A Corpus-based Analysis of Collocational Errors in the Iranian EFL Learners' Oral Production


1 Assistant Professor, TEFL Urmia University

2 M.A., TEFL Urmia University


Collocations are one of the areas generally considered problematic for EFL learners. Iranian learners of English like other EFL learners face various problems in producing oral collocations.  An analysis of learners' spoken interlanguage both indicates the scope of the problem and the necessity to spend more time and energy by learners on mastering collocations. The present study specifically focuses on the use of different types of collocations in oral productions of 30 intermediate Iranian EFL learners with the aim of identifying, categorizing and accounting for the inappropriate collocations produced. The corpus analysis revealed that preposition-based collocations in general and verb-preposition collocations in particular are the most problematic types of collocation for Iranian learners of English. The results also indicated that negative transfer from L1 was responsible for a high proportion (56.7%) of collocational errors, while intra-lingual transfer accounted for only 30% of the incorrect collocations. Further findings of the study as well as implications for the teaching and learning of collocations are discussed in the paper.