Can explicit instruction of formulaic sequences enhance L2 oral fluency?

Nergis A.

LINGUA, vol.255, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier


The role of formulaic language in enhancing L2 oral performance is largely discussed in the literature; however, there is a lack of instructional research. In order to address this issue, the present investigation examined effects of explicit learning and practice of formulaic sequences on L2 utterance fluency with advanced EAP learners. Two groups of freshmen students were assigned as the experimental group and the comparison group. For five weeks, the experimental group studied and practiced 80 formulaic sequences (FS) that frequently occur in spoken academic corpora. The comparison group, on the other hand, learned single academic vocabulary. Target vocabulary in both groups were introduced through concordances and practiced in communicative oral production tasks in a freshmen EAP program. L2 fluency was measured in terms of temporal qualities at three points and compared in a series of repeated measures ANCOVA analyses, with L1 fluency included as covariate. Results showed that both groups improved significantly in speed fluency from pretest to posttest and the FS group outperformed the comparison group in pruned speech rate, the global fluency measure. Effects of FS instruction were maintained on delayed posttest. Implications of the findings were discussed. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.