Hello everyone and welcome to the week two video for English for Academic Study. So, this week we’re going to look at some different tips. Firstly, we’re going to look at collocations, so what are they? And how can you find good collocations? Secondly, we’re going to look at some vocabulary logs, so we’re going to think about why you record vocabulary in a log and then a quick example of how you can record vocabulary. Then we’re going to look at a tool to help you memorise vocabulary. So, we’re going to look at recording vocabulary and memorising vocabulary and then finally we’ll look at some different ways that you can move forward now that you have finished this course.
Okay, so let’s get started. First of all, we’re going to think about collocations. So, a collocation is a word that goes together well with another word. So, often, in English, people use words together that are common, that are used frequently together. So, when we use a word that is correct, but is not commonly used with another word, it sounds very strange to people listening and makes it difficult for them to understand your exact meaning. So, using an accurate or precise collocation, using two words that go well together is really important for communicating clearly. So, in this example we’re going to look at the word ‘knowledge’ and we’re going to think about the word that goes best with ‘knowledge’.
So, all of these words ‘get knowledge’, ‘acquire knowledge’, ‘find knowledge’, ‘learn knowledge’, they all mean similar things, ‘get’, ‘acquire’, ‘find’, ‘learn’ all mean similar things, but only one of these words is commonly used together with ‘knowledge’. So, it’s very difficult to decide which one because they all look correct, but we can use some tools to help us decide. So, the first thing we can use is called the Pearson Academic Collocation list. So, you can search for this list using a search engine like Google
and you can then look at all of these common words that go together. So, to make the list, they took all of the academic texts and searched for which word went with each component the best. So, they looked at the word ’abstract’ and they found that the most common word that went with it was ‘concept’, ‘an abstract concept’. So, you know that all of these words go well together but we want to find out about the word ‘knowledge’, so what we could do, as with most websites and text documents, we can press ‘control’ + ‘F’ and we can then search for the word ‘knowledge’ by typing it in the box here, pressing enter, and it will find the word ‘knowledge’.
So, we can see words that go with knowledge, ‘background knowledge’,
‘historical knowledge’, ‘personal knowledge’, ‘previous knowledge’. So, you can see that there are a lot of words that go together well with the word ‘knowledge’. And then we get down to line 32, ‘acquire knowledge’. It tells us the part of speech, so we’ve got a verb and a noun, so we want to do something about knowledge, acquire knowledge. So that’s the
first term we’ve found. So, we don’t find ‘get knowledge’, ‘find knowledge’ or ‘learn knowledge’ we find ‘acquire knowledge’ when we go to the Pearson Academic Collocation list. But there are a lot of words and it is very difficult for you to remember all of them, but you can search this to find good collocations. There are also a lot of other websites with collocations, so the Academic Collocation List on a website called EAPFoundation.com is good. So, it’s organised a bit differently to the Pearson Collocations List. So, we can see straight away when we go down to the headword and find ‘acquire’ and we get ‘knowledge’ here.
Again, it has a lot, it has all of the academic collocations, but it can be quite difficult to use. So, I think the best way to use words that go together well is to notice how other people use the words together. So, if we go to the dictionary, I love the dictionary, we can search for our term ‘knowledge’, maybe we’re writing an assignment or researching the word and we can scroll down and find our definition, but we can also look at the examples. So, these are good examples the dictionary has found and we can find our own collocations here.
For example, we’ve got ‘detailed’ and ‘knowledge’, ‘a detailed knowledge’, so that’s a really good collocation ‘detailed knowledge’. Also ‘without my knowledge’ and here we’ve got it ‘to acquire knowledge’.
So, we now know that ‘acquire’ and ‘knowledge’ go together well because it is an example in the dictionary. So, all of these are good examples of phrases or collocations that go well together.
There’s also a great tool called The Oxford Collocation Dictionary
which you can search for using this address (https://www.freecollocation.com/). So again, we can search for the word ‘knowledge’ in the collocations dictionary. We can see ‘knowledge’ now and adjectives that go with knowledge like ‘considerable knowledge’, ‘great knowledge’, ‘vast knowledge’, ‘complete knowledge’, so if you’ve written, in your assignment, ‘amazing knowledge’, you can check that that sounds okay by coming to the collocation dictionary, typing in ‘knowledge’ and you’ll see that actually, an adjective that goes with knowledge, these are much better, like ‘intimate knowledge’, ‘profound knowledge’, ‘deep knowledge’ but ‘amazing knowledge’? No, we don’t see that here, because it is not used commonly.
