Formulaic language (FL) has long been a research topic investigated by various schools of researchers. Most of the previous researches focused on English as Second Language. The applicability of the past research results to other languages, especially Chinese as a second language, is still uncertain.The present study attempts to investigate the classroom teaching of Chinese formulaic language and its effects on students writing performance. Two sections of 3rd year Chinese L2 learners at Brigham Young University were chosen to participate the research, serving as the treatment group and the control group respectively. Both groups were required to write on the same topics at different times in a semester. 80 responses from four topics were then chosen to analyze the effects of using Chinese FL.Results show that among the four types of Chinese FL, both collocations and transitions are used frequently, while the other two types of Chinese FL are less used by participants from the experimental group. Except the first topic, the adoption of Chinese FL does contribute to more Chinese characters in the writing responses of the participants from the experimental group, which reveal learners confidence in Chinese writing after the FL training. Also, both the remarkably higher average scores for each topic and the decreasing error rates demonstrate that the adoption of Chinese FL teaching positively influences participants writing performance. Lastly, the contributions of the four different types of Chinese FL to participants better writing performance are also discussed.



College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies

Date Submitted


Document Type





formulaic language, collocation, transition, idiom, parenthetical phrase