Formulaic time buyers for young foreign language learners
Multiword units of language, known as formulaic sequences, are pervasive and essential in communication (Wray, 2008). Although issues related to formulaicity have been under investigation in a number of research studies (e.g. Conklin & Schmitt, 2008; Wood, 2006), the present study is different in investigating the functions of formulaic sequences in the oral language production of young learners in the context of English as a foreign language. A class of 11 students (aged 9 to 11) was observed and video recorded for 16 sessions (90 minutes per session). Following transcription of selected speech samples, formulaic sequences were identified based on pre-established criteria. Analysis enabled categorisation of a range of functions for formulaic sequences in learners’ oral language production. Results revealed evidence that formulaic sequences performed a variety of roles in the learners’ language production. These sequences helped young language learners to improve their fluency, to economize effort on processing and also to buy time for processing. A significant novel finding of this study was evidence that language users might introduce dis-fluency in the production of their sequences in order to buy time for further processing.
Keywords: formulaic sequences, early foreign language learning, time buyers, oral language production
- 2.1Definition and identification of formulaic sequences
- 2.2Formulaic sequences in second/foreign language learning
- 2.3Formulaicity and young language learners
- 2.4Functions of formulaic sequences
- 2.5Empirical studies on the role of formulaic sequences in second/foreign language learning
- 4.3Utterance launchers
- 4.4Non-fluent sequences
- 6.Conclusion and implications
Published online: 14 February 2022
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