Investigating the viability of a collocation list for students of English for academic purposes: P. Durrant(2009)

For this week our discussion topic was academic collocations.

Throughout years many professionals in the filed tried to create  lists/ strings of collocations that would be used by EAP students. However their attempts to do that failed in most cases. This is because of the nature of cross-disciplinary collocations. Most of the words/ collocations/ terms that are used in a specific academic field will be irrelevant to another, such as collocations used in arts and humanities may  have either a totally different meaning or no meaning at all in engineering or other field.Thus the creation of most common academic collocations is not a piece of cake. . To solve these issues various kinds of lists and corpuses analyzing  the occurrence and frequency of words  have been created. Among them the most “famous “ones   like Coxhead’s Academic Word List (AWL) with combination of 570 word families,COCA(Corpus of Contemporary American English) and BNC(British National Corpus),  with 450 million and 100 million word and text samples respectively.

However from the article it becomes obvious that lists of collocations created up to date and provided to   teachers and learners isn`t  sufficient and helpful,  because of the fact that most of the lists don`t include ‘potentially- variable items’.Therefore this fact should be considered when trying to create new new lists of collocations that will serve learners from different academic disciplines


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