Teachers' perceptions on Formulaic Language

By Shaimaa Abdel Aziz
Submitted to Session P4865 (Formulaic Language and Pragmatic Competence, 2017 Annual Meeting
All Middle East;
LCD Projector with Audio Patch or Speakers;
Formulaic sequences (FS) are being increasingly recognized in second language learning as a key language component that has direct impact on language proficiency (Nattinger and DeCarrico, 1992). A key aspect of FS is how it can be effectively integrated within language teaching and what practices could be used to present and introduce it to students. Recently, researchers have reported a growing interest in using FS in teaching language in classrooms.
Several studies have been developed to examine teachers’ perceptions of the importance of different language components and its impact on students’ language competency. Relatively few studies have examined teachers’ perception of the importance of integrating formulaic sequences in language learning (N. Schmitt, 2004; Boers et al, 2006).In addition, researchers investigated different practices of presenting FS in classrooms and integrating it in textbooks and curricula (Pawley, 1985, 1991; Pawley & Syder, 1983; Wray & Perkins, 2000). Although several studies have been conducted on FS in teaching English, nevertheless nearly no studies have been conducted on Arabic.

Research on teaching culture has shown that language and culture are closely intertwined (e.g., Brown, 2007; Kuang, 2007; Savignon & Sysoyev, 2005; Schulz, 2007) and are best acquired together (Schulz, 2007). As FS are considered cultural language components, it’s important to integrate it in teaching language.

The purpose of this study is to examine whether teachers consider FS as an important cultural language component that has an impact on language competency or not. In addition, the study aims to investigate teachers' perceptions of the best means for implementing FS in their teaching and the best proficiency level FS could be introduced to.
A mixed method of data analysis was adopted in this study where both qualitative and quantitative data were collected using three instruments “questionnaire, observations and interviews”. 75 Arabic teachers participated in the current study, 72 of them responded to the questionnaire and the others were abstained to access the questionnaire and they were only observed in their classrooms and interviewed afterwards.
The study revealed that 72 % of the participants perceive FS as important cultural language components that have direct impact on language proficiency. The participants recommended several practices and tools used to introduce FS in classrooms. Moreover, the majority of the teachers acclaimed that FS should be introduced to elementary Arabic language learners. The study recommends that textbooks authors and curricula developers shed light on FS.