One of the most popular strategies for vocabulary learning and retention is word list and collocation, which the EFL students tend to employ. This strategy displays the words in isolation while contributing to the knowledge of collocations or associations between the words. Furthermore, learning single words tends to fall back on unreliable intuitions when a collocation will be needed. This may result in the misuse of collocates together. At this stage, if the students attain the collocation together as a single choice, then there will be no misuse and learning will be more productive.
Collocation means words occurring together either in writing or in speech. This means that individual must have proper knowledge of collocations in order to speak the language fluently. The leaner must know about the collocations in order to utter in the native accent. Thus, collocation is an important concern for teachers and students within ESL and EFL settings.
EFL learners find it difficult to comprehend the patterns of collocation even if they recognize these patterns well. It is possible that the concepts are not been exposed to these individuals previously. The language researchers find it important to assess different teaching strategies for learning collocations. The issues related to the abilities to recall and retain the newly learned words are also critical besides the learning of collocations. The way of learning the new language and the type of strategy play an important role, especially for EFL/ESL learners. It is common for the EFL/ESL students to think how to learn and recall the new vocabulary when they start reading the text. Most of the EFL students seem to be memorizing the words by repeating them several times along with the meaning. However, this is not the right way of retaining vocabulary in minds. Hence, it is identified that there is lack of effective teaching strategies for EFL classrooms. Thus, the learning and retaining of vocabulary are highly affected by the awareness and implementation of the strategies used by the teachers in the class.
When students learn chunks of words (one item), it becomes effortless to divide them. Learning two words separately will lead the students to learn an additional third item to get the correct collocation. For learners, splitting collocations into component words is easy; it is significantly more difficult to place words to create natural collocations. To reduce this learning burden, the students must be aware of absolute knowledge about the collocation patterns. In addition, they must be equipped with relevant and effective means of vocabulary acquisition and retention.