1. The study examined the relationship between collocation use and intuitive judgments of second language (L2) speech by first language (L1) raters.
2. Speech samples from 85 Japanese learners of English were analyzed for global comprehensibility and lexical appropriateness, as well as lexical measures related to collocation, depth, and breadth of vocabulary use.
3. Results showed that L2 speakers' use of low-frequency combinations containing infrequent, abstract, and complex words strongly determined the raters' comprehensibility and lexical appropriateness scores.
The article "Multi- or Single-Word Units? The Role of Collocation Use in Comprehensible and Contextually Appropriate Second Language Speech" by Saito (2020) investigates the relationship between collocation use and intuitive judgments of second language (L2) speech. The study examines speech samples from a picture description task performed by 85 Japanese learners of English with varied L2 proficiency profiles. The author argues that the raters' comprehensibility and lexical appropriateness scores were strongly determined by the L2 speakers' use of low-frequency combinations containing infrequent, abstract, and complex words.
While the study provides valuable insights into the role of collocation use in L2 speech, there are some potential biases and limitations to consider. Firstly, the sample size is relatively small, which may limit the generalizability of the findings. Additionally, the study only focuses on Japanese learners of English, which may not be representative of other L2 learners.
Furthermore, while the author acknowledges that there are other factors that contribute to L2 speech production, such as grammar and pronunciation, these factors are not explicitly examined in this study. This narrow focus on collocation use may lead to an incomplete understanding of L2 speech production.
Another potential limitation is that the study relies on subjective ratings from L1 raters to assess comprehensibility and lexical appropriateness. While these ratings provide valuable insights into how native speakers perceive L2 speech, they may also be influenced by individual biases or preferences.
Overall, while this study provides important insights into the role of collocation use in L2 speech production, it is important to consider its limitations and potential biases when interpreting its findings. Future research should aim to replicate these findings with larger and more diverse samples and examine other factors that contribute to L2 speech production.