Exploring EFL Learners’ Use of Formulaic Sequences in Pragmatically Focused Role-play Tasks

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 University of Sistan and Baluchestan

2 Language Department, IRI Amin Police University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Communicative language use largely entails regular patterns consisting of pre-constructed phrases or sequences. These sequences have been examined by many researchers to find the situation-based formulas which may help L2 learners follow a possibly more target-like speaking system. This study, therefore, explored two categories of formulaic expressions including speech formulas and situation-bound utterances used by EFL learners. The randomly selective participants included 30 intermediate and 30 advanced learners, who performed a total number of 120 role-play tasks focused on the situations which required the use of thanking, requesting, offering, and apology speech acts. Audio-recorded data from role-plays were transcribed and analyzed based on existing lists of speech formulas. Results showed that the participants produced more than 102 types of formulaic sequences that could be called “a list of pragmatic routines for thanking, requesting, offering, and apologizing speech acts in the EFL context”.  This list includes 44 and 58 speech formulas and situation-bound utterances, respectively. Results further indicated that advanced language learners used more diverse situation-bound utterances in terms of its internal and contextual complexity than their counterparts in the intermediate group due to expert judgments. Because these formulas can increase coherence in speaking, and enhance effective and natural communication, their instruction could be part of the language teaching curriculum.

Keywords


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