Collocational Knowledge Uptake by University Students under Online Learning

Keywords: collocational knowledge, ESP, vocabulary uptake, involvement load, written output


The article discusses an experiment that looked into the acquisition of collocational knowledge in three university groups studying online, each subjected to different learning conditions: incidental acquisition, intentional acquisition, and intentional acquisition with an extra productive output (essay), the latter having been assessed for the amount and accuracy of target lexis usage in their texts. The aim of the study was to see how well upper-intermediate university students could identify collocations in an input text, and how the text-based output affected the collocational uptake outcomes. The study showed that the productive output group outperformed the other intentional learning group, while incidental acquisition group failed to complete a productive knowledge posttest. Although the study revealed only slightly higher gains in the output group, their results appeared more consistent than those demonstrated by the other intentional uptake group, whose retention rate decreased by the time of delayed posttest.

Author Biography

Svetlana Danilina, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

Svetlana Danilina, PhD, is an Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages for Faculties of Philosophy and History at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. She teaches General English and ESP courses to undergraduate students of history and philosophy. Her research interests focus on various aspects of second language acquisition, including the use of communicative approach and CLIL methodology in teaching ESP in university settings, intentional and incidental vocabulary uptake, and literary translation and the applicability of translation in the contemporary EFL classroom.


Adamcova, S. (2020). Empirical research of collocations in foreign language learning. Advanced Education, 14, 75-83.

Boers, F., & Lindstromberg, S. (2009). Optimizing a lexical approach to instructed second language acquisition. Palgrave Macmillan.

Boers, F., & Lindstromberg, S. (2012). Experimental and intervention studies on formulaic sequences in a second language. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 32, 83–110.

Carter, R., & Nunan, D. (2002). The Cambridge guide to teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cambridge University Press.

Durrant, P. (2014). Corpus frequency and second language learners’ knowledge of collocations. A meta-analysis. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 19(4), 443-477.

Ellis, R. (1999). Learning a second language through interaction. John Benjamins.

Ellis, N. C. (2003). Constructions, chunking, and connectionism: The emergence of second language structure. Revised chapter for Doughty & Long (Eds.) Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Blackwell.

Ellis, N. C. (2005). At the interface: Dynamic interactions of explicit and implicit language knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27, 305–352.

Ellis, N. C., Simpson-Vlach, R., & Maynard, C. (2008). Formulaic language in native and second language speakers: Psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics and TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 375–396.

Firth, J. (1968). A Synopsis of Linguistic Theory 1930–1955. In Palmer, F.R. (Ed.). Selected Papers of J.R. Firth 1952–59: (pp. 1-32). Indiana University Press.

Fitzpatrick, T., Al-Quarni, I. & Meara, P. (2008). Intensive vocabulary learning: a case study, Language Learning Journal, 36, 2, 116-132.

Garnier, M., & Schmitt, M. (2016). Picking Up polysemous phrasal verbs: How many do learners know and what facilitates this knowledge? SYSTEM, 59, 29-44.

González Fernández, B. & Schmitt, N. (2015). How much collocation knowledge do L2 learners have? The effects of frequency and amount of exposure. ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 166, 94-126.

Hoey, M. (2012). Lexical Priming. In Carol A. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Applied Linguistics. Blackwell Publishing

Krashen, S. (2009). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition (1st Internet Edition).

Laufer, B. (2005). Focus on Form in Second Language Vocabulary Learning. EUROSLA (Ed.), EUROSLA Yearbook 5, 223-250. John Benjamins Publishing.

Laufer, B. & Rozovski-Roitblatt, B. (2011). Incidental vocabulary acquisition: The effects of task type, word occurrence and their combination. Language Teaching Research, 15 (4), 391-411.

Laufer, B., & Hulstijn, J. H. (2001). Incidental vocabulary acquisition in a second language: The construct of task-induced involvement. Applied Linguistics, 22, 1–26.

Lee, S., & Pulido, D. (2017). The impact of topic interest, L2 proficiency, and gender on EFL incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading. Language Teaching Research, 21, 118–135.

Lewis, M. (1999). The Lexical Approach: The State of ELT and A Way Forward. Language Teaching Publications.

Lewis, M. (2000). Teaching collocation: Further developments in the lexical approach. Language Teaching Publications.

Macis, M. & Schmitt, N. (2017). Not just 'Small Potatoes': Knowledge of the idiomatic meanings of collocations. Language Teaching Research, 21(3), 321-340.

Nguyen, C. D., & Boers, F. (2018). The Effect of Content Retelling on Vocabulary Uptake from a TED Talk. TESOL Quarterly, 52(1), 1-25.

Pauwels, P. (2018). How advanced students approach intentional vocabulary study. The Language Learning Journal, 46(3), 293-310.

Pellicer-Sánchez, A. (2017). Learning L2 collocations incidentally from reading. Language Teaching Research, 21(3), 381–402.

Peters, E. (2014). The effects of repetition and time of post-test administration on EFL learners’ form recall of single words and collocations. Language Teaching Research, 18(1), 75–94.

Peters, E. (2016). The learning burden of collocations: The role of interlexical and intralexical factors. Language Teaching Research, 20(1), 113–138.

Puimège, E., & Peters, E. (2020). Learning formulaic sequences through viewing L2 television and factors that affect learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 42(3), 525-549.

Reuterskiöld C, & Van Lancker Sidtis, D. (2012). Retention of idioms following one-time exposure. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 29(2), 216–228.

Schmitt, N. (2008). Instructed Second Language Vocabulary Learning. Language Teaching Research, 12(3), 329-363.

Sinclair, J. (1991). Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. Oxford University Press.

Snoder, P. (2017). Improving English Learners’ Productive Collocation Knowledge: The Effects of Involvement Load, Spacing, and Intentionality. TESL Canada Journal, 34(3), 140-164.

Szudarski, P. (2017). Learning and teaching L2 collocations: insights from research. TESL Canada Journal, 34(3), 205-216.

Wray, A. (2002). Formulaic language and the lexicon. Cambridge University Press.

How to Cite
Danilina, S. (2021). Collocational Knowledge Uptake by University Students under Online Learning. English Studies at NBU, 7(1), 97-117.