Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 3. September 2018                                   Pp.163-175
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol9no3.11

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 Processing English Formulaic Expressions in Situation-Bound Utterances: Strategies Used
by Francophone ESL Learners in Thailand
 

                      Eric A. Ambele                 

Department of Western Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Prince of Songkla University, Pattani, Thailand

                             Yusop Boonsuk (Corresponding author)
Department of Western Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Prince of Songkla University, Pattani, Thailand

     Chamaiporn Buddharat
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat University
Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand

 

 

Abstract:
In examining how English as a second language (ESL) learners process English formulaic expressions in a nonnative English context, this study aims to investigate the strategies that learners use and how first language (L1) culture and conceptual knowledge could influence the use of the strategies. This study is guided by the research question of how francophone ESL learners in Thailand process formulaic expressions in situation-bound utterances (SBUs). Three Francophone Cameroonian learners of English in a university in Thailand (served as the experimental group) and two native English speakers (as the control group) participated in this study. Oral Discourse Completion Task (DCT) was employed to elicit data and evaluated based on 4 categories: (1) Native-like English; (2) Towards Native-like English; (3) Francophone English; and (4) Irrelevant English. The result showed that among the three francophone participants in the study whose native languages were French, 60% DCT responses were Towards Native-like (TNE), 30% were Francophone English (FE), 10% were Native-like English (NE). There was no response from the DCTs, according to the analysis, that was irrelevant English. A further analysis of the three categories revealed that the learners primarily used simplification, verbosity, literal salience, and L1 cultural transfer strategies in processing formulaic expressions. This study corroborates the seemingly weak connection of English linguistic proficiency and sociolinguistic competence in ESL learner’s pragmatic knowledge, as well as the reliance on L1 conventionalized conceptualization in processing English formulaic expressions. Implications for teaching formulaic expressions in a nonnative English as a foreign language (EFL) context in general, and Thai context in particular are also discussed.
Keywords: English formulaic expressions, situation-bound utterances, Francophone ESL learners’ strategies

Cite as:  Ambele, E. A., Boonsuk, Y., & Buddharat, C. (2018). Processing English Formulaic Expressions in Situation-Bound Utterances: Strategies Used by Francophone ESL Learners in Thailand. Arab World English Journal, 9 (3), 163-175.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol9no3.11

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Eric A. Ambele is an English lecturer/researcher in the Department of Western Languages,
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince of Songkla University. His research interest
focuses on Variations in languages, Discourse Analysis, World Englishes, Sociolinguistics,
Intercultural Communication, and Innovative Research Methodology.
ORCid ID: 0000-0003-2206-8746