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postgraduate thesis: A corpus study of Chinese EFL majors' phraseological performance

TitleA corpus study of Chinese EFL majors' phraseological performance
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Huang, K. [黄开胜]. (2014). A corpus study of Chinese EFL majors' phraseological performance. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5350994
AbstractFor more than half a century linguists have been interested in phraseology, the study of the structure, meaning and use of word combinations. The literature has noted a phraseological tendency and its processing advantages, which are widely believed to be of great value in language use. Lexical bundles are a corpus accessible feature of phraseology, an important phraseological variant defined as the most frequently occurring sequences of words in a given register. They are considered as extended collocations and also form-meaning composites which can help to achieve important discourse functions. Most contrastive analyses on bundle performance focus on comparing L2 learners with native English speakers; and former descriptions highlight only frequency and classification analysis but the question of how accurately EFL speakers or writers use these bundles has not been fully addressed. The current research aims, therefore, at observing lexical bundles performed in both oral and written modes by Chinese EFL majors at different curriculum stages of study. It intends to investigate whether there are considerable differences or possible changes between junior and senior students’ bundle use from the perspectives of both quantity (the number of bundles) and quality (variety, distributional features, especially accuracy scores of bundles). After reviewing the former phraseological theories and methodological frameworks, the working definition and classification typology were discussed. Lexical bundles extracted from four large sub-corpora representing junior/senior English majors’ spoken/written productions were shortlisted and identified by three filters: standardized frequency, multi-text occurrences and MI scores. Four lists of target bundles were then classified, followed by distributional analyses on the structural and functional types preferred by the two learner groups in the two modes respectively. Initial analyses found that seniors use a comparatively larger quantity and wider variety of bundles in both oral and written modes than juniors do; while both juniors and seniors use a larger quantity and wider variety of bundles in oral English than in written mode; To investigate further, I chose 80 bundles by stratified sampling and then randomly selected 10 samples from all the concordance lines of each bundle. With the help of dictionaries and a reference corpus (WordBanks Online), each bundle in the 800 instances was examined and judged according to its grammatical correctness and functional appropriacy in context. Descriptive and inferential statistics indicated that the mean accuracy scores of bundles used by both juniors and seniors in both the two modes were not significantly different. Documentation and categorization of bundle misuses showed that the most common grammatical misuses are tense and agreement; while the most common functional misuses are inappropriate collocates. It can be concluded that seniors achieved only a quantity gain rather than a quality gain as compared to juniors with regard to bundle proficiency; in other words, Chinese EFL majors have not achieved significant progress in accurate and appropriate bundle use during their four years of English learning. This research suggests that lexical bundles as well as other phraseological variations should be taught more explicitly and effectively to further strengthen L2 learners’ phraseological competence.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectEnglish language - Study and teaching (Higher) - China
English language - Study and teaching - Chinese speakers
Second language acquisition
Dept/ProgramApplied English Studies
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/219900

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Kaisheng-
dc.contributor.author黄开胜-
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-25T23:11:37Z-
dc.date.available2015-09-25T23:11:37Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationHuang, K. [黄开胜]. (2014). A corpus study of Chinese EFL majors' phraseological performance. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5350994-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/219900-
dc.description.abstractFor more than half a century linguists have been interested in phraseology, the study of the structure, meaning and use of word combinations. The literature has noted a phraseological tendency and its processing advantages, which are widely believed to be of great value in language use. Lexical bundles are a corpus accessible feature of phraseology, an important phraseological variant defined as the most frequently occurring sequences of words in a given register. They are considered as extended collocations and also form-meaning composites which can help to achieve important discourse functions. Most contrastive analyses on bundle performance focus on comparing L2 learners with native English speakers; and former descriptions highlight only frequency and classification analysis but the question of how accurately EFL speakers or writers use these bundles has not been fully addressed. The current research aims, therefore, at observing lexical bundles performed in both oral and written modes by Chinese EFL majors at different curriculum stages of study. It intends to investigate whether there are considerable differences or possible changes between junior and senior students’ bundle use from the perspectives of both quantity (the number of bundles) and quality (variety, distributional features, especially accuracy scores of bundles). After reviewing the former phraseological theories and methodological frameworks, the working definition and classification typology were discussed. Lexical bundles extracted from four large sub-corpora representing junior/senior English majors’ spoken/written productions were shortlisted and identified by three filters: standardized frequency, multi-text occurrences and MI scores. Four lists of target bundles were then classified, followed by distributional analyses on the structural and functional types preferred by the two learner groups in the two modes respectively. Initial analyses found that seniors use a comparatively larger quantity and wider variety of bundles in both oral and written modes than juniors do; while both juniors and seniors use a larger quantity and wider variety of bundles in oral English than in written mode; To investigate further, I chose 80 bundles by stratified sampling and then randomly selected 10 samples from all the concordance lines of each bundle. With the help of dictionaries and a reference corpus (WordBanks Online), each bundle in the 800 instances was examined and judged according to its grammatical correctness and functional appropriacy in context. Descriptive and inferential statistics indicated that the mean accuracy scores of bundles used by both juniors and seniors in both the two modes were not significantly different. Documentation and categorization of bundle misuses showed that the most common grammatical misuses are tense and agreement; while the most common functional misuses are inappropriate collocates. It can be concluded that seniors achieved only a quantity gain rather than a quality gain as compared to juniors with regard to bundle proficiency; in other words, Chinese EFL majors have not achieved significant progress in accurate and appropriate bundle use during their four years of English learning. This research suggests that lexical bundles as well as other phraseological variations should be taught more explicitly and effectively to further strengthen L2 learners’ phraseological competence.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching (Higher) - China-
dc.subject.lcshEnglish language - Study and teaching - Chinese speakers-
dc.subject.lcshSecond language acquisition-
dc.titleA corpus study of Chinese EFL majors' phraseological performance-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5350994-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineApplied English Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5350994-

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