Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.2 June, 2016                                        Pp.163- 176

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Formulaic Language for Improving Communicative Competence

English Language and Education
University of Abou Bekr Belkaid, Tlemcen, Algeria

English Language and Education
University of Abou Bekr Belkaid, Tlemcen,  Algeria

English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ communicative competence presents a challenge for both students and instructors. Being communicatively competent leads the language user to avoid any kind of breakdown of communication; thus, reaching fluency which is the main aim of foreign language learners (EFL learners). The acquisition of the notion of formulaicity provides a great deal of help for EFL learners to achieve native-like language proficiency and that is the main hypothesis of this study. The main aim of this research is to draw learners’ attention towards formulaic language and to investigate its effects on their communicative competence. To achieve this purpose, the present research is designed to answer the following questions: (1) what is formulaicity? (2) Is the acquisition of formulaic language important for EFL learners to reach communicative competence? (3) Is designing a course for this subject helpful to reach learners’ language aims?  An experiment is conducted through a pre and a post test in addition to the treatment of six sessions of instruction to carry out the comparative study using the paired t test result as statistical proof. After the comparison of the pre-test and the post test, the results revealed a substantial progress for the experimental group’s communicative competence and thus their conversational competence as well. As a result, formulaic language needs to be an essential part of EFL learners’ curriculum according to its variation and enormous effects on learners’ communicative competence in both writing and speaking skills.
Keywords: communicative competence, EFL learners, fluency, formulaic language, language acquisition

Cite as: ASSASSI, T., & BENYELLES, R. (2016). Formulaic Language for Improving Communicative Competence.  Arab World English Journal,7 (2).


Mr. Tarek ASSASSI holds a Masters Degree in Language sciences. He taught English in the
secondary school level. He is currently a PhD student at University of Tlemcen-Algeria. Also, he
is a part-time teacher of oral expression at the English Language Department at the University of
Biskra- Algeria, and a certified English Language assessor for pilots and ATCs for Auras
Aviation Academy- Algeria. His research interests are: ELT, Formulaic Language, ESP,
Course/ syllabus design, second language acquisition, and communicative competence.