The Development of an Academic Collocation List for Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Students

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Boonyakorn Siengsanoh


Acquiring collocations is widely considered to be essential in language learning. The question arises, however, as to what collocations merit students’ and teachers’ attention in ESP classes at a tertiary level. Thus, this corpus-based study aims to systematically develop an academic collocation list for undergraduate mechanical engineering students who learn English as a foreign language. To identify such a collocation list, the current study relied on a corpus-based approach and an expert-judged approach. The Sample Corpus of Mechanical Engineering containing 2.1 million words was compiled from required and supplementary textbook chapters, reading texts and research articles as specified in the course syllabi for the undergraduate program in Mechanical Engineering at a public university in Thailand. The development of the list involved five stages: 1) compilation of materials 2) creating a specialized corpus 3) extracting high-frequency node words and identifying lexical collocations 4) expert judgement; and 5) ordering the entries. These steps are in line with those proposed by Ackermann and Chen (2013) with some modifications. It is expected that this corpus-informed collocation list consisting of 282 entries will be highly useful for students majoring in Mechanical Engineering as well as ESP teachers and material developers. The complete list of collocations is provided in the appendix.


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Siengsanoh, B. (2021). The Development of an Academic Collocation List for Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Students. REFLections, 28(1), 59–81. Retrieved from
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