And then we can look for what we want to find out, ‘Verb + Knowledge’, so the first verb that goes with knowledge is ‘acquire’. So, we can check our work again, ‘acquire knowledge’ yes, that was the correct word. So, we can quickly check to see if people do use ‘get’, ‘find’ or ‘learn’ ‘knowledge’. We can go back to our collocation list, look for ‘Verb + Knowledge’ so no, not ‘get’ but we have got ‘gain’, ‘gain knowledge’ and ‘have’, ‘demonstrate’, ‘flaunt’, ‘parade’, ‘show (off)’, ‘test’, ‘apply’, so no, we can’t see that in the Oxford Collocation Dictionary so we need to choose a different word with the same meaning that goes together with the word we want to use, ‘knowledge’. So, collocations
are really important when you’re trying to communicate clearly and precisely in your discipline and in your assignments so it’s always worth using tools like this to check you’re using words together well. So now that we’ve found a good collocate, so we’ve got ‘acquire knowledge’, we know it goes together well, we’ve seen it somewhere, now we’re going to try and record it. So, look at this example from Walden University Writing Centre and this is a table that a student has used to record all of the information about the reading they’ve done for an assignment and it’s called a reading matrix.
So, the student has chosen different headings to help them understand what they read and to help them make links between the different ideas in their reading so that then they can use this knowledge easily to write their assignment. So, what we can do is the same kind of thing for our vocabulary and we can make a vocabulary matrix, or a vocabulary log.
So, it’s up to you how you organise a vocabulary log but it’s important that you have a clear heading for the vocabulary. So, what type of vocabulary is it? So, in this case we’re going to record some academic vocabulary. Maybe when you go to university you will learn lots of new words about shopping, or when your socialise with your friends, you hear a new word and it’s amazing, you want to write it down and learn about the word, but you don’t want to mix it up with your academic vocabulary, so we can have different headings and different tabs for the different situations that you heard each bit of vocabulary in.
And then it’s up to you, you need some headings to try and record all of the information that you find about the word. So, for our word, we’re just going to have the word here ‘knowledge’. Some pronunciation to help us remember ‘/ˈn/ /ɒ/ /l/ /ɪ/ /dʒ/’, the part of speech, so, what type of word is it? So, this is a noun. A definition, so we can just take this from the dictionary, or as you get more confident, you can write your own definitions based on the context that you hear the word in. So, I think it’s really important, where did you hear this word? If we go back to this list of words, there are too many!
So, the best way is to try and investigate and learn words that you read or words that you hear. So for this word, maybe you read it in your assignment brief and the example from the assignment brief was ‘use your knowledge of the topic to answer the question’.
And then you can find some collocations, so every time you see the word again, or you hear the word again try to record the collocation that goes with that word. So then, like with this table, you can record all of your new words, all of the information you find every time you hear the word or see the word, all of the different meanings in a table that you can then organise and record all of the different words from the different places you hear them. So, having a vocabulary log is really important but understanding which words go together well and how they’re used is also important.
So when we have a big vocabulary log with lots of different words, you need to keep repeating the process, so when you hear or read a new word you need to add the new information, but you also need to try and learn some of this so that it’s ready for you to use when you’re in a situation where you need to use it. So, a good way to learn words and sort of put yourself under a bit of pressure is to use Quizlet. So, you can make your own set of cards, or you can search, so I’ve searched for ‘Academic Vocabulary’ and I’ve found 102 academic flashcards.
So, we can take our information from our log and we can make our own flashcards like this with the word and then the information about the word. Here we just have a definition, so we can click, try to remember the word, go to the next one, read the definition, try to remember the word and then when we’re happy, when we think we’ve learned all of the words, we can then test ourselves. So, we can play some games, like a match game here where you just have to drag the correct definition onto the card,
and it gives you a time and it gives you a score and you can log in with social media to share how well you’re doing with your vocabulary. So, we’ll move on now to the next steps. So, if you’re really happy with the course and you’re thinking ‘I really want to study in the UK!’ A good website to find out about opportunities for studying in the UK is study-uk.britishcouncil.org. It’s got lots of different information like ‘why study in the UK?’, ‘finding a university for you’. This is a great part ‘scholarships and funding’ so you can get help with the fees and then lots of information about how to apply and things you should consider when you move to the UK.
There’s also the Coventry University website, so if you go to www.coventry.ac.uk/international-students-hub you’ll find lots and lots of information, so all of the courses that we run, how to apply, how to pay. There are lots of scholarships again, so scholarships, if you have particular circumstances, or if you’ve done really well academically then you can get help with the fees for studying in the UK. And there’s lots of information about coming to the UK and then our site, Pre-sessional English, so you can get help with your English language, either before you study if your IELTS score is slightly too low or you can get help whilst you’re studying from us as well.
There’s also Coventry University Online where you can look at all of the different types of courses you can study with us online through the FutureLearn platform.
Or you could just go onto FutureLearn as you know it already and if you go to the Coventry University page on FutureLearn (/partners/coventry) you’ll see all of the different
courses you can study with FutureLearn and Coventry University together online. So, I hope you enjoyed week two of the course, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the whole course, I’ve really enjoyed studying with you. Please keep asking any questions you still have in the chat and otherwise, good luck in your future studies and on your journey towards learning academic English, goodbye for now.