The Effect of L1 on the Production of L2 Formulaic Expressions

Abstract

This study explores whether formulaic expressions congruent to the ones in an individual's native language (L1) have an effect on the production those expressions and their respective contexts in that individual's second language (L2). Fifteen EFL students were given a pre- and post-Discourse Completion Test and a Writing Prompt to assess their improvement in producing English idioms and their contexts after a workshop that focused on idioms of varying similarity to the participants' L1: Category I, word-for-word translations of the idiom used in L1; Category II, conceptually similar versions of the idiom used in L1; and Category III, idioms specific to the L2. The results of the study suggest that explicit instruction and comparison of any category of idioms can promote its production, but also that EFL learners are more comfortable working with Category II idioms.

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