Toward an Assessment of Moroccan Learners' Receptive Collocational Knowledge in Modern Standard Arabic




While research on vocabulary knowledge has received a great deal of attention in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), scarce research has dealt with lexical proficiency in other languages, notably Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) (Ech-charfi & Bouaddi, 2023). Notwithstanding the fact that Arabic is spoken by millions of people, there is a noticeable paucity of reliable and valid Arabic vocabulary instruments (Masrai & Milton, 2017). Using the Rasch model, this paper seeks to measure the receptive collocational knowledge of high frequency items in MSA. For this purpose, 106 students (sixth grade and tenth grade) took the Arabic collocations test, which was inspired by Gyllstad’s (2005) COLLEX receptive collocational test of English. The target collocations were extracted from Al-Hafiz dictionary (Hafiz, 2004) and checked for frequency in Leeds Corpus of Contemporary Arabic. The final sets of collocations were checked using concordance lines in the CQPweb to ascertain that the items are real collocations. Results disclosed that the receptive mastery of collocations among Moroccan learners is to some extent underdeveloped. In addition, the test demonstrated promising evidence with respect to construct validity in measuring a single construct and differentiating test-takers with varying abilities. Implications and potential avenues for future research are discussed.