Verb-Noun Collocation Proficiency and Academic Years

Fatemeh Ebrahimi-Bazzaz, Arshad Abd Samad, Ismi Arif bin Ismail, Nooreen Noordin


Generally vocabulary and collocations in particular have significant roles in language proficiency. A collocation includes two words that are frequently joined concurrently in the memory of native speakers. There have been many linguistic studies trying to define, to describe, and to categorise English collocations. It contains grammatical collocations and lexical collocations which include nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverb. In the context of a foreign language environment such as Iran, collocational proficiency can be useful because it helps the students improve their language proficiency. This paper investigates the possible relationship between verb-noun collocation proficiency among students from one academic year to the next. To reach this goal, a test of verb-noun collocations was administered to Iranian learners. The participants in the study were 212 Iranian students in an Iranian university. They were selected from the second term of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. The students’ age ranged from 18 to 35.The results of ANOVA showed there was variability in the verb-noun collocations proficiency within each academic year and between the four academic years. The results of a post hoc multiple comparison tests demonstrated that the means are significantly different between the first year and the third and fourth years, and between the third and the fourth academic year; however, students require at least two years to show significant development in verb-noun collocation proficiency. These findings provided a vital implication that lexical collocations are learnt and developed through four academic years of university, but requires at least two years showing significant development in the language proficiency.



Language proficiency, Collocation, Communicative Competence, academic year, Iranian EFL learners

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