Welcome to Francis Academic Press

Frontiers in Educational Research, 2024, 7(3); doi: 10.25236/FER.2024.070318.

Effectiveness of High School Students’ DDL of Verb-noun Collocations in an EFL Context


Leshi Li, Xinyi Qi, Xuanye Tang, Jinghan Wang

Corresponding Author:
Leshi Li

School of International Education, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China


This study explores the impact of data-driven learning (DDL) activities on the enhancement of collocation proficiency among Chinese high school students studying English as a foreign language (EFL). Additionally, participants' attitudes toward learning through the indirect DDL approach are examined. The empirical research spanned three weeks and involved two comparative groups, employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods with three instruments: a pre/post/delayed post-test, an attitude questionnaire, and interviews. The participants comprised 10 Chinese high school students. The control group followed traditional teaching methods, while the experimental group utilized DDL methods using the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Through nonparametric test analysis in SPSS, the results reveal minimal significant differences in corpus-assisted teaching of high school verb-noun collocation in the pre-test, post-test, and delayed post-test outcomes. However, a notable distinction emerges between the two groups in the writing segment of the delayed post-test, suggesting potentially deeper acquisition in the experimental group. Further empirical studies are expected to excavate its developmental potential and appropriate application for promoting high school student-centered learning in vocabulary.


Data-driven learning; verb-noun collocations; high school students; EFL context

Cite This Paper

Leshi Li, Xinyi Qi, Xuanye Tang, Jinghan Wang. Effectiveness of High School Students’ DDL of Verb-noun Collocations in an EFL Context. Frontiers in Educational Research (2024) Vol. 7, Issue 3: 106-114. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2024.070318.


[1] Al-Mahbashi, A.A., Noor, N.M., & Amir, Z.The Effect of Multiple Intelligences on DDL Vocabulary Learning. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 2017, 6, 182-191.

[2] Da Silva Soares Jr, R., Barreto, C., & Sato, J. R.Perspectives in eye-tracking technology for applications in education. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 2023, 13(1), 1204.

[3] Demir, C. Lexical collocations in English: A comparative study of native and non-native scholars of English. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 2017, 13(1), 75-87.

[4] Dugard, P., & Todman, J. Analysis of pre‐test‐post‐test control group designs in educational research. Educational Psychology, 1995, 15(2), 181-198.

[5] Bennett, C., & Dhonnchadha, E. U.Becoming corpus literate: An in-service EFL teacher education framework for integrating corpora into EFL teaching. Applied Corpus Linguistics, 2023, 3(1), 100048. 

[6] Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. Gauging the effects of exercises on verb–noun collocations. Language Teaching Research, 2014, 18(1), 54-74.

[7] Boulton, A.Data-driven learning: Reasonable fears and rational reassurance. Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2009, 35, 81–106.

[8] Boulton, A., & Cobb, T.Corpus use in language learning: A meta‐analysis. Language learning, 2017, 67(2), 348-393.

[9] Cotos, E., Link, S., & Huffman, S. Effects of DDL technology on genre learning. Language Learning & Technology, 2017, 21, 104-130.

[10] Crosthwaite, P. Retesting the limits of data-driven learning: Feedback and error correction. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 2017, 30(6), 447-473.

[11] Falahi, M., & Moinzadeh, A.Effects of receptive and productive tasks on Iranian EFL students’ learning of verb-noun collocations. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2012, 3(5), 953.

[12] Boulton, A., & Vyatkina, N. Thirty years of data-driven learning: Taking stock and charting new directions over time. Language Learning & Technology, 2021, 25(3), 66–89.

[13] Chan, T. P., & Liou, H. C. Effects of web-based concordancing instruction on EFL students’ learning of verb–noun collocations. Computer assisted language learning, 2005, 18(3), 231-251.