What is it about?

One way to investigate learner writing is by analyzing the most frequently recurring sequences of words, that is, lexical bundles. This paper presents results for lexical bundles analyses of a Malaysian corpus (MCSAW) against its reference language variety, LOCNESS (Louvain Corpus of Native English Essays). Results show that learners use simple types of lexical bundles repeatedly compared to their native speaker counterparts. Evidence of tautology can also be found in learner writing.

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Why is it important?

It was found that problems include over-using a limited number of well-known phrases, while lacking a diverse enough phrasal repertoire to employ lexical bundles in a more mature manner. In light of this, several implications for ELT in Malaysia are discussed. This includes a method- ological review of the curriculum, one that should not be too heavily depen- dent on prompted essays or limiting the scaffolding in English language writing classrooms that could result in mimicking or rote-memorizing of essay prompts – rather, it should promote the use of corpus-assisted methods to delineate between often recurring words/phrases in samples of more experienced writers. In addi- tion, English instructors should be (made) aware of other typical nuances of Malaysian learner writing such as the use of high-frequency common words and similarly used phraseological expressions in the first language.


This article was part of my PhD thesis under the tutelage of Assoc. Prof. Dr Monika Bednarek at the University of Sydney. It has been a great learning experience and rewarding to have a portion of it published in ARAL -hopefully for more readers to be motivated to publish in high-impact journals that uphold academic integrity and quality research.

Aeisha Joharry
Universiti Teknologi MARA

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Repetitive bundles in Malaysian learner writing, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, August 2020, John Benjamins,
DOI: 10.1075/aral.19028.joh.
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