Journal of Undergraduate Research


lexical bundles, Chinese, second language learners, oral proficiency


Fine Arts and Communications


Asian and Near Eastern Languages


This study examined the efficacy of formulaic language in improving the fluency of Chinese in second-language learners. Formulaic language refers to a group of words that is cognitively stored as one linguistic unit, rather than being analyzed by each indepdent part (Simon, 1974). For instance, if one were to witnessing something shocking exclaim, “oh my goodness!”, you are exhibiting formulaic language. Because we do not use typical rules of grammar to analyze formulaic language, it is likely that we can process it much more quickly (Wray, 2002). Wray et al also suggests that it is an important part of developing fluent speech (2008). Furthermore, more formal speech is riddled with formulaic language. If you are giving an oral presentation in a formal setting, there are certain organizational expectations for the presenter. Usually, a presentation will have some sort of introduction, and a conclusion. Additionally, it is expected that the presentation flow fluently from thought to thought. The presenter may begin with, “In recent years, such and such phenomena has developed”. “In recent years” is used to introduce a trend that the speaker wishes to elaborate upon. They may then transition into the core of their presentation. They may follow with, “The key contributor to this phenomenan can be broadly categorized by…” the phrase “can be broadly described by” functions as one linguistic unit. To most native speakers of English, these phrases are fairly intuitive. However, second-language learners struggle to use these phrases effectively. This study aims to use formulaic language to assist English speakers studying Chinese as a second language to improve the quality of oral presentations in professional and academic contexts.