General Writing and Grammar Help/idioms or collocation?

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QUESTION: Hi :)
In your opinion, what do you think would be more beneficial to teach international academic students, idioms or collocation? and why do you think that is?

ANSWER: Hello Amirah

In my opinion - neither.

It would be far more useful to make them acquainted with the vocabulary, syntax, and rhythms of good quality English - by encouraging them to read and anylse classic prose - fiction and non-fiction.

Other people might disagree with me of course

Best wishes

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for you answer :) and for the really fast reply too!
But I was wondering  if their basic syntax is good and the have good knowledge of vocabulary then which would you choose?

Thanks again :)

Answer
I would probably choose to explain idioms

Because these are always puzzling to non-native speakers (in any language)

And collocations come dangerously close to teaching cliche

so if it is a choic between the two - go for idioms

but you can only say what they MEAN

There is no rational explanation for "It's raining cats and dogs"


cheers  

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Roy Johnson

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I can answer questions on English language, grammar, writing skills, and study skills. I am particularly experienced in the writing skills required for academic essays, term papers, reports, dissertations, and post-graduate theses.

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I have forty years experience as a tutor and as the author of books on writing and study skills. For thirty years I was a tutor for the Workers' Educational Association, which specialises in courses for adult students and preparing mature students for university. I was also a tutor for the Open University between 1975 and 2010. During that time I have also written a number of books on writing and study skills. In the last ten years or more I have specialised in creating computer-aided learning materials and online learning courses.

Publications
"Making the Grade" (Manchester University Press) 1990 "Studying Fiction" (Manchester University Press) 1991 "Marking Essays" (Clifton Press) 1993 "Revision and Examinations" (Clifton Press) 1993 "Writing Essays" (Clifton Ress) 1996 "Study Skills" (Clifton Press) 1996 "Electronic Writing" (Clifton Press) 1996 "Improve your Writing Skills" (Clifton Press) 2010 "Writing Essays 3.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program] "English Language 3.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program] "Study Skills 2.0" (Clifton Press) 2008 [computer program]

Education/Credentials
My first degree was in mechanical engineering (HNC). I then switched to literary studies and philosophy. My second degree was a BA in English and American Literature (from Manchester University - UK). I also have an MA in Comparative Literary Studies, and my doctoral thesis (PhD) was in the relationship between literature and politics.

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Amber TV Anglia Polytechnic University Bath Spa University College The Beattie Partnership Blackpool & the Fylde College Bolton, Salford, & Trafford NHS Cedar Health Central Manchester Health Trust City College Manchester Coventry University David Rigby Associates East Lancs NHS Food Standards Agency Graduate Research Institute Granada Studios Higher Education Funding Council Hyde Clarendon College Kellogg’s UK Kingsmill Health Trust Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Liverpool University Manchester Airport Manchester City Council Manchester Metropolitan University MANCAT Manchester PCT (NHS) Manchester TEC North East Lancs PCT NorthWest Learning Grid Oldham Business School Open University Parrs Wood College Runshaw College Salford Mental Health Trust Save the Children Fund South Manchester Health Trust St John Rigby College St Mary’s Catholic High School SwimTime University of Bolton University of Central Lancs University College Chester University of Huddersfield University of Hull University of Manchester University of Salford West London Health Trust Winstanley College Manchester NHS Xaverian College

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