Formulaic language and conceptual socialization: the route to becoming nativelike in L2
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The present study addressed the question whether formulaic expressions indicate nativelike selection in the target language by examining seven Turkish students’ use of formulaic expressions during their first year in the United States. Fourteen external raters who spoke English as their first language rated the Turkish (focal group) and American students’ (control group) DCT responses in terms of nativelike language use. The results indicated that the American students not only received higher nativelikeness ratings but also produced more formulaic expressions than the Turkish students. This finding confirms that freely generated utterances based on grammatical units and lexis forecast non-membership to the speech community (Skehan, 1998) while the use of formulaic expressions is an indicator of nativelike selection. The results also revealed that gaining competency over formulaic expressions for second language learners is not a linear process but open to creativity.