The Effects of Collaborative and Individual Output Tasks on Learning English Collocations

Document Type: Original Article


Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Garmsar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Garmsar, Iran


One of the most problematic areas in foreign language learning is collocation. It is often seen as arbitrary and an overwhelming obstacle to the achievement of nativelike fluency. Current second language (L2) instruction research has encouraged the use of collaborative output tasks in L2 classrooms. This study examined the effects of two types of output tasks (editing and cloze) on the learning of English colloca-tions. The aim was to investigate whether doing the tasks collaboratively would lead to greater gains of knowledge of the target collocations than doing them individually. The knowledge of the target colloca-tions was measured by means of a collocation knowledge test administered before and after the treatment. The results showed that collaborative output tasks led to greater collocation knowledge than individual output tasks. The results, however, showed an effect for task type in promoting the learning of the target collocations, with the cloze tasks being more effective than the editing tasks. One obvious implication is that teachers need to incorporate more collaborative output tasks into their instruction in their attempts to facilitate the acquisition of L2 collocations by the learners.