Journal for Interdisciplinary Research in Education (JIRE)

, 4:2

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Encouraging Collocational and Colligational Fluency: Pedagogical Chunking, Word and Verb Mapping, Pause Reading and Other Strategies


The aim of this paper is to provide an exploratory overview of second-language classroom activities that can be used in order to stimulate students’ collocational and colligational fluency. For at least two decades, it has been acknowledged in second language vocabulary acquisition research that lexical proficiency extends beyond knowledge of single words, and thus, learners should be given exposure to longer stretches of language, i.e., what is sometimes referred to as “chunks”. After briefly discussing the motivation behind this theoretical stance, this paper will present and discuss a range of strategies that learners can successfully employ to notice, store and actively produce the many multi-word expressions that make up the bulk of language in use. The relevance of the current study lies primarily in its pedagogical implications. The selection of strategies has been based on a review of the current literature into the teaching of phraseology as well as the author’s own reflective practice. One of the main findings to emerge from this paper is that though many strategies have been suggested, only a small minority has been subjected to empirical or experimental verification, and that practitioners like curriculum developers, materials writers and teachers should be advised to judge the available array of activities critically.


second-language vocabulary learning collocations colligations learning strategies