Collocation and Idiom in L1
If you are dealing with monolingual classes and are interested in teaching collocation, the first thing to do is check which of the partnerships you have selected exist in the L1. A surprising number of collocations that we assume are new to students actually exist in the students' own languages. If you are pressed for time in, for example, an exam class, these collocations can be written down, with their L1 equivalent, and just handed to the students, rather than wasting their time teaching them something that already exists in their own language.
For example, the expression to run a risk, which sounds highly idiomatic in English, actually exists in both Spanish and Italian with the same meaning. Students need to know that they can translate that particular expression, but time need not be spent creating exercises practising it, when other combinations can more usefully be practised.
Angus Savory 18-08-2011