Lexical bundles in NS lecturing and NNS lecturing: a corpus-based study

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This corpus-based study investigated the consequences of English-medium instruction in university lectures. The availability of the Nijmegen English Medium-Instruction Corpus (NEMIC) provided a unique opportunity to investigate lexical differences between the use of formulaic language in two languages produced by the same subject. Data derived from a set of parallel lectures held by the same experienced lecturer in L1 Dutch and L2 English. Differences between the subject’s use of four-word lexical bundles in both languages were investigated in terms of their frequency and their functions. A qualitative analysis of the bundles used in each sub-corpus was conducted to investigate the effect of L1 transfer on L2 lexical bundle use. The frequential analysis showed a significantly more frequent use of four- word lexical bundles in L2 lectures compared to L1 lectures. Additionally, a rather restricted bundle variety was observed in L2 lectures, indicating a repeated use of a relatively small set of bundles. The functional comparison of the corpora showed the subject to use significantly more participant-oriented and real-world oriented bundles in non-native lectures compared to native lectures. A preference for participant-oriented bundles was found in both sub-corpora, which is said to be typical of spoken academic language. No evidence was found for L1 transfer effects on L2 lexical bundle use. Even though the study results need to be seen in light of some limitations, the study results indicate linguistic differences between native and non-native instruction at academic universities.
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