At the Intersection of L1 Congruence and L2 Exposure: Collocational Knowledge of Advanced Arab Users of English


The study is quantitative research, examining the effects of learning environment and native language (L1) on the collocational knowledge of advanced Arab users of English as a second language (ESL) (n=34) and foreign language (EFL) (n=33). The participants were university students who completed two collocation tests, containing verb-noun and noun-adjective congruent (collocations with L1-L2 translation equivalents) and incongruent (L2-specific) collocations. The results showed that the two groups markedly differed in their collocational knowledge (both productively and receptively), with the ESL participants performing significantly better than the EFL students. As to the effects of the native language, the results revealed that the ESL participants experienced noticeable effects of Arabic both receptively and productively with the influences being significantly stronger for the incongruent collocations (L2-only) than the congruent ones (L1-L2). Interestingly, the EFL participants showed less L1 effects in their production and perception of collocations. The findings suggested that both L1 congruence and second language (L2) exposure have an effect on the acquisition of English collocations. The findings are discussed in light of some pedagogical expectations and instructional recommendations that can improve advanced ESL and EFL Arab students’ collocational knowledge productively and receptively.


Alla Zareva, Asmaa Shehata




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