Learning collocations with and without the aid of bold type

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Presented by Mark Toomer

Lectures, talks and seminars

LALS Seminar Series

8 Nov 2019 4:00 pm to 8 Nov 2019 5:00 pm

Murphy LT 101 (MYLT101)

How can collocations be learned incidentally?

Acquisition of collocations (e.g., strong tea, play the guitar) and other phrases is key to mastery of a language.

Previous research has shown that second-language speakers can learn collocations when they repeatedly encounter them in written texts. However, it has been unclear whether reading collocations in bold type—which can draw attention to the collocations—or without bold type improves real-time access to collocational knowledge by second-language readers.

Mark Toomer's research indicates that repeated encounters with unbolded collocations may promote more fluent reading of collocations than repeated encounters with bolded collocations. This finding suggests that second-language readers may gain this fluency more quickly by reading easy texts containing multiple repetitions of unbolded collocations.

Speaker Bios

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies