some excerpts more:
" However, if you have more contact with the children, you can get much better results by teaching "chunks". By chunks, I mean expressions or short sentences, instead of individual words. I have a class of five-year-olds in my language school, whom I see for two hours a week, and recently we have been learning to use can for ability. Children of this age evidently have no understanding of grammatical concepts, but you can ask them in L1 if they can do certain things, like swim or skate, and then go on to teach the English way of saying it. You can also teach through mime. Children love it when the teacher acts a bit silly, I have had many laughs when pretending to ride a bike and then falling off to elicit "I can't ride a bike" and this helps them to remember. The important thing is to teach them "I can ride a bike", instead of just ride, or bike. I actually taught the vocabulary first, and later added "I can" and "I can't". In our course book, the current unit includes the vocabulary: skip, slide, ride a bike, fly, play football, swim and dive. There are flashcards with the characters doing these activities, so in the second lesson, I used "Anna can skip", "Lee can play football" etc. Some of the brighter children started to use these chunks even in that very lesson! In a subsequent lesson, I introduced: "I can swim. Can you swim?" and encouraged them to reply "Yes, I can" or No, I can't". We had already practised hearing the difference between can and can't in one of the previous lessons. "
" Every year, at the beginning of term, I teach the chunks: Can I have a pencil/rubber/ruler/sharpener, please? along with Can I go to the toilet, please? as I feel it is much more positive for the children to ask for things properly, instead of saying "rubber please", and they do actually learn to do so. It is important to start these habits early on, and not let them off because they are so young. The more you can get a child to communicate, the better! "
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Collocations are more specific in nature, for example, when you say that some adjectives are often followed by some types of prepositions you are talking about collocations (in my thinking):
Thus, for example:
Be afraid of...
Be angry with/at
Be anxious about
Be ashamed of
Be different from
Be full of
Be good at
To me, the use of chunks get you acquainted with the more natural way of talking in English, whereas collocations has to do grammar points.
Both, equally important in English learning, tough.