Although corpora and corpus linguistics have been applied for quite long in foreign and second language settings, there is still limited understanding about how EFL learners use corpus tools along with dictionaries to enhance their collocation knowledge. This study aims to gain insight into the effectiveness of corpus-based pedagogy in comparison with the conventional vocabulary teaching methods, particularly using dictionaries. The study was conducted with two non-English major advanced groups of L2 learners at a public university. The experimental group studied 16 pre-selected formal academic words and their strong and weak collocations with corpus (COCA, the corpus of contemporary American English), while the comparison group studied the same collocations using advanced learner’s dictionaries. The instruments for collecting data included the Oxford placement test, pretest, posttest, and exercises devised for particular teaching points of collocations. Results of Repeated Measures ANOVA tests showed no significant difference between the two experimental groups. However, the corpus-based approach showed more impact on the reception of strong collocations acquired by the corpus group at a slightly better performance rate, as evidenced by the group’s mean scores (Corpus =45.91, Dictionary= 44.06). Interestingly, the acquisition of weak collocations was better for the dictionary use group (Corpus=54.08, Dictionary= 57.18). The paper thus offers some implications for teaching and assessing collocation knowledge and makes suggestions that EFL practitioners should create variations in instructional methodologies through gaining awareness of the increasing availability of innovative technologies. Further research on collocations’ assessment has also been suggested.
strong and weak collocations, concordancers, traditional learning, lexical assessmnent