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Title: A multidimensional investigation of a data-driven approach to learning collocations
Author: Tsai, Kuei-Ju
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 4762
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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This study investigates a corpus-assisted pedagogical approach to developing the collocational knowledge of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners -a data-driven approach to learning collocations (DALC). To gain a full understanding of such an approach, three key dimensions thereof are explored: the learning product, learning processes and learner perceptions of DALC. 186 undergraduate EFL learners in Taiwan participated in the study. The participants came from four intact classes, two of which were randomly assigned to an experimental group, and the other two were assigned to a control group: the former received DALC intervention, while the latter encountered target collocations through teacher instruction. Measurements of learners' collocational knowledge were taken from both groups before and after DALC intervention (or non-intervention). Collocational knowledge was examined at three levels: receptive and controlled productive knowledge (as measured by collocation tests), and free productive knowledge (as measured by the collocations used in writing assignments). To understand how collocation learning occurred with DALC, the thinking processes in which learners engaged as they undertook the DALC task were elicited with a mentalistic measure (concurrent think-aloud) and a behaviouristic measure (parallel corpus queries). A questionnaire was administered to elicit learners' perceptions of DALC. The findings indicate that DALC had a positive impact on learners' receptive, controlled productive and free productive collocational knowledge. In addition, the participants seemed to have an increased awareness of the usage-based and language-specific nature of collocations. The quantitative and qualitative changes in the learners' collocational knowledge may be attributable to the intense cognitive processing in which they engaged during the DALC task, as evidenced by a rich array of cognitive and metacognitive strategies employed to approach the task. Generally, the participants held a positive attitude toward DALC, but they were nonetheless concerned about the efficiency of such an endeavour.. Learners' performance, process and perception data provide evidence that DALC is a promising pedagogical approach in developing EFL learners' collocational knowledge and raising collocational awareness. This warrants further research to explore the possibilities and develop the potential of corpus resources in assisting the learning of collocations
Supervisor: Yu, Guoxing Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available