collocational concordancer to Taiwanese medical school EFL academic writing. RELC Journal, 47(2), 213–227. doi:  10.1177/0033688215619518
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688215619518 [Google Scholar]
  35. Shin, D., & Nation, P.
    (2008) Beyond single words: The most frequent collocations in spoken English. ELT journal, 62(4), 339–348. 10.1093/elt/ccm091
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccm091 [Google Scholar]
  36. Siyanova, A., & Schmitt, N.
    (2008) L2 learner production and processing of collocation: A multi-study perspective. Canadian Modern Language Review, 64(3), 429–458. 10.3138/cmlr.64.3.429
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.64.3.429 [Google Scholar]
  37. Vasiljevic, Z.
    (2008) Developing collocational competence of second language learners. The East Asian Learner, 4(1), 46–50.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. (2014) Teaching collocations in a second language: why, what and how?. ELTA Journal, 2(2), 48–73.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Wang, S.-L.
    (2011) A Qualitative Study of Effects of a Browser-based Collocation Tool on L2 Learners’ Collocation Awareness. (MA Thesis), National Central University, Chungli, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
  40. Webb, S., & Kagimoto, E.
    (2010) Learning collocations: Do the number of collocates, position of the node word, and synonymy affect learning?. Applied Linguistics, 32(3), 259–276. 10.1093/applin/amq051
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amq051 [Google Scholar]
  41. Wolter, B., & Gyllstad, H.
    (2011) Collocational links in the L2 mental lexicon and the influence of L1 intralexical knowledge. Applied Linguistics, 32(4), 430–449. 10.1093/applin/amr011
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amr011 [Google Scholar]
  42. (2013) Frequency of input and L2 collocational processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(3), 451–482. 10.1017/S0272263113000107
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263113000107 [Google Scholar]
  43. Wolter, B., & Yamashita, J.
    (2015) Processing collocations in a second language: A case of first language activation?Applied Psycholinguistics, 36(5), 1193–1221. 10.1017/S0142716414000113
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716414000113 [Google Scholar]
  44. Xu, J.
    (2015) Predicting ESL learners’ oral proficiency by measuring the collocations in their spontaneous speech (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (Accession Order No. AAT 14875)
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Yamashita, J., & Jiang, N.
    (2010) L1 influence on the acquisition of L2 collocations: Japanese ESL users and EFL learners acquiring English collocations. TESOL Quarterly, 44(4), 647–668. 10.5054/tq.2010.235998
    https://doi.org/10.5054/tq.2010.235998 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error