word combo card

The Corpus-Based Word Combination Card: A Writer’s Reference by Mark Alves, Michael Berman, and Ray Gonzales

This reference tool, designed by teachers, is an incredibly simple, convenient, and affordable tool to have for students who are writing academic papers in English.  It takes high frequency words and provides definitions and simple collocations to show how they can be used in academic writing.  The card provides models to follow for use in one’s   writing.

High frequency words. What does high frequency mean, where do these words come from, and why did the authors choose them? The word and/or collocations   on the card come from the 3000 most commonly used words in written American English and the Academic Word List.    The words are divided into different lists:

  • Nouns and verbs and key academic collocations
  • Uses of do, get, give, have, make, and take
  • Prepositions
  • Subject areas such as business and finance, culture and society, and crime and law

There are also collocations of various phrases used for comparison-contrast, classification, reporting information, and more.  These examples show a writer how to use these common phrases in English sentence structures.

As you use this reference tool, you learn the language and become more familiar and comfortable with authentic use of the words and phrases in your writing.

How to use this reference tool

For teachers:  This is a great tool to use in writing classes to help students develop more accuracy and clarity in their writing. It is a good idea to spend time familiarizing students with the chart.  The Corpus-Based Word Combination Card comes with a teacher’s manual and a student workbook with activities to raise awareness and practice constructing sentences with collocations.  The teacher’s manual also provides ideas for additional games and activities beyond the Combination Card.

The student workbook is filled with activities that can be done on the computer with fill-in and drop-down choices.  Students can use the workbook independently for developing familiarity and skill with the language necessary for strong academic writing in English.  This is a must for academic English studies.

You can find out more about the Corpus-Based Combination Card and additional resources at www.combinationcard.com