Lexical Collocations and their Relation to Speaking Proficiency of College EFL Learners in Taiwan

| March 25, 2008
Title
Lexical Collocations and their Relation to Speaking Proficiency of College EFL Learners in Taiwan

Keywords: lexical collocations, speaking proficiency, EFL education

Authors
Jeng-yih Tim Hsu
National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Chu-yao Chiu
National Kaohsiung Hospitality College, Taiwan

Bio Data
Jeng-yih Tim Hsu received his Master in English Language/Linguistics from University of Arizona, and holds a doctorate in Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is currently teaching at the Department of English, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Chu-yao Chiu is an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages, National Kaohsiung Hospitality College, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She has a Master in Applied Linguistics & TESOL from National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology. Her major field of research is L2 vocabulary acquisition.

Abstract
The present study explores the knowledge and use of English lexical collocations and their relation to the speaking proficiency (assessed by two speaking tests) of Taiwanese EFL university learners. Data for the study were collected from 56 junior English majors at a national university of science and technology in southern Taiwan. Each student was asked to take three tests: (1) one lexical collocation test, measuring the subjects knowledge of lexical collocations; (2) one English speaking test, administered to collect the subjects use of lexical collocations and measure their speaking proficiency; and (3) PhonePass spoken English test, a standardized oral test, which was combined with the speaking test to measure the students speaking proficiency. Test results were examined for correlations (1) between the subjects knowledge of lexical collocations and their speaking proficiency, (2) between their use of lexical collocations and their speaking proficiency, and (3) between their knowledge of lexical collocations and their use of lexical collocations. The study findings showed that there was a significant correlation between Taiwanese EFL learners knowledge of lexical collocations and their speaking proficiency. However, no significant correlation existed between the subjects use of lexical collocations and their speaking proficiency. There was also no statistically significant correlation between the subjects knowledge and use of lexical collocations. The current study concluded that knowledge of lexical collocations seemed to be a more significant indicator of speaking proficiency than the subjects ability to use lexical collocations.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 10 Issue 1