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This study investigated the development of L2 Chinese formulaic competence in a study abroad context. Participants were 31 American students studying Chinese in a university in China (intermediate-level). They completed a computerized speaking test consisting of 24 formulae-use situations twice during their semester-long study abroad in China. The learners produced a formulaic expression according to each situation, and their production was evaluated on appropriateness (rated on a four-point scale by native speakers) and planning time. In addition, a survey was administered to gather information about the learners’ perceived frequency of encounter with formulae-use situations. The learners showed significant gains on appropriateness and fluency. Reported frequency of encounter with target formulae-use situations did not correlate with the gains in formulae production, except for the learners with lower pretest score. Qualitative analysis revealed four patterns of change: (1) change toward target formulae, (2) change toward target-like slot-and-frame patterns, (3) change toward non-target formulae; and (4) stabilized non-target formulae use.


Originally published in:

Taguchi, N., Li, S., & Xiao, F. (2013). Production of formulaic expressions in L2 Chinese: A developmental investigation in a study-abroad context. Chinese as a Second Language Research, 2, 23-58.

(c) De Gruyter. Posted with permission.