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4 Comments

  • I would like personally thank you for your non-stop work.My students (about 100 people) bought Macmillan dictionary.all of them keep thanking me because they like it very much.so I felt that it’s more for you because I only recommended.So, a lot of thanks from my students!

  • As an English teacher I usually point out the common ways native English speakers express word combinations even though I know what a student means when they use ways that are not common. I find myself thinking “oh!, s/he means blah blah blah.” I also find it slows down my ability to listen carefully to the content if a language learner unknowingly is making up their own expressions all the time. I also would imagine that when language learners get out into the real world using their “new language” they might get laughed at for speaking “funny English.” What teacher would tell an adult student there English is good if they said “There was a big wind on the day the man did a bad crime.” I think that sentence sounds suitable for an 8 year old not a 28 year old. Good article!

  • I apologize for coming to this rather late, almost 3 years after the post, but the information presented here distorts the facts. Yes, the two examples Michael picks happen to be relatively frequent. But they are not representative, and by no means could we “continue like this indefinitely.” In fact, Shin & Nation estimate that only about 84 chunks are as frequent as the most common 1,000 word families. And that’s 84 out of a roughly 4,698 matching their criteria to the top 1,000 pivot words (see the paper http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/about/staff/publications/paul-nation/2008-Shin-Collocations.pdf for an explanation).

    310 chunks would merit being taught along with the 2,000 high-frequency words families, and the number rises to 570 if you put the cutoff at 3,000 words.