Words that go together well: developing test formats for measuring learner knowledge of English collocations

Research output: Working paper


This paper describes the development of two test formats, COLLEX and COLLMATCH,
measuring receptive recognition knowledge of English verb +NP collocations, and reports
findings from pilots and initial test administrations involving Swedish upper-secondaryschool
and university level learners. Administrations of the test formats produced highly
reliable scores and the performance of native speakers provided evidence of test validity. The
tests discriminated significantly between upper secondary school learners, university learners,
and native speakers. Significant differences were however not observed throughout between
advanced learner groups only one term apart in terms of level of formal instruction. A
vocabulary size measure was found to correlate highly with scores on both tests, which seems
to suggest that learners with large vocabularies have a better receptive command of verb + NP
collocations than learners with smaller vocabularies.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • Language testing Applied linguistics Collocation test format English EFL
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameThe Department of English in Lund: Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 5
ISSN (Print)1650-691X

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