Gitsaki To examine productive collocational knowledge, sheGitsaki To examine productive collocational knowledge, she

Gitsaki (1999) had conducted study regarding the
collocations in textbooks and subjects’ acquisition of collocations to
investigate the great influence of textbooks on students’ learning. She
analyzed the number of collocation tokens for each of 26 grammatical patterns
and 11 lexical ones in the three-volume textbook series Task Way English
used by Greek students at state junior high schools in Greece. To examine
productive collocational knowledge, she had each subject write a 200-word
composition and translate 10 sentences from Greek to English; receptive
collocational knowledge was assessed using a fill-in-the-blank test in English.
Analyzing these three tasks separately, Gitsaki ranked the 37 collocation
patterns according to the number of collocations produced by students at each
academic level. Each list was then correlated with the frequency of collocation
patterns found in each volume of the textbook series. The results of her study
showed that the more a certain collocation pattern appeared in a textbook at an
academic level, the greater number of and more accurate the collocations of
that pattern the students produced. She attributed this to learners becoming
more conscious of collocation patterns when they repeatedly encountered them.
Gitsaki’s (1999) study helps us understand that frequency of collocation
occurrence in learners’ textbooks can influence their acquisition. However, she
examined collocations by category (e.g., verb + noun) but not individual ones
such as commit murder. Specific collocations may matter more than
general patterns. Therefore, we may also have to examine the frequency of each
collocation type in textbooks.

Many studies have been
conducted to show that collocation is very important to be taught for the
students. Yet, some of them did not mention how many collocations should be
taught or learned (Bahns & Eldaw, 1993; Nesselhauf, 2003). In this case,
only Hill (2000: 61) proposes a specific number of no more than 10 new
collocations per lesson to be explicitly taught. He also adds that not all
collocations need to be taught. This statement is also supported by other
researchers (Conzett, 2000; Hill, Lewis, & Lewis, 2000). It indicates that
the teacher should select which collocations should be taught to their students
(Bahns & Eldaw, 1993; Nesselhauf, 2003). In addition, other researchers
suggest the teachers to teach collocations that do not have a direct
translation equivalent between the target language and students’ first language
(Gitsaki, 1999; Nesselhauf, 2003). It is due to the learners’ major problems
are they are still influenced by their first language to translate collocations
(Wang & Good, 2007).

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