An investigation into Iranian EFL Learners’ Productive Knowledge of English Collocations and the Strategies Applied

Seyed Ali Mirsalari(1), Alireza Khoram(2*),

(*) Corresponding Author



Collocations are one of the areas that create problems for EFL learners. Iranian EFL learners like other EFL learners encounter serious problems in producing collocations. The current study is an attempt to examine the Iranian EFL learners’ ability to produce English collocations. It also attempts to identify the strategies that they usually adopt when they are not familiar with acceptable collocations in English. To this end, a sample of 60 Iranian EFL learners at intermediate level was given a 50- item test of collocations in the filling-the-blank format. They were asked to fill in each blank with the most appropriate adjective or verb that could produce an acceptable collocation with the bold noun in the sentence. The findings have revealed that Iranian university students had unsatisfactory performance in the production of English collocations. Of the total number of collocations produced, only 38.1 % were rendered correctly. With respect to use of various strategies, negative transfer with 28.4% ranked first, followed by synonymy 21.8% and avoidance 11.7 % respectively.

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