from this scholarly arena suggests that the role of noticing on language learning still needs more investigation.
As the last point in this section, it seems crucial to say that the research on collocation is twofold. It has been carried out within two various but sometimes somewhat interlocking traditions which can be referred to as the frequency-based and the phraseological traditions. In the former, frequency and statistics are intrinsic ingredients in the analysis of textual instantiations of collocation. In the latter, phraseological tradition, work on collocation is guided by syntactic and semantic analyses.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
In the last two decades, English collocations have gained popularity and have become of major concern in EFL learning and teaching context. A growing body of researchers has become aware of the significance of collocations and the necessity of teaching collocations in EFL courses. They mentioned some of the advantages of learning collocations which include but are not limited to: ameliorating learners’ language and communicative competence as well as improving their fluency and accuracy. As a result, teaching and learning collocations is necessary in EFL courses.
Many of the previous studies (Farghal & Obiedat, 1995; Shei & Pain, 2000) reported that EFL learners made collocation errors in their writing and speaking as a result of a paucity in their collocational competence. Unfortunately, little research has been conducted in EFL and ESL context to tackle this issue. The review of the literature on collocations reveals that no study to this date has looked into the impact of using Noticing- Reformulation tasks on the retention of English collocations.
Several scholars have reported that the problem with collocation learning is that collocations do not catch learners’ attention effectively (Woolard, 2000), but no treatment has ever been suggested. Unfortunately, collocations have not yet been presented in specialized context within Noticing-Reformulation tasks to be attended and learnt better. They have never been taught as a separate subject in language classes although it plays a substantial role in foreign language learning. All in all, it makes learners’ oral and written language production more native-like and decreases foreignness.
My motive for conducting this study at the level of language schools was that in our language institutes, no attention is usually paid to teaching and learning collocations and if any, appropriate ways of presenting them to our students have never been taken into account. After all, many of our teachers are still perplexed when they hear their students complain about not being able to learn and use collocations.
Occasionally, Iranian EFL learners complain about the difficulty of remembering the natural co-occurrence of words. In writing, for example, they show to be weak in using the appropriate collocations (Eliasi & Vahidi Borji, 2013b). This study is conducted to give the chance to EFL teachers and learners to be able to learn collocations better and retain them for a long time. The present study aims at considering the effect of using task types (noticing-reformulation)on the retention of colocations.
1.3. Significance and Purpose of the Study
Owing to its paramount significance, English language learning plays an important part in educational curriculum in Iran. Special attention has long been given to it in our society and many are interested in it. The findings of the present study can be both theoretically and practically significant to those interested in the field. Such a study can be used at macro and micro levels and can provide information to language planners, policy makers, textbook developers, curriculum designers, language teachers, language learners and their parents.
To make the present study more significant, there has been no single volume of work focused solely on researching the effects of using Noticing- Reformulation technique on the retention of English collocations. Moreover, no study has ever investigated the issue in an EFL context like Iranian language schools. Particular attributes of language learning in Iran makes the research in this area valid and important. To put it more straightforwardly, an overwhelming majority of EFL learners in Iran have substantial problems with learning collocations due to manifold of reasons. Teachers spend most of the class time teaching grammar or single words disregarding collocations needed for successful communication. That is why students use collocation equivalents translated from Persian into English as they do not know what exactly they should use.
In our language schools, learners’ problem with collocations is still unsolved. It is usually transferred from lower levels to higher levels. To exacerbate the problem, language teachers also disregard teaching collocations. That might be why language learners usually report serious problems using collocations although they seem not to have as much problem understanding them.
The present study aims at looking into the outcome of using a set of psychological procedures and techniques in teaching collocations at a language school spoken course in I. R. Iran. It also means to find out whether exploiting task types (noticing-reformulation)would yield better acquisition of collocations and retention results among Iranian low intermediate EFL learners than utilization of traditional explicit teaching of collocations in paper-based texts through bilingual word lists and mechanical exercises. The specific objective of this study is to point out possible difficulties Iranian EFL learners have with English collocations. In our language schools one of the most crucial language-learning problems may be retention of various features of a foreign language lexicon learnt inside the classrooms. In this respect the crucial problem may be that of inappropriate feedback and noticing paucity, which means learners’ newly observed input may not always be internalized.
1.4. Research Questions of the Study
In the line of the research direction that has investigated the scope of noticing in the teaching of collocations, the present study seeks to investigate the following research question:
RQ: Do task types (noticing-reformulation) have any effect on Iranian upper- Intermediate EFL Learners’ retention of collocations?
1.5. Hypotheses of the Study
The present study concentrates on the following research hypothesis:
H0: Task types (noticing-reformulation) do not have any effect on Iranian upper- Intermediate EFL Learners’ retention of collocations.
1.6. Definitions of Key Terms
To provide the readership with a brief explanation of the operational key terms presented in the study and prevent any ambiguity, I decided to define the under mentioned terms:
The term collocation has been defined differently by different scholars. For instance, Shehata (2008) described the