Volume 5 Number 3 March 2019

Establishment of a List of Non-Compositional Multi-Word Combinations for English for Journalism Learners

Authors: Wenhua Hsu
Pages: 49-57
This research describes an attempt to establish a pedagogically useful list of the most frequent semantically non-compositional multi-word combinations for English for Journalism learners in an EFL context, who need to read English news in their field of study. The list was compiled from the NOW (News on the Web) Corpus, the largest English news database by far. In consideration of opaque multi-word combinations in widespread use and pedagogical value, the researcher applied a set of selection criteria when using the corpus. Based on frequency, meaningfulness, and semantic non-compositionality, a total of 318 non-compositional multi-word combinations of 2 to 5 words with the exclusion of phrasal verbs were selected and they accounted for approximately 2% of the total words in the corpus. The list, not highly technical in nature, contains the most commonly-used multi-word units traversing various topic areas and news readers may encounter these phrasal expressions very often. As with other individual word lists, it is hoped that this opaque expressions list may serve as a reference for English for Journalism teaching.