Book Review: Teaching Essential Units of Language: Beyond Single-word Vocabulary

Document Type : Book Review


University of South Florida


Aijmer (1996) and Nation and Webb (2011) said it best: idiomatic formulas and repeated word combinations are of great value indeed yet challenging to learners. Why does it make more sense to say I did my homework versus I made my homework? Why do we say beautiful weather instead of pretty weather? The reason behind these specific word groupings is that they are collocationsCollocations are key to the acquisition of vocabulary, enhancement of reading and writing style, as well as the attainment of native-like fluency. According to Hinkel (2019), learning collocations is challenging for English language learners, and despite the hundreds of research publications about collocations, there have not been sufficient pedagogical materials for collocation teaching. Therefore, an overview of both practical and research-based foundations of teaching collocation is required. With its contributions by seven top scholars, Teaching Essential Units of Language is designed to provide a reference source to English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers taking part in teaching second language (L2) multi-word units (collocations). The motive behind the book is to present a thorough overview of the dominant principles and techniques of teaching L2 phrases in a range of instructional settings around the world.