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TITLE: ENGLISH COLLOCATIONS AND THEIR EFFECT ON THE WRITING OF NATIVE AND NON-NATIVE COLLEGE FRESHMEN
AUTHOR: ZHANG, XIAOLIN
DEGREE: PH.D. | INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA (School code: 0318) | Date: 1993.
NOTES: 00230 pages. | UMI order no.: AAI9319454 | Print index reference: DAI 54-03A: 0910
ADVISOR: AGHBAR, ALI A.
FIELD(S) OF STUDY: (0679) LANGUAGE, GENERAL | (0745) EDUCATION, HIGHER | (0279) EDUCATION, LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE |

ABSTRACT: The present study was designed to examine and describe possible correlations between knowledge and use of English collocations and the quality of college freshmen writing.

Data for the study were collected from 60 college freshmen writers, 30 native and 30 non-native speakers of English, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Fall 1992. A two-part Collocational Test was constructed and used to elicit the subjects' knowledge of collocations. A writing test was administered to collect natural data of the subjects' use of collocations. The data were examined with respect to between- and within-group differences among the native and non-native subjects. Statistical measures were used to determine the significance of observed differences and to explore possible associations between collocational knowledge and writing quality, on the one hand, and between the use of collocations and writing quality, on the other.

Collocational Test results show that native writers performed significantly better than non-native writers, and Good writers within either group performed significantly better than Poor writers, especially in those items that are more formal in register. As for the use of collocations in their writing, native writers surpassed the non-native writers, and Good writers within either group surpassed Poor writers, in the quality of collocations. As for quantity, a significant difference was found between non-native Good and Poor writers.

Based on the research findings, this study concludes (1) collocational knowledge is a source of fluency in written communication among college freshmen, and (2) quality of collocations in terms of variety and accuracy is indicative of the quality of college freshmen writing. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for further research are discussed on the basis of the research findings.