The Importance of Collocations
Discover how to improve your ability with collocations, one of the most crucial components of natural-sounding English.
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Guys in today’s lecture we are going to focus on the importance of collocations. Now this is all about how to make your vocabulary sound as natural as possible. So this is not just important for eilts but also important for life. So in general if you are hoping to move to an English speaking country I’m sure that you would want to sound as natural as possible and as native as possible. Collocations are the way to do that here. Fluency via vocabulary. So let’s get started by asking ourselves what is a collocation. Well let’s return for a moment to the band descriptors and look at band 7 for lexical resource in this category. We have uses a less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation. There’s that word collocation But what does it really mean. Well a collocation is a set of two or more words which are commonly used together. Simple as that a simple as that. The hard thing is working out which was Coller Kate with other words. Let’s look at an example. The phrase. Make an effort is a collocation because these words are often seen together and they express a particular meaning. You don’t have the expression. Do an effort or take an effort the expression the collocation is make an effort. So why is this so important. Well it’s important for a number of reasons. First of all collocations are important because they make language fluent precise expressive and natural compare. He’s making a tattoo and he’s getting attached to the wrong version will instantly expose you as having a weak command of English. This is a commonly confused collocation. Note that getting is the correct verb to use with the noun tattoo. We make it out too. We get a tattoo. Another reason collocations are important is because they allow you to express lente the idea is with just a few words which saves you precious time during the test and save you precious time in life you know when we are speaking this is why we use collocations they’re short hand for longer ideas and expressions compare. He has decided what he is going to do with. He has made up his mind. That latter example a collocation is both more natural and more concise. Saves on time and finally collocations are useful because when grouped together they demonstrate your language command. That is what you are trying to do when you achieve band 7 in eilts. So let’s focus on that idea here. When grouped together collocations demonstrate your language command Well we’re going to do is look at two paragraphs. One of them shows a strong command of English and the other one shows a weak command of English. See if you can work out which one is which. So first of all one of the heavy problems about transport in public places is the expensive prices of tickets which people pay. This might happen due to the absence of competition between bus and train companies which means that solitary companies can control the transport choices in an entire area and can therefore put their fees to be as expensive as they want. Now let’s have a look at the second paragraph. One of the most pressing problems with public transport is the extortionate ticket prices which customers are required to pay. This might happen due to the lack of competition within the public transport industry allowing one company to have a monopoly over transport options and charges in a particular town or city. Now if your English command is strong and your comprehension is strong and you of immersed yourself in English enough you should instantly realize that the top paragraph displays a weak command and the second paragraph displays a strong command. Why does it display a strong command because of language like this pressing problems. Public transport extortionate ticket prices required to pay. Lack of competition. Public transport industry have a monopoly over transport options. Much more natural. Much more concise much more fluent. Then things like heavy problems are expensive. Prices of tickets. Absence of competition solitary companies. These are not expressions which we use in English to tecan. They make sense. They’re not grammatically incorrect. They’re just not common enough for them to be collocations. And there’s this really stifled unnatural sound coming through in the paragraph. So. Let’s put the spotlight for a moment on that weak paragraph the week collocation command paragraph. So what’s good about it. As you could probably guess what’s good about it is that yes there’s some less common and more advanced vocabulary so we’ve got words like absence and solitary and fees. That’s not what your standard band Five band six level student shows. And there’s plenty of topic related vocabulary too. We’ve got words like tickets bus and train fees public places. If you are paying attention in the last lecture you’ll find that you’ll know how important that topic related vocabulary is and that’s great. However unfortunately the paragraph also shows terrible collocation command. So the above good vocabulary is almost completely compromised due to the fact that it is not used correctly with collocation. It is such a shame you know when you see this paragraph has got all this great vocabulary but it’s not being used in a natural way so it’s completely wiping out the good that was demonstrated in that paragraph. So how can we improve our collocations skill. While there’s a number of things that we can do. Mainly the way you improve your collocation ability is to just immerse yourself in English so will look at what that means in a moment but just try to surround yourself with as much English as possible. Read books young adult novels are particularly useful because they often feature lots of natural dialogue and not too much difficult vocabulary. So it’s it’s a good thing to read at your level but you’ll also get plenty of natural vocabulary coming through. Listen to audio books don’t listen term use to songs listen to songs listen to music but don’t do that as a way of studying as a way of preparing the aisles. Audio books are far better than music for studying a lot more vocabulary coming through. Use it in collocations as well a lot more entertaining in my view. But if you were only listening to Justin Bieber what are you going to get. Baby baby baby. It’s not really going to help you in eilts. Lastly try to have conversations with native speakers. There are websites online which offer you the possibility to speak to natives for free. I believe there was a site called talki I T A L K dot com which used to off conversations with natives for free in a sort of language exchange. Not sure of us still doing that but I’m sure that these websites still exist. And by speaking to natives you can learn new expressions. Ask what those expressions mean and then practice those expressions yourself. Of course you also have the opportunity to use paid tuition as well to how to speak to native speakers to speak to native teachers in fact. And again the eilts teacher dot com a great place to go if you want to have conversations with eilts tutors who will specifically work on your collocations ability to help you get a great score in the exam. So collocations very important Do try to make sure that you are learning new collocations all the time and do try to use them in eilts task to help boost your score to a band seven level. See when the next lecture one will be talking about the importance of word formation.
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