Finding the formula: formulaic language use in Hong Kong primary school English textbooks

Russell, Thurstan Steven (2017). Finding the formula: formulaic language use in Hong Kong primary school English textbooks. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This thesis examines the use of multi-word lexical phrases, sometimes referred to as formulaic language, in textbooks used in Hong Kong primary schools. To identify whether such phrases are as equally represented in Hong Kong English textbooks as they are in a textbook used by native English speakers in the United Kingdom, formulaic language is identified, counted and compared between texts. Identification is based on a set of pre-determined criteria, and frequency of the formulaic sequences is established using corpus linguistic methodology. An identification criteria value is given to all identified formulaic sequences based on how many criteria are used to identify them as formulaic. The suitability and usefulness of the formulaic sequences are discussed in relation to teaching and learning English as a foreign language. Results suggest that Hong Kong English textbooks contain less formulaic sequences than the textbook used in the United Kingdom and the identification criteria values are lower. Furthermore, qualitative analysis of formulaic sequences found in the Hong Kong English textbooks reveal a disparity in the structure and use of some sequences compared to sequences found in corpora of naturally produced English, raising the question of what constitutes native-like English.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: L Education > LT Textbooks
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics


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