COLLOCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF UNDERGRADUATE LEARNERS OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA
Words are the building blocks with which we construct sentences and ultimately convey meaning. But words do not just combine at random to form sentences. Apart from the grammatical requirement of subjects to precede verbs and verbs to precede complements, words have co-occurrence relationships that constrain them to occur naturally with some words but not with others. In order to achieve fluency and ultimately intelligibility, language users in the ESL environment need to understand the selectional restrictions that preclude certain words from going together and others to go together. This paper examines collocational usage in the written English of undergraduate students of the University of Education, Winneba. Fifty essays of second year students across three departments of the University were purposively selected for this research. The findings revealed a large quantity of collocational misuse such as omission of collocational elements, reduplication, restructuring of collocations, substitution of a lexical element(s) within the collocational structure and wrong amalgamation of collocational elements.
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