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Key clusters in designing teaching materials : Identifying key multi-word expressions in EU-related discourse for study purposes

Publication at Faculty of Arts |


The present project is motivated by the finding that as a rule, learners of a foreign language tend to employ a smaller range of multi-word expressions (also termed lexical bundles, Biber et al. 1999: 990), using them more frequently (Garner 2016: 33), and resorting to them in contexts in which native speakers are likely to employ a different expression (Hasselgren 1994). Such bundles are therefore termed 'phraseological teddy bears' by Hasselgård (forthcoming; building upon Hasselgren 1994).

As reported by Hasselgren (1994: 237), when speaking/writing a foreign language, learners frequently feel insecure, "regularly clutch[ing] for the words [they] feel safe with". As a result, language produced by learners (albeit advanced) is often curbed by these limited lexical and phraseological choices.

Hence, this study aims to create a teaching resource taking into account these differences in native as opposed to non-native phraseology. Its intended users are upper-intermediate learners of English as a foreign language and for specific purposes.