Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-2053
  • E-ISSN: 2589-207x
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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, 2008Wood, 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.


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