Hsien-Chin Liou & Wen-Feng Chen



In this study, a quasi-experimental within-subject design was adopted to examine the intervention effects of teaching academic formulaic sequences (FS) for writing with one intact class consisting of 15 EFL third-year college students. Fifty target FSs were chosen from five recently compiled academic formulas lists (mostly derived through corpus research) based on frequency, semantic transparency, and localized pedagogical considerations. Measurements included (a) the pretest, posttest, and delayed posttest on target FSs; (b) pretest and posttest timed summary writing; (c) free production of taught FSs in an out-of-class book report and research report assignments at the end of the semester or several months later. Additionally, the participants’ perceptions toward the explicit instruction were investigated through a questionnaire. The results indicated that 60% of the taught FSs appeared in the participants’ writing, and the numbers of FSs used increased after explicit instruction. Both the learners’ posttest FS test and writing performance were better than those in the pretest, maintaining the effects. The current study shed some light for integrating FSs instruction into a college EFL writing class. Pedagogical implications suggested that writing teachers may take target genre types in their course into consideration when choosing appropriate formulaic sequences. Future research can recruit more participants with different backgrounds and different proficiency levels.


Key Words: academic formulaic sequences, phrase lists