Research has increasingly focused on the effectiveness of formulaic sequences in augmenting second language (L2) learners’ academic writing skills. These formulaic sequences, which may constitute as much as 52.3% of written discourse (Erman & Warren, 2000), play a vital role in improving L2 learners’ writing proficiency and enhancing their performance in academic contexts (Jones & Haywood, 2004; Lewis, 1997). However, experimental testing of such a role is largely undeveloped in research. This quantitative research study is an attempt to investigate the effects of explicitly teaching
formulaic sequences on twelve L2 learners’ academic writing skills. The study results suggest that an explicit instructional approach to formulaic sequences can enhance their subsequent acquisition. Moreover, formulaic sequences increase L2 learners’ writing proficiency because they function as frames to which L2 learners resort when approaching a writing task to compose an academic piece of writing.
Keywords: Formulaic sequences, focused instruction, L2 writing proficiency