Lexical Collocational Errors in the Writings of Iraqi EFL Learners

Abstract

Collocations have become one of the primary concerns in EFL teaching and learning. Several researchers have perceived the significance of collocations and the requisite of collocation teaching in EFL courses (Bonk, 2000; Tang, 2004; Mahmoud, 2005) .Hence, collocational knowledge is essential for EFL learners and collocation instruction in EFL courses is required. Thus, this study investigates the lexical collocational errors in the writings of Iraqi EFL learners. A total of 40 students at Basra University participated in this study. Over 100 pieces of essays written by the participants were collected and analyzed to check various lexical collocational errors. The unacceptable lexical collocations were identified based on the modified version originally proposed by Benson et al (1997). It was found that the lexical collocational errors are mainly due to the negative transfer from Arabic. Depending on the findings of this paper, some practical and effective ways are suggested to increase the learners' knowledge of lexical collocations.