Explicit and Implicit Collocation Teaching Methods: Empirical Research and Issues

Elaheh Hamed Mahvelati


The need for integrating collocations into English language syllabuses in order to enhance EFL/ESL learners’ language accuracy and fluency has been emphasized by a great number of researchers and scholars. Given this, finding viable collocation teaching methods has become the focal center of some specialists’ interest. This has led into the emergence of various pedagogical suggestions some of which have aroused controversy. One of the most significant points of disagreement between these specialists concerns the effectiveness of implicit versus explicit collocation teaching methods. This article reviews the pedagogical potential of these two teaching approaches as well as the issues limiting generalizability of findings in the related literature. The review reveals that the scarcity of empirical studies which have compared the efficacy of these two controversial methods, lack of consistency in the reported findings, and neglect of some determining factors, such as learners’ individual differences, have caused a great deal of confusion in the literature regarding the most effective pedagogical intervention. Further research is, therefore, required to address these gaps in the realm of collocation and help teachers, instructional designers and material developers effectively support learners in the learning process. Some suggestions for future research are provided.


Collocation Instruction, Noticing Hypothesis, Input Enhancement, Input-flood Treatment, Textual/Visual Enhancement, Explicit Awareness-raising Approach

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575//aiac.alls.v.10n.3p.105


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