Formulaic Language Acquisition and Production: Implications for Teaching


  • David Wood



Formulaic language units, ready-made chunks and sequences of words, have been the subject of a large and growing body of research. Although formulaic language has been largely overlooked in favor of models of language that center around the rule-governed, systematic nature of language and its use, there is increasing evidence that these multiword lexical units are integral to first- and second-language acquisition, as they are segmented from input and stored as wholes in long-term memory. They are fundamental to fluent language production, as they allow language production to occur while bypassing controlled processing and the constraints of short-term memory capacity. This article defines and describes formulaic language units and surveys the research evidence of their role in language acquisition and production. The implications of this knowledge for classroom teaching are considered, with particular emphasis on attending to input and fostering interaction to facilitate the acquisition of a repertoire of formulaic language.




How to Cite

Wood, D. . . . . . . . . . . (2002). Formulaic Language Acquisition and Production: Implications for Teaching. TESL Canada Journal, 20(1), 01–15.