An introduction to Collocation
- a lesson plan
by Tanju Deveci
Length of Lesson: 50 minutes
Type of Lesson: Lexis-Collocations
By the end of the lesson students will have
a - been encouraged to notice some collocational usages of
the words 'make', 'do' and 'have' in a written (in the form
of a letter seeking for advice)and recorded dialogue by listening
to the conversation first and then reading the typescript.
b - recorded these collocations on a worksheet provided by
c - practiced using these collocations in context by writing
sentences about themselves or their family members.
By the end of the lesson students will have had some practice
on listening for specific information.
Assumptions: Even though the
students aren't familiar with the word 'collocation', they
might not remember it in class. Therefore, I will use the
word 'phrase' in class to refer to 'collocation'. They have
also done work on different kinds of collocations. They have
seen collocations such as 'to make friends', 'to make money',
'to do homework' etc. However, they have not had the chance
to work on the infinitive forms of these collocations or written
different sentences using these collocations. That is, their
knowledge of these collocations is on recognition level.
They have been introduced to different ways of recording vocabulary
items in their vocabulary journal and the importance of this
has been made clear to them. Therefore, I do not expect them
to have problems using the vocabulary -sheet that I will provide
I also assume that they will be familiar with the most grammatical
structures covered in the materials.
a - Some of the students might want to understand every single
word in the text. If this happens, ask them not to worry about
all of the words that they do not know and encourage them
to get the gist of the text first of all. If they have problems
with target collocations or any other important vocabulary
items, use one or more of the strategies below:
- Supply context
- Give explanations
- Let peer-help
- Use equivalents in students' L1
- Compare with the students' mother tongue
b - Some of the grammatical structures in the
text may be new for the students, and they might want to understand
them fully asking for clarification from the teacher. If such
a thing happens, tell them that as long as they can understand
what it means from the text, they should not worry about grammatical
explanations since they will be learning them in later lesson.
c - Since dictionaries do not contain all the
infinitive forms of the target collocations, they might have
problems trying to figure out the infinitive forms. Therefore,
work with the whole class to extract infinitive forms.
For example: I made a new friend to make new
d - There might be a power-cut in the building,
which would impede the listening. If this happens, read the
dialogue changing your voice.
g - The bell might go off in the middle of the
last stage where they are supposed to produce their own sentences
using target collocations. Since this part is important, let
the students know that they might need to stay in class 5
minutes extra and that they will be able to take their break
after this. Also, their friends might want to come to class
for their friends while they are still on task. To avoid this,
put a 'PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB' sign on the door.
- A reading text in the form of a letter.
- A text in the form of listening.
- Pictures representing the people in the story.
- A tape-recorder.
- Hand-out for recording collocations.
- The typescript of the dialogue.
Aim: To establish the aim of the lesson (5 minutes).
A: T -- Ss : Write the following sentence on
(Ss -- T)
I am ………………… a coffee.
Elicit what could be put in the blank. Expected
answers: drinking, make, making, having.
B: T --------- Ss: After underlining
the collocations, try to reach a consensus that these phrases
have different meanings, and we need to learn them as phrases.
Also, let them see that direct translation from L1 would not
help them. To do this, ask them to translate the phrases into
a) to make a coffee: Kahve yapmak/kahve hazirlamak (as in
(they might say that kahve yapmak is a direct
translation. Therefore, ask them if we can say do a coffee.
Do and make have the same direct translation in Turkish language:
b) to have a coffee: Kahve içmek -içmek
in Turkish meaning to drink. Point out that we can say to
drink coffee in English, but to have a coffee is more natural.
C: T -- Ss: Tell them that in this lesson they
will be dealing with such words including do, make and have.
And make the importance of the lesson clear for them.
Aim: Aim: To help students notice some collocational usages
of the words 'make', 'do' and 'have' (15 minutes).
A: Ss -- Ss: Remind the students of the letter
that they had read in the previous lesson. Tell them that
this letter contains some phrases with make, do and have.
Ask them to read the letter again to underline phrases in
which the words make, do and have are used. (Display the instructions
First do one example with the class on OHP.
B: Ss -- T: When they are finished, ask in what
lines they have found the phrases. And check if they have
the meanings correct. Do this as follows:
- Ask them to translate the phrases into Turkish.
- Ask concept questions.
- Get them to reflect on the tenses used
- Mime (if possible)
C: T -- Ss: While the meaning of each phrase
is discussed, ask them to note the forms of the phrases on
the worksheet that you provide them with.
Aim: To have students listen to a dialogue for the gist meaning
A: T -- Ss: Ask them why Güllü's boyfriend could
be behaving the way he is doing. This will give them a chance
to predict first.
B: T -- Ss: Show them a picture of the boyfriend
Hulusi and explain that he is in a pub talking to one of his
friends. Make it clear that they will be talking about Hulusi.
Their task is to listen and see what he thinks about Güllü,
and what kind of people his parents are.
C: Ss -- T: Have open-class feedback.
Aim: To give students a chance to make guesses about the correct
choice of word (make, do and have) to fill in the blanks in
the collocational phrases in the typescript of the dialogue
they have just listened to (10 minutes).
A: T -- Ss: Tell them that working in pairs,
they will read the typescript of the dialogue, but they need
to provide the correct word (make, do, or have) in the collocational
phrases in the correct tense.
Do one or two example with the class.
B: Ss - Ss: Get them to do the task in pairs.
C: Ss : When they are finished with the task,
play the dialogue for a second time for them to check their
answers. When the conversation is over, have open class feedback.
If time does not seem to be enough for the following stages,
only have oral feedback.
D: T -- Ss: Elicit the infinitive forms of these
collocations and ask them to record them on their worksheets
while teacher writes on OHT.
Aim: To give the students' the chance to personalize the target
phrases by writing sentences about themselves or their family
members (15 minutes).
A: Ss-- Ss: Ask them to write some sentences
about themselves or their family members using the target
phrases. Give one example about yourself first.
Yesterday I had a fight with my wife, but I
bought her some flowers and she forgave me.
B: Ss -- Ss: When they have written their sentences,
ask them to write their sentences on the board so that the
other can also read.
If time does not allow all the students to write their sentences
on the board, have only early finishers write on the board
after you check their sentences. This will guide the other
students as well. After students have read each other's sentences
for peer-correction, ask some of them to read out their sentences
to class for feedback.
If the bell goes off in the middle of the activity, keep the
student in class for another five minutes, telling them that
the next lesson will start five minutes late.
Aim: To have student revise the phrases they have learnt in
the lesson (10 minutes).
Ss -- Ss: Get them to play hot-seat using
the target phrases, where the students are put into two groups
and with the help of the group member one person from each
group tries to come up with the correct co-occuring word for
the word given by the teacher. Each time he/she gets it correct
the group gets a point. The group with most points is the
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