THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLOCATIONS IN ACQUIRING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Second language learners very frequently rely on their native tongue, assuming that there is always a one-to-one equivalence between L1 and L2 lexical items. This results in major errors since even equivalent lexical items do not always convey the same sense in two languages mainly because of the cultural differences which are mirrored in the vocabulary of every language. Overlooking collocations and other word combinations also brings about many collocational errors which can be more disruptive than grammatical errors in communication. For most collocations there are no motivations and the same conceptual meaning can be realized by different words. This inexplicability of collocation calls for more attention on the part of both teachers and learners of English. The aim of this paper is to research the notice given to collocations in the curriculum of EFL in the primary and secondary schools in Macedonia. More specifically, this study is devoted to the elaboration of the concept of collocations including, the definition of collocations, collocation types, the importance of collocations, as well as the exercises and space that is allocated to collocations in the modern English textbooks used in the elementary and secondary schools in our country. Apart from the analysis of a selection of English textbooks, the research is based on a tailor-made questionnaire distributed among and filled out by elementary and secondary school teachers of English who work in the Bitola region.
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