Term

Summer 8-13-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Elizabeth Will

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Betsy Parrish

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Larry Kunz

Abstract

Two research questions guided this project: With explicit instruction, to what degree will students be able to acquire and use collocations in a descriptive writing task? And, to what degree will knowledge of collocations affect student confidence in their ability to communicate in French? Watching her students struggle with acquiring and using new vocabulary motivated the author’s interest in trying a novel approach to teaching vocabulary. This capstone discusses the results of explicit collocation instruction to nineteen high school French 2 students. The author uses research to support the teaching of collocations and documents the details of teaching a vocabulary unit using collocational phrases as an innovative way to improve vocabulary instruction and help students communicate more effectively and in a more native-like manner. She concludes that novice learners are able to acquire and use collocations and that learning collocations can increase student confidence in their communicative ability.

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