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Durham e-Theses
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Use of Formulaic Sequences in Task-based
Oral Production of Chinese

WONG, HO,PUT (2012) Use of Formulaic Sequences in Task-based
Oral Production of Chinese.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Formulaic language is a long-recognized phenomenon that has inspired new pedagogical and lexicographic developments in ESL. However, it did not draw much attention until the last decade in the field of Chinese-as-a-second-language (CSL). Not surprisingly, research of formulaic sequences (FSs) in CSL has been scarce and rarely corpus-based and pedagogically focused. This study aims at filling in part of this gap.
It is widely accepted that FSs are ubiquitous and play an important role in any discourse. They are critical in acquisition, retention and production of both L1 and L2. The awareness of both learners and teachers of the importance of FSs still needs to be raised. The aim of this thesis is to investigate disparities in the use of FSs in spoken Putonghua by non-native speakers (NNSs) and native speakers (NSs) to inform learning and teaching of CSL.
This research adopts a corpus-based approach. After completing a language task, all FSs, including Task-specific Sentence Stems (i.e. function-specific utterances to carry out certain speech acts), in the transcripts of 30 NNSs and 30 NSs were identified and compared. Differences between NS and NNS data are pinpointed for drawing pedagogical inferences. It was confirmed that NS data contains higher density of FSs in general (i.e. more number of characters inside FSs as percentage of total number of characters) and greater number and varieties of TSSSs than NNSs. It was also confirm that more advanced NNSs’ data is more formulaic than less advanced NNSs’, and more native-like data is more formulaic than less native-like data. All the above findings attest to the significance of FSs in CSL.
With better knowledge of the formulaic nature of Chinese language, this study calls forth more lexical and task-based approaches in CSL, and might shed light on curriculum and syllabus design, teaching material development and pedagogy.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:formulaic sequence; Chinese-as-a-second-language (CSL); task-based learning (TBL); second language learning; spoken Chinese; task-specific sentence stem (TSSS); speech act;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 08:40

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