Asia Pacific Journal of Corpus Research Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 41-55
Abbreviation: APJCR
e-ISSN: 2733-8096
Publication date: 31 December 2023
Received: 15 October 2023 / Received in Revised Form: 15 November 2023 / Accepted: 8 December 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.22925/apjcr.2023.4.2.41

The effects of corpus use on learning L2 collocations of light verbs and nouns

Yoshiho Satake (Aoyama Gakuin University), JAPAN
Copyright 2023 APJCR

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In data-driven learning (DDL), learners explore a corpus to understand vocabulary and grammar. Although many studies have emphasized the role of DDL in second language (L2) acquisition, L2 light verbs have been largely under-explored. To bridge this gap, this study focused on the learning outcomes of L2 light verbs among 29 intermediate-level Japanese university students. The research zeroed in on six prevalent light verbs in English: “make,” “do,” “take,” “have,” “give,” and “get.” Over nine weeks, the participants engaged with verb–noun collocations using worksheets that juxtaposed Japanese translations of the target collocations with their English equivalents, with the verbs omitted. With the aid of Wordbanks Online, they filled in the blanks and constructed accurate sentences. Before this activity, a 20-minute tutorial was given to the participants on how to interpret the concordance lines. The effectiveness of the DDL method was evaluated using pre-tests, immediate post-tests, and delayed post-tests. The results showed that DDL significantly improved the participants’ knowledge of the target collocations of light verbs and nouns; the post-test and delayed post-test scores were significantly higher than the pre-test scores. The results showed that, overall, DDL contributed to memorizing the collocations of light verbs and nouns; however, DDL had different effects on the memorization of collocations across different light verbs. The extent of work on the worksheet is not the only factor in its retention, and observing concordance lines may promote learners’ memorization of light-verb collocations.


Data-Driven Learning (DDL), Collocations, Light Verbs, Corpus Linguistics, English Language Teaching


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The Authors

Yoshiho Satake is Associate Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University. She obtained a Ph.D. degree in linguistics in 2018 from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan. Her principal research area is corpus linguistics, especially DDL. She has published several articles on the effects of DDL on L2 error correction and vocabulary acquisition

The Authors’ Addresses

First and Corresponding Author
Yoshiho Satake
Associate Professor
Aoyama Gakuin University
4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
E-mail: t31330@aoyamagakuin.jp

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