Formulaic Language in Learning and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Formulaic language (FL) is generally defined as multiword language phenomena that holistically represent a single meaning or function and are likely stored and used in communication as unanalyzed wholes, just as individual words are. In recent decades, theoretical and empirical research on formulaic sequences (FSs), a critical factor influencing language ability, has burgeoned in the fields of linguistics, psycholinguistics, corpus linguistics, cognitive science, and language disorders. However, very few systematic and empirical studies have been conducted on Chinese FSs. This project was motivated by the need for effective pedagogical paths to assist learners of Chinese as a Second or Foreign Language (CSL/CFL) in acquiring FSs.

The project aims to discover the distinctive characteristics of Chinese FSs and impart the results to CSL/CFL teaching communities. In particular, it aims to (1) establish proper identification criteria for Chinese FSs; (2) construct Chinese FS-related corpora; (3) Identify and classify Chinese FSs from the established Chinese textbook corpus; (4) investigate how FSs are used in Chinesetextbooks published in and outside China; (5) provide a pedagogical knowledge database of Chinese FSs for CSL/CFL teachers; (6) investigate the development of FSs amongst CSL/CFL learners; and (7) examine the effectiveness of learning and teaching Chinese FSs under different pedagogical methods based on a classroom teaching experiment.

The findings will have significant implications for CSL/CFL learning and teaching. For example, they will assist in developing textbooks and learners’ dictionaries and prove a valuable resource not only in the domain of language education but also in phraseology, psycholinguistics, and natural language processing research.           

This project is led by Dr. Grâce Poizat (XIE Honghua) and Dr. Roberto Paternostro

For more information, please contact the project’s main researcher BAO Yinhui.


Conference Presentations

BAO, Yinhui 包银辉 (2021). 程式语理论在初级汉语教学中的应用(The Application of Formulaic Language Theory on Teaching Chinese to Elementary Learners). The 7th Chinese teaching seminar of the Confucius Institute at the University of Geneva. Geneva: University of Geneva. October 31.

BAO, Yinhui 包银辉 (2021). 汉语程式语及其对汉语作为外语学习者语言产出的影响 (Chinese Formulaic Language and its Influence on CFL Learners’ Language Production). 2021 Fourth Harvard International Conference on Chinese Pedagogy (ICCP). Boston: Harvard University. September 24–25.

 BAO, Yinhui 包银辉 (2021). 汉语作为外语教学程式语的混合法研究 (Mixed Methods Study on Formulaic Sequences in Learning and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language). 9es Journées de la relève en études asiatiques et orientales. Geneva: University of Geneva. May 31.

BAO, Yinhui 包银辉 (2019). 程式语教学对瑞士汉语作为外语学习者口语产出能力影响的实证研究 (An Empirical Research on Influences of Formulaic Sequences on Swiss CFL Learners’ Spoken Production). Journées d’études internationales AREC 2019 ‘Chinois: linguistique et didactique de l’oral’. Paris: Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7. June 6–7.

BAO, Yinhui 包银辉 (2018). 基于联合国正式文件系统ODS多语文本数据开发专门用途汉语教学平行语料库初探 (A Study on the Development of Parallel Corpus of Specialized Chinese Teaching Based on the ODS Multilingual Text Data of the United   Nations Official Document System). 第五届中介语语料库建设与应用研讨会 (The 5th Interlanguage Corpus Construction and Application Symposium). Nanjing: Nanjing University. August 10-12.