Learning A Second Language Is A Complex Process That Exceeds The Acquisition Of Its Structure And Vocabulary

1114 Words Aug 30th, 2015 5 Pages
Learning a second language is a complex process that exceeds the acquisition of its structure and vocabulary. One of the major components of mastering a new language requires learners to become familiar and sensitive to the preference in language use by native speakers of certain sequences of words over others (Wray, 2000). It is the mastery of these word sequences that distinguishes novice from proficient L2 learners. Yet, there is still little agreement across studies on the number of words inhabit each sequence that worthy to define, the identification criteria, what to call them and how to teach them. In other words, it is difficult to identify a word sequence as being formulaic. On the one hand, some of the sequences are idiomatic (opaque idioms) that their meaning cannot be constructed or understood out its components or using grammar rules (e.g., ‘kick the bucket’). These word strings can be clearly identified as formulaic sequences. On the other hand, there are other word strings that are semantically transparent and grammatically regular (e.g. ‘how are you?’ or ‘have a nice day’) but still formulaic as well. By and large, the term formulaic language has been used as an umbrella that underlies many rubrics of multi-word sequences, including lexical phrase, prefabricated patterns, ready-made chunks, fixed expression, formulas, multi-word constructions, and lexical bundles. Formulaic language has been defined by Wray (2000) as follow:
“a sequence, continuous or…

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