Words that go together well

In this step we will learn more about collocates and how they can make your writing clearer and easier to understand.

Words that go together well in English are called collocates. There are many examples of collocates that are used at university in the UK.

Look at the following phrases that Farah used in her email:

I will make a great experience.

Will I have to work difficult?

I hear that there is thick rain every day.


Your task

Although we understand what Farah meant when she used these words, they’re not the correct collocates.

Read Omar’s reply again. Can you find the corresponding collocates that Omar used in his reply?

Dear Farah,

I think studying an online degree is a great idea and I’m sure you will have a great experience. I thought studying in the UK would be the same as studying at home but it is really different. For example, at home we used to sit in the lectures and listen but in Coventry we have to answer questions and sometimes people even disagree with the lecturer! The most important thing about lectures is the ideas that the lecturer gives us. We have to go away and learn independently by reading lots about the ideas and usually we have to prepare a presentation about what we’ve discovered for our seminar.

You will definitely have to work hard if you study at a UK university. If you want to be successful at a UK university you really have to engage with your tutors and your peers and be an active learner. That means you have to work independently outside of the classroom and plan all of your time carefully so you can finish all of the work before the deadline. When I studied before I used to enjoy working alone but now I have to work in groups a lot. Groupwork can be really difficult because you have to think about all of the people you are working with, not just yourself. However, I really enjoy working in a group now because I realise that I learn a lot from my peers and it helps me understand more about the subject.

I studied online for one of my modules and I really enjoyed it. It is really important to engage with your peers by writing lots in the discussion forums and reading what other people have written. I interacted with my tutor using video chats and sometimes they would give us the answers or some advice in the discussion forums, so I had to read them regularly. I think studying online was great for me because I could choose when I wanted to study and I could easily review all of the material. Anyway, I hope this advice was useful, let me know what you decide.

P.S. You shouldn’t worry about the weather here, they have heavy rain sometimes but I prefer it to being too hot at home!

Yours,

Omar.

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This article is from the free online course:

English for Academic Study

Coventry